On his style of play: Definitely, my strengths are seeing the ice, being able to make plays, set up people for some goals. But when I do get the opportunity to score, I think I can bear down and put it in the back of the net.
On patterning his game after an NHL player: I don't really look at that too closely. But if I had to pick someone, it would be more like Pierre Marc Bouchard from the Wild, kind of a faster, playmaking forward, or Marc Savard or Nicklas Backstrom from the Capitals.
On getting his start in hockey: My parents or family never really got into hockey, so it's kind of strange. Just growing up in the neighborhood, everyone played. Started off just skating at about four years old. And then I think at five or six I started getting into the competitive, the little league there in Lakeville, Minnesota. You know, just growing up on the ponds and playing street hockey.
On the biggest influences in his career: Definitely my parents, but mainly my dad. I think every game I'd come out and try to find him after one of my scoring games. He'd always talk to me about what you need to do better. We'd always talk hockey at home and on the way to games and on the way home from games. He has a love for the game, even though he never played it, he's learned it. He's definitely been a big part of my career.
On accelerating his academics for his hockey career: Well, I always had a passion for the game. I always seemed to like to play with other guys, you know. Not just my age, because I like the competitiveness. Being able to play with older and better players who could see the game and play the game better. I didn't think I'd want to do my senior year in the USHL. I thought I was ready for college hockey and proved out, I think I was.
On Patrick Kane: I got a chance to room with him on the World Junior tryouts one year. I really followed him on the ice, and what he did. He made some people look so stupid out there, it was ridiculous. Seeing him in the NHL and doing what he does, it's definitely a lot of hope that I definitely can play in this game the way it's changing now.
On the road to being a Gopher: Well, definitely winning that State Championship as a ninth grader was pretty something special. Some guys don't win it until their senior year and I was fortunate enough to win one pretty early. I moved on from there to the National Program. Being out there with Coach Hynes and Coach Rolston was just an honor to be there and represent your country in tournaments over in Europe and here. It was definitely a great time. Now it's even more special. Growing up a Gopher fan all your life, it's pretty cool now.
On the possibility of being drafted: It's definitely going to be an exciting time. I’ve got to focus on the rest of the year here. And then we'll move on from there. I'm not really too worried though. I don't want to focus on just the Draft. It's not all about me; it's about the team right now. Once the season's over, I can focus on that. But it's definitely going to be an exciting time. I'm really looking forward to it.
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