Photo by Rena Laverty
For Danny Weight, he knew exactly what he needed to do to be successful in his final season with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. It ended up being a pretty simple recipe.
“This summer I lost about 10 pounds and I definitely was in better shape this fall,” explained Weight, who tallied 19 goals and 37 points in his Under-17 season. “I wanted to be faster, especially for the college games, and I wanted to be stronger for this year. Last year, I was heavier and I was not getting to the puck. I knew it was something that I had to work on over the summer if I wanted to improve my game and be ready for all situations [on the ice].
“After last season, even though I was scoring goals, I realized that I needed to dedicate myself over the summer. I was eating protein and no carbs and lost weight. I worked out, skated and really focused on getting stronger. I wanted to be able to help the team this season.”
After heading back to Lattingtown, New York, at the end of the season for the summer, Weight went right to work. He was willing to put in the time and effort it takes to be successful.
“I worked out at I3 this summer, which is home to the New York Islanders,” he said. “I worked out with [current U18 teammate] Marshall Warren and several other players. It was good to be with him, and we could really push and battle each other. It really helped to have someone else there who is familiar with what you are going through.”
The 6-foot, 177-pound forward has already noticed a huge difference in his game from his first campaign, based on his summer training regimen.
“I have really worked on my defensive play and I think I am a more well-rounded player,” he said on his game. “I have really picked up my plan in the D-zone. I have definitely grown up and am earning those shifts on the ice. The coaching staff has worked with me on my whole game. It is making a difference for me.”
He also credits the coaching staff — John Wroblewski and Dan Hinote — in meeting with him and helping him understand what else he needs to work on to improve his game.
“We had a meeting to discuss where my game is at,” Weight said. “It really helped to see what they are expecting. I know I need to train harder and work harder so I can continue to help this team. It really gave me confidence that I know they can put me out there and trust me.”
Favorite NHL Team
New York Islanders
Favorite NHL Player
"Character is how hard you work when no one's watching"
Something people don't know about me
I am a duel-citizen to the United States and Canada
Favorite Musical Artist
Favorite Netflix Binge
Favorite Home-Cooked Meal
Pulled chicken barbecue brisket
Weight and his U18 teammates are coming off their second international tournament — the Five Nations in Russia. It is definitely a team effort in order to have success, especially in international play and to finish off USHL play strong.
“This is a tight group,” said Weight. “We are definitely on the right track and are playing with confidence right now.”
For Weight, he now realizes just how much playing the college hockey games have helped this squad and their confidence level, and of course, his development as a player.
“It was amazing to play the college teams,” he said. “It really shows you that they are faster and more physical, and it gives you a feel of what you have to do play at the college level and then, of course, the next level. The college kids are definitely faster and stronger which makes you have work harder for success on the ice.”
He does have two favorite games from this season.
“I really enjoyed playing at North Dakota [a 6-2 loss on Dec. 29],” he said. “There were 10,000 people in the stands and the arena was amazing. Their fans definitely supported the team.
“The Boston University game was also a cool experience [a 5-4 overtime loss on Oct. 19]. We have several BU commits on this team and I know that I will be playing at the other end of the road [when I go to Boston College].”
I have really picked up my plan in the D-zone. I have definitely grown up and am earning those shifts on the ice. The coaching staff has worked with me on my whole game. It is making a difference for me.
When it came time to pick his future college, it turned out to be an easy decision for Weight. Since he is only a junior in high school, he will not start at BC until the fall of 2020.
“The coaching staff was a big reason why I picked BC and it was the one spot where I could see myself playing,” he explained. “I have been in contact with them and was able to take in a practice and several games. It felt right. I can’t wait to be there.”
One thing will not change for Weight and that is just how special it has been to wear the colors of his country each and every day.
“It means everything,” said Weight. “It runs deep as my dad [Doug] also wore the USA jersey [on the silver-medal winning team at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games]. Every time I get to put the sweater on, it is special.
“When you are playing in an international tournament, it has a different feeling. You are playing against other countries. It makes you want to work harder and play with a chip on your shoulder.”
At the end of the day, there is one special person that Weight counts on for advice and that is his dad Doug. After all, Doug Weight racked up over 1,000 career points in the National Hockey League from 1991-2011 and also has NHL coaching experience in addition to representing Team USA internationally.
“He has been good to talk to especially about adversity,” explained Danny. “He knows that not everything will be perfect but you have to keep working at it. You can’t get down with yourself, you have to keep working. He definitely understands this and has been a big help.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Photo by Rena Laverty