News from...Blake Biondi

News from…Blake Biondi

MONTREAL — Blake Biondi is in the midst of his third season with the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.

Biondi has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in 12 games this season.

The Hermantown, Minnesota native was a fourth-round pick (109th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Here are some highlights from our conversation with Blake:

Biondi on his participation in the documentary film “Hockeyland,” which features the unique experience of high school hockey in northern Minnesota:

It really put the towns of Hermantown and Eveleth on the map and showed who we are, and it’s a chance for viewers to see all the different things that have shaped our success over the years in terms of hockey. It really gives you a glimpse of what’s going on on the outdoor tracks and the atmosphere in this small town in northern Minnesota, an atmosphere that’s also very present in towns like Warroad and Roseau. There are so many players that have come out of these cities, NHL players, Olympic athletes. We just wanted to show what we have around here, and the documentary did that well.

See: Youtube Video

Biondi on his true passion for hockey, which shines through in “Hockeyland”:

It definitely started very young, when I was three years old and I was going out on the slopes with my dad. In northern Minnesota, that’s all you want to do, you want to be a hockey player. First, you want to play for your high school team. I always wanted to be a Hermantown Hawk. After that, if you’re successful, you start dreaming of playing college hockey, and if things go well, then you think about the NHL. I love the roots of hockey, the innocence of going out there to play and compete. This intensity is so pure. For me, it all started in Hermantown.

@UMDMensHockey tweet: A closer look at @biondi_blake7’s goal.

Biondi on playing college within 10 miles of his home:

It’s amazing that I can still play at home, while being on a big stage in a very competitive environment. My dad played at the University of Minnesota Duluth in the early ’90s, and it’s always been my dream to play here too, because I’ve been going to the games forever. Now you see guys like Neal Pionk (Winnipeg Jets) and Cole Koepke (Tampa Bay Lightning) in the NHL, and that’s my goal as well. The fact that they are successful motivates me even more. I know there is still a lot of work to be done, but it is doable. The most important thing is to stick to the process and do everything in my power to find a way to get there eventually. This is my path and my process, I compete with myself and try to improve every day, as a player and as a human being.

@UMDMensHockey tweet: In case you missed @biondi_blake7’s power play goal

Biondi on learning from hockey development guru Adam Nicholas at development camp:

Adam really has a different perspective on the game compared to a lot of people. He opened my eyes wide. He talked about things that he hadn’t even thought about or heard from any other coach. You’re just trying to absorb it all. He was always talking about analyzing the ice, analyzing different areas and trying to be a step or two ahead of everyone else on the ice, especially in an offensive situation. I like the various exercises we did. The focus has really been on capitalizing on the enclave. When you get to this area, your chances of scoring are 50% higher if you just take a step or two closer to this midline. He was showing us videos of it and I was like, “Let’s see! Adam has broken down the game and it looks like he has it. I really tried to bring that back to the University of Minnesota at Duluth.

Biondi on his admiration for the style of play of jose anderson :

Several players on the Canadiens impress me, but I would say that in my game, Josh Anderson stands out because of the competition he brings to bear. He is a big man, he skates and he is very competitive and physical. He’s part of my game, and the guy knows how to score too. He’s also a key part of my game, so I try to model my game a lot like his. I always watch the different things he does. When I’m efficient, I use my body and my skating, protect the puck, play aggressive and shoot a lot on goal. He plays exactly like that. He’s obviously a little bit bigger than me, but at the same time I know I play better when I’m aggressive, when I move my feet and when I use my body. He does it very well and he is easily noticed when you see him play. I’m trying to translate that into my game.

Video: PIT@MTL: Anderson takes advantage of the traffic

Biondi on making friends in Montreal in July:

I talked a lot with Emil Heineman when we were in the camp. We are still in contact. Sean Farrell and Luke Tuch are good guys too. Juraj Slavkovsky is all that one character. He is sick on the ice. It was fun hanging out with him and asking for his opinion. He is such a humble and nice guy that he loves hockey. Getting closer to Jack Smith has also been nice, because we’re teammates at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. He loves to compete. We grew up playing against each other, so I’ve known him for a long time. It’s great that we played together in college and that we were both drafted by the Canadiens. It is a special path for both of us.

Cover Photo Credit: Terry Norton

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