PRESS ROUND-UP: JUN.16.08
THE VANCOUVER SUN
Boychuk could be a CanuckBy Scott Cruickshank
As it turned out, Zach Boychuk did hear the request correctly.
The Washington Capitals did want him to sing.
Sing? Yes, sing.
In a blur of interviews with 23 teams at the National Hockey League's prospects combine in late May in Toronto, this oddball demand, not surprisingly, stood out.
But what's a guy to do?
Clear his throat, that's what.
"They'd asked me what my favourite movie is, and I'd said, Billy Madison,'' recalls Boychuk. "There's a song in there [Adam Sandler] sings about going back to school. So I sang the song that Billy Madison sings.
"It was pretty embarrassing while I was doing the singing, but they were laughing pretty hard."
The rest of the meetings were much smoother.
"Pretty cool," says Boychuk. "I got to meet some general managers, some scouts. It was a lot of fun. They were all pretty similar interviews with all pretty much the same questions -- strengths, weaknesses -- and personal questions, like about my family. A few teams even asked me some weird questions.
"Some teams like to take different approaches. A fun experience."
Agents of the Central Scouting Bureau liked what they saw from Boychuk, a projected two-way centreman, ranking him eighth among all North American skaters.
But the kid has been on the hockey map for years.
And thanks to a late birthday -- Oct. 4 -- Boychuk got an extra year of seasoning, compared to prospects only weeks younger than him. Which added up to three full seasons in the WHL before his coming-out party. He registered 163 points in his last two seasons. "I'm really looking forward to getting it over with," Boychuk says. "It's been a goal of mine since I was little, to play in the NHL. Obviously, I'm really excited to get drafted, but that's just the start, the first step, and there's a lot of hard work after that." A longtime fan of the Calgary Flames, Boychuk nevertheless harbours few draft-day preferences. He may even be scooped up by the Vancouver Canucks, who pick 10th.
"Well, obviously, it would be nice to stay in Canada, just for family reasons," he says. "But it really doesn't matter. I mean, going anywhere would be great."
Despite being under-sized -- a smidge over 5-foot-9 -- Boychuk owns a great set of wheels. He's also smart, fit and durable. "I guess I'm an offensive-type player the past few years," says Boychuk. "I've definitely rounded out my game, so I feel that I'm a two-way player as well. I like to use my speed and my skill."
Friday night in Ottawa -- live in front of a national television audience and a sellout crowd at Scotiabank Place -- the Airdrie, Alta., kid will experience what he's been dreaming about forever.
"I don't even know how I'm going to react," says Boychuk.
"When that day happens, I'm just going to take it in and really enjoy it. It's one huge day in my life and I get to celebrate it with my family."
THE VANCOUVER SUN
NICE GUY FINISHES
The Canucks for Kids Fund has provided $74,000 to the BC Lions Society's Easter Seals Camps. These summer camps are for children age 6 to 18 who have a mental and physical disability.
McNeill Nakamoto Recruitment Group hosted the 2nd annual Grape Juice Wine Auction which raised a $28,500 for Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland. Over the last two years this auction has raised over $41,475.
$70,000 was raised at this years BMO Pacific Spirit Run in support of dementia research study being conducted through Providence Health Care. The event is an annual fundraising initiative for Tapestry Foundation for Health Care.
Capilano's 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient is Shannon Boase, founder and president of internationally acclaimed Earthcycle Packaging Ltd.
The following BC's professional communicators were honoured at the IABC Annual Bronze Quill Awards; Michael Davis, Linda Bilben, Brad Daisley, Ben Hudson and Susan Thom (Awards for Excellence in communication management), Jody Robertson, Nancy Painter, Melissa Mueller, Alison Osborn and Therese Mickelson (Awards for Merit), Arthur Yee (Student Communicator of the Year), Glen Knowles (IABC/BC President's Award), and Fiona Youatt (President's Award Outstanding New Volunteer award).