Guenin, who was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2002, was a CCHA All-Rookie Team honorable mention selection and an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete as a freshman.
How did it feel when your teammates selected you as an alternate captain as a sophomore?
It was quite an honor having the guys pick me as one of the captains this year. Just knowing the people you go to battle with day in and day out respect you enough to put you in that position means a lot and being a leader is something I take great pride in.
What is your leadership style?
I am not a big rah-rah type of guy. I prefer to go out and lead by example. If something needs to be said, I’ll say it.
You were drafted by the New York Rangers in 2002 … what was your reaction to being drafted?
I went into the draft with a really open mind. Looking at all the rankings and talking to different people I heard all kinds of things as to if, and where, I could get drafted. Anything can happen in a draft so I just went about my normal routine and did not put too much emphasis on it. I got a wake-up call around nine o’clock Sunday morning, the second day of the draft, saying the Rangers had taken me in the fourth round. That’s a pretty nice way to start the day, hearing you’ve been drafted, especially by an organization such as New York. The tradition of the team and the thought of someday playing in New York is really exciting. Two other Pittsburgh kids, as well as five of my teammates from juniors, were drafted, which made it even more special.
How did your spend your summer … did you go anywhere interesting?
I spent most of the summer back home working out and enjoying my mom’s cooking after a year of eating dorm food. I went up to Green Bay for a couple of days and visited my housing family from juniors as well as some of my old teammates. In August, I spent three weeks in Calgary, Alberta, with the Rangers’ development camp. They invite 20 to 30 of the players in the system for a month of some pretty intense training. We skated six days a week and worked out twice a day. It was a great opportunity to play against some really good competition. It also prepared me for those 7 a.m. runs with (OSU strength and conditioning) Coach (Erick) Schork.
Why do you wear No. 2?
I wore No. 5 growing up and when I came here Scotty Titus had it. In juniors I wore 20, but Miguel (Lafleche) had that. So, one day I got a message from (OSU associate head coach) Casey (Jones) on the answering machine saying he and Brenner (OSU assistant coach Steve Brent) picked No. 2. It’s a nice, simple number and I have grown to like it. I had thoughts of switching back to 20 for this season, but decided to stick with 2.
What other sports did you play growing up? Which did you like best?
Hockey and baseball were always my two sports. I played basketball for a year and tried out soccer for a season, but those two were just not for me. As soon as hockey season ended I’d spend every day down at the baseball fields. Baseball was a nice break from the long hockey season and I think it helped keep me from getting burned out like many young kids do. My dad would come to pick me up and throw batting practice or hit me grounders until the sun went down. In high school, when I realized I really wanted to pursue hockey and totally devote myself to the game, I gave up baseball. Some of my best childhood memories occurred on the baseball field.
What are your goals for the season, both individually and for the team?
Team success breeds individual success. The better this team does, the better each and every one of us will look. Looking at the first couple months of the season, there have been glimpses of what this team can do. If we continue to click and come together, there is no reason we shouldn’t be in Boston come April.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
There really isn’t that much free time as a student-athlete. You practice, then eat dinner and then get your work done. Our house recently purchased the NHL Center Ice package so we get about 40 NHL games a week on (JB) Bittner’s big screen TV. Rod (Pelley) looks like a little kid again, as he gets pretty excited with all of the hockey on. I’m fortunate enough to have three good roommates who all get along (for the most part). We keep it pretty loose and there is no shortage of laughs.
Who is the toughest opponent to play against? Where is the toughest place to play?
Alaska Fairbanks has been the toughest opponent so far. Their run and gun style is hard for a defenseman to play against. Ferris State was a tough place to play last year.
How old were you when you started playing hockey, and why did you start?
I played on my first team when I was 5 years old. My dad played hockey his entire life, so he had me on skates when I was 2. We have pictures all over the house of me in my little Bauers with the old, white hockey helmet on. I can remember going down to the rink in the mornings with my dad and we’d be the only ones out there.
Who has been the biggest influence on your hockey career?
I owe everything I have achieved to my Mom and Dad. The sacrifices they have made, and the time and money they have spent traveling all over North America with me, is unbelievable. I would never have had the slightest opportunity to be playing college hockey if it wasn’t for them.
What is your major? What do you want to do once you’re done playing hockey?
I have yet to declare a major but am looking at going into engineering. When I’m done playing hockey, I would like to attend law school.
Why did you come to Ohio State?
I came to Ohio State because I saw the program moving in the right direction and wanted to be a part of establishing this school as a national power. The facilities here are second to none and the big school atmosphere was a great fit for me.
This season, the defensemen are jumping into the play more … how do you feel about that? Has it affected your game?
Incorporating the ‘D’ into the offensive rush is great for the team. It gives the forwards another option and is tough for teams to play against. Last year I sat back and rarely crossed the blueline in the offensive zone, but this year I have tried get involved more offensively. We have had success as a team with it so far and getting your name on the scoresheet is an added bonus.