On his style of play: I try to be one of the fastest players on the ice. Usually when I'm playing a good game, I'm keeping my feet moving and playing at top speed. I'd say that's probably my biggest asset as a player. Things seem to go better if I'm moving my feet than when I am not.
On patterning his game after his favorite NHL player, Sidney Crosby: I try to be as much like Crosby as I can. He does everything so well, whether it's scoring goals or play making, making his other teammates look good. He does everything the best of probably anyone in the League. He's a guy I try to be like the most.
On getting his start in hockey: I started playing hockey when I was four years old for the Haliburton Huskies in my hometown of Haliburton. Played there for three years. Then played AAA till I was drafted to the OHL. I've been playing in Brampton for the last two years.
On having a backyard rink growing up: When I was younger, I discovered a patch of ice out in my driveway. I said to my dad, ‘Hey, can we make a rink?’ He said, ‘Okay, sure’. We built some boards. It was really small at the time, but we extended the retaining wall where it was -- it got bigger. I started playing with a lot of kids in the neighborhood, stuff like that.
We just recently moved actually and we kind of recreated what I had before. We have boards. We have kind of fishing line mesh up behind for glass. I made a goalie in shop class a couple years ago out of sheet metal and wood. He kind of stands in there and takes the brunt of Cody (Hodgson) and my shots in the summertime.
On the influences in his career: My dad's been the biggest influence in my life. Even though he didn't play at a high level, he's real knowledgeable. He just knows the game real well. Being a goalie, he can give me a goalie's perspective on how to score. That's real helpful.
My uncle (Anaheim assistant coach Newell Brown), being in the NHL, he's around the pros every day. He knows what it takes to play at that level. He's always giving me advice, whether it be about what I'm doing on the ice or how to handle myself off the ice. It's always helpful when it's coming from him.
On his childhood hockey heroes: I'm a Montréal Canadiens fan. But I grew up really liking Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche as well. He was kind of the guy that I liked before Crosby came along. Obviously Sakic is still going strong in the NHL. I think he's probably the biggest class act in the League. He's a great ambassador of the game as well.
On playing for Team Canada: Anytime you get to pull on that jersey, it's a huge honor and a privilege. Those memories I have of both Under-18 and playing for Team Ontario in the Under-17 Challenge last year are three of the best memories I have playing hockey so far. And they're just overall great experiences.
On how he spends his spare time: You know what; I'm pretty much all hockey. I'm always passing a puck around with a buddy in my basement or watching it on TV with a friend, or playing even NHL 09 on my XBox or whatever. I'm pretty one-dimensional that way. But I also enjoy playing the guitar quite a bit, too. So I do that in my off time, as well.
On his childhood friend and Brampton teammate Cody Hodgson: Cody and I have known each other pretty much since we started school. He actually lived in Haliburton with me for a while and we played together on the same major tyke team on the same line. He moved away after that and I started playing against him when we both started playing AAA. Then in the summers we played together. Then for some reason we both got drafted by (Brampton). It's been a pretty cool journey and it's been neat to see him kind of develop and become the player he is today.
On the possibility of being drafted in June: I think the NHL draft is the start to building your dream of playing in the NHL. And that's been my dream since I put on the skates for the first time. It's neat to see your name up in the rankings. I think you can't stop working. You have to keep doing what you're doing to make you successful. If you keep doing that, you'll probably be able to maintain where you're ranked at.
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