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ONE-ON-ONE WITH: Alexandre Picard

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets took time to sit down with rookie forward Alexandre Picard, Columbus' first round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft, to discuss his first NHL Training Camp. What was the excitement like building up to training camp?
Alexandre Picard: Oh, that was real good. They made some good moves during the summer, like (new Blue Jackets defensemen Adam) Foote and (Bryan) Berard. When I was young, they were my idols, so I am pretty excited right now. I try to do my best. How do you feel training camp has gone for you so far?
AP: Pretty good. I had some good checks, I play hard. I drive the net and I have made some good plays. So I am pretty confident right now. Before training camp started, who was the best player you had played against and what was it like playing against him?
AP: I am going to say Sidney Crosby. I had a chance to play with him in the all-star game. He’s just an unbelievable player and will have a great career in the NHL. What was it like when you heard your name called at the NHL Draft?
AP: So amazed. All my family came down from Quebec (to Carolina). It was a 20 hour bus ride. It was so nice. I didn’t know Columbus was going to draft me. What have you learned from the veterans?
AP: They are nice to the rookies, like Manny Malhotra. He is always giving me some clues like telling me I need to drive, or I need to do some stuff. So I'm getting a chance to learn from the best and that is good for me. What has made you such a successful goal scorer?
AP: I drive the net and I have a big shot. My big part is that I drive the net. I try to finish my checks; I play hard and I try to compete every night. What is the most exciting goal you have scored?
AP: I think back in pee-wee when I played in the big tournament in Quebec City, the International Pee-Wee Tournament. We went into overtime and I scored the goal to win the championship. It was sold out, too, so that was nice. What differences have you noticed between juniors and the NHL?
AP: The play is faster. The guys are bigger. It’s quick. Everything is harder, so I have to bring my "A" game. What part of your game do you feel you could improve on the most?
AP: I've worked a lot on my defensive zone coverage. I've work a lot on that the past two years, so I need to improve that a lot. What has been the most important thing you have learned as a hockey player?
AP: Never give up. You just have to work harder. Sometimes you aren’t going to have a good game, you just can’t give up.

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