Hunt one step closer to playing in the NHL

“My goal is to play in the NHL, and these are the days when I really have to develop and better my craft as a hockey player.”

October 25, 2023, 9:21 am
Ashley Bochek

Daemon Hunt with his gold medal at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship. Hunt was the 65th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, drafted by the Minnesota Wild. He currently plays with the Iowa Wild of the AHL. He says he is working hard on his goal of playing in the NHL.

Daemon Hunt spent his early Minor Hockey years in Moosomin before moving to Brandon to pursue his hockey opportunities. He now plays for the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League (AHL) and is one step closer to fulfilling his dream of playing in the NHL.

A lot of commitment and consistency has given Hunt the opportunity to play professional hockey, and he says it’s the best job in the world.

“It takes a lot of work to get here, and it is a lot of commitment when you are younger, but once you get here it is just a lot about consistency and trying to get to the next level.

“My goal is to play in the NHL, and these are the days when I really have to develop and better my craft as a hockey player.

“My schedule is very busy so again that consistency word comes up a lot. It is definitely a grind for sure. I think it is probably the best job in the world.

“I get to play the sport I love and get paid for it, so it is great.”

Hunt dreamed of becoming a pro hockey player when he was younger, and his family’s support has pushed him throughout his hockey career.

“When I was younger, I always dreamed of being a pro hockey player. My dream’s almost fulfilled, playing in the NHL, but it hasn’t happened yet. But I have always believed in myself, and my parents have always pushed me and believed in me. I would say that when I was younger I believed I would be playing here at this level now.”

Daemon plays in Des Moines, Iowa. His schedule is very busy every day between workouts, video, and practicing. He appreciates his down time and takes the opportunity to relax whenever he can.

“I play in the AHL in Des Moines, Iowa. Pretty much on a non-game day you report to the rink early in the morning and have a workout. We will usually have a team meeting in the morning and then we will have a practice. We get fed at the rink as well, which is nice. Then, it just depends on the day and what my schedule looks like, whatever it may be. I have an apartment downtown and I like my down time just to relax when I can, because the schedule can get really busy, so it is nice to relax and just chill out for a bit before my schedule gets going again.”

Hunt does a lot of his training in the off-season. He focuses on becoming stronger and faster as well as focusing on his nutrition.

“Your commitment has to be 100%. Except for a couple days, in the summer if you look at my schedule, it really is just committed to becoming bigger, faster, and stronger with my training and skating in the summer. Everything that revolves around it is hockey. Also, nutrition, I think everything you eat is a huge part of it. Not very many people know much about it, but nutrition is very big. There is a lot of areas to cover, but involvement in the game my whole life has been committed to hockey and it still is to this day, just kind of maintain how I am as a hockey player and my drive to get better as well.”

Hunt believes video replay and becoming stronger and faster with weight training are his top strategies to making it to the NHL.

“There is definitely a lot of things. I think, besides the physical side of the game, watching live video. I feel like I am a big enough, strong enough, and a good enough skater to play in the NHL, but to get there I think it is the little things.

“Studying my game I notice a lot of different things you watch in video, but those little things add up. So, watching a lot of video, again, it is cliché but bigger, faster, stronger, you can always get faster. Always continuing to weight train and get stronger. I think those two are the biggest things. I think I have adapted to the pro-life pretty well, but to be a professional player is easier said than done. There are a lot of things that go into it.”

Hunt believes hockey has taught him to be a good teammate and a great person who is humble and respectful.

“Definitely being a great person. It doesn’t matter how good you are or what you are. I think being a good teammate, being a good person, always being humble, and saying ‘thank you’, ‘please’, also never being late. It is kind of funny, but I never want to be late to anything and I think hockey taught me that. Just having that team mentality. Every guy I play with is my brother so playing for those guys and not being selfish is a really big thing.”

Hunt stresses to younger minor hockey players they should enjoy the games and playing with their teammates.

“Enjoy it, have fun for as long as you can, not that I don’t have fun every day, but as you get older you realize how serious hockey is and how stressful it can be. Just taking the time to enjoy the moment and get to play some games. You get to work hard at it and be with your teammates.”