Big year for big winger

Darcy MacRae
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After breakout season last year, Ryane Clowe more relaxed this time around

Ryane Clowe admits he's going to enjoy training camp a lot more this season than he did in past years.

The St. John's native, who turns 25 at the end of this month, is coming off his first complete season in the NHL, having played 58 games with the San Jose Sharks during the 07-08 campaign.

Ryane Clowe from St. John's is looking forward to more ice time and bigger stats this season with San Jose Sharks. Photo by The Associated Press

Ryane Clowe admits he's going to enjoy training camp a lot more this season than he did in past years.

The St. John's native, who turns 25 at the end of this month, is coming off his first complete season in the NHL, having played 58 games with the San Jose Sharks during the 07-08 campaign.

Unlike past training camps, Clowe isn't fighting for a roster spot this time and knows he'll be dressed in the Sharks' teal, white and black when the club opens the new NHL season Oct. 4 in Edmonton.

"Last year I was trying to show I could stick around," Clowe said. "This year they're looking for me to play a bit more."

Clowe did more last year than simply show he could stick around. He established himself as a genuine NHL power forward after picking up 16 goals, 18 assists, 34 points and 78 penalty minutes. For a while he played the wing on a line with NHL superstar Joe Thornton, displaying a mix of brawn and finesse that endeared him to Sharks' coach Ron Wilson.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Clowe also showed opponents he would stick up for his teammates, getting into eight fights. According to Hockeyfights.com, the big Newfoundlander was a decisive winner in six of these bouts, while battling to a draw in two others.

Shines in post season

Clowe's career year continued in the playoffs when he tied for second on the Sharks in scoring with six points (including a team-high four goals) in 11 games. He also kept up his physical play, making his presence known in the corners and in front of the net throughout the post-season.

"It's all about having confidence and feeling like you belong," Clowe said of his 2006-07 season.

After spending the summer in St. John's, Clowe left for San Jose on Sept. 6, wanting to arrive a few days before training camp opened to look for an apartment. The Sharks took to the ice Monday, not a moment too soon for Clowe.

"I'm still excited, I still get the itch to get back and compete," Clowe said.

Despite the fact his spot is secure on the team, Clowe said he still has a lot to prove this year. For starters, he wants to show last season was no fluke and that he can continue to be an effective power forward in a tough Western Conference. Secondly, Clowe hopes to surpass the career highs he put up in games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes last year.

"Every year you have something to prove, you want to show you worked hard in the off-season and you're ready for more minutes, more ice time this year," said Clowe.

"It's more pressure from myself. I want to take advantage of the opportunity given to me ... I'd like to hit the 20-goal mark, be a plus player and have over 100 penalty minutes, that way I know I've contributed in a lot of different areas. That's my main goal, to contribute a number of different ways."

Although he is comfortable discussing how many goals he thinks he can score in a full NHL season, Clowe acknowledges it is all still a bit surreal to him. After all, it was only four years ago Clowe attended his first NHL training camp on the heels of a successful three-year stint in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (two years and change with Rimouski, three quarters of a season with the Montreal Rocket).

No longer star struck

At the time Clowe was a bit star struck by taking to the ice with proven NHL talents such as Patrick Marleau, Vincent Damphousse and Evgeny Nabokov, but after four years of pro hockey and with 76 regular season NHL games under his belt, Clowe no longer feels overwhelmed at a big-league training camp.

"I used to look at guys like that, but I'm more comfortable now than I used to be in training camp," Clowe said.

"I'm friends with a lot of these guys now and I'm excited just to see them again ... It's definitely more relaxed now."

Clowe can relate to what young Newfoundlanders currently at their first NHL camps are going through. He said young men such as Ted Purcell (L.A. Kings) and Ryan Graham (Minnesota Wild) should listen to the older players in camp and stick to their usual styles of play.

"When I first went to camp, some of the veterans told me "Less is more,'" said Clowe. "Sometimes you can try to do too much when you're young ... But there's a reason you're at an NHL training camp so you should stick to your game. It's your first camp, enjoy it and just play, good things happen when you just play."

Note: This is the first story in a series of articles on Newfoundland and Labrador-born hockey players attending NHL training camps

dmacrae@thetelegram.com

Organizations: NHL, San Jose Sharks, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Montreal Rocket L.A. Kings Minnesota Wild

Geographic location: St. John's, Edmonton, San Jose Newfoundland and Labrador

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    clowes just super.if i was sharks management i would extend his contract right away.then throw him on with thorton and cheech.

  • mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    hardest working pro hockey player from the rock. if his work ethic rubs off any other young hockey players in the province we are bound to see the number of pro players soar in years to come......keep up the good work and go easy on the flames this year...

  • Sasky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I'm a huge Clowe fan from down under here in Australia. Thanks for the article! He's such a great player with so much heart. I love his attitude and his determination (as well as his skill and brawn). I can't wait for the season to start!

  • Denis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Why do you kep saying he's from Mount Pearl or St. John's when his friends he grew up with know his from Fermeuse.

  • Louis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I'm from san jose and have been a sharks fan since 91, their first season. We are soo happy to have Ryane a San Jose Shark, I love watching him play and he belongs on the top line with thornton and cheechoo or with patty marleau and steve berneir.

    We love Clowe in San Jose!!!!

  • Gen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Well now what do i say here.this is my son Ryane,and yes he is from Fermeuse
    S. Shore. When he was a kid he always talked about playing in the NHL someday.his dream sure came true,with alot of hard work. !!! Proud Mom Here !!!

  • j lopez
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    he is such a great player and a hard worker on the ice,training hard all summer will pay off for clowe this year.

  • Dennis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    A real success story. A testament to what hard work and determination can do for anyone. Watched every playoff game last year, and one game in particluar, Clowe dominated against Detroit. Best player on the ice. The sky's the limit for this young man!

  • Tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Great story about Ryan, I enjoyed reading a similar story about him in the Sharks arena program last year. He sounds like a good person and a hard worker and it shows in his play on the ice. I'm a big fan of his and have been buying a lot of his Rookie Cards. I liked how he played under pressure in the playoffs and I suspect that he'll have a great season this year

  • Jennifer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Ryane is my nephew and he has worked so hard to get to where he is today. Keep up the good work and Good Luck this season. Hope you guys go all the way this year.

  • marcella
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I am Ryane Clowe's aunt from Mt.Pearl.
    Ryane is a #1 player.hard work pay's off for Ryane that's why he is in the NHL today.I wish him all the best this season.
    Bring the cup to NL.this year Clowe.

    Go Shark's Go

  • andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    clowes just super.if i was sharks management i would extend his contract right away.then throw him on with thorton and cheech.

  • mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    hardest working pro hockey player from the rock. if his work ethic rubs off any other young hockey players in the province we are bound to see the number of pro players soar in years to come......keep up the good work and go easy on the flames this year...

  • Sasky
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I'm a huge Clowe fan from down under here in Australia. Thanks for the article! He's such a great player with so much heart. I love his attitude and his determination (as well as his skill and brawn). I can't wait for the season to start!

  • Denis
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Why do you kep saying he's from Mount Pearl or St. John's when his friends he grew up with know his from Fermeuse.

  • Louis
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    I'm from san jose and have been a sharks fan since 91, their first season. We are soo happy to have Ryane a San Jose Shark, I love watching him play and he belongs on the top line with thornton and cheechoo or with patty marleau and steve berneir.

    We love Clowe in San Jose!!!!

  • Gen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Well now what do i say here.this is my son Ryane,and yes he is from Fermeuse
    S. Shore. When he was a kid he always talked about playing in the NHL someday.his dream sure came true,with alot of hard work. !!! Proud Mom Here !!!

  • j lopez
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    he is such a great player and a hard worker on the ice,training hard all summer will pay off for clowe this year.

  • Dennis
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    A real success story. A testament to what hard work and determination can do for anyone. Watched every playoff game last year, and one game in particluar, Clowe dominated against Detroit. Best player on the ice. The sky's the limit for this young man!

  • Tim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Great story about Ryan, I enjoyed reading a similar story about him in the Sharks arena program last year. He sounds like a good person and a hard worker and it shows in his play on the ice. I'm a big fan of his and have been buying a lot of his Rookie Cards. I liked how he played under pressure in the playoffs and I suspect that he'll have a great season this year

  • Jennifer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Ryane is my nephew and he has worked so hard to get to where he is today. Keep up the good work and Good Luck this season. Hope you guys go all the way this year.

  • marcella
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I am Ryane Clowe's aunt from Mt.Pearl.
    Ryane is a #1 player.hard work pay's off for Ryane that's why he is in the NHL today.I wish him all the best this season.
    Bring the cup to NL.this year Clowe.

    Go Shark's Go