Summer Feature: Checkin’ In with Thomas Davis

Entering his 3rd season between the pipes for the Eagles, Thomas Davis has grown himself into one of the elite netminders in the AJHL. Davis joined the organization for the 2015/16 and made an immediate impact with the team by solidifying the goaltending position. To the opposition shooters, scouts, and fans, Davis is known for his tremendous athleticism making highlight reel saves on a nightly basis. Inside the Eagles dressing room, Davis is a phenomenal teammate known for his character and personality. This season will be Davis’ final of his junior hockey career. There is no doubt that he is a game breaking player for the Eagles and he is looking to carry his team to the top of the South division. We caught up with Thomas to learn how he has spent the offseason preparing. To no ones surprise Thomas gave us a detailed account to his time away from Canmore.

How do you approach your off-season? What are your plans? What have you done thus far?
I like to approach my off-season with a mindset that it should be fun, no matter what I do – training, skating, working or hanging with friends. If it’s not fun you’ll have a tough time getting up in the morning to do it, over and over again. My plans at this point are to get my last few skates in to nail down my game going into camp and enjoy my last few weeks with family until I leave. So far I’ve pretty much finished my summer workout plan and gained 10 pounds along the way. I finished my job at the Canadian Tire Garden Center for the summer just last week. Learnt a lot about dirt and plants, figuring out my favourite (Parkland Pillar) and least favourite (Russian Olive) trees, and somehow someone thought it’d be a good idea to legally certify me to drive a forklift? But most importantly, I made memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime, and isn’t that what it’s all about guys?

What do you do during your off-season downtime?
What’s my favourite off-season downtime? Good question, maybe a better question would be what don’t I do? For starters, I’ve tried my hand at guitar this summer with an old six string that’s laid dormant since I was 12. So far I can play the opening few chords to 22 by Taylor Swift, very impressive I know. I also occasionally play Fortnite with teammates Colton Young, Daly Hamilton, and BC native, Shane Farkas. The four of us make up our so-called ‘Fire Team’ where we rack up ‘Victory Royales’. A big project of mine was to get ready for the blockbuster movie: Avengers: Infinity War. I had to catch up on my Marvel lore and watched all of the past Marvel films again. Then, of course, Friday and Saturday nights are used to hang out and catch up with good friends.

When do you begin training again? Do you have a specific training plan?
My offseason program began in the middle of April, which left me about a month between the end of the season and the start of training. I train in a group with other junior and college players out of Athletes Nation in St Albert. We go 5 days a week for 16 weeks starting at 7:30 in the morning. We use the first 8 weeks to improve our strength and the last eight to build our strength into functional speed and explosiveness. But you can’t forget one of my most important muscles: (not including the ones I work for my never-achievable beach body goals) my eyes. I use a Dynavision board to work on my eyes and peripherals to find pucks better in those seemingly endless mazes of legs and bodies.

When do you begin skating? Do you have a specific on-ice training plan?
I like to take a few months off from skating after a season just to keep the game fresh and fun for when I finally come back. It’s exciting; every year when I first get onto my skates it’s the identical scene from Bambi when he’s slipping all over the ice. Then I go to catch pucks and I’m Ricky Bobby telling the interviewer, “I’m not sure what to do with my hands”, just par for the course for the first couple skates. Then after my heavily pop culture-referenced adjustment, I can get into better-paced drills and more complicated movements. I like to skate with team goalie coach Justin Cardinal in Calgary to really work on details a few times a summer and work with Gold in the Net and Eli Wilson back home in St Albert.

What goals and expectations do you have for the upcoming season personally and for the team?
I obviously expect the team to do better than last year, and even be a top team in the south. I think that’s an attainable goal with the multitude of great players and characters on our, now, veteran roster. I’m looking for my best year so far after being here for two years. Using what I’ve learnt from the highs and lows to help the team win games and help me to play to my full potential. So we’ll go and play 60 games and see where we end up because really, that’s all you can do, isn’t it?