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Atkinson: 'Edge work is most crucial'

By USA Hockey, 04/30/18, 8:45AM MDT


Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson recently shared his thoughts on the importance of skating ability. Count him among those who know what really matters when it comes to true hockey speed and riding it to the next level.

“The game is getting so much faster, even at an early age,” Atkinson told Billy Jaffe in New England Hockey Journal. “It’s not so much north-south going 100 miles an hour. It’s being able to use your edge work and cutbacks, throw in a couple of fakes here or there. Your edge work is most crucial.”

Atkinson’s comments further validate a Hockey Alberta study that quantified the skating benefits of cross-ice hockey for 8U players. Those findings showed that skaters can and do reach top speed in cross-ice hockey, but more importantly, they get more of what’s good for high-level hockey, namely more acceleration, more agility and more edge work.

Ultimately, it’s all about training players to skate the game, rather than simply skating fast in straight lines.

Connecticut native and two-time U.S. Men's National Team forward Cam Atkinson finished 2017-18 as the Columbus Blue Jackets' fourth-leading scorer. In 2006, he was selected to the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that finished second at the Hlinka Cup tournament

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