By: Hamilton Bulldogs
06/07/2013 12:53 PM -
Jarred Tinordi was one of a number of Hamilton Bulldogs defencemen who got plenty of on-the-job training during the 2012-2013 American Hockey League season.
Tinordi was one of five rookies who saw significant time patrolling the blue line for the Bulldogs, who missed out on a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs. A 21-year-old native of Burnsville, Minnesota, Tinordi skated in 67 games, contributing two goals and 11 assists for 13 points with 71 penalty minutes.
“It was an up-and-down season,” Tinordi said recently. “It didn’t finish the way any of the players or coaches wanted it too, but there was a lot to be learned.
“The upside is the young guys played a lot right away in all situations. There aren’t a lot of young guys who get that opportunity in the AHL. But as professional players the onus is on us to go out there and perform and we probably underachieved a bit as a team.”
The Bulldogs finished last in the 30-team in AHL with 159 goals scored, but Tinordi said the team was fortunate to have the services of netminders Cedrick Desjardins, Robert Mayer and Dustin Tokarski.
“We had unbelievable goaltending all season and it was a shame we couldn’t have scored more goals for those guys because they were keeping us in a lot of games. We struggled to score and that will need to be worked on for next season. Guys will have to be hungrier around the net and bury the chances they get.”
In addition to his play with the Bulldogs, Tinordi also saw action in eight regular season games with the Montreal Canadiens, who chose him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He earned two assists in those matches and collected one assist and 15 penalty minutes in five playoff games, averaging 13 minutes of ice time per game.
“It’s not easy to get to the NHL or stay there and just getting a taste of that makes you want it even more. You need to work harder than you think you’re working. It’s tough.”
Tinordi, whose father Mark was a defenceman who played 663 games over 12 NHL seasons with the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals, came to the Bulldogs as one of the Canadiens’ brightest prospects.
“I tried to come here with an open mind,” the younger Tinordi said. “Guys would tell me what I might expect, but it’s different every season, it’s different everywhere you go. I didn’t know what it would be like living on my own, but it was a good transition.
“I felt pretty comfortable all season. I was used to busy weekends and road trips from my junior days.”
The six-foot-six, 218-pound Tinordi led the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League to a championship in 2011-2012 and said he put in a lot of work last summer to make sure he was prepared for his first professional season.
“I didn’t feel like I was too out of place here. I trained hard over the summer to get ready for the season and I felt good, I felt strong. I felt like I was moving well and I know I have some work to do to get to the next level. I have trained the same way the past three summers and using that same program has been a big thing for me in keeping my training and offseason habits consistent.”
Tinordi said he knows what areas he needs to focus on as he looks ahead to next season.
“For me skating is the biggest thing. I need to get faster and quicker. Strength and size is a big thing too. I’ll be getting back to the grind and training all summer.”