What is your major … what do you plan on doing after your hockey career is over?
My major is Exercise Science. After my hockey career is over I hope to get into something involving sports performance or rehabilitation.
How old were you when you started playing hockey and why did you start?
I played on my first team when I was about 5 years old. My parents got me into it because the kitchen was getting too small to be playing shinny.
Why do you wear No. 8? Why did you switch from No. 17?
No. 17 was always my number growing up, but I switched to No. 8 my second year of junior in honor of one of my good friends. When I got here 8 was already taken by JB Bittner so I went back to 17.
Who has been the biggest influence on your hockey career?
I would say my stepfather, Bob, has been the biggest influence on my hockey career. He coached my teams growing up and as I got older he was always there to give me good advice and help me through the ups and downs of being a hockey player.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love the outdoors; I spend a lot of time golfing and biking in the offseason. During the season we like to play the odd game of cards, but sometimes our time ends up spent picking up the cards after Paul Caponigri throws his hourly temper tantrum.
How did you end up at Ohio State?
It had the most to offer as far as providing the opportunity to have a memorable college experience. I always tell my buddies back home the atmosphere at Ohio State is like what they would only see in the movies. I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to come here.
Who is your favorite hockey player?
Peter Forsberg. In my opinion he is the most dominating player in hockey today.
You grew up playing forward – when and why did you switch to defense?
I switched to defense during my first year of midget. It was something that just kind of happened due to the circumstances of the team I was on. Or, it could have been I was a little heavier back then. Once I grew into my width I think it was a positive change for me.
You’ve come back from not one, but two knee surgeries – how have you dealt with them? How hard was it been to not be able to compete with your team?
The toughest part about having two knee surgeries was not being able to hang out with the guys in the lockerroom and be part of the everyday routine of the team while I was going through rehab. After the first injury I was devastated at the fact I was going to have to miss at least six months of hockey, but I got through it. So when I injured it again I had a mindset that I got through it once already and it didn’t kill me, so now I was going to have to do it again. I just had faith there was a reason it happened and I would be stronger for getting through it. It has been tough coming back and trying to establish confidence in making plays and moving in ways that used to come as second nature, but it’s coming.
Where is the best place hockey has taken you?
Hockey has brought me to Ohio State. It was always a goal of mine to play college hockey for a big time program and here I am.
You’re a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete … how hard is it to balance hockey and school?
My first couple of years balancing school and hockey was easier than it is now; now that I am taking more classes in my major it is a little tougher. Most of the quarter still moves along pretty smoothly, but there are always one or two days where you wish you had a few more hours in the day.
What other sports did you play growing up? Which did you like best?
I pretty much tried everything growing up. I would have to say my favorite was baseball. Despite the fact that I had a tough time fitting in the pants, baseball was a great sport to play in the summer; it was a good change of pace.