Drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 draft, Kyle Wellwood hasn't had the easiest career. He's continued to battle criticism from the public regularly but is always to show why he deserves to be in the NHL.
In the last three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Wellwood amassed 108 points (31-77-108) in 188 games. Last year, he had 21 points in 42 games - a total he's already matched this year in 41 games.
At 25 years old, he's only just getting started and his work ethic and philosophy will no doubt help him have a long career ahead of him.
How old were you when you got your first pair of skates?
I started skating when I was two years old. I had my own backyard rink – there was a big pond across the road that all my cousins skated on with me too.
I think the best way to learn how to skate is to watch others and then do it yourself. I don’t think it takes any special teaching, you’ve just got to watch other people do it. When you watch other people when you’re young, you’ll be able to skate.
I was a country kid so you were kind of just let loose – they gave you skates and you skated. There wasn’t any special coddling or teaching involved - trial and error. I don’t think I fell too often though.
I can remember my little brother skating for the first time and I think he was two and he could skate. I think it’s just being around it when you’re young and you’ll be able to pick it up.
An Essex minor hockey team – the Blue team, I think and I was probably five years old. I think it was the last team I was captain of so I remember being captain of that team. I remember getting 10 goals in one game but I had so much more practice than the other kids at that point. Growing up, the rink was my...