Sam Anas Q&A Interview – Development Camp Day 3 – 7/10/13
by Aron Wegner
Q: How and why did you get involved in hockey?
A: I started playing hockey when I was two years old – shooting around with my little hockey stick in the kitchen. My dad got me into it. He’s from Canada, and he played when he was growing up as well as in college, so he was definitely the major influence that got me involved with hockey.
Q: Which teams did you play for as a kid around the area?
A: I started out playing for the Chevy Chase Club hockey team and then moved on to the Washington Little Capitals. After a couple years I began playing for Team Maryland. One year I didn’t make the Triple-A Team Maryland team so I ended up playing for Montgomery [Youth Hockey Blue Devils] for two years. I went back to Team Maryland for a year and then finally played for the DC Capitals before I began playing juniors. During high school I played for Landon.
Q: You’re going to play for Quinnipiac University – how did the recruiting process go?
A: It was mainly my senior year in high school when I began getting heavily recruited through my travel team, the DC Capitals. One of my coaches had a good connection with the Quinnipiac coach and they started showing some interest in me. So I went and visited the school and loved it, then got an offer on New Year’s Eve, which was pretty cool, and committed within a week. I’m very excited to get started there this fall.
Q: You took two years off after high school to play junior hockey. Can you talk about what that experience was like?
A: It was awesome. It couldn’t have been a better experience. My first year, my roommates were the captain and the assistant captain, and they made it so easy on me. My billet family was great and I actually ended up living with them for my second year as well. My coaches were awesome there, and the head coach was the one that really helped me get into this camp. I couldn’t be more thankful for that. This past season we had a good run – we ended up losing in the conference finals, but we had a great season overall. Mainly the guys too, we were just so close and it was a great group.
Q: What was the draft process like for juniors?
A: I was actually doing my senior project for Landon during the day of the draft. I was riding the metro to downtown D.C. because my project was helping out at an elementary school down there. And as you know, service on the metro isn’t always the best, so we kind of hit a spot where there was no service and then we got off at the next exit so my phone was blowing up saying that I got drafted. I was kind of hoping I would be drafted by Youngstown [Phantoms] because they’re the closest team to home and I also had skated with them once already during the season and the coach and GM really seemed to like me.
Q: Have you noticed a big climb in youth hockey around the area since the mid 2000’s?
A: Definitely. It’s certainly growing. I mean growing up, there weren’t as many competitive triple-A players but now [there are a lot]. In the summer, I train at Pinnacle Performance, run by one of my old coaches, and now we’ve got about 10 division one hockey players. I think it all started with Ovechkin, when he got drafted. There’s just been so much excitement around D.C. with the Caps arguably being the top team, at least in the past few years with the Redskins down a bit, and it’s great to see everyone “Rockin’ the Red.” Everyone loves it so much, it’s just awesome.
Q: You made the Sportscenter Top 10 Highlight Reel this year for a goal you scored in the shootout. How was that experience?
A: It was really exciting. It was a shootout move, and our media guy [for the Youngstown Phantoms] was telling me that I may make it on [Sportscenter Top 10]. I wasn’t really expecting it, and then I woke up and checked my phone just to see what time it was and saw that I had a bunch of texts congratulating me on making Sportscenter. That was pretty cool seeing myself on Sportscenter because I already watch it every morning , so yeah that was definitely a cool experience.
Q: What is one thing you are doing now that you never imagined you would be doing at this age.
A: Haha, I’d guess I would say going to be a freshman in college [at the age of 20]. Growing up, I never imagined taking time off after high school and my classmates in high school being two years ahead of me and the kids two years below me would be my classmates.
Q: As a local kid here at the Development Camp, a lot of young hockey players are going to look up to you. What advice would you give kids who want to be in your position later on?
A: A lot of kids think to go the prep school, but for me I loved staying in town, getting to play for my high school, getting to play in front of all my friends, and got to play for a great coach here. The programs around here are great now, and you don’t have to be from Boston or Minnesota to go play division 1 hockey, you can do it from playing in Maryland. So I think, everyone should stay around here and brings up the talent in the area.