THN: Who did you look up to as a young player?
I liked Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg and Henrik Zetterberg. They played so well in the NHL for so many years, and they were leaders on their teams. The older I get, the more I look at their games and try to play like them.
THN: What skill should kids work on today?
Obviously, skating has to be up there. You need a lot of things to make the NHL, but if you’re a good skater, you can go a long way. Especially now the game is getting faster and faster, you have to be able to keep up.
THN: What’s your favorite way to score?
I love scoring any kind of goals. It’s always a good feeling when you score a pretty one, a nice goal, but I don’t really have a favorite way as long as it goes in.
THN: Is there a part of your game you’d like to improve?
I’m still working on all parts of my game. I’m trying to get better on faceoffs. I’ve improved a bit over the past couple years, but I want to get better. And I work on my offense, trying to find ways to score and how to beat defensemen. I feel comfortable with my defensive game, so faceoffs and offense are things I’m working on.
THN: What’s the best thing about being in the NHL?
Living my dream.
THN: What’s the worst thing about being in the NHL?
We’re expecting our first child, so being away from your family is tough.
THN: What advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?
Up to that point, things had gone pretty smoothly for me. I’d tell myself to stick with it, there’s going to be a lot of bumps in the road. It’s not going to go straight up and I’m going to become a star or something like that. There’s going to be ups and downs.