Kyle Brodziak emerged as a top NHL prospect this past season, earning Most Valuable Player honours for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League. With 24 goals and 56 points Brodziak doubled his previous career high in goals and showed signs of being the player who put together back-to-back 30-goal seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL back in his junior days. After two days on the ice, Brodziak has impressed everyone from coaches to teammates.
Q: Kyle, a lot of people are pencilling you into the roster this year. Is camp a lot different for you this time around in your third camp?
At this early point in camp, Kyle Brodziak looks ready to make the jump to the NHL.
It is a little bit different. I feel a lot better about my game, a lot more confident. I know there are a couple of spots open and hopefully they're looking me to fill one of those spots. It does feel different, I've just got to worry about going out there and doing my job.
Q: Last year must have been a confidence boost for yourself.
It was. The year before was a little bit frustrating for me. I didn't do what I felt I could do out there. I think I went into last year with a little different mindset. I was going to work a lot harder, just stay out in practices and do whatever I can. I was fortunate to get off to a good start and ice time built from there. It was a fortunate year for me.
Q: There's been a lot of comparisons between yourself and your scrimmage linemate Marty Reasoner. Do you see a little bit of yourself in him?
I think maybe. It is fun playing with those guys. Both Sandy (Geoff Sanderson) and Reasoner have a lot of speed. They do open up a lot of ice out there. So far it's been a fun two days.
Q: You've played primarily on the wing here in camp. Being normally a centre, how has that adjustment been for you.
Last year was pretty much the first year I played a little bit more wing. I probably played half the season on the right wing. It is tough to adjust at first but as the games progress I'll start to feel a little more comfortable and confident playing on the wing. I definitely do enjoy it.Q: Having grown up near Edmonton what's it like playing on the team you grew up cheering for?
It's unbelievable. Especially being at the rink. I only came to see a couple games a year when I was a kid. I was obviously in awe of how big the rink is and how loud it is in there. I always dreamed about playing in front of a crowd like that. It's a dream come true for me and very exciting.
Q: How much did playing in a small town help your hockey skills?
It was good. There's a lot of small towns around there (Vegreville area) so every year growing up it was competitive. I know a lot of guys I grew up playing with and against that moved on to pros that you're still friends with. It's definitely pretty special.