How a leaner Frederik Andersen learned how to take control of his weight
Frederik Andersen couldn’t figure out why at the time, but there were points during his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs when he noticed some unexplained weight gain.
It wasn’t until the Danish goaltender met with trainer Scot Prohaska in the off-season that the real issue – a lack of nutritional know-how – came to light. Now a leaner Andersen has surfaced at training camp thanks to a subtle change to his workout regimen and a commitment to analyzing his diet.
“I feel more fit and I feel like I have a better build,” Andersen said Saturday at the Maple Leafs’ camp in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Andersen had stopped and started various diet and workout habits over his career and was afraid the appearance of weight gain would lead the Leafs to believe those habits had resurfaced.
“I asked him: ‘How many calories does your body require to stay lean and healthy and fuel your workouts and recovery while maintaining a healthy metabolism?”’ Prohaska said Monday from his facility in Newport Beach, Calif. Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen looks up ice during NHL training camp action in Niagara Falls, Ont. on Sep. 15.
Andersen didn’t have an answer.
“This time it wasn’t bad habits, it was just a lack of knowledge,” Prohaska said.
After a 26-page analysis of his bloodwork, Andersen was able to learn what he was lacking in his system. But he also figured out exactly how to fuel his body with the exact amount of calories and proteins.
“You divide them up in different percentages of your full diet and you just monitor your diet a little bit closer,” Andersen said. “Eating more protein to get the
desired results is what I wanted and what I had to do that to see the change I wanted to this season.”
When Andersen showed up to training camp last week, the results of his physical impressed Leafs head coach Mike Babcock.
“With what Freddy has done from a fitness level is through the roof compared to last year,” Babcock said. “When you earn the right to feel good about yourself by doing all the work in the offseason, this stuff is way easier so good on him.”
Last year was the busiest season of Andersen’s NHL career. He was acquired via trade from the Anaheim Ducks for a pair of draft picks and signed to a fiveyear, US$25 million contract on June 20, 2016. He appeared in a career-high 66 regular season games and posted a 33-16-14 record, a .918 save percentage, and four shutouts.
But it was far from a smooth transition. On Sept. 2, 2016, Andersen suffered a suspected shoulder injury during a pre-Olympic qualifying game and it prevented him from skating for nearly four weeks. He had to withdraw from the World Cup of Hockey and missed most of training camp.
Andersen healed in time for the start of the regular season, but he struggled in October. He allowed 26 goals in his first seven games and posted a .876 save percentage.
When Andersen checked into training camp on Friday, it was a much different story. Gone was the anxiousness of joining a new team. There were no injuries or tournament distractions.
“All of those things were something I didn’t have to worry about this summer which was really nice, and I was able to focus on getting in the shape that I wanted to be in,” he said.
This season, Andersen is expected to start in as many as 68 regular season games barring any injuries. His backup, Curtis McElhinney, was re-signed by the Leafs on July 1 to a two-year, $1.7-million contract and is projected to start in 14 games, when Toronto plays on consecutive nights.
With expectations in Toronto increased after a better-thanexpected 2016-17 campaign, a healthy Andersen has prepared himself for any scenario.
“I leaned up a little bit and everything (in my game) comes from that,” Andersen said. “You get faster, you’re conditioning gets better and the by-product of that is that you can feel like you are at the top of your game for longer.”
“i leaned up a little bit and everything (in my game) comes from that … you get faster, you’re conditioning gets better and the by-product of that is that you can feel like you are at the top of your game for longer.” Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen