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Ask a Prospect -- Ryan Bourque

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Ryan Bourque
Ryan Bourque, the Rangers' third-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, is at the Madison Square Garden Training Center this week, taking part in the team's annual Development Camp. Bourque is coming off a big rookie season in major-junior hockey with the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts. He scored 19 goals and 43 points in 44 regular-season games and added three goals and 10 points in nine postseason games. The highlight of his year came in January, when he was a member of only the second U.S. team to win the World Junior Championship gold medal.

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

Jeff from Burlington, Vt., asks:

In regard to conditioning, how do your prepare for a season?

Bourque's response:

I have been working out with a guy for the past three years with my brother and some friends. It's a place about 20 minutes south of Boston, and we go there four times a week. We do a lot of stride work and stuff aimed for smaller guys like us to make us more explosive and more powerful.

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

What are you personally doing in the off-season to make yourself a better hockey player?

Bourque's response:

When we're not in season, I'm just trying to get stronger every day in the weight room. I skate twice a week and just work on little things like shooting and hands in tight areas. I also try to work on my conditioning as well with skating and trying to get quicker in certain areas.

Sean from Mineola, N.Y., asks:

Do you think you will bring a leadership role to Prospects Camp and the Traverse City tournament?

Bourque's response:

Yes, I think so. Since I've got one year under my belt last year, I'm now able to bring a leadership role. Anywhere I've been in the past, I've been a leader, and I plan to be a leader in Traverse as well.

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

What current NHL player would you compare yourself to?

Bourque's response:

I don't know if I would compare myself to this guy, but he's a guy I look up to and try to model my game after -- Zach Parise. I just admire his work ethic and his second effort on pucks and how strong of a player he is on both sides of the puck.

John from Manalapan, N.J., asks:

How did your father feel about you being selected by the Rangers, and what were some of the things he said to you?

Bourque's response:

He was really excited, and he was really happy. He knew the history of the Rangers and the tradition that they have here and what a great organization they were. He said he couldn't have been more proud of me.

Mark F. from Howell, N.J., asks:

How awesome was that feeling of beating Canada at the World Juniors?

Bourque's response:

It was the best feeling, bar none, that I've had in my hockey career so far. It was just surreal still to this day. To win with those guys, the 22 guys next to me was unbelievable. They were guys I had been playing with my whole life, and it was just an awesome experience. I hope to follow that up this year.

Edmund from Charleston, S.C., asks:

Would your rather play a little longer at the junior level and jump straight to the NHL or spend some time at the AHL level before you move up to the NHL?

Bourque's response:

I hope to have a good year this year and try to develop my game the best that I can. I'm going to go into camp the year after this with the attitude of making the team. That's what I want to do, and I think if I develop correctly in Quebec I will hopefully have a chance to do that.

A "Bruins Fan" from Boston asks:

Are you looking forward to playing against the Boston Bruins at the Garden?

Bourque's response:

Obviously, when you get to that level every game is just unbelievable at first. Playing against Boston would be a special game to play in. Obviously, it would be nice to play the first time against them in Boston in front of my family and friends. That would be awesome, and even at Madison Square Garden, that would be cool, too. It's a short drive away from Boston and it's a really short flight, so I think that game would be special and I look forward to it if I ever get that opportunity. I grew up in that arena seeing my dad play there for so many years, so it would be a pretty cool moment, and it would take a little bit for it to sink in.
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