On the players he admired growing up:
I don’t really remember watching a whole lot. I remember going to Leafs games and stuff. I think it’d have to be some of the Leafs guys and obviously Mats Sundin was the top guy there and the top guy in the league. There were so many players when I was growing up. [Reporter: Is there someone you liked who would be considered a sniper?] I don’t really remember or recognize anyone that really stands out…Like I said, when I was growing up, I wouldn’t say I watched hockey every night. I would just watch it once in a while or bits and pieces here. Even now, I wouldn’t watch a whole lot. I’d watch my own clips or watch our team games.
On whether his dad is a Leafs fan:
Yeah, he is. [Reporter: Still a big one?] Yeah. Obviously he’s a Kings fan now and a Leafs fan. He was definitely a little upset last year when they lost to Boston. I would say he’s a pretty big Leafs fan still.
On seeing family and friends on the upcoming road trip:
I obviously grew up in Toronto, so I’m going to have a lot of family in Toronto. I played my junior in Ottawa so a l lot of my friends are in Ottawa. They’re going to be going to those games. Some may make the trip to Montreal, but I haven’t really talked about it. Just taking it day by day and we’ll see what happens. [Reporter: So, your Billets too?] Yeah, my Billets. I’ve been talking to them, staying in touch with them and hopefully will be able to see them. We’ll see how things are going.
On skating with Jarret Stoll:
He’s a good guy to play with. He’s been around the game, he knows. He comes in every day and works hard and is just a leader. You can say anything and he kind of fits the role. He’s such a good guy in the room. You just kind of just have to sit by him and let him take you under his wing so to speak.
On skating with Stoll as opposed to Mike Richards:
No, I mean they’re both really similar. Rick’s an NHL All-Star. He’s won everywhere. He’s one of those guys, just like Stolly, you sit around him and just listen and take it all in as much as you can.
On how to develop good hands:
Growing up I never really did a whole lot of hockey camps or anything. When you’re younger you just kind of mess around and have fun and I think kind of over time it helps. I think you’ve got to be confident in making plays and doing those things. Some games I’m really confident and some games I’m not as confident. I can’t make those plays. I think the longer I am here and the more I am around all these guys you’ve just got to be confident and make those plays. Not even in the offensive zone, but breakouts and everywhere on the ice. [Reporter: Just kind of handling the puck in that tight quarter, you don’t have as much time as down in Manchester.] Yeah, exactly. Guys are on you all the time, and I think you have to be focused. You have to be ready to play every night. If your focus slips a little bit, then it’s those couple of inches you’re not going to have. It’s just something you’ve got to get used to. I think the more you’re around, you kind of slow the game down in certain areas where you wouldn’t be able to slow them down in Manchester because that’s where they’re fast. It all evens out. The more you know, the more you understand about the game, it just kind of comes easier for you.
On how this year is different from last year:
I think it’s just a different time of year. There’s still that sense of urgency. It’s still early in the season, but every point counts if you look at how tight the West is. You’ve got to win. You’ve got to win every night. It doesn’t matter if you get one point because that one point can come back at the end of the season and hurt you. I think you’ve got to be focused and be ready to play every night. If we don’t have a good game, you just have to find ways to win.