Rapid Fire: with Panthers center Nick Bjugstad

Panthers center Nick Bjugstad talks about his first major purchase, and learning from Jaromir Jagr.

With Emma Mason

Who did you model your game after?

I was always tall and always skinny, so I liked watching players like Ryan Getzlaf and other bigger guys. Blake Wheeler is a Minnesota kid like me, so I watched him when I was younger. There are a lot of guys that I’ve watched in the league that I take little things from, and I definitely keep learning stuff, especially being able to have 1-on-1 time with Jaromir Jagr. That’s probably the best teaching I can get.

What’s your favorite part about being an NHLer?

I thought about that today actually as I was coming to the rink. You just get to play hockey for a living. It’s fun. It’s definitely a privilege to be able to be in this league, and to get to this point a lot of people have helped me. Being able to come to the rink every day with a bunch of fun guys and compete for a few hours – it’s the best job you could ask for. It’s just an honor.

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Which was your favorite NHL team growing up?

We didn’t get the Wild in Minnesota until I was about 10 years old, so my favorite team was the Avalanche. I have family in Colorado, so I always visited, and I got to be a fan there.

What was your first major purchase after you signed your contract?

I bought a used car. I was a college kid, so I got a used Chevy Tahoe 2011.

What advice do you have for some of the young guys that are coming up?

Enjoy it, have fun, work hard and don’t take it for granted. A lot of things work out for guys if they’re working hard and having fun with it.