How was your first year in the NHL, in particular, how was making your NHL debut?
My first season in the NHL was all I expected and more. It was amazing to get almost half a season and start to really learn the league. I learned a lot and got to experience the league at a young age, which I strongly believe will help my growth and development as a player going forward. In my debut I fortunately scored a goal and that was something I'll never forget, and to date is the most exciting night of my life. Thinking back on the experience of my first game, I was really nervous in the days leading up to it after I got the call, but once I took my first shift out there, I felt more comfortable and just played.
Talk about your training and the difference between what you do in-season vs. off-season.
Off-season training is much different than an in season training program. during the offseason the main goals are to gain strength, cardio, flexibility and more. Training hard 4-5 days a week with weights and conditioning. During the season it changes all throughout the season. The goal for me during the season is to try and maintain as much strength on as possible without lifting as much, while also managing my body and staying in shape even without the heavy lifting days. I believe the cardio comes from being on the ice everyday so that part is easier to keep up with.
Who was the hardest NHL Player to play against this year?
For me, the hardest guy to play against this year would have to be Patrick Kane. Playing in Chicago one night he was on his game, hard to contain that night. Great skilled player but a blast to line up against the best players in the world.
What makes you special as a player?
I believe my ability to bring a different element from the point is what makes my game separate from others. I think being able to skate and move pucks to create good offense and open lanes for other players is another major key to my game.
Pre/post workout fuel go to…
Light meal before. Chipotle and protein shake post!
Who inspires you?
My parents. They did everything for me growing up to get me to where I am at today. Doing the best I can in my career will give me the ability to take care of them they way they took care of me.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Favorite athlete is Cliff Lee, being a Philly guy that’s a no brainer for me. He was my favorite baseball player and I loved watching him play. His intensity levels out on the mound always showed and I have such respect for bringing it at such a high level for such a long time. Was disappointed to see him get hurt in the end.
Favorite piece of Endeavor gear and why?
The short sleeve Tech Tee is my go to. Its distraction free and keeps much more cooler during my training! The material also just feels better against my skin.
What are some tips for success for the aspiring athlete?
My main piece of advice for any athlete in any sport is do what makes you good. I believe trying to change what you do best if wrong, changing small things to get better is very important but being yourself and doing what you do best will get you the furthest.