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Being a Leaf makes Tyler Biggs sick to his stomach

Being a Leaf makes Tyler Biggs sick to his stomach

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Written by keepushealth
Monday, 11 July 2011 01:03
Leafs top pick Tyler Biggs warms up at prospects camp on Monday at the Leafs training cility in Etobicoke. Tyler Biggs is learning this week what it takes to be a Maple Leaf. Theres education, drug and alcohol awareness, fitness techniques,

Leafs top pick Tyler Biggs warms up at prospects camp on Monday at the Leafs training cility in Etobicoke.

Tyler Biggs is learning this week what it takes to be a Maple Leaf. Theres education, drug and alcohol awareness, fitness techniques, nutrition seminars and an inquisitive media chronicling your every move.

And, apparently, vomiting.

Biggs, the Leafs top pick in the 2011 draft, was fresh off his Wingate test the toughest of the litany of tests Leaf prospects were put through on Monday when he was surrounded by the media.

Im sorry, said Biggs, cutting short his scrum, Im about to throw up.

And off he ran to the closest garbage can. TV cameras fFitness and Nutritionollowed him to catch the moment.

Being a pro can be tough.

Im fine, said defenceman Stuart Percy, the Leafs other first-round pick who stepped in to Biggs vacated scrum. The Wingate is pretty bad. I guess Im used to it. Its still the worst 30 seconds of your life.

In all, 42 Leaf prospects are getting poked and prodded, judged and tested as well as getting lectured to for the rest of the week. They started Sunday night with a welcome speech from GM Brian Burke followed by a seminar on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and even .

They do warn us, there is some training, said prospect Jerry DAmigo. As you get older, youve got to watch out.

They continued Monday with on-ice speed tests and off-ice fitness tests, including the dreaded Wingate an anaerobic test performed on a cycle ergometer. This year, as an added twist, theyll even be playing hockey, with three games scheduled into a week that usually features little skating.

The games really give us an indication of where we are with certain players, said Jim Hughes, the director of player development. We can see poise. We can see hockey sense, who protects the puck, who makes plays, who competes, whos physically strong and how people skate and manoeuvre, how people see the game and how they think.

So we can get a tremendous amount of information from these players by simply dropping the puck and finding out who can play the game.

Many of these players are returning for their second camp, like Greg McKegg and Brad Ross, the top picks from the 2010 draft.

For this years draftees, this is a wonderful chance to see for themselves how they measure up.

There are lots of other prospects who are bigger and stronger and older than me, said Percy. Me and Biggs are pretty much the younger kids here. Were just absorbing the things we can learn.

You have to work on your strength. Strength and speed are a huge part of the game. Seeing guys that are two, three and four years older that are that strong, its encouraging as we try to get to their body mass.

Before his stomach got the better of him, Biggs sounded just a wee bit overwhelmed by the all the attention and his surroundings.

Its pretty surreal, said Biggs, just outside the Leaf room at the MasterCard Centre, the same spot where coach Ron Wilson gives his scrums. This being a practice rink is better than anything Ive seen before. Its pretty unbelievable.

(Since I was drafted) its definitely been an emotional roller coaster for my mily and I. Were still taking it all in and the most of it.

Biggs is destined for the NCAA, not junior hockey, having committed to Miami of Ohio.

Hes a big, strong kid and a mature kid, not only mature physically but mentally, said Hughes. Hes sharp, and he pays attention to details. He wants to be a player. Hes very focused and this is just a good stepping stone.

This is the first phase of seeing what professional hockey is all about. Its good exposure for him. It will be a learning curve for him and hell take all this information and ... apply it.

Biggs said thats exactly what he hoped to do.

The experience in general is going to be awesome, said Biggs. Leading up to next year Ill have an idea what to expect.

On the ice, Ive definitely got to improve my agility.

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Leafs top pick Tyler Biggs warms up at prospects camp on Monday at the Leafs training cility in Etobicoke.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 01:03
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