Photo courtesy of Matt Mead Photography LLC.
What was the experience of being drafted like to be a part of?
“It was a pretty unbelievable experience getting drafted and seeing your name come up on on the screen. When I got drafted I was actually just on my couch watching the draft coverage and I had to refresh the page a couple times just because I was in shock. It was pretty crazy, and I will never forget that day.
In what ways have you been able to learn from the experience of attending Vancouver Canucks training camps?
“When I went to Vancouver the first time it was training camp, and it was evident right away that they are a top-class organization. The experience I have learned over the past two years just being there to see and learn how they operate at the NHL level is a little different than the OHL. Honestly, it’s just an extremely professional atmosphere at the Pro level, and since that first camp I have tried to take as much away from each camp as I can.
In particular, what have you been able to take away from the opportunity to practice and play against professional players and bring back to your team in Erie?
“I think that one big thing I’ve been able to bring back from going there is Leadership. You see all the older guys that have played in the NHL for a long time, and they are still doing well. You see how they are emotionally attached to the game, and the leadership that they bring on and off the ice every single day. For me just to be able to watch that was pretty special, and I have tried to bring that kind of leadership back to our team in Erie.”
Going into your next season, what are your personal goals?
“Next year will be my last year in the OHL, and it has been a good ride. The past three years we have come close to winning the OHL Championship and it has been disappointing coming up short. One thing for myself and the other over-agers that is important for the coming season is to push ourselves and the rest of the team to be the best in the OHL. Personally, I am not a typical high offense forward, I am more of a defensive centre, so for me, I hope to develop the offensive side of my game even further in order to take my game to another level.
In what ways has CoreFive's Behavioral Analytics Profile helped you to become a better player?
“Both on and off the ice, it’s huge for not only me but also for my teammates. You learn the type of personality you have, and you find out which ways you learn best, and which ways your teammates learn best. So on the ice, the profile allows you to identify those personal traits and work on them with your coaches and teammates to help each other out and see what works best for you. Whether it’s something as simple as identifying the proper ways to approach a player or a coach, it helps get the best out of everyone. If you’re more of a quiet person like myself, communicating with my coaches and teammates on a more relaxed level seems to benefit my personality.
Each coach is different, and some are better than others at being able to read what players need in order to develop on a personal level, do you think as a player that having your coaches be able to use the CoreFive testing have helped them in their ability to get through to more of the players on your team?
“Even before the assessments, one of our coach’s biggest strengths was being able to read the type of personality most of our players had. When they implemented this system it just added to the already wonderful job our coaches have done at coaching us and getting us all on the same page. For him to use the different techniques is huge, and it has been instrumental in getting all our our players focused on one goal.