|(Photo Illustration: Alicia Roberts)|
Days 2 & 3 – Enjoying Toronto and the Interviews
While some players had interviews with NHL teams Wednesday, my day was open. I traveled to the Hockey Hall of Fame, walked around the city of Toronto and mostly relaxed. I hung out with some old enemies and now good friends Jon Gillies (goalie from the Indiana Ice) and Robbie Baillargeon (forward from the Ice), who are also getting evaluated here at the NHL Combine. Jon's dad played goalie for the Lumberjacks in the '80s.
We hung out at a local sports restaurant and watched Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. I had to wake up bright and early Thursday, then go right into the interviews all day, so I headed back to the hotel. I was very eager for the morning to come and get on with a big day!
I woke up around 9 a.m. Thursday to meet Gillies for breakfast. Almost immediately, I got a call from my Muskegon teammate, and one of my best friends, Carter Foguth.
It was really needed because he told me not to be nervous. He reminded me to just be who I am and not worry. The call really helped me relax and have fun with the whole interview day. What a guy.
|Sample itinerary for a draft prospect at the NHL|
Scouting Combine (Photo: Matt DeBlouw)
Either way, it was a lot of fun. The teams ask a bunch of questions ranging from “What do your parents do?” to simple questions like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
Next, after the interviews I went to the Reebok and CCM display room. Wow! The experience of trying on the latest skates and being fitted for whatever I liked was pretty cool to me. The new stick technology was something special and fun to test out, also.
After that I went to dinner with Brian Cooper from the Fargo Force, “Boo” Nieves from the Indiana Ice, Baillargeon and Gillies. It’s interesting to talk to some of the other guys going through the combine process and hear what they think about all of it. I hung out with them for a while, then went back to my room to rest.