This might sound like a surprising study, however, it appears to be necessary in this day and age. On Saturday, the Washington Post published an interesting story of young National Hockey League prospects who were asked by team what was their level of interest in the video game called Fortnite, a wildly popular multiplayer online video game where up to 100 players drop onto an ever-shrinking island and battle to be the last one alive.
One player, Riley Sutter, who was selected in the third round, 93rd overall by the Capitals in this summer's draft was asked about the game.
"There’s definitely some guys around the league, some even on my [junior] team, that are pretty bad for it,” Sutter said to the Post. “It takes away from their sleeping and keeps them up late. . . . It’s starting to become a pretty big issue.”
It was recently revealed to be major problem when Jeff Marek of Sportsnet's 31 Thoughts podcast told NHL insider Elliotte Friedman and podcast listeners about one projected first-round pick that cannot stop playing video games, which is now ruining his NHL career:
“On video games – and I’m not going to say the player’s name,” began Marek. “I really doubt he’s going to make it to the NHL and it’s because of a video game addiction. To the point where his junior general manager told me that they’ve had him go to counseling over it because he’ll play until all hours of the night and into the morning and then he’ll have no energy the next day. He’ll be a write-off. And it is that bad. He has this compulsion for playing video games until all hours.
“I swore that I wouldn’t say the player’s name. But it’s unfortunate. He’s a recent first-round draft pick for a very, very prominent NHL team – will probably never play in the NHL because of a video game addiction.”
It now looks like NHL teams are taking the issue seriously.
"The sporting world’s questions about the impact of long video gaming sessions coincide with growing attention on the potential dangers and discussion of whether lengthy stretches of gaming constitute problematic behavior," reports the Washington Post. "In June, the World Health Organization recognized “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition for the first time, defining it as compulsive playing that negatively impacted other parts of life."
While teams are not expected to hold the young players' hands outside of the rink, it appears that they want to make sure gaming addiction do not take over, and prospects and players can focus on the task at hand and on the ice.
Lucas Johansen, a first-round pick by the Capitals in 2016, called the questioning “a little absurd” when he heard about it.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “As long as they show up to work ready, right?”
Well, it seems like the Caps and other teams in the NHL do think it matters...