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Q & A with Ryan Johansen

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

After being drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ryan Johansen did a question and answer session with members of the media. Read the transcript below:

Question: Why were you surprised for going up fourth? Did you think they'd go in a different direction?
I just wasn't rated so high by Central Scouting. So it was just in the back of my head that it was a maybe, But I knew they had me highly on their charts like I said. You know, I worked my hardest throughout the year and did what I could. Thankfully they noticed, and now I'm here.

You were a high profile kid in midget. Talk about your development in 16 and 17, the two different cities and two different junior programs?
Well, for me and my Bantam draft, I was 150 pounds and 5' 9", so my skating stride was a little out of whack there. I had the baby moose legs going on. So once I got to my regular height and started putting on some muscle, I think I gathered my stride a lit bit, and now my skating is at a high level.

Question: Talk about the Blue Jackets as a team?
Well, for me, I'm a play maker with good vision, good hockey sense, and good puck protection. I'm the type of player that likes to play with a goal score. Somebody who can put the puck in the back of the net, like Nino Niederreiter, my line mate this year who put up 44 goals if you include World Juniors. So I think those are my best assets and I contribute to the team well.

Question: Is that you saying you'd get a chance with Mr. Nash at some point?
For sure that would be a tremendous honor, but that will take a lot of hard work. I'm willing to do it, so we'll see.

Question: You went four, Nino five, does that mean Brad Ross is six?
That would be nice. I don't know, we'll see.

Question: What do you remember from the moment your name was announced and the reaction?
There was a lot going through my head, so I'll have to sit down and think about it. But I couldn't be happier. We're going to the NHL draft. Who could imagine two years ago or even last year. It's just an unbelievable feeling. I couldn't be happier. It's just the greatest day of my life.

Question: Were you looking at mock drafts before the NHL draft?
I don't look at them too seriously. I just glance at them to see where I'm rated. I'll send out a text to Nino, or he'll send me one if he's ahead. But not really, I don't take it too seriously.

Question: Talk about playing in the Canadian Hockey League and that redevelopment?
Yeah, that was huge for my development. I think the teams in our league had a lot of depth throughout their lineups; and it was a very skilled league. Even throughout our team and practices I gained a lot of experience and took my game to another level with the teammates that I had that pushed each other throughout practice and the coach that's we had that teach us everything they knew. So I learned a lot this year.

Question: Are you giving a shout out to Penticton?
I'll give a shout out to Penticton. I miss you guys. Hello.

Question: Is there more to come?
I think I'm done growing. My dad's only 5' 11", so I got my size from my mom's brothers. So I should be done.

Question: Did you get an inkling that Columbus was interested in you?
I knew they had their eyes on me. My interviews went well in the combine, so I had a pretty good feeling that they had me high up on their charts. It's still an unbelievable feeling for them to choose me fourth overall?

Question: Is this a proud day for the Winter Hawks franchise?
Yeah, for sure, I think. It will be an exciting vibe going around Portland with everybody at Buffalo Wild Wings. So we have all our fans out there cheering us on. It's an exciting moment.

Question: Are you going to be out there?
I don't know. My goal is to make it a tough decision for the Columbus Blue Jackets to send me home.

Question: Do you and Nino put any bets down to see who would go higher?
No bets, just a couple chirps here and there. We had no bets. We're happy for each other no matter what happens.

Question: Did you chirp each other just before the draft?
No, no chirps before the draft, because we had no idea where anybody was going.

Question: Ryan, they tried to trade down and ended up getting you around the 7 or 8 range. The fact they took you fourth, how much does that tell you how badly they wanted you in Columbus?
Yeah, that kind of stuff gives you motivation when you're working out, on the ice, improving your game. Taking yourself to a higher level. For me, I use that as motivation and look at that. When I'm in the gym I'll push harder. It's a good feeling when you do stuff like that. It's been ten years for that franchise to not have a top center. For me, as a freshman, I'm going to do everything I can to make that team. I'm really looking forward to camp.

Question: When you met with them, was there anything specific they spoke to you about your game that you really remember and maybe led to them drafting you?
Oh, well, I just remember talking to Mr. Howson, and he really enjoyed the first game he saw me play and the first game of playoffs with the Spokane Chiefs. He really liked my style of play. I'm a play maker with good hockey sense, good vision, and good puck protection. He likes my style of play.

Question: Did Howson express to you his need or desire for a center?
No, he wasn't saying we need a one or two centerman, but I'm willing to put in the work to get to that spot.

Question: When you think of Rick Nash, what do you think of?
I think of a tremendous leader and unbelievable hockey player.

Question: Potential line mate?
Potential linemate, hopefully. We'll see.

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