Enduraphin Welcomes Nico Sturm, NHL Forward for the Minnesota Wild, as first Enduraphin Athlete
Syracuse, NY - June 24, 2019
Enduraphin co-founders, Danny Drake and Mike Dalberth, welcome Nico Sturm as the first Enduraphin Athlete.
Sturm, a German native, played in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) with the Austin Bruins prior to his 2015-2016 championship season with the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League (USHL). In 2016, he headed off to Clarkson University to be part of a program on the rise while getting a great education. During his three seasons at Clarkson, he scored a total of 103 points with 36 goals and 67 assists, was named to multiple ECAC All-Academic Teams, and was named ECAC Best Defensive Forward in back to back seasons. After propelling Clarkson to their first ECAC Championship since 2007, Sturm joined NHL’s Minnesota Wild to close out the 2018-2019 season.
“We’re excited to welcome Nico to the Enduraphin team as our first Enduraphin Athlete. As a Clarkson University graduate, it’s exciting to welcome such a great talent from my alma mater,” said Drake. “He’s a guy that really represents what our brand is all about. His hard work in the gym, attention to detail, and desire to keep getting better will make him a great asset in the NHL. Outside of the game he is a bright guy who understands the value of an education which will prepare him for life after the game.”
Enduraphin caught up with Sturm to hear more about his values and journey to the NHL in an interview.
1. Growing up in Augsburg, Germany with two brothers, who inspired you to pick up the game of hockey?
NS: I was on the ice for the first time when I was two years old. My parents were the first people that taught me how to skate. They actually played a bit of soccer but didn’t play hockey themselves. They were big hockey fans who put me on skates soon after I was able to walk, and I guess it kind of just took off from there.
My older brother still plays semi-pro back home and my younger brother also played for a while. I guess growing up with both siblings playing hockey and your parents investing so much time, money and effort into enabling three kids to do what they love, a lot of things revolved around the sport. Hockey was always the talk of the dinner table and it still is that way today.
2. At 15-16 years old you were a bit undersized and that inspired you to get in the gym and train. What wisdom can you provide to other young athletes who may be a bit undersized?
NS: The biggest advice that I can give is that every player's path is a little bit different. There is not that one way that works for everyone. There are a handful of players that will make it all the way just because of the talent that they have. However, for most athletes like me, talent will only take you so far. When I was 14 or 15, I was cut from teams because my talent wasn’t enough anymore. Guys started to grow and mature and my body was taking much longer than other guys. I have always stated there is no shame in admitting that you are a bit behind in your physical development. At some point however, my grit, determination, and the trust in my physical development paid off.
I have always been a big believer in the gym. Unfortunately, I believe that the game has developed where kids are being put on the ice all summer long. I personally always thought that, especially at higher levels, giving your hips and knees time to recover is extremely important. Instead of skating year-round, players can make significant strides off the ice, in terms of increasing speed, strength and conditioning, especially in their years of growth.
3. After making the move to the United States, what were some of the biggest things that you learned while playing in the NAHL and USHL?
NS: I suppose that a big part of playing junior hockey, no matter where you play, is about growing up. You play against bigger, stronger, faster, and better players that are older and more experienced than you. A great way to improve your game is to play against better players, but development off the ice is second to none.
I moved away from home at the age of 18 and I think that is something not a lot of people can say. Being on your own at 18 also means you grow up faster than other people at that young age. You move in with a billet family, people, and teammates that you did not know before. A lot of things get you out of your comfort zone and I think that is essential to grow as a person.
4. In previous conversations, you mentioned that once you made it to Clarkson University the NHL became a realistic hockey goal. What attracted you to play collegiate hockey for the Golden Knights?
NS: There is so much about Clarkson that made it an attractive destination for me. I think that Casey Jones and the coaching staff provided an environment that allowed me to contribute from day one. I played every game as a freshman and that was something that I may not have gotten at other schools, where you barely play your first year and then start contributing as your college career goes along.
Clarkson hockey has a long tradition. The way that we have put the program back on the map the last three years, along with the state-of-the-art renovations, will allow the program to attract high end talent in the future. Obviously, there is the other side of the program as well, the academics. Clarkson Alumni have an extensive network and with a degree from this school you will find a job outside of hockey, no doubt about that. Getting the highest quality education possible was extremely important for me to secure my life after hockey. I will be finishing my last six classes for my degree in the near future.
Clarkson has made significant contributions towards putting me on the tracks to success, and I couldn’t be more thankful for what the school, the hockey program, but most importantly the people, have done for me. Coach Jones, Hauge, Roy and Brekke are all phenomenal people with open-hearted and welcoming families that would do anything for you, and I owe them a great deal of gratitude for my success.
5. Strength, conditioning, and proper nutrition has been a huge part of Clarkson’s success. What stands out most when you think about training in the weight room with Tad Johnson (Clarkson University’s Strength & Conditioning Coach)?
NS: Strength, conditioning and proper nutrition is essential the further you move up in the ranks of hockey. In college and pro hockey, every player tries to squeeze an extra percent of performance out of their bodies. You need to go out there and be open minded, try new things, and make sacrifices. I always say, there is nothing wrong with having a cheat meal once a week, but it is much more about the simple daily choices that have such a significant impact on your body. Hydration is key, and if you are thirsty (or hungry) then your body is already giving you signals that something is missing for the system to work accordingly. I always thought of the things that I put into my body as “fuel”. My body is what makes me money, so I have to take care of it the best way possible. It obviously starts with daily habits, coordinated, regular meals, and adding extra fuel and recovery through supplements like Enduraphin.
Knowing I prepared my body to the best to my ability is of great importance to me. The Clarkson Strength and Conditioning program is second to none in D1 hockey. Tad Johnson is very professional, and he is a big part of where I am today. Learning and progressing under him as an athlete you can truly see the results improving from year to year. I believe the success of our strength and conditioning program really shows in women hockey as well. Our women’s team has been able to gain a huge advantage by being prepared, strong and healthy year-round. Tad adapts workout schedules individually and accommodates for individuals’ needs and improvements. I couldn’t say enough good things about what he has done for me. If players truly buy into is program, they will no doubt be a better athlete at the end of their college days.
6. Last season, you made your NHL debut with the Minnesota Wild. How did it feel to get on the ice in front of your family and the fans?
NS: Putting on a NHL sweater is everything that a hockey player ever dreams of. I believe that it is all worth it; growing up having your parents and grandparents driving you to early morning practices, games, and tournaments, going through excruciating workouts during times where playing NHL hockey seemed an eternity away. Seeing the looks on the faces of my family is even more important than having all the work pay off for me, because I know that they have made tremendous sacrifices and contributions to where I am at today. My girlfriend of three years now has been phenomenal in supporting me as well and her family always had an open door at their home for me. The road to success is tough and often full of doubts. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded with such an amazing support cast. I am only at the very start of my NHL career. I think that the work is just about to start. I know that I make those I love proud with what I do, and that encourages me to go forward in my endeavors.
7. We’re excited to have you as our first Enduraphin Athlete. It was an honor to support Clarkson Hockey last season while you were a collegiate athlete. What do you like about Enduraphin and why have you decided to continue training with our products at the next level?
NS: Prior to Enduraphin, we used Muscle Milk. I have always been big on supplements, trying new things, and finding out what works for my body. I do believe that whatever you put into your body, you have to be able to trust. If I don’t believe that supplement XYZ is making me a better athlete, then I don’t put it into my body. Just like Enduraphin as a company, I am also in the early stages of my professional career, and I think it is a cool adventure to see both projects grow simultaneously. Clarkson Athletics, many other programs, and I have put their trust into Enduraphin because we know that the things that go into the product are safe, clean, and of the highest quality. Convenience is important with a busy schedule and the PHINTECH bottles have made it a lot easier in the weight room and on the road. I am excited to have this company support my journey and become their first professional athlete.
Enduraphin helps professional athletes, like Nico Sturm, conveniently consume high quality sports nutrition products. Their recyclable PHINTECH™ blending bottles are pre-filled with a single serving of Enduraphin Whey Protein or Athletic Fuel powder. No more spilled powder, dirty shaker bottles, or refrigeration necessary in the weight room or on the road. Simply Swirl, Fill with water, Swirl, Shake, Drink.
*If you’d like your team to experience the convenience and quality of Enduraphin, click here to get connected with the founders.