On getting his start in hockey: My brother was kind of into it, and we had a roller hockey rink at the YMCA right down the street and he started playing, and I wanted to get into it. So at three years old, I just started playing roller hockey and then when ice hockey started getting a little bit more popular, that's when I was about six, I just switched over to ice hockey and just played youth all the way up to when I left for Shattuck-St. Mary's when I was 14.
My mom was in the Olympics for rowing in 1984, so it's kind of cool to see all of my family members involved in sports and that kind of stuff and they are all rowers and I'm the only ice hockey player. It's a little something different, but I like watching them and them succeeding, it's just fun.
On his mom competing in the Olympics: Yeah, I don't think she won or anything, but just to have a family member that represented the U.S. in the Olympics, it's very special, and obviously I learned a lot from the stories. Just great to see my family succeed, and especially my mom. My dad was an athlete, as well. He went to Navy and he was a rower there, too, and that's how they met.
On his parent’s reaction to him wanting to be a hockey player: Yeah, I mean, as long as I can remember, I've always said that to them. When I was younger, and then I just put in the hard work and just didn't really say anything. I think they kind of knew that I wanted to play hockey as my profession. Ever since I was younger, it was just hard work and you know, them driving me to the rink or what have you. Hey, now I'm here, and I'm close and I still need to work on some things, but I'm happy where I'm at.
On travelling to workout in the offseason: Obviously L.A. has lots of traffic. It's tough to get places and I just so happened to have a really good trainer by the name of T.R. Goodman in Venice Beach, California. He trains a lot of professional hockey players in today's game. So I live in Long Beach, and it's in Venice and it's about two and a half hours by train and bus one way, and I had to do that. It's all paying off and all kind of falling into place. It's made me so much stronger and helped my game out so much more and I'm happy that I did that.
On asking his Medicine Hat coach for game footage: I was new to the (WHL) and right off the bat I had to learn the systems and that kind of stuff. I just went into his office and asked him for some tapes and I wanted to get to know the team, how I can contribute to the team and his style of play; I was doing that, and it helped me out a lot.
On his style of play: Yeah, I think I'm definitely a speed guy. I like to utilize my speed in all situations. I think I'm a great transition player. Through the neutral zone, I try to look for options, whether it's to go wide or drive hard at the net. I like also to just be around the net and bear down on chances that my linemates create. That's where I'm best is trying to put the puck in the back of the net and find places where I can do that.
If I can choose one guy to model my game after, it would definitely be Marian Gaborik.
On the NHL Draft in Los Angeles: Having the draft in L.A., right from when I heard it was going to be in L.A., I was really happy, and obviously told all my friends and family and they are excited, too. You know, it's still a ways away. But you know, I can't help but think about it and how special it's going to be and there's going to be tons of family and friends there I'm speechless on the subject. So, yeah, I'm really excited and yeah, hopefully it all works out.
On going to Shattuck-St. Mary’s at 14: I remember when I was a couple years younger than 14, my brother was at nationals and I think that's when Sidney Crosby was at nationals and I said right there I wanted to go to Shattuck-St. Mary's and play in that program. I think in ninth grade, I just decided to go and it helped me out so much. Leaving at 14 was tough obviously but I got used to it after a while. I got used to the harsh winters, but the coaches there, some of the best I've ever had - it's just really special and an honor to play at that school.
On his favorite Los Angeles Kings’ memory as a kid: I think we got a package, it was like a three game package and you know, me and my dad went to all three games, I remember the first one was Columbus Blue Jackets and I just remember the Kings obviously being my favorite team, the L.A. Kings, and seeing them play against Rick Nash and some of the top players, it was really special. I don't remember the age, but I can remember that game for sure. It was just a really special moment.
On his favorite hockey moment: When I was at Shattuck-St. Mary's, we won the U.S. National Championship for Under-18 and that was really special. We had a close knit group of guys and just really enjoy playing for that team, and we won it in the end and just an amazing feeling.
On the best give he’s received: The best hockey gift I've ever received was probably a hockey net.
On his most embarrassing hockey moment: Most embarrassing hockey moment so far would be one time I missed like five breakaways in one game or something like that, and I obviously blamed it on the stick of course. But now I look back on it, was pretty embarrassing.