Former Michigan player has previously worked with Larkin and other NHL stars
DETROIT — The Detroit Red Wings do not plan to leave any stone unturned when it comes to developing their young prospects.
Shawn Horcoff, director of player development, and Dan Cleary, player development assistant, are in constant contact with all the young players in the organization, whether they’re in junior hockey, college hockey or over in Europe.
Now the Wings have added Brandon Naurato, managing partner and director of player development for Total Package Hockey, as a consultant.
“I had a meeting with Kris Draper (assistant to the general manager) and really my big thing this year was I clipped every single goal scored in the NHL this year and just started identifying trends and how to manufacture offense,” Naurato said in a phone interview Monday. “So I was showing Drapes and then he connected me with Shawn Horcoff and that kind of led into Horcs and I building a relationship. Then he invited me to present on some of the findings to the forwards and defensemen at development camp and then kind of push some pucks for (Grand Rapids Griffins coach) Ben Simon’s practice.
“That just kind of spiraled into opening up an opportunity as a player development consultant to support him and Dan Cleary from the player development side and work on some other stuff with the coaching staff. So it’s been good.”
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill has said many times this offseason that he and his staff are focused on finding ways to create more offense.
The Wings missed the playoffs for the second straight season, finishing with the fourth-lowest total goals with 212.
Only Montreal (207), Arizona (206) and Buffalo (198) had fewer.
The Tampa Bay Lightning led the league with 290 goals.
“I always give the disclaimer and bad joke that I’m not an analytics guy and I’m not a video guy,” Naurato said. “But I came up with my own data almost to simplify the game and show where these goals were coming from, like zones on the ice, off of specific types of plays – was it off the rush, was it in zone – then just identifying the different ways to score and that showed this team scores this way, this team scores this way. There were trends that came up that showed the top five teams in the league were scoring in a similar fashion.
“Then when you clipped the bottom five teams in the league, it showed where the lack of offense is coming from. Clipping goals is one thing, it kind of gives you a snapshot but really clipping every shot attempt or scoring chance really tells the full story of what your identity is as a team and where you can improve, in my opinion, and where you’re good.”
One player who is already good but wants to be even better is Dylan Larkin, who worked with Naurato earlier this summer.
“Working on goal scoring, getting stronger,” Larkin said during the lunch break at the Larkin Hockey School on July 12. “I think my biggest thing is conditioning. I always try and run a lot and make sure I’m in great shape coming into camp. But I’ve been working with Brandon Naurato with a couple other pro guys about goal scoring and on my one-timer as well.”
Naurato said he’s also been working with Larkin on some different power-play options, depending on Larkin’s power-play role this coming season.
“With Dylan, he’s obviously an elite player and has great, I always call it tools in the toolbox,” Naurato said. “So with guys like that, it’s almost just giving them the visual of here’s some things that you do well. NHL players really don’t have glaring weaknesses or things that they’re doing poorly. But there’s some minor adjustments that they can make and you show those trends through the video to where it may make their lives easier or just make them more efficient.
“A random example that has nothing to do with Dylan would be if I show all the guy’s shot attempts in a 10-game segment, he’s going to see exactly where he’s getting his shots from, which shots are getting blocked, which shots are hitting the net and how he’s scoring his goals. If you find a trend that he’s getting shots blocked in a specific area, well then you just dive deeper and say why and is there some type of skill that I can help him acquire to start being more efficient and getting those shots through.”
Naurato, who played for the University of Michigan from 2005-09, said this sort of development work wasn’t readily available back when he was Larkin’s age.
“Absolutely nothing. I still feel that like analytics and skills and player development are still buzz words right now, like I don’t think there’s too many people out there that can really tell you what that means,” Naurato said. “There’s some industry leaders throughout the world or the country that do a really good job. My big thing was I’m not a tech guy but I wanted to be the first, one of the first guys to use technology and merge that with player development. That meaning analytics, the video, and I keep saying the same thing, but just identifying those trends because I feel like me as an adult at 33 or young kids, they’re visual learners as hockey players. So if we could show them what it looks like to kind of show the light at the end of the tunnel and then build that up with skills and a progressional plan, then you’re making players better.”
Through Total Package Hockey, Naurato and his staff have worked with many other NHL players, including Luke Glendening, Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, former Wing Patrick Eaves, Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck and Columbus’ Zach Werenski.
They also work with players at all levels.
Defenseman Alec Regula, just drafted by the Wings last month in the third round, 67th overall, was with the OHL’s London Knights when he worked with Total Package Hockey.
“I started as an employee five years ago and I became an owner about a year and a half ago,” Naurato said. “Really what it was was just using my relationships from Catholic Central to Michigan to just kind of growing up in the area and just kind of reaching out to people and just slowly providing value and trying to do a good job and it just kind of grew from there. It’s pretty cool what we’ve built with the TPH thing where it’s kind of like that family atmosphere where guys have been through it for two, three, four years now. So they get the lingo. I always say it’s not that we’re reinventing the wheel, but we have a certain type of environment that we create or use a certain type of verbiage or lingo, now these kids understand it. Hopefully the cool thing is not only will they become better hockey players but better students of the game and hopefully maybe better coaches, whether that’s at the youth level or the NHL level when they’re done playing later on in life.”
In addition to working with Larkin, Naurato said he already has a few projects underway with a few other Wings and expects to be in Traverse City for training camp in September.
“Then I think I’m going to spend a lot of time in Grand Rapids and communicating with Ben Simon,” Naurato said. “Then obviously, supporting Cleary and Horcoff with some guys down in Grand Rapids to hopefully make sure that I can help them or be a part of the process to get them into the Detroit system and then when they do get here, they’ll have success as quickly as possible. I’m the new guy that, I believe in what I do and I’m confident in what I do because I’ve put the work in, but very humble to be working with the Red Wings and excited to learn and excited to earn my stripes and just be a support valve for the coaching staff, I would assume minor (league) right now, be a support valve for player development, be a support valve for guys like (video coach) Adam Nightingale, learn from him and ask questions.”
As a Michigan native, Naurato is enjoying the opportunity to work with his hometown team on what be believes to be cutting-edge development.
“I don’t think every NHL team is doing what we’re doing,” Naurato said. “I don’t think many colleges or junior teams are going this route and I think it’s going to, with technology now, it’s going to come quicker with this whole player development thing. But I think the Red Wings are in front of it. That doesn’t mean me, I think I’m a piece of the puzzle. I think Dan Cleary and Jeff Blashill and Shawn Horcoff and Draper, they think a different way and I think they’re trying to do this across the board.
“I’m just excited to be a part of it and hopefully do a good job and have an impact.”
Total Package Hockey is proud to announce the addition of Greg Wolfe to the TPH Detroit team.
Wolfe, a former captain of the Michigan State Spartans and professional hockey player in North America and Norway, will be a player development coach and mentor for the TPH Center of Excellence in Bloomfield, Mich., for the 2019-2020 school year.
“We are excited to add Greg Wolfe, a tremendous example of an outstanding student-athlete, to our staff in Detroit,” said TPH Detroit director of hockey Dwayne Norris. “He maintained excellence in the classroom during his time as captain of Michigan State, and he has continued to work on and off the ice ever since. Greg will be a great role model for our student-athletes, both in how to improve as a hockey player and to prepare for life away from the rink.”
Wolfe, a Canton, Mich., native, just concluded a five-year professional hockey career that spanned the AHL, the ECHL and Norway’s top professional league.
A two-time captain of the Spartans, he maintained a 3.6 grade-point average during his four years in East Lansing, and he won the Big Ten Medal of Honor and the Big Ten Sportsmanship Awards in his senior season of 2013-14. Prior to his collegiate career, Wolfe played Tier 1 youth hockey for HoneyBaked and two years of USHL hockey for the Chicago Steel and Omaha Lancers.
From 2014-17, he split time between AHL and ECHL franchises, playing in a total of 23 AHL games with the Iowa Wild and Albany Devils. In 2017-18, he spent the season playing for Sparta Sarpsborg in Norway’s top league, and last season, he returned to the U.S. to play for the Toledo Walleye, where he racked up 51 points in 63 games.
His on-ice pursuits haven’t limited him from success off of it, however. Since 2017, Wolfe has run his own hockey school, while also serving as a player advisor and mentor for Coast 2 Coast Player Development, where he helps guide younger generations of players chasing their hockey dreams.
Wolfe is the second addition to the TPH Detroit CoE staff this off-season, joining fellow Michigan State product Jeff Lerg in Bloomfield.
Decatur, Ala. (August 13 2019) – Total Package Hockey (TPH) today announced a multi-year partnership with adidas, in which the Portland, Ore. based company will serve as the official apparel provider for all of TPH, which includes 11 markets, 7 Centers of Excellence and 4 hockey associations.
“We are excited to announce a partnership with adidas,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said. “adidas will produce quality uniforms and apparel for TPH and ensure that our student-athletes are training in the best athletic performance wear. We are grateful to our friend and partner Dave Moss for the opportunity to join the adidas family.”
“We believe that through sports we have the power to change lives and Total Package Hockey’s vision to positively impact the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey aligns with our brand values,” said Dan Near, Sr. Director of adidas Hockey. “We are obsessed with making a difference in athletes’ games, lives and worlds. This partnership with TPH is a tremendous opportunity for adidas to enable the next generation of elite hockey athletes to play the game they love and prepare them for success at the next level – both on and off the ice.”
Aligning with adidas gives TPH’s elite young athletes access to many of the same adidas on and off-ice products issued to world’s best players in the National Hockey League (NHL). Additionally, the adidas logo will be linked with TPH, as TPH’s Nashville Jr. Predators and Tri-State Spartans hockey programs will don adidas apparel, and adidas will brand all uniforms worn across TPH’s Centers of Excellence.
Everyone at TPH joins Nathan Bowen in officially welcoming adidas to the TPH Family.
About adidas Hockey
adidas is a global designer and developer of athletic and lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the best sports brand in the world. As an innovation and design leader, adidas engineers the best in high-performance products to make athletes better, faster and stronger and creates a range of classic and fresh lifestyle and high-fashion lines.
adidas is the official uniform, footwear and apparel provider for more than 100 collegiate programs and creates hockey uniforms for Arizona State, Denver, Holy Cross, Massachusetts, Miami of Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart University.
adidas is the official authentic outfitter of on-ice uniforms and official supplier of licensed apparel and headwear for the National Hockey League (NHL®). The adidas adizero Authentic NHL jersey is the official on-ice jersey for all 31 NHL teams. At the forefront of innovation, design and craftsmanship, the adidas adizero Authentic NHL jersey takes the hockey uniform system to the next level by redefining fit, feel and lightweight construction.
adidas Hockey’s NHL roster includes 3-time Stanley Cup® Champion (2009, 2016, 2017), 2-time Conn Smythe Trophy (2016, 2017), 3-time Ted Lindsay Award winner (2007, 2013, 2014), 8-time All-Star (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019) and 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2010, 2014), Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins; 2-time Art Ross Trophy (2017, 2018), 2-time Ted Lindsay Award (2017, 2018), Hart Memorial Trophy winner (2017) and 3-time All-Star (2017, 2018, 2019), Connor McDavid of Edmonton Oilers; Stanley Cup® Champion (2011) and 5-time All-Star (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars; Stanley Cup® Champion (2011), 4-time Selke Award winner (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017) and 2-time All-Star (2015, 2016), Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins; Norris Trophy winner (2013), Olympic Gold Medalist (2014) and 3-time All-Star (2013, 2015, 2018), P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators; Norris Trophy (2014), NHL Foundation Player Award winner (2015) and 6-time All-Star (2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks; 3-time All-Star (2018, 2018, 2019) Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning; 2018 Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) winner and All-Star (2019), Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders; 2017-18 NHL All-Star Game Tournament MVP and 2017-18 Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) finalist, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks; Olympic Gold Medalist (2018) and Team Captain Brianna Decker and Olympic Gold Medalist (2018) Kendall Coyne Schofield of the United States Women’s National Ice Hockey Team; Olympic Gold Medalist (2010, 2014) Rebecca Johnston and Olympic Silver Medalist (2018) Renata Fast of the Canada Women’s National Ice Hockey Team.
Edmentum has taken first place on the Quality Matters Scoreboard with 127 QM-certified courses for 2019.
MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Edmentum, a global education leader and pioneer in online teaching and learning solutions, now holds the #1 spot on the Quality Matters Publisher Certification Scoreboard for highest number of courses holding a Quality Matters (QM) Certification Mark, with 127 courses approved. In 2019 alone, 40 Edmentum courses were newly certified. Edmentum’s online courses, accessible through both Courseware and EdOptions Academy, provide solid, research-based curricula built from the ground up to align with state-specific academic standards and online learning best practices to empower student success.
Quality Matters (QM) utilizes its nationally recognized Rubric to measure the design efficacy and alignment of critical components in K–12 educational courses. The QM K–12 Publisher Rubric measures 39 different education Standards, with seven of those Standards considered “Essential.” Reviews are conducted by QM-Certified K–12 Course Reviewers—a course earns the QM Certification Mark once it meets QM Rubric Standards at the 85 percent threshold or better and meets all Essential Standards. Quality Matters has also reviewed each course for proficiency against the 52 iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses that have been utilized nationally. All 127 of Edmentum’s QM-certified courses are now listed in the QM directory of certified courses.
“We are very excited to be at the top of the Quality Matters Publisher Certification Scoreboard for the 2019–20 school year,” said Shane Dennison, state and federal programs manager at Edmentum. “We are committed to providing the highest-quality online courses, and it feels great to have that hard work recognized with these course certifications.”
The QM Certification Mark is the nationally recognized symbol of online and blended course-design quality, and it represents a research-based approach to creating learning environments that provide learners with a clear pathway to success. Seven U.S. states directly utilize the QM review process and findings for their K–12 course approvals, while several others indirectly utilize the QM K–12 Publisher Rubric.
Edmentum, Inc., is committed to making it easier for educators to individualize learning for every student through simple technology, high-quality content, and actionable data. Founded in innovation, Edmentum’s powerful learning programs blend technology with individual teaching approaches. Edmentum is committed to being educators’ most trusted partner in creating successful student outcomes everywhere learning occurs. Edmentum solutions currently support educators and students in more than 40,000 schools nationwide. For more information, visit edmentum.com.
About Quality Matters
Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.