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Alex Pietrangelo

North American Skater - Niagara, OHL
Final Rank:6Midterm Rank:5
Position:DefensemanShoots:Right
Height:6' 3"Weight:206
Born:January 18, 1990
Born in:King City, ON, CAN
Drafted: 2008: STL (1st Round / 4th Overall)  St. Louis Blues


On his style of play:  I try to play my own game - play both ends of the ice.  Obviously, take care of the defensive end and the offense will come with it.  To be a good defenseman, you have to be able to play both ends, and that's what I've been told to try to do – try to use my good vision with the power play and move the puck.  For a big guy, I figure I can skate pretty well and use my size to my advantage.  And make sure the defensive end is working as well as the offense.

 

On patterning his game after Anaheim’s Chris Pronger:  The guys always kind of tease me - they call me Pronger because I guess I kind of play like him.  He's a big guy, he can skate, and move the puck.  So I think that kind of relates to me.  I try to watch him, see what he does, and try to apply it to my own game.

 

On the possibility of playing against Pronger one day:  I think my eyes would light up the first time I'd see him.  It would be an honor.  I'd probably be watching him instead of watching my own game.  Playing against him would be a great compliment to myself and be an honor.  Watching him growing up and hopefully if I can get there to the same stage, it would be a tremendous feeling. 

 

On getting his start in hockey:  It kind of started around the age of six.  I never used to like hockey, actually.  My parents put me on the ice, and I used to cry to get off the ice.  They kept putting me back out there, and after a while I started to enjoy it more and more.  And once they put a stick in my hands, it took off from there and I've loved the game ever since.

 

On his first hockey team:  I think it started with the Noble King Knights, which is the hometown team in King City, Ontario.  My dad was the coach and I played with all my friends when I was a young guy.  That is kind of what first got me started.  My dad helped me out when I was younger and I moved on to the bigger levels and it took off.

 

On becoming a defenseman:  I used to be the power forward.  I used to wear number 88 like Eric Lindros and someone decided to put me on defense and that worked out.

 

On ‘playing’ for the Stanley Cup growing up:  We had a backyard rink growing up.  It was always my cousin and my brother, we'd always play Game 7, the final goal wins.  It was always a competitive game we had. I think every goal I scored I thought I won the Stanley Cup.

 

On playing on his backyard rink:  It's nice to kind of let loose once in a while.  My dad always tried to get me to do some skating drills, but I wasn't buying into it.  So a lot of times I'd just have my friends over and horse around.  Those are the good times I remember, growing up and playing in the backyard with my family, my uncle and my cousins.  Like I said, those are the memories that will stick with you.

 

On growing up in a hockey family:  My brother played growing up locally and my dad used to be a goalie.  And my dad's cousin, Frank, played for Pittsburgh and Hartford and I think they've always had the hockey sense in the family.  And they've been supportive of what I've been doing. My brother has been one of my biggest supporters.  I think being able to get around him when I was a little kid got my confidence up and brought me to where I am now. 

 

On his most memorable hockey gift:  Probably my first one piece hockey stick - one of my old coaches, Dominic, gave it to me.  And at the time I was using the old wooden sticks.  And I got this one piece stick, and my eyes lit up, and I've been using them ever since.

 

On playing for Team Canada at the Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament:  There is no better feeling than putting on your country's colors and putting that jersey on is the best feeling in it the world.  We may not have done as well as we thought, but the experience was tremendous.  

 

On his most memorable hockey moment:  Making Canada’s Under-18 team was obviously an honor.  But winning the Under-17 championships with Team Ontario the year before was probably the biggest feat for me.  Like I said, to represent your province was great.  To be able to play with the guys that I did, it was a tremendous experience.

 

On the biggest influences in his career:  It has always been my family. My parents have always been supportive of what I've been doing.  And my brother's been great for me.  There's been nothing better than to have them on my side and have my cousins and everyone be my biggest fans.  It's been a lot of support and I'm thankful to have them. 

 

On the best advice he has received:  My dad still says to me that it doesn't matter the result as long as I did my best.  That's the important thing.  As long as I'm having fun and I try hard.  If I don't succeed, so be it.  He’s really supportive and he knows that I try my best whatever I do. If the results don't come out, then I know I still have a lot of fun.

 

On his thoughts heading in to the NHL Draft:  I'm pretty excited about everything and try to take it one day at a time.  You know, when draft day comes, it will be excitement more than anything.  It will be a little nerve-racking, but once the day's over with, it's only up from there.

 

On his most embarrassing hockey moment:  My most embarrassing hockey moment is falling down in warm-up last year.  It was one of my first games in the OHL.  My helmet fell off, went face first, smacked my face on the ice and hurt my nose and my cheek.  I was bruised up for a bit.  I didn't know what to do, but I kept skating.  It was pretty embarrassing for me.

 

On one thing he couldn’t live without:  One thing I couldn't live without is my cell phone.  I've always got to have my phone on me.  I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I've always got to keep in touch with people.

 

On his favorite pump up song:  City of Blinding Lights by U2.  U2's my favorite band, and that song, for some reason just gets me going.

 

On his favorite toy growing up:  My favorite toy growing up was mini sticks.  I think that's the case with most hockey players