Q & A WITH JURAJ SIMEK
The 19-year-old Slovak winger – Vancouver’s sixth-round pick this summer – has earned a share of the spotlight early in camp.
At 6’1”, 190-pounds, Simek isn’t running teammates through the boards, but he’s showed surprising fight while showcasing some impressive hockey skills.
Head coach Alain Vigneault singled out the Presov native after day two.
"I really liked his overall puckhandling skill," he said. "He can curl and get free, and he isn't afraid to take a hit."
Simek took some time after dryland training to answer a few questions.
This is your first time at camp, how has it been?
My impression so far is really good. When I came on the first day I was really excited. Camp is really hard , but I like it so far here.
Have the coaches given you any feedback?
No, I haven’t spoken with the coach so far, probably in the next few days.
Did you know Alain Vigneault brought your name up after scrimmage saying he liked what you’ve brought to camp?
He liked it? Oh I’m happy about that. I’m doing my best here to show my hockey here. I’ll hopefully go to main camp next week.
Have they said anything about going to main camp?
No, but I give my best so I hope so.
You played last season in Switzerland. Where will you play this season?
I’ll play for the Brandon Wheat Kings this year. I’m really excited to be there.
You’ve never played North American hockey before, do you like this style more?
I like European hockey more because it’s not so much about the hitting and stuff. But I have to learn this so it’s good for me, because I have to learn how to play defense more.
That’s surprising because Vigneault said he liked the way you played in traffic.
I’m not afraid to go into the corners and get some hits. I can give hits and take a hit so I have no problem with this.
For fans who don’t know you, how would you describe your game?
I play with a lot of speed and I’m good going straight on the goal. I guess I have good passes and shots.
Moving across the Atlantic is a big change. How are you managing so far?
Yeah, I’m without family and old friends, they’re left at home. So it’s kind of hard.
Do you know anybody else here at camp?
I know Mario Bliznak, he’s a Slovak and so is [Vladimir] Kutny, oh and I know [Michael] Grabner too.