Sean Kuraly is back home after starting his NHL career with the Boston Bruins and is thrilled to live out his childhood dream of playing for his hometown team.
Kuraly has a history in Ohio, growing up in Dublin and playing for the AAA Blue Jackets junior team before attending Miami University to play hockey.
Out of college, Kuraly signed an entry-level with the Bruins in 2016, playing five seasons in Boston until he signed with the Blue Jackets this past summer.
This 6-foot-2 speedy center has not disappointed Columbus fans so far this season with his energy, skill, and drive, plus five points and five assists for 10 points while playing in all 30 games. So we caught up with Kuraly to see why this hometown boy is a fan favorite in the latest edition of 5 Questions.
Video: WSH@CBJ: Kuraly slips past Carlson, scores glove side
1. Blue Jackets.com: Growing up in the area and being a Jackets fan, did you ever dream of playing for this franchise?
Kuraly: "Yeah, I would say I did. I grew up going to all the games and idolizing the players so it was always a dream of mine to come home and play for the Blue Jackets and to play for the city that I call home."
Have you always wanted to stay in Ohio or did you want to get out if you had the chance?
"I was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and I was 3 years old when I moved here. Did I always envision (staying in Ohio)? You never know, you just got to go with the flow and see where this thing takes you. Obviously, I spent some time in Boston and I enjoyed my time there, but the pieces just lined up and it worked out that I ended up back here. I never had a plan of where I wanted to be. I just knew I loved Columbus and the city and if I ever got the chance, I would love to come back. Im really excited to be here now."
2. You have said Rick Nash was your favorite player as a kid. How cool is it to play for the same organization as him?
"I think it's kind of a full circle. He was the guy that got Columbus excited about hockey and inspired a lot of kids to continue to play hockey. He was kind of every kid's idol. He's a big part of the reason why you've seen more talent come out of Columbus since the Blue Jackets have been here."
3. Has your nickname always been 'Kurls" or have you had others in your hockey career?
They called me 'Goose' at school (at Miami University). No real particular reason to be honest. I think somebody just said it one day and then it stuck.
4. Do you have a favorite travel destination?
"I'd like to do a lot more traveling. Hockey has taken me a lot of places, but we're busy. I'd like to visit more of the world. I think I'd like to explore Western Europe a bit more."
Is there a "bucket list" place you would like to visit?
"Maybe I'd like to visit every continent. Make my rounds. I was lucky enough to visit China a couple summers ago with the Bruins so I'd like to continue that and see more of the world when I'm done with hockey."
5. Did you play any other sports growing up?
"I loved playing sports and I loved playing outside with my neighbors and friends. Whatever the season was, I was ready to go for whatever sport was being played. I played soccer and lacrosse."
How long did you play those sports?
"I played soccer up until about middle school and I played lacrosse for a couple years and one year in high school."