Barrett Hayton is in the midst of his rookie season and has remained in Scottsdale during the hiatus, living with housemate and teammate Jason Demers.
"It's hard to describe," he said, when asked to outline what the last five weeks have been like. "It's certainly something that no one's ever been through before. It's been an adjustment from playing the games and being around the guys in such a heated point of the season, it's hard to step away, but with that being said, that's what we have to do."
The 19-year-old appeared in 20 games with the Coyotes this year and scored his first NHL goal on October 25.He captained Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament in January.
Much like his first year playing professional hockey, Hayton has termed the past month-plus as "a learning experience."
"It's about trying to get in to a routine," he said. "It's about trying to live as normal a life as possible while following the guidelines put in place, to try and flatten this curve and resolve this as soon as possible."
How have you been passing the time?
"I've tried to structure [my days] by getting up early, get some movement in, get a workout in. I think our strength [coaches] have done a tremendous job helping us get into a bit of a [workout] program from home. I'm trying to cook a fair amount also, that's something I've taken on to here, it's kind of been my new skill that I've been focused on. Also, I'm trying to read a bit, to get into some books, and from there, just taking things as they go to make this a productive time, messing around the house, playing around with a tennis ball and little things like that to stay as prepared as possible."
Any particular TV Shows or Movies you're binge watching?
"I've mostly been watching movies; I haven't really gotten into many TV shows. A few I've really enjoyed: "Good Will Hunting", "Inception", "Catch Me If You Can", "Meet Joe Black"."
Any books you're reading?
"I've been reading a couple of Malcolm Gladwell books, "Outliers" and "The Tipping Point", those have been the main books that I've been reading to soak up some time. I find both of those books quite interesting. I think there are things to be learned from reading, to take interest from the reads and try to implement some things into your own life, so that's what kind of hooks me on those books, it's kept me interested."
As far as video games, have you been playing to stay entertained?
"To be honest, I haven't played much. Once in a while, I'll go on with the boys and some friends and play, just the standard ones like "Call of Duty", a little bit of "Fortnite", I'm not really a real big video game guy, but I hop on just for that social aspect."
What's life been like with so much more time spent at home?
"It's definitely been a big adjustment. Our lives as athletes are very busy, and personally that's something that I love, I love staying busy and being 'on the go'. But, this has been good, living with JD [Jason Demers], it definitely keeps things entertaining, we have a good dynamic and it helps with the workouts to have someone to push back and forth with, push each other to stay in such good shape, and also just hanging around the house, mucking around and having some fun."
Have there been challenges to staying in shape? What have you been doing to stay conditioned?
"I think we have a tremendous staff, J.P. [Major} and Curt [Truhe] have done an awesome job, they've been great helping us stay in shape and push our strength, to take advantage of this time to keep our bodies right, we've been getting some programs from those guys and we have some weights around the house here to help with that. Obviously, it's not your standard training, but I think we've done a good job to take advantage of this time the best we can."
Have you taken up any new cooking skills in the kitchen during this time? What have you focused on diet-wise?
"I've definitely taken to cooking and put in a lot of time with that, I have a lot of fun with it. JD's a good cook himself, he's been helping me, but I've definitely learned some stuff on my own. For diet, you have to adjust to the lifestyle you're living, and for us that's been about trying to eat really clean.I think JD mentioned before that I [cooked] a lot of seared chicken, but now I have this one firecracker ground turkey dish, you can do it with whatever sides you want, that's been my one go-to lately that I really like, JD was impressed with that one, it's one of my favorites."
What steps have you been taking to keep you and your family safe? Any particular message you'd like to pass along to fans?
"For our fans, I'd just like to say that we miss them, being able to play in front of them night-in and night-out, that competition and having their support. With that being said, I think we need to just keep following the guidelines, I think everyone's been doing a good job, I think we need to just stick with it and ride it out, continue to do what we can to get this over with and get back to normal, back to that place where we're back on the ice playing in front of our fans."