This Q&A ran in the Buckeye gameday program for the Western Michigan series
Sophomore forward Taylor Stefishen grew up wanting to play for the Buckeyes. That would be normal if he was from Ohio. Instead, he is from West Vancouver, British Columbia, thousands of miles from Columbus. The Nashville Predators draftee has been on one of the Buckeye icers top lines as the team tries to take momentum into this weekend’s series against Western Michigan. Stefishen is +3 and already has half as many points in nine games as he did all of last season.
You already have half as many points this season in eight games that you had all of last season. Was offense a big part of your summer?
“This summer I worked a lot on my offensive skills and playing with Zac and Serg, it isn’t too hard to get points. A lot of credit goes to them because they have helped me out.”
How big of a thrill was it being drafted in the fifth round of the NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators?
“It was really exciting and definitely one of the biggest parts of my life and for my family as well. It’s a great accomplishment that I’ll always remember. I was actually watching on the NHL Network and the feed was kind of slow so I went upstairs to the computer and refreshed it and saw my name. Some friends and family called me soon after so it was an exciting moment. Nashville talked to me a couple times before so I knew they were interested in me. I paid a little closer attention during their picks since we had prior discussions.”
Being from Canada was there any hope you’d get to play for a team north of the border?
“It doesn’t really matter to me. The opportunity to play is a dream come true no matter where it is.”
You grew up dreaming of playing for the Buckeyes. How does that happen for a kid from Vancouver, British Columbia?
“It’s weird, but the only college hockey team I saw when I was younger was the 1997-98 team (that qualified for the Frozen Four) so that was the first taste I had of seeing the Ohio State Buckeyes.”
Did that have a big impact on your decision to become a Buckeye?
“Not overly big. I took my visit and I loved campus and obviously the facilities are amazing so that played the biggest part. I also felt really comfortable so it was an easy decision.”
How big of a difference is there in the United States and Canada when it comes to hockey?
“It’s obviously not as big in the United States as it is in Canada. In Canada, their football is hockey and it’s their pride and joy. You definitely notice it changing now though, with the Blue Jackets making the playoffs everyone is paying attention to local hockey. We had a great season, too, last year, so hopefully we and the Blue Jackets can build a strong hockey foundation in Columbus for years to come.”
The 2010 Winter Olympics are in your hometown of Vancouver. How excited are you about them?
“I’m really excited. I have a lot of friends that are going to be working there. It’s too bad I’m not going to be there because it’s a once in a lifetime thing. But the city is very excited and the people are going to go crazy for it.”