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Q & A with Brandon Gormley

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE – Defenseman Brandon Gormley has lived a busy life since being selected by the Coyotes with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Gormley, 19, got off to a strong start in 2010-11 playing for Moncton of the QMJHL, but he suffered a knee injury in November that sidelined him for 20 games. The injury also prevented him from competing for Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Brandon Gormley. Photo by Norm Hall.
Gormley ended up playing 47 games for Moncton and notched 13 goals and 35 assists. His 48 points were the most by a defenseman on his team.

After Moncton’s season, Gormley signed an entry-level contract with the Coyotes and then appeared in four games with the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio. He scored his first professional goal in his third game for the Rampage.

After the AHL season, Gormley and other AHL prospects reported to the Coyotes as “Black Aces” and practiced with them during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Recently, Gormley spoke to about his season and his plans for the future.

Q: Your life has been pretty hectic since last year’s NHL Entry Draft. Can you sum it up in a statement or two?

A: “It was a great year for me. I think the Coyotes are a great organization and they’ve given me a lot of opportunities, especially at the end of the year, to play in San Antonio for a little bit, and up in Phoenix for the playoff run. It was a great experience for me, and I think I’m that much farther ahead in my development going into training camp next year.”

Q: Would you elaborate on that? Specifically, what area of your game do you think you developed the most in 2010-11?

Brandon Gormley. Photo by Norm Hall.
A: “I think I’ve gained a lot of confidence just being around the organization. I played at the American League level for a few games and every time I stepped on the ice with those guys I was always learning stuff. Getting the chance to play in those games was a great experience and I feel like my game is a lot more developed for training camp next year. I’ll have a lot more confidence going into camp next year.”

Q: What were some of the challenges of playing in the AHL and what did you enjoy about it?

A: “It’s a very good league and I came in at a very competitive time when everyone was fighting for their playoff lives. It was a lot of fun. I learned so much (from) being on the ice with them. All the players were really great and helped me out with the systems …and the overall knowledge of the game. I think you have to make your decisions really quick. Obviously, you’re playing against men there, too, so they’re a lot stronger than the players in juniors… The pace of the game is higher and the decision-making has to be very quick.”

Q: Were you pleased with how you played for Moncton in 2010-11?

A: “I had a solid season. The injury was tough. I was off to a really good start and playing well going into Christmas, and then in late November I got hurt. It put me out for the World Juniors and obviously that was very disappointing. And then I kind of struggled when I came back for a little bit, getting back from the injury and whatnot, but I finished strong, so it was a pretty good overall.”

Q: How difficult was it for you to miss the World Juniors knowing that you probably had a spot on Team Canada if you had stayed healthy?

Brandon Gormley. Photo by Getty Images.
A: “It was tough. I was at the camp last year at 17 and didn’t make it, and I was really looking forward to this year. I remember when I got sent back down to juniors this year that I was really looking forward to that. It was a real tough, tough pill to swallow, for sure. Depending on what happens next year, I’m still eligible for next year, so we’ll see what happens.”

Q: What was it like being around the NHL playoffs?

A: “It was great. It was a lot of fun. Like I said before, you can learn a lot from the American League players and playing with them. I also got to see the way they act and the way they carry themselves around the rink. It was a great experience.”

Q: What are your goals for this summer and beyond?

A: “I’m training now and trying to get myself ready to play in the NHL next year. Obviously, that’s the main goal, but there’s a lot of work to be done before that can happen. So, I'm just training now and trying to get myself ready.”

Q: What are you doing for fun this summer?

A: “I play a lot of golf. There’s pretty nice weather here in PEI, for golfing especially. We do a lot of water sports, too. The beach, golf and training. That’s what I do.”
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