Jakub Voracek started his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and now the Philadelphia Flyers forward will be going back to Columbus for the biggest moment of his professional career.
Voracek was picked for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, which will be played Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
He'll also take part in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings on Jan. 23 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports), and the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 24 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
"When I was a kid, every kid dreams [of the All-Star Game]," Voracek said. "I'm very excited about that. It's been a lot of people through my career, especially this season, that helped me to get there. My teammates, the organization. Couldn't do it without them."
Here's more from Voracek on returning to Columbus and some other things you might not know about the 25-year-old first-time All-Star:
Does it mean more because it's Columbus, where you started your career?
"I'm past that. They switched the whole organization from top to bottom. There's only two players left from when I played there. Nothing more personal, doesn't mean anything more because it's in Columbus. It's a little bit special because I know the city and I still have a lot of friends there. So it is exciting."
For someone coming from out of town, where would you suggest they go?
"Easton Town Center is like 15 minutes away from downtown. That's a good shopping center; lots of restaurants, lots of shopping there. It's a good time. I went there a lot. I would just spend my day there at the movies, and there's lots of good restaurants."
Away from the game you're known as someone who enjoys fast cars; has that always been the case?
"Since I was a kid I've loved speed, loved cars. My dream was to buy a Ferrari one day, which I did a couple years ago. Didn't end up very well [he totaled the car in a 2013 accident]. That was one of my dreams. I'm behind right now. I love fast cars, that's not a secret."
So did you have car posters on your bedroom wall growing up?
"I had hockey players. But if there was a nice car on the street I was always interested. Like, how big it was, how fast it could go. Everything."
Was there a certain model Ferrari you always wanted?
"There wasn't a particular model when I was young. Just my dream was a black Ferrari with the black rims."
You're also known as a bit of a fashion guy; do you have something planned for the All-Star Game?
"I don't shop very often but if I go, I go. I go and I just grab stuff. I wouldn't say I'm a fashion guy. Usually just roll out of bed and put a suit on and go to the rink. I'm going to wear the black suit with a tie, keep it simple [for the All-Star Game]. You have to."
Do you do the shopping or do you let your girlfriend do that?
"She does that a lot. I go once or twice a year. Then it's a big shop."
Your girlfriend is from Columbus, so will this be a nice homecoming for both of you?
"Yes, it's nice. She's going to visit her family because I think I'll be very busy."