ON HIS MINOR HOCKEY DAYS IN CALGARY, AB
Growing up in Calgary, it was a great hockey city. I actually came from Texas when I was 10. To come from a place where hockey isn’t quite as big and come to Calgary and see how passionate people were about the game it was a lot of fun for a kid.
ON PLAYING FOR THE KELOWNA ROCKETS OF THE WHL FROM 2005-2009
My last year with Kelowna was one of he best hockey years of my life. Played World Juniors that year, we won the league, went to the memorial cup. It’s always a lot of fun when you’re winning, and there was a really good group of guys that I got to play with and I’m still friends with all of them.
ON PLAYING FOR TEAM CANADA AT THE 2009 WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
It was pretty special, but it was more special to take home the gold. That tournament was something I’ll never forget, and the fact we were able to pull out the gold medal was just icing on the cake.
ON BEING DRAFTED 12TH OVERALL BY THE BUFFALO SABRES IN 2008
I just remember the month leading up to the draft was pretty hectic. As fun as it was, I was glad it was over. I was able to focus on taking that next step, trying to make the NHL. In saying that, it was still a moment that was very exciting as a young junior player, and one I’ll always remember.
ON HIS FIRST NHL GOAL AGAINST THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS (DWAYNE ROLOSON)
Backhand slapper. Just trying to find a hole in the slot, and luckily the puck bumped out to me and I was able to just whack it to the net and good things happened.
ON WINNING THE CALDER TROPHY AS THE NHL'S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
It was a very special year. I owed a lot to the teammates and coaches that year. The group we had on the ice was a very good hockey team. When you’re surrounded by a bunch of players and coaches like that, you work as hard as you can. It was a year that was very special to me.
ON BECOMING A WINNIPEG JET
It’s been a lot of fun. Obviously came from a tough situation where we were in Buffalo. The guys here have been great with Drew and I making that transition to the team. The way they play the game is the right way to play, and I’m really happy to be a part of it.