|Mark Borowiecki, who made his NHL debut last season when he played two games with the Senators, is an Ottawa product who knows about the importance of sharing his story with local kids (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images).
Mark Borowiecki knows all about role models.
Whenever the Senators defence prospect is in the gym working out at Scotiabank Place, he needs look no further than at Ottawa forward Chris Neil — a former sixth-round draft pick with the Senators who just completed his 10th season with the team — to see how far hard work can take you.
It's a message the Kanata native was happy to impart to the youngsters he spent time with today at the Ottawa Senators Summer Hockey Camps, which run through the end of August at the Bell Sensplex. Each week, campers receive an appearance from a Senators player or prospect, one of the unique features of the program.
Borowiecki, a fifth-round pick (139th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft held close to home at Scotiabank Place, took a few moments out after his morning at camp to talk about hockey, summer fun and more with ottawasenators.com:
Q: As a hometown boy drafted by the Senators, how important is it for someone in your position to connect and share your story with local kids?
A: I think it's really important. I was saying earlier to a few guys that I remember when I was younger and at camps like that, a few guys would come in — guys like Mike Eastwood and Darren Pang — and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I was talking about it with my mom earlier today and I told her I think it's pretty cool to be able to give back to the city. I love it here and, hopefully, I'll be here for a long time.
Q: What is your favourite way to relax during the summer?
A: I'm a big outdoorsman. I bought a new boat this summer — it's a bass boat — and every chance I get, I'm out on the water. I work out in the mornings and we go hard, we go full tilt until noon and then I've got the rest of the day to myself. I like fishing up in the Valley a lot. We've got a lot of nice places close by.
Q: The biggest fish you've ever caught?
A: (laughs) I'm a bass fisherman and I haven't broken the five-pound mark yet. That's kind of the benchmark for bass fishermen.
Q: Batman or Spider-Man?
A: I always liked venom when I was younger, so I'll say Spider-Man.
Q: What superpower would you like to have?
A: That's a good question. I'd say teleporting. That would be pretty sweet. I could skip getting dressed for practice. I could just teleport right into my gear and be on the ice.
Q: Your guilty eating pleasure?
A: I like chocolate a lot. I'm a big chocolate guy.
Q: What's your favourite draft day memory?
A: There were so many of them on that day. It still seems like it was a blur, but it's probably when I was out in the garage and then seeing my parents come out to tell me (I was drafted). I've told that story a thousand times. I was getting ready to go fishing and I remember how excited they were. They worked just as hard for this, doing all sorts of stuff for me.
Q: Your favourite music?
A: Country. I like Canadian stuff, Dean Brody and guys who are Canadian. I'm a big country guy.
Q: Your favourite meal to cook for yourself?
A: I like to cook a lot. I like steaks, but I'll eat pretty much anything.
Q: Your favourite summer reading?
A: I'm a big reader. I read every night and try to keep the mind sharp. I'm big into spy novels and that sort of thing.