Editor’s Note: Trevor Lewis’ pro career began when the Kings selected him in the first round (17th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. This year’s (one-day) draft takes place on Sunday and begins at Noon (PT). LAKings.com will be at the Prudential Center in New Jersey and filing reports from the 2013 NHL Draft and leading up to the Draft itself. Kings Vision will provide video interviews and clips featuring Daryl Evans and Jon Rosen, and Rosen will be providing content on LAKingsInsider.com. Also follow the Kings on Twitter -- @LAKings @KingsVision @LAKingsInsider -- Facebook and Instagram for exclusive photos and content.
MY STORY…BEGINS AT AGE 2…IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH…
I actually grew up with an ice rink right across from my house so when I was about two-years-old, my dad took me over there for the first time. I just remember him carrying me around the ice and I would go over there pretty much every day.
I started playing organized hockey when I was about five-years-old. I just played for the house league in Utah and I grew up playing that and travel hockey. Despite the cold weather, in Utah there actually wasn’t a lot of hockey there at all. I think for most of my years growing up we had about 12 guys on our team when we traveled. To make it in hockey I think that you have to get out there at a young age. I left home when I was 15 to go to play in Colorado, but it’s starting to grow in Utah, especially after the Olympics came there. It’s starting to pick up and it’s getting better.
Hockey wasn’t the only sport I played as a kid. I played football, basketball and soccer too. My worst sport was probably soccer as I just hated the practices. I was pretty decent at each sport. I always loved hockey the most, though, so when we had a hockey game and a football game at the same time I would always choose hockey. I stopped playing everything else when I was about 15.
It was probably around the time I was seven or eight-years-old when I first started to travel to play hockey. My first travel league team traveled to California, Las Vegas, Colorado and all around New Mexico. We usually always took car rides with families but a couple of times we went up to Canada and took a bus. We would fly very rarely, maybe to Texas or something like that.
There is obviously not an NHL team in Utah – we have the Utah Jazz, but I never really cheered for them or followed them – yet I still followed the game at a high level. As a kid I always wanted to play in the USHL and from there I realized that maybe I could take this further and so I kept going with it. We also had the Utah Grizzles, first at the IHL level and then at the ECHL level. Every youth hockey team was named after the Grizzlies when I was growing up. I would go to every single game when they were in the IHL. That was a big thing for us back home.
My favorite player on the Grizzlies when I was younger was Derek Armstrong. They once had a Grizzlies used equipment sale and my dad got a pair of his skates and he still wears them when he plays. It’s pretty funny. When I first got drafted by the Kings, Army was still here. That was definitely crazy but it’s a lot of fun to think about.
I moved away for midget hockey and moved to Colorado when I was 15-years-old. My best buddy went out there the year before and I went out there and followed him the year after and it was definitely the right move because it was a lot more competitive hockey. Leaving home like that was definitely very hard for me. I got really homesick but luckily I had a couple friends over there so that helped me a lot.
From there I played for the USHL club in Des Moines, Iowa. I actually got drafted in one of the later rounds and didn’t make the team but I ended up going to the NAHL and about two weeks into it I got a call from Des Moines and they asked if I wanted to play for them so I just drove up there. Hockey in Iowa is actually a lot of fun. Football is huge there but once the high school football season dies down it gets pretty crazy when it comes to hockey.
From there I went to the Owen Sound Attack in the OHL. I ended up there after I got drafted by the Kings and I thought it would be better for my development. I am happy I did it as it was a lot of fun. I played with Wayne Simmonds there and I am very happy I did it.
Before I went there, though, I was drafted by the Kings in the first round. My agent had told me that I would be late first round or second round so I didn’t really know at all how things would play out on draft day. It was a long process but it was a lot of fun for me to hear my name called. It was pretty special and I was happy to be a King.
After that it was to Owen Sound for one year and then I went to Manchester for the playoffs there. It was a lot better hockey with the Monarchs. Everyone was a lot bigger and a lot better. I didn’t play that much but I did pretty well so I knew I could play there the next year and have confidence. Being in Manchester as a first round pick, I had pressure on me but I think it was good for me. I think I needed the development in Manchester so I tried to blend in and I was happy to be down there. I made the best of it.
While I was with Manchester in Manitoba, and we had just finished our game, Dean Lombardi was there. He told me, ‘You’re going to go play with the big club’ and I was pretty excited. I actually met the team on the road in Buffalo and it was obviously a dream come true. I loved it.
Before my first game I was really nervous. I got there for the morning skate. I’ve got a bit of a small head and they didn’t have a helmet that was small enough so I went out there with a bigger, goofy helmet on. That took the edge off a little bit but before the game I was pretty nervous. I got my first shift and I got a hit in. After that I settled down a little bit and started trying to play my game.