VIDEO: Includes video interview with Los Angeles Kings right wing Jordan Nolan.
EL SEGUNDO, CA — After coming in as virtual unknowns in early February 2012, right wing Jordan Nolan and left wing Dwight King were huge surprises in the Los Angeles Kings’ 2011-12 run to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Championship in 45 years of existence.
In the abbreviated 2013 National Hockey League season, both players were noticeable once again, but mostly for the wrong reasons.
In Nolan’s case, he was nowhere near the player he was during the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup run, when he was tough, physical, skated pretty well for his size, and was very effective on the forecheck.
The reason? He came into the 2013 season with too much weight—235 pounds—on his 6-3 frame.
“Before last season, I just wanted to get bigger and stronger,” said Nolan. “I thought the only way for me to do that was to gain as much muscle and as much weight as possible.”
“Last year, I tried to gain as much weight as possible to be big and physical, but I felt a little bulky,” added Nolan. “I talked to [Kings strength and conditioning coach] Ryan [Van Asten] before [this past] summer. I said, ‘this is the weight I want to be at,’ and he said, ‘you don’t need to be that heavy.’ We worked on a program, and now I feel great.”
That program included physical training and changing his diet.
“This [summer], I changed my diet, changed my routine, and came in ten pounds lighter,” Nolan explained. “I feel like I can get on the puck a lot quicker, and I’m a lot stronger on my feet.”
“I did a little more cardio this summer,” Nolan elaborated. “I didn’t change too much. My diet was the main thing that I adjusted.”
The changes were readily apparent during the pre-season. Nolan was quicker to loose pucks, and more physical. He also indicated that his endurance has improved.
“I think I’m a lot stronger than I was last year,” he said. “I was just big and bulky last year, maybe more fat than muscle. But I feel great now.”
“I just feel a lot better,” he noted. “I feel like I can go a lot longer, and I feel a lot stronger without all that extra weight loading me down. That bothered me during shifts, That allows me to get a lot of speed going and I can make big hits.”
Nolan’s improved strength and conditioning has not gone unnoticed.
“[Nolan] actually added some muscle,” said head coach Darryl Sutter. “I think he was in the top four in terms of all the [physical testing]. So now we see where he takes it.”
The Kings are only two games into the 2013-14 season, and Nolan has not gotten onto the scoresheet yet, point-wise. But his role is not to put gobs and gobs of points on the board, so it’s “so far, so good.”
“I feel pretty good right now, and I think it’s showing out there,” said Nolan.
Video Interview with Jordan Nolan via FrozenRoyaltyNHL on YouTube
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