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Ask a Prospect -- Ethan Werek

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Ethan Werek
Ethan Werek, the Rangers' second-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, spent the past week at the MSG Training Center, taking part in the team's annual Development Camp. Despite some injuries, Werek had a big season last year with the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs. He scored 30 goals and 64 points in 57 regular-season games and added three goals and five points in six postseason games. It marked the second consecutive 30-goal season for Werek, who grew up in the same town as Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto.

On Monday afternoon, we invited fans to submit questions for Werek and other prospects here on Werek was gracious enough to respond to a few that we passed along to him. Here are the questions and his answers:

David from Hopewell Junction, N.Y., asks:

You have great deflection skills. Is hand-eye coordination your greatest strength? If not, what do you consider your greatest strength?

Werek's response:

It's definitely a compliment to hear that, because nobody's ever told me I had good deflection skills, but I played some baseball when I was younger. Every now and then I would work on skills after practice and made some guys do some deflection games, so I think it's just something that you just keep working on and you just get better at. As far as a greatest strength, I just kind of look at myself as and all-around player. Defensively, faceoffs, and just around the net where I have that knack to get the puck in. Those are some of my strengths. Deflections are a big part of the game, but I definitely pride myself on my full, complete game.

Mark from Las Vegas, Nevada, asks:

You have surprised many in your growth as a player, are you ready to earn a spot this year?

Werek's response:

I grew up with Mike (Del Zotto) and really looked up to him for a long time. Seeing what he did last year, coming into training camp and Traverse City and just really impressing the team. I really hope to do something like that. I think I've put in my time in junior and I feel like I'm ready to make that jump to the next level, so every day I'm training like a pro and trying to live like one. I just hope that in September I'll be living in Manhattan.

David Cain from West Babylon, N.Y., asks:

What current NHL player would you compare yourself to?

Werek's response:

I try to look at myself sort of like a Mike Richards or Jeff Carter type of player. Really reliable and the type of guy you can put on in the last minute when you need a goal or you need to protect the lead. I'm a big faceoff guy, too. So I really would compare myself to that type of player.

Nicole from Staten Island, N.Y., asks:

You've known Michael Del Zotto for a while now. What would it be like being able to play with him on the Rangers?

Werek's response:

It was actually pretty funny. Me and Mike have stayed in touch over the years. About two weeks before the draft, he sent me a text message asking me how the combine was and how the interviews were going, and we chatted a bit about it. After I got drafted, I went through all the interviews and everything, and then when I was on my way home from Montreal I got another text saying "congrats, see you tomorrow in NY." So it's pretty neat, just knowing him for a long time, and he's such a great guy that it will be great to one day be a teammate of his.

Adam from Nanaimo, British Columbia, asks:

What do you think about possibly becoming a Ranger?

Werek's response:

The NHL is the greatest league in the world, and coming out of junior hockey, it will be a different transition, but I think over the summer, I'll get stronger and faster, and I'm definitely excited to make that transition.
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