What is your major … what do you plan on doing after your hockey career is over?
Right now I am attempting to double major in Finance and Real Estate which would set me up to graduate at the end of the summer. There are so many things I would like to do once I’m done it’s really hard to say right now. I do know ultimately I’d like to establish my own firm managing the finances of high- profile athletes.
It’s your senior season … how would you like to end your Buckeye career?
I’d settle for a national championship.
What are your goals for the season?
Personally I feel we are in a position to win the league. Each year I’ve been here we’ve gone deeper into the playoffs than the year before, so I’d like to see us at least advance to the NCAA Frozen Four. In a perfect world, my last game at the college level would be fighting for national championship … and of course winning.
How did it feel when you were named an assistant captain for the team this season? What kind of leader are you?
Being named an alternate captain was one of my proudest moments at Ohio State. The fact it is voted on by the guys I go to battle with day in and day out means a lot. I’ve never been overly vocal in the locker room, but rather I try to lead by example when I’m on the ice. I also respect the way JB Bittner has taken control of our team and have actually learned a thing or two about leadership from him … but never ever let him know that!
How old were you when you started playing hockey, and why did you start?
I was about 5 when I started to play, and believe it or not I was actually more interested in soccer at the time. I thank my parents for strapping the skates on me and letting me loose. From that point on I never played soccer again.
Why do you wear No. 16?
No real reason at all. Growing up I always liked to wear a different number each year. I wore No. 21 in junior hockey and thought I had found something I liked, but it was already taken when I got here. I tried No. 13 my first year and that turned out to be unlucky so I switched to 16 after J.F. Dufour left and haven’t changed yet. Who has been the biggest influence on your hockey career?
Undoubtedly my family, but in particular my dad. I’ve never been the best player on the ice but my dad made sure I understood the value of hard work and desire. The support my whole family has given me has driven me from day one.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
What spare time?
How did you end up at Ohio State?
I played with former Buckeyes Luke Pavlas and Eric Skaug growing up and they had nothing but great things to say about OSU. Another teammate from Sioux City, Mike Betz, was already committed and I figured that with those three guys already on the team I would try my luck as a walk-on.
You lived in a number of places growing up … talk about that.
I was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada (very cold!) and moved with my family down to Phoenix, Arizona (very hot!) when my dad got transferred. We lived in Phoenix for seven years and then got transferred again to Seattle, Washington (very wet!). I am very grateful for the opportunity to see so many different places growing up.
Where would you like to live in the future?
Wherever I have to in order to be successful. There is definitely something to be said about the summers in Seattle though!
Where is the toughest place to play in the league and why?
For me the toughest place to play is Northern Michigan. There’s something about the larger ice surface that doesn’t quite agree with my sweet skating stride!
Where is the best place hockey has taken you?
We’ll see after the year is over.
Do you have any connections with NHL players?
Ex-teamates from Sioux City – David Hale (New Jersey), Rusty Klesla (Columbus) and Ruslan Fedotenko (Tampa Bay) are all really good friends of mine. You would have thought with three NHL players on the team we could have made it past the first round of the playoffs.
You say you enjoy tennis – how did you get involved with the game? Who do you play with – who usually wins?
For the most part I do enjoy tennis, but it is almost as frustrating as golf for me. My teammates Scott May and Paul Caponigri really got me into the game my sophomore summer. It was the first time I’d ever played the game and I definitely took some beatings, fortunately I was able to re-establish some confidence in matches against my sister and girlfriend.
Anything else to add?
Just like to say thanks to all the fans for four great years!!! Go Bucks!