When John Farinacci was invited to play in the 2018 USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in September at Xcel Energy Center, the center’s goal wasn’t to just enjoy the event. He wanted to find out what he could improve as a player.
“It was less of a fun trip, and more of a business trip,” said the 18-year-old Chatham, N.J., native, who recently completed his second season and first as captain at Dexter School, totaling 33 points (12-21-33) in 16 games. “You’re playing with many great players and competing on a high stage, so you can see what things you need to work on and what things you can emulate from other guys. You play to the best of your ability and learn new lessons, techniques and skills.”
The aspect of his game which he’s improved the most since that visit to St. Paul, Minn., has been his skating, the same skill that he’s been working on and come the furthest with since his earliest days playing the sport.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always gotten nitpicked about my skating and my first couple steps,” the 5-feet-11, 185-pounder said. “That fuels me; whenever I can get constructive criticism I take it as a challenge to improve myself. Ever since I started hearing about it, I’ve worked on my skating and my foot speed. I’ve come a long way from where I was, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done with that, and every facet of my game.”