Managing Editor Mike Doyle spoke with prospects at this year's Wild Development Camp. Throughout the summer, these question and answer sessions will be posted on Wild.com. Up first is prospect Avery Peterson, who talks about getting his picture taken with Brad Bombardir, growing up a Wild fan and life in the dorms.
So, you provided us with the photo of you and Brad Bombardir (former Wild defenseman and current Director of Player Development) from back in the day, how old were you?
Me and Bomber were talking about it and he said he was still playing at the time (his final year with the Wild was 2003-04) so I was probably seven or eight, maybe even six.
Where was that photo taken?
It was during the Wild Road Tour that they still do today. He was one of the players on it and they came to my hometown of Grand Rapids. I obviously went and we had our photo taken together.
Do you remember that day and going?
A little bit. I remember it was a big deal because all the Wild players were coming to town. My grad party was a couple weeks ago and my mom was getting pictures ready to go for it and I saw that and thought, “No way.” I’ve got to show Bomber.
What was his reaction when you showed him?
He was like, “Is that you?! How old are you there?” I think it made him feel like he hasn’t played in a while because it’s been about 11 years, so it was a while ago.
When you were drafted by Minnesota (in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft) I remember you saying that you were a fan growing up. Were Bomber and some of the guys on Road Tour players you grew up watching?
I forgot who else was on the Tour, it was a while ago. But I grew up a Minnesota fan and watching and following the team.
Now after your second Development Camp, what has change from last year to this year?
The Camp was very similar. But I grew a little bit, got bigger, faster and stronger, so that helped with the level of play. I thought (my game) was a better fit this year than it was last year. I didn’t feel like such a little fish in a big sea, as much, so it was a lot better this year I thought.
So, moving forward, what do you have planned for the rest of summer?
I’m actually heading out for school (Peterson will be a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Omaha). So I’ll be there all summer and probably be there until Christmas. Summer is pretty much done (laugh).
Do a lot of guys go down there?
The team actually got there last week. Seeler (fellow Wild draftee Nick Seeler, who will be a junior at UNO) is there right now. He’s been (at Wild Development Camp) for three years. Most of the team is down there right now.
How excited are you to take this next step?
It’s the next chapter, not only in your hockey career, but in life in general. I’m really excited to get down there with the guys.
Aside from your official visit, have you been down there since?
I went to one game last year. I played in Sioux City (Musketeers of the USHL), which was only an hour away. I don’t really know what to expect, so it will be interesting.
Coming in as a freshman, do you have any goals set?
Yeah, you have personal goals and team goals. Right now, you’re just looking to earn a spot and respect from the guys. We have 11 freshman coming in, so it will be a good challenge.
Do you have to stay in the dorms your first year?
Yeah, they’re nice though. Four to a dorm and everyone has their own bedroom. So they’re pretty nice. They actually burnt down last year. There was a fire in the freshman dorm and guys lost stuff. Hopefully we’re a little safer this year (laugh).
You’ve got to figure out how to work that microwave and toaster (laugh). No Foreman’s in the dorm.
(laugh) That’s actually on the checklist. No grills. Especially after last year.