1He’s had the same tooth knocked out twice.
“We were playing the Toronto Marlies in February last season and I got high-sticked by (Marlies center) Tim Connolly. It basically pushed my two front teeth all the way back. One of them had to get pulled and one was saved, so now I have a piece of steel in there while I wait for my fake tooth to come in. It didn’t hurt that much when it happened but all the drilling after was pretty painful. The tooth that was pulled had been knocked out before about five years ago so I guess it’s just a bad luck spot.”
2He’s familiar with being the underdog.
“The most memorable game of my career was when I was a freshman at Bemidji State and we were playing Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional round of the NCAA tournament. We were the lowest seeded team, not expected to win at all, and we ended up beating Notre Dame 5-1. It was a great feeling, and a big step toward us making the Frozen Four that season.”
3He’s only 24, but he’s made his way around.
“Being a hockey player, you have the opportunity to go a lot of different places. I would say I’ve been to more than 50 cities in North America over the past few years. I haven’t made it overseas yet, but that will happen at some point.”
4His favorite foe is also one of his oldest friends.
“I love playing against Victor Bartley, who is in the Nashville Predators organization. He’s been my best buddy since we were growing up (in Maple Ridge, British Columbia) and he was always a little better than me at hockey so I relish the chance to beat him now. Victor, Ben Payne, Kevin Cache and Nick ‘Dupree’ Burns have all been my best friends since childhood. Growing up with just a younger sister, I love having those guys.”
5He’s a west coast product with east coast love.
“My dad is from British Columbia but he was a big New York Islanders fan during their dynasty years in the 1980s so I have always been a fan too and still keep up with them now, regardless of where I’m playing. Defenseman Adrian Aucoin has always been my favorite player because he started in Vancouver with the Canucks and then ended up with Islanders and I thought that was cool.”
6He’s diplomatic about his Wolves teammates
“I can honestly say I didn’t have a favorite guy on the team last season. Darren Haydar, Mark Matheson and Zach Miskovic were all people I spend a lot of time with though. Miskovic was my roommate on the road so we got to know each other really well. I was bummed when he got traded (to San Antonio) but I was really happy to see him get the opportunity out there. I just try to be friends with everyone, wherever I am.”
7His pre-game meal hasn’t changed in years.
“Ever since college, I’ve eaten Subway before a game. Back then I didn’t have time to cook and take a nap before a game so I started just grabbing Subway and I’ve never really changed. Each time it’s something new and it takes no time. I’m not a bad cook, exactly, but I’m not great either. So Subway works for me.”
8His job is action-packed but downtime is anything but.
“If I have some free time, I’ll just be sitting on the couch watching TV and movies. I’ve been watching a lot of ‘Rules of Engagement’ lately, laughing by myself because it’s so funny. I’m a big movie guy too. Shawshank Redemption is tops on my list.”
9He learned the value of watching your step early on.
“When I was in grade 11, I used to go to this leisure center and work out all the time. One day I was on the treadmill and I was like, ‘what’s that smell?’ and it turns out I had stepped in dog poop on the way there and now it was all over the treadmill. I wasn’t really sure what to do, so I just left it there like that. Not my best moment, obviously.”
10He’s held the same philosophy on life for twenty years.
“When I was a kid, I was always happiest just playing road hockey in the summertime with my friends and doing other kid things like building forts. I didn’t have a care in the world and loved life. Now, I embrace the same mentality that life is too short to dwell on the small things; there’s just no point. If I’m not in a good mood, I always think, ‘hey, it could be a lot worse.’ I care a lot about people and I like to have fun. That’s just me.”