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Development Camp Check-in with Bennett MacArthur, Jaydon Dureau

Thursday, July 6th
Development Camp Check-in with Bennett MacArthur, Jaydon Dureau

BRANDON, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning held their development camp at the TGH Ice Plex in Brandon, Florida from July 1-5. Attending the camp was 2022-23 Orlando Solar Bears skaters Bennett MacArthur and Jaydon Dureau. We caught up with Bennett and Jaydon following practice on July 3. 

Joey Battaino: The first question that anybody asked at this time of the year is what will your offseason look like and what have you been working on leading up into prospect camp?

Bennett MacArthur: I’m back home in Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island). I’ve been getting on the ice the last couple weeks preparing for development camp. We have a pretty good group (to skate with) back at home so it’s great and a good training program as well. On the ice this time of year, it is focusing on skill development and stuff like that. As we get closer to (training) camp, I’ll start to ramp up the compete, but right now it’s pretty much skilled-based training. 

JB: This was your first full year professionally. What did you learn going through the entire season?

BM: Being a first-year pro, you expect a lot of ups and downs. There is a lot of unknowns going in. That’s the big thing. There was an adjustment period for sure, but I think after Christmas I adjusted well in Orlando. We have a great coaches and a great staff, so I was able to really develop there. Overall, I was pleased with how the second half of the season went. 

JB: How much of that did you think was just finding your way off the ice? You mentioned the strong finish. Does it have to click off the ice just as much as on the ice?

BM: Yeah, I think that’s a big part of it. You have to be comfortable with where you’re at off the ice and that will usually translate to on the ice. 

JB: Take us through the rest of summer for you. 

BM: Heading back home after this camp. Hope to get some golf in. Enjoy the P-E-I summer, maybe get on the boat a little bit but I’ll be training hard too and getting on the ice a lot, so I’ll be ramping it up here starting in August. Also hitting the gym hard and coming in ready to earn a spot next year.

JB: Thanks for your time, Benny. 

BM: Any time, Joe. 

Joey Battaino: JD take us through the summer. The first question is how's everything been going up until now at development camp and what have been working on?

Jaydon Dureau: Yeah, you know middle of the summer, it is exciting to get back and see all the old faces, new faces, make new friends, and take the younger guys under your wing. Seeing several buddies is an awesome time. Getting to see the new coaching staff (in Syracuse) has been awesome, and building new relationships that way, it's just been a really exciting first couple days here and I can't wait for the next few days when the 3-on-3 tournament starts. You get to play some games and show them that compete and grind against the other players, it's going to be competitive it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to it.

JB: You mentioned that you are one of the older prospects now, you and MacArthur are some of the older prospects here. A lot of turnover when it comes to the development camp but how much of a different mindset is that for you now that guys are kind of looking to you and you're leading the way?

JD: Yeah I still look back to my first development camp in Florida and I remember some of those older guys who let me tag along with them if I was on my own, so  I just make sure I keep a lending hand out there and try to be like a big brother to the younger guys and trying to be a good role model and show the good example so one day when they're here at my point they know what to do and you know it's just passing it on down. 

JB: Take us through your year, last year. Once you settled in Orlando, the points started to come. what were your thoughts on your overall game last year?

JD: Kind of tough to put it all into one word. A lot of ups and downs like getting called up, getting set down. I went through a lot of adversity that year a lot of growth, personally. Just trying to figure it out. It was my first time really being away from home and living on my own and trying to understand how important nutrition is, how important sleep is, our preparation, your attitude, and your work ethic. It really changed my mental area in the game knowing how it's still a sport but it's also my job so if I'm not producing or promoting the game or my teammates in a positive way, then you won't be there long. I learned that the hard way and I'm looking forward to being a big step-up guy here and be a big leader in the next season. 

JB: You played in the Canadian Hockey League where they have the longer seasons but to go through it at the professional level, do you notice any changes? Was there anything that you could pick out that was maybe a lot different than going at it from the junior perspective?

JD: I’d say the only really big difference I've noticed is you're going against men. You're not 16, 17, 18, 19 years old with the couple of 20-year-old (players) The 20-year-olds are the youngest guys and then aside from that, you're playing up against guys who have children, wives, and families. They got that old man strength. But aside from that, it's just the maturity level. I think that's what separates a lot of people. It's just being mature, being confident, handling it like it's your job and you've got to come in you got to perform. 

JB: When the year ended, what was some of the feedback you got from Tampa? What have you been trying to work on as you get set for training camp coming up?

JD: I've been told my game needs consistency. I think I have a lot of the tools in the toolbox to carry my career further, but I think the thing I have been lacking is my day-to-day. I think the biggest thing I've done is just get a healthy routine. Waking up, workout, eat breakfast, have good nutrition, go to the rink, skate, bike, doing all those things every day, not just one day. Then also good habits like making my bed when I leave in the morning or little things like that just keeping it consistent like never missing a day, never missing an opportunity, to do the right thing. 

JB: Awesome. Thanks for this, JD.

JD: Thanks Joe.

Stay tuned to the Orlando Solar Bears social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Threads for the latest in off-season news, including all the latest player signings. 

About the Orlando Solar Bears:The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and members of the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America. In 11 seasons of operation, the team has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs five times. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.

Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.

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