Brett Berard is one among a number of 2020 NHL entry-draft eligible players who believes that a multi-sport lifestyle has made them a more complete athlete.
In high school at Bishop Hendricken Catholic High School in Greenwich, R.I., Berard was a varsity hockey and baseball player.
On the ice, he's a forward. On the diamond, he's played second base, shortstop and centrefield.
“It definitely helped with my [hockey] IQ,” Berard told USAHockeyNTDP.com. “You learn coordination as you hit the ball. As you get older, it’s definitely harder to hit the pitchers in baseball.
"It definitely translates on the ice. It has helped with my hand and eye coordination and I can definitely bat a puck into the air.”
Chase Yoder, Berard's teammate on the USA Hockey National Team Development Program under-18 squad based in Plymouth, Mich., is another player who's reaped the benefits of participating in both baseball and hockey while growing up in Texas.
“There are definitely some similarities between the two sports, especially when it comes to having a short memory,” Yoder said. “Whether you strike out in baseball or have a bad shift in hockey, you just have to let it go and focus on your next play.”