A Q&A session with Toronto’s young player, who answers on memorable moments, his last book read, and more.
Status: Toronto Maple Leafs forward.
Ht: 6-foot Wt: 188 pounds
DOB: Oct. 6, 1990 In: London, Ont.
First Hockey Memory: “Just really on the backyard rink, my dad always built one when I was two, three years old. He’d be out there trying to help us skate.”
Hockey Inspiration(s): “Just a lot of players that I grew up watching like Paul Kariya and Vinny Lecavalier I always respected growing up and I always tried to model my game after them.”
Last Book Read: “Was Scar Tissue, it’s a biography of Red Hot Chilli Peppers. So that ended up being a pretty good one.”
First Famous Hockey Player You Met Or Encountered: “Eric Lindros. (At a camp?) No, that was actually at Wawa’s, I was at the grocery store and he happened to be there. And I was with my mom and I ended up getting an autograph. He was a great guy.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “Probably winning our championship in Kitchener, my second year in junior. Then we ended up going to the Memorial Cup that year, but just ended up falling short in the finals. But we won our league and it ended up being pretty cool.”
Most Painful Moment: “Probably losing in the gold medal game in world juniors. Especially the way we did it. We ended up tying the game, coming back from two with about three minutes left. Went to overtime and the Americans ended up scoring which was pretty devastating.”
Most Memorable Goal: “Probably in junior on our way to the playoffs, the same year we won it. I scored a Game 7 overtime winner. And then that same experience against the Belleville Bulls. So that ended up being pretty cool.”
Closest Hockey Friend(s): “Specifically? I played with a lot of great guys. Stammer (Steven Stamkos) is a good buddy of mine. Cody Hodgson is a good friend of mine. I ended up playing with these guys through under 17 or 18 so, there’s quite a few of them.”
Fiercest Competitors Encountered: “Probably, with the guys on my team I think Jay McClement. He battles. Zach Parise is probably one of the top ones in the league. So I’ll probably give it to him.”
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “My first year in junior. We were in a shootout. I was playing for Kitchener, we were in London playing in my hometown where I’m from. And I ended up being in the shootout and I got Steve Mason and I ended up toe picking and just crashing, taking the net off right off it’s mooring. So that was pretty embarrassing for me.”
Funny Hockey Memory: “I mean I laugh every single day. I don’t know if there’s anything specific, but the guys on the team I enjoy being around and they make me laugh.”
Favorite Uniforms: “Good question. I actually like Florida’s, like Florida’s red uniform. And I like our third jersey as well.”
Strangest Game: “I go back to the gold medal game with world juniors. We were down three goals with like six, seven minutes left. Tied the game up. Then losing it in overtime. It was kind of a funny bounce. Unfortunate.”
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “Basketball.”
Three Athletes You Like To Watch And Follow: “Kobe Bryant. Tiger Woods. LeBron James.”
Current Car: “Audi S5 (white).”
Personality Qualities Most Admired: “Loyal. And I like to see trustworthy people. Especially in the game of hockey. Those are traits that you need to have to build character.”
Mark Scoop Malinowski just published his third book about tennis great Roger Federer, titled “Facing Federer” which is available on Amazon.com.