The Coyotes traded up to select Ross in the first round of the 2007 NHL Draft. While not an offensive defenseman, Ross has the ability to make a tape-to-tape first pass, and has plenty of smarts on the ice.
Playing for the Regina Pats in the 2006-07 season, the native of Lethbridge, Alberta, notched seven goals and 24 assists for 31 points in 70 games. The Pats made the playoffs before being eliminated in the conference semifinals by Medicine Hat, which won the WHL championship. Ross scored a goal and five assists in 10 games.
Ross joined the Pats after his first professional training camp with the Coyotes. Coming back to Regina, Ross had three goals and 25 assists before being traded to the Kamloops Blazers mid-way through the season. With Kamloops, Ross was a fixture on the blue line tallying 19 points in 31 games. Ross added two assists in four playoff games with Kamloops.
“Nick had a great training camp last season. He is another player who took it upon himself to come in and train in Phoenix. He had to be in far better shape than a year ago and he has done that. Nick has got some real God-given ability as far as his puck skills, which is important in today’s game. He’s very calm and composed with the puck. He is poised to have another solid training camp. He had a good opportunity this summer to participate in the Canada World Junior Championships training camp. He is a great young prospect for us and another player we are excited about,” Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving said.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH ROSS:
Q:What is the most memorable moment of your career? NR: “The most memorable moment for me had to be when I got to play in an exhibition game last year against Colorado with the Coyotes. As a kid, everyone wants to make the NHL. I was in awe the whole time. It was an amazing time.”
Nick has got some real God-given ability as far as his puck skills, which is important in today’s game. He’s very calm and composed with the puck.- Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving
Q:What is your favorite activity away from the arena? NR: “I enjoy hanging out with friends and playing XBOX 360, especially Call of Duty 4.”
Q:What is the toughest part about the transition from the WHL to the professional game? NR: “Everything is faster in the professional game. Everything is a few steps faster. Passes are harder and players don’t screw up. The intensity is a little bit faster.”
Q:How has working out at Athletes’ Performance Institute in Tempe this summer helped you? NR: “It was really unbelievable. They did a lot of things there I have never done before. It was really good to work out with a lot of guys who played for Phoenix. I ate well there and I have never committed myself that hard for a summer before.”
Q:What is your typical pre-game routine? NR: “I always eat a big breakfast then usually try to nap during the day. I will relax and watch some TV. I try to be loose and not focused a couple hours prior to game time. After warm-ups end, I get focused on the little things I have to do for the game.”
On Friday, phoenixcoyotes.com will take a look at defenseman Jonas Ahnelov in the fourth installment of our seven-part series.
Join us on Tuesday, Sept. 16, when the Coyotes take on the Los Angeles Kings in the first of two rookie games. You can attend for free at Jobing.com Arena or watch a free webcast of the game starting at 6 p.m. (PST).