Cody Goloubef joined the Colorado Avalanche organization this season on Nov. 28 after being acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Goloubef started out with the club's AHL affiliate in San Antonio, but his time with the Rampage was short-lived as he was recalled on Dec. 4 and made his Avs debut two days later at the Nashville Predators. He's been with the team ever since.
The Mississauga, Ontario, native attended the University of Wisconsin for three years and was selected 37th overall by Columbus in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The 27-year-old had played six-plus seasons for the Blue Jackets' AHL franchise and also saw 96 games of action with the NHL team. He has five assists in 32 games with the Avalanche this year.
Goloubef competed for Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2006 and then won a gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2009. The defenseman had a great role model growing up in great uncle Dick Duff, who was a winner of six Stanley Cup championships.
Goloubef sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com to talk about his hockey career, transitioning to Colorado and his favorite hockey moments.
How did playing for coach Jared Bednar in the AHL help prepare you for joining the Avs?
"My last year there, he was the assistant coach. It's kind of the same system we have been playing the last few years. It does make it a lot more comfortable and easy to transition. It's always good going somewhere where you're familiar with people, eliminates some of the awkwardness."
What was your NHL Draft experience like?
"It was great. It was a dream come true to get drafted to the National Hockey League. Making it is probably better, but that was the first step. Hard work pays off when you're young, and it's a special feeling."
How did you get into hockey?
"In Canada, when you're young, you are kind of the weirdo if you're not playing, it's crazy. Kids live and breathe it, so I think I just got into it because I was interested in it when I was young. Everyone plays so it's easy to get into it."
Growing up, did you think you could play professional hockey?
"I just played for fun. We had good teams growing up, and I just kept getting better and better and just trying to improve every year. I didn't really think anything of it until probably the year before college when I thought that I could probably play in the NHL or there's an opportunity to maybe get drafted. From there on, it's a bunch of hard work. I mean, I just played for fun and wanted to win. We were young and that's what we did, so it was good."
What is your favorite hockey memory?
"Probably winning the World Juniors. It was in Ottawa, and just the way we won it. We were down against the Russians, and we came back and ended up winning in overtime. The next night we beat the Swedes. That was pretty cool. It was special winning that in Canada."
What is the biggest difference between D-I college hockey and the NHL?
"It's a competitive league. You have to be good every night. It's different from college and juniors because it's more of a business up here than it was down there. You only have one main focus here, and it's hockey. There, you had school, so you had to balance things. Up here this is your job, this is your livelihood, so it's a lot different."
How have you developed as a player in the NHL?
"I don't know, you just have to get bigger and stronger every year and get faster. You have to get better and faster than everyone else. That's pretty much the name of the game."
Who was your idol growing up?
"I was a big Leafs fan, so Mats Sundin and Tomas Kaberle, guys like that. They were a good team and they were fun to watch, even though they never won it all. It was fun to follow. I liked the way Tomas played, just a smart puck-mover, trying to make a good first pass then use your skating to elude people."
How do you like here in Colorado?
"It's just a great city. I mean, there's a lot to do. Columbus is pretty limited, not much going on there, but here there is opportunity to do something new every day outdoors and I'm an outdoorsy guy. I really enjoy getting out and walking around, even if it's just some of the trails by Cherry Creek there. If we have an off day, I like to go into the mountains or Red Rocks. The opportunities are endless, so it's a really cool place to live."
Do you have any pets?
"Yeah, I have a dog. She's pretty active, so my fiancée and I take her out to run around. We found a couple good dog trails with water and she loves to swim, so we get her into the water all the time. The weather has been great, so it's been good. It's a change, that's for sure.'
What is your favorite road trip snack?
"Trail mix. Keep it Simple."
Who do you hang out with the most on the team?
"I sit with Landy (Gabriel Landeskog) on the plane, so I get to chew his ear off and then started going to dinner with some those guys. Tyson (Barrie) and I sit beside each other in the dressing room here, so we chitchat a lot. There are a lot of good guys here, and it's a good group. It's been a lot of fun."