Canada, USA, Sweden using Bauer Digi-print graphics for World Junior
Patriotism has always been a big part of the World Junior Hockey Championship, with players talking about the pride of pulling on the jersey and representing their country on the international stage.
Three goaltenders at this year’s tournament will also get to were that national pride on their pads and gloves, thanks to the continued evolution of Bauer’s Digi-print technologies.
Canada’s Colton Point, Sweden’s Filip Gustavsson and America’s Jake Oettinger will be showing off the Digi-print capabilities on their new equipment at the World Junior Championship.
Point, a Dallas Stars draft pick who plays for Colgate in the NCAA, was set to receive his new set of Bauer Supreme 2S Pro pads and gloves on Monday after finding out he made Team Canada over the weekend:
In addition to the obvious Hockey Canada logos on the pads and gloves, the background of Point’s subtle-but-sharp new pads is made up of small, grey maple leafs set against the black background. It’s the kind of detail that would have been impossible using traditional cut-and-sew customization.
After his first practice in the new pads Tuesday, Point told TSN they were inspired in part by the all-black set Carey Price wore while backstopping Canada to a World Junior gold medal in 2007:
“Carey Price’s all-black was one and then I have always kind of wanted to do a solid dark color on my pads so when Bauer gave the opportiy I had to jump on it and do it,” Point told TSN.
Gustavsson, who was picked in the Second Round (No. 55) of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, was also set to receive his new set of Bauer Vapor 1X OD1N set up on Monday:
Oettinger is actually choosing between two options for the prestigious post-Christmas tournament. The first was already published here alongside his new Team USA mask, and can be seen below again:
And here is the second option Oettinger, who is currently playing for Boston College after being picked 26th in the First Round by the Dallas Stars at the 2017 NHL Draft, is considering:
It’s an impressive display of patriotism, and the latest wave in a new graphic trend InGoal teased when Bauer first unveiled digitally printed graphics on the Supreme 1S OD1N pad almost two years ago. Since then we’ve seen some impressive looking pads, from Henrik Lundqvist’s eye-popping latest look, to the sweet throwback pads currently being worn by Dallas Stars goaltender Mike McKenna, to the more subtle personal graphic designed for Minnesota Wild No. 1 Devan Dubnyk.
The latest offerings have seen improvements in design and execution for several key reasons that will benefit retail consumers when Digi-print is offered to the public as a custom option in 2018.
First, Bauer is working with a true printing company to produce the graphic layer, whereas before they were working with a manufacturing company that was also doing the printing for them. As anyone who has worked in graphic design can tell you, that specialization makes a big difference.
Second, Bauer has evolved the revolutionary C.O.R.tech skin that debuted on the Supreme 1S and allowed them to use digitally printed graphics as part of a multi-layer skin that was actually moulded into the shape of the pad rather than pulled around the edges of it.
The new C.O.R.tech ST skin that will debut on the Supreme 2S Pro pad includes a new coating that seals the graphics better and doesn’t distort color like its predecessor, which caused some colors to change, making some darker, and turning red to pink, for example.
Colors are more vibrant and fine details easier to see in the new C.O.R.tech ST skin, but that’s not the only benefit of the upgrade. According to Bauer, the new skin is three-times more durable than the original, and addresses some of the wear-and-tear concerns like skate cuts and puck impact that developed in the Supreme 1S line, but without sacrificing the long rebounds and improved sliding that defined that first line. (InGoal will have a deeper dive into those changes in an upcoming Supreme 2S Pro review).
Bauer is also working closely with Matthew Abraham, the man behind the PadsTracker website, to create a custom process that is similar to getting a mask painted. Abraham has worked with NHL goalies like Dubnyk and Lundqvist to create their personal designs, going back and forth to get from a rough design the Rangers star sketched on a napkin to get to the final product on display in the NHL.
The possibilities are endless. Goalies everywhere should soon be able to have everything from personalized logos to high-resolution images of a favourite pet on their pads.
In the meantime, enjoy the custom looks at the World Junior Championships, and look for a few more personalized designs in the NHL soon.