View Full Version : Engelland in battle for roster spot

09-15-2013, 01:05 AM
Deryk Engelland has played 187 NHL games, all with the Penguins and all after the age of 27.

He knows something about seizing an opportunity, or even a sliver of an opportunity, and he's willing to adjust and learn.

That's how he broke into professional hockey in the ECHL, eventually stuck in the American Hockey League and, finally, stuck in the NHL and became a top-six or top-seven defenseman in the Penguins organization.

Now, he's fighting -- and for him, that could be literally -- to keep his job.

As one of seemingly dozens of defensemen in Penguins training camp -- in reality, it's 18 -- Engelland's job is not necessarily secure even after he spent a lot of the past three seasons as a third-pairing defenseman.

"You've got to come in no matter who you are and prove yourself," Engelland, 31, said. "There's always someone wanting to take your spot."

Knowing camp would be bursting at the seams with NHL veterans and a crop of touted prospects among the defensemen, Engelland tried to make the most of a relatively short offseason.
He worked out with his regular summertime trainer, Mark Philippi, who is based in Las Vegas. Engelland settled on that as an offseason home after playing in the ECHL there as a rookie pro.

This summer, he added a few workouts to his routine.

"My wife got her pilates instructing [certificate]," Engelland said. "I went in once a week all summer with her. It's tough. It's fun, though.

"I was impressed. It was just different. You're using different muscles. I found it was good for mobility, like my hip mobility, too."

He also took a boxing lesson with friend and Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker.

"I wanted to maybe learn how to throw a punch a little better," said Engelland, whose playing style borders on that of an enforcer, a rarity among defensemen. He otherwise is a defensive defenseman who has seven goals, 35 points in his NHL career but had 70 hits and 57 blocked shots in 42 games last season.

He also worked out with a trainer who works with Ultimate Fighting Championship competitors.

"It was a little different," Engelland said. "I did a little bit of wrestling, more like grappling that might help out hockey-wise.

"It was interesting and fun. I think next summer I'll keep that going."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/penguins/engelland-in-battle-for-roster-spot-703476/#ixzz2ew0ijaQo

09-15-2013, 06:29 PM
I love when pro atheletes discover pilates. It's not for sissies!