"Start to Finnish"
Kaden Hardesty was the RMHS featured athlete back in November 2014.
See his interview HERE
An RMHS campers since 2010, Kaden has come extremely far in his hockey adventure.
Coach Sady caught up with him recently, but she had to track him overseas to Helsinski, Finland.
Current Hockey Team:
Viikingit(Vikings) based out of Vuosaari, on the east side of Helsinki. We are currently playing in the mestis division which is similar to USA double A.
Position : Center
NOW IN FINLAND...
"The cultures are surprisingly similar. The biggest difference is the ocean and water here. The people enjoy vacations at their lake cottage and spend time near the ocean. The food also has a lot of fish. It is new for me though to drive by the ocean everyday."
"Adjusting to my host family has been great. They are a very kind family and have been extremely helpful through this whole process. It is nice to have brothers to play hockey and hang out with. I would say that learning the language would help a lot. Learning the words pertaining to hockey would have helped me very much. I have had to learn a lot of the hockey words as I go and there is still a large barrier on drills and games. Luckily my teammates and coaches help translate."
"The biggest difference is the goalies. The goalies here are amazing and I now see why some of the best goalies in the NHL are Finnish. Almost every organization here has a full time goalie coach to work with the goalies on each team. On our team there are practices for just the goalies at least once a week. The games are also much longer at three 20 minute stop time periods. The games go into overtime and a shootout if the game is tied which is also different. Another difference is how many people watch hockey. Even though most of my friends at school don't play hockey, they would still kept track of the World Cup of Hockey."
"Balancing hockey and school has actually been easy. My school schedule is fairly relaxed because I only take the courses available in English so my school day is only three quarters full. The homework load is less than in the US which also helps. In the past I was driving most nights to practice and had to do homework on the road which was a challenge."
"This exchange has been awesome. I have experienced another culture, gone to school and played very competitive hockey. I would recommend that all youth hockey players look into it as an option for development."