It's been a whirlwind journey for Avalanche rookie defenseman Stefan Elliott
. From rushing to catch a plane destined for Denver, to scoring his first career NHL goal in his first ever NHL game (not to mention it served as the game winner), Elliott's first four days in the Mile High City have been nothing short of surreal
. The Vancouver native earned an assist in his second game and now has two points (1g/1a) in his first two games since being recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League.
: Elliott now has three points
in his first three games (2g/1a), as of Dec. 2.
The smooth skating puck-moving defenseman sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com after practice to talk about his experience. Describe your last four days since being recalled from Lake Erie.
It’s been surreal. Just coming up here and getting my first games and practices in have been great. These four days have been pretty good.Did you ever imagine yourself scoring your first career NHL goal in your first NHL game? Was it everything you thought it would be?
I honestly didn’t expect it. But they say that if you put pucks on net, good things will happen. And I think it was more than I expected, especially the significance of the goal. It just made it that much more special. There was a lot of adrenaline running through my body after I got that goal.
How has your experience in Lake Erie prepared you for the NHL?
|"It was definitely nice to know that you have all those people supporting you. It felt really good, that's for sure." - Stefan Elliott, on the amount of text, tweets and phone calls he received after scoring his first career NHL goal. |
My time in the AHL has made me realize that I have to think the game that much more quickly and always knowing what to do with – and without – the puck and being in the right places on the ice before the play has even happened. Coming into Lake Erie last year, everybody is a lot older. You’re playing against fully-grown men and it’s definitely prepared me for the NHL.Having played in both the preseason and regular season, what is the biggest difference between the two?
You kind of get eased into the preseason a little more than the regular season because of training camp and you’re skating against teams with a lot of prospects. Compared to right now, being thrown into it right away, you have to be ready and fully prepared for each game.
Have you had a “Welcome to the NHL” moment yet?
Scoring my first goal was pretty special. Just rushing to the plane and flying here – that was pretty unexpected and hectic.
Have any of your teammates helped you adjust to the professional game/lifestyle since your arrival in Denver?
All the guys here have been really good to me, trying to make me comfortable and encouraging me, being supportive and doing the best they can to keep my confidence up.
What are the biggest adjustments on and off the ice from the junior level to the NHL?
It’s a bit of a different lifestyle because in Saskatoon (Western Hockey League), I had a billet family that cooked all of my meals and it’s pretty much all set up for you. All you really have to do is show up to the rink. Here, you really have to prepare yourself and do a good job of taking care of your body and make sure you’re getting the right food in you.
Are you cooking your own meals now that you’re on your own?
I was, for a bit, while I was in Lake Erie. But here, having just been called up and living in a hotel, it makes it kind of hard to cook my own meals. I see you’re sporting a moustache. Will you shave it off come December 1?
That’s a tough one. I have a bunch of people commenting on it. Some people are saying I should keep it, some people are saying I should get rid of it. Some are even saying it’s a good look for me. But I don’t know. I’m pretty sure, come December 1, it’ll be gone. What are your hobbies? What do you do to relax, unwind and take your mind off of hockey when you’re away from the rink?
I’m a 20-year-old kid. I just like to relax, play video games and hang out with the guys. I’m an XBOX guy and have been playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. How many texts, tweets and phone calls did you receive since you scored your goal?
I got a lot more than I expected. It was really hectic that night after the game. I was pretty much glued to my phone all night. It was definitely nice to know that you have all those people supporting you. It felt really good, that’s for sure.