North American Skater
HEIGHT: 6' 0"
Weight: 219
Born: 12/08/1989
Mid Term Rank: 2
Nationality: Canadian
Club: Guelph
League: OHL

On his style of play: I think my style player is more just of an offensive defenseman.  I know that in my first two years with the Guelph Storm I was pretty much solid offensive defensemen and wasn't very good in my own zone. I know that this year playing the Super Series and World Juniors, I really, really worked on my defensive game.  Now I hope people not only see me as an offensive defensemen but as a two-way player.  I think my style is as I said offensive, but I work really hard and I'm very determined to win, and that's my favorite part about the game is winning the game.


On patterning his game after Nicklas Lidstrom: Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings is probably my favorite defenseman in the NHL, without a doubt.  He's a very calm player who makes everything look so easy, good shot and great vision and very good skater. He's consistent, plays hard every game and I really try to model my game after him.


On becoming a defenseman: I was a centerman my whole life until about five or six years ago. In major bantam I was still a forward but I played defense in training camp because we were short “D-men”, and the coach ended up thinking I could become a better defenseman than forward.  He decided to try me out and I would still play forward on some power-plays.  I guess it worked out for the best.


On getting his start in hockey:  Ever since I was little I just always loved the game.  I remember playing in the basement with my dad or my mom and I know that ever since I was little I loved the game. Wayne Gretzky was one of my idols when I was younger.  I know I would cry sometimes when I was younger when my parents would make me go to bed before his game was over.  Really, that's who I modeled my game after, and I really could not have done it without my family without a doubt. My parents were always there for me and my grandparents, and they did everything they could to get me here.


On the biggest influences in his career:  My parents have just been there for me. They took time off work, they took days out of their way and just drove me places to get to hockey and my grandparents were always there and helped us pay for everything and it was pretty expensive when were younger.  I've had many, many coaches along the way that were very key to my success: Brad Ostrom was the one who transferred me from forward to defense; and my skating coach, Carol Robinson -- I still skate with her to this day and she's helped me a lot through the days.


On playing in the Canada-Russia Super Series and the World Junior Championships: It's been awesome.  It’s such a great honor to put on that Canadian jersey every time, and fortunately I've been able to put it on a few times. That Super Series was a great stepping stone in my career -- it taught me a lot about the game and playing for Canada and how big it is. This past Christmas, playing in the World Junior tournament -- there's nothing else like it.  All the pressure that we had on us and all the stuff that we had to go through was just really hard to overcome, and we ended up doing that.  Winning that gold medal was just the best.


On winning the World Junior Championships in overtime:   I was just getting off the ice.  I had just made the change and so I didn't even see the goal go in or anything.  I had my back to the play and I kind of just heard the fans yell and looked and saw us all getting off the bench so I just jumped over the bench, skated as hard as I ever have to that pile and it was just amazing.


On the importance of chemistry to a hockey team:  It (chemistry) is the most important thing I think -- bonding as a team was very key to our success with Team Canada.  We had many streaks going and we knew we had all the pressure of all the fans back home and we even had tons and tons of fans there. So just gelling as a team and building after our one loss was just amazing.  And it's very important and I think that's why we probably won is because we stayed positive as a team and we were just so good buddies and I know we all still talk to this day. So learning from that experience, I really just tried to take it back to Guelph and be a leader there and I know in Guelph we are probably the tightest we've been in the last three years so it's been great to have that on our team.


On his childhood NHL hero: It's always been Wayne Gretzky, (but) I know playing road hockey, I always wanted to play in net.  So when I was growing up, I had a couple favorite goalies, (Ed) Belfour and now it's (Martin) Brodeur and I know I would try and be them inside the net. When I was younger I was debating whether or not to quit and go back to house league to become a goalie; I wanted to become it that bad.  But, I would say Wayne Gretzky was probably my main guy that I always tried to be when I was playing, I always pretended I was him and wear his jersey and do everything I could to become more like him.


On the possibility of shooting against Martin Brodeur, his favorite goaltender one day:  I don't even know what it would feel like to score on Martin Brodeur, it would just be awesome.  Getting drafted is an amazing opportunity for me, and it would just be awesome to get drafted and hopefully to play in the NHL one day.  It's always been my dream, always been my goal, so I hope that one day I can be shooting against Martin Brodeur and that would definitely be one of my favorite times ever.


On being ranked second overall by Central Scouting:   I try to keep it in the back of my mind as much as I can.  I always remember that it's there, and if I'm ever just at home or whatever, I'll think about it. But when it comes to hockey, I don't think about it at all.  I try not to think about the scouts or anything.  I just want to work my hardest and play my heart out and just play my game and hopefully help my team win.


On Ryan Parent as his mentor:  He was a great mentor for me my first two years.  He helped me a lot.  Not only is he a great, great hockey player.  But off the ice he's a very good individual and he's a very smart guy, just all-around, he's just a very, very good guy. So he taught me a lot my first two years. As I said before, my first few years I wasn't very good defensively.  I played with him, so it kind of worked out for the best for both of us, I guess.  But he taught me a lot about that, playing defensively and he also taught me how to be a good person off the ice.


On the one movie he would choose to be in:   If I could be if one movie it would be the "Miracle on Ice."  I just think it would be awesome to be in a hockey movie and just knowing the history about that team and just playing in that movie would just be awesome.


On his most embarrassing hockey moment: My most embarrassing hockey moment was probably when I was younger.  I remember we were in the finals and they were calling out the starting lineup and so skating out to the blue line I took a little spill there.  So I got a little laugh from the crowd and that was pretty funny.


On his favorite toy growing up:   My favorite toy was definitely mini-sticks.  I know I played with them up until I was pretty old still.  We would take them to every tournament and the guys on the team and I would play in the hallways and get in trouble from some of the hotel managers, but it was definitely my favorite thing to do when I was younger.