Yes, anytime you can start a season undefeated is always a good feeling. We know coming into each match that teams are out to knock us off the top, but that gives us more motivation to continue working hard each and every night. We don’t carry our past victories into our next match, we know as a team that each match carries a new challenge and we are ready to do what it takes to earn a victory. I truly believe it is our team chemistry and our work ethic that has allowed us to take advantage of games this early into the season.
A lot of new players arrived in summer, and a new coach as well. How could you find chemistry with your new teammates that fast?
I think when we all arrived for training camp back in late July, we found ways to bond as a team over hard work in both the gym and on ice training sessions. It is a long training camp, so that month and a half we had prior to the start of the Erste Liga, helped us to find out which types of players we were and also helped us to figure out chemistry during practices and exhibition games. Our coaching staff has been wonderful, both Miroslav Ihnacak and Jan Vodila believe in us as a team, and that helps us build confidence for ourselves moving forward.
The Dunaújváros is your first team in Europe. How did this opportunity come into the picture?
It has always been a goal of mine to someday make the trip over to Europe and play professional hockey; and I am happy to say that I found that here in Dunaujvaros. I was in talks the ownership group early into my off season, and right away I knew it was the right spot for me. Between the ownership group, coaching staff, support staff, and my teammates, everyone has treated me with nothing but respect and first class treatment and I am very thankful for the opportunity to play for such passionate fans here in Dunaujvaros.
What kind of player would you describe yourself? What are your strengths?
My strengths as a hockey player have evolved over the years. I feel like I have played a different role on every team I have played on. So at this point in my career, it is more about adapting to my surroundings and doing what is best for the team to win each night. Playing centre, face-offs are such an important part of the game. I like to pride myself on being good in all 3 zones of the rink and being a hard player to play against. Not to mention that playing with offensive minded players like Keegan Dansereau and Zsolt Azari, have helped allow me to develop and show off some offensive side as well.
As your profile on Eliteprospects, you overcame many challanges throughout your career. What were these challanges exactly?
Back in 2008 I lost my mother to cancer, which I was 16 years old at the time just starting out in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). This was a major obstacle that I had to find ways over the years to overcome. Furthermore, back in April of 2019, I was given the sudden news of the passing of my oldest brother (Eddie). However, I have been fortunate enough to have a wonderful support cast in my brother Mike and my father Ted, as well as my girlfriend Molly and many close supportive family/friends, to help me in continuing my career in hockey. These are the people that helped shape me into becoming the person I am today. I am very thankful for them and for my faith.
There are a lot of young players in the squad. How can you help them to develop?
Yes, we have many young players on our roster, however I can tell that these young guys are getting a good taste of what it is like to play in the Erste Liga, as well as what it takes to be a professional hockey player. I believe our coaching staff and leadership group do a great job at helping our young guys develop their game through practice, workouts, and communication. Not only myself but other players on our team have played in other professional leagues across Europe as well as North America. This experience allows our young guys the opportunity to see the work ethic of the older guys as well as what it takes to be successful as a professional hockey player.
What are your first impressions about Erste League?
I knew coming into the season that the Erste Liga carried many good hockey players from all across the world, including Hungary. Coming from professional hockey in North American, I learned right away that the game over here is much the same as it is back home, although the ice surfaces are a bit bigger here, the skating game seems to be what stands out the most.
What do you think about Hungary and the city? What surprised you the most?
Right away I fell in love with Hungary as well as the city and people of Dunaujvaros. Everyday I feel blessed and fortunate enough to be able to wake up and play hockey in such a wonderful country. The people of Dunaujvaros have made my time here very pleasant and I am thankful for everything the team has done for me. What surprised me the most probably was the fact that once I found my day to day routine, I never felt like I was living and playing hockey across the world in a different country. I felt at home.
What are the goals for you and for the team in this season?
Most importantly I would love for our team to continue to find ways to win every night, and ultimately help bring a Championship home to the city and people of Dunaujvaros. On a personal note that means I hope to stay healthy, and work hard every night to make that goal possible.