What’s it like playing on such a high-powered Sharks team?
Rafal Ladysz, Windsor, Ont.
It’s great. We’ve got one of the best teams in the league and I’m sure it beats playing on a team that’s not doing very good. It’s fun to go out every night and play with the Blakes, Boyles, Thorntons, Marleaus, Cheechoos. It’s almost like a privilege, especially with me being a young guy.
In your mind, who is the best player in the league?
Jason Stevenson, Bracebridge, Ont.
Alex Ovechkin. The guy scores 50 goals two or three years in a row. We don’t see him very often, but you see the highlights all the time. He’s a pretty good player.
What’s it like playing alongside top playmaker Joe Thornton?
Gary Grewal, Abbotsford, B.C.
It’s great. I lucked out right from the start of training camp, playing with arguably one of the best passers in the league. You know Patty (Marleau) is having such a great year as well, I feel honored to get on the ice every night with those two guys.
How has the transition from playing junior in Canada to pro in the U.S. been and what differences or similarities stand out?
Brandon Z. Baker, Tracy, Cal.
It has obviously been a lot different. The schedule with us being a West team is really tough on your body. It’s been a quicker transition than maybe I thought it would have. Last year was my first year and I was up and down. But I’m starting to learn more, and learn what it takes to play in the NHL and it’s been a pretty good transition.
The fans here are great, but hockey is really big in Canada. But as far playing here or playing somewhere in Canada, it’s pretty much the same thing.
What is your favorite memory from playing in Saskatoon with the (Western League’s) Blades?
Amol Vasani, Saskatoon, Sask.
Probably just making the playoffs my second year there. Our first year, we didn’t have a very good team, we lost a whole bunch of games. I think we won seven out of 72. So making the playoffs my second year with a new coach was pretty memorable.
Are you finding your second year in the NHL easier than your first and how so?
Wes Krentz, Rosthern, Sask.
Definitely I’m finding it a lot easier, but it has a lot to do with confidence. The coaching staff trusts me and is allowing me to play on the first line. They helped me ease into things and just to get that confidence to play on the top line.
Who has been the biggest influence on your NHL career?
Jesse, Prince George, B.C.
Probably my family. They’ve always been there. They made the trips and they’re the ones that have pushed me along to where I am today.
What NHL player did you want to be like when you were growing up?
Teisha Lynn Richard, Minto, N.B.
I was always a big Paul Kariya fan growing up. I didn’t ever think I would be compared to what he was, but I wanted to be Paul Kariya when I was younger.
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