BlueJackets.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.
CBJ.com: 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.