Jimmy Sturdivent 6’0” 185 pound defensemen returns this season more focused and determined as ever. He is entering his second season as an Eels junior player. He also played one year with the Eels midget team. Jimmy had an opportunity last season to experience a whole new game.: the overall speed of the players; the required quickness in his decision-making; the bigger players; the skill and talent level of his teammates and opposing players; the entire atmosphere and euphoria of playing juniors; the first hand experience witnessing the scouting; the gruel and grind of practice 1 ½ hours on ice every day 5 days per week 40 weeks of the regular season; then the intense off ice strength and conditioning another 1-½ hours per day; the 3 hour video sessions; the 24 hour bus trips to New England and Virginia.
Jimmy also took full advantage over the past several seasons to join the Eels coaches and teammates to travel to Boston and compete in some of the most prestigious post-season showcases such as the Spring and Summer USPHL College Showcases as well as the Pro Am NHL Pre Draft and the Sr. and Junior Chowder Cups. These forums provided enormous visibility and exposure for him while proving equally phenomenal experience in playing with and against some of the top players from the USA Canada and Europe. This was a lot for anyone to take in and he did it as a 2000. Indeed there was an immense learning curve. But Jimmy witnessed first hand so many of the Eels players advance to college. That is why he came to the Eels 3 seasons ago. He wanted to capture that same opportunity. There is no doubt in this young man’s heart he too wants to be part of the 199 Eels alumni who moved on to play college hockey.
Jimmy also recognized last Spring that if he wanted to advance his skill set and future opportunities he had to propel his training to the Next Level. He understood from working with Coach Frankie Scarpaci, that having a goal and dream is not enough. You have to have more than a mission. There is a clear parallel of players who train intensely in the off-season and those that successfully advance to play college hockey. He asked himself “where do you want to be?”
Jimmy took last season’s experience with the Eels to heart and in April he went to task. He joined in the Eels Junior team’s Spring and Summer training program which included 6:00 am ice sessions three times per week and Eels intensive Off Ice training at World Gym 4 times per week. He also attended three weeks of Eels summer camp and competed in the USPHL Spring Showcase and Pro AM NHL Pre Draft in Boston. He was determined to get ready for the upcoming season. He realizes that this year will be a watershed year in terms of his player development. As a 2000 he knows that so much of his future and destiny is in his hands and needs to take ownership in that. He knows that this year, he is no longer a rookie and needs to be more serious, day in and out and this past spring and summer is only a precursor of what he needs to do this junior season. He knows that his desire, dedication, hunger and commitment will need to be heightened if he wants to reach the goals he is setting for himself. GM Scarpaci echoes that “we are proud of Jimmy and we looking forward to seeing him lay it all on the line this season.” Welcome back Jimmy.