Is it different playing as a 20-year-old in the QMJHL than it was at 17, 18 or 19, and if so, what’s the biggest difference?

As a 20, you have to show the example in the room. You know that everybody is looking up at you and you need to show that you can step up every game. There’s no ‘off’ game, there’s no ‘off’ time. You have to enjoy it, too, as much as you can, because it’s your last one.

Talk about the process of ending up in Lewiston. Was it an expected move, being traded?

Actually, Bathurst told me at Christmas last year that I was going to stay with them as a 20-year-old, they told me all year long I was going to stay. Then I got a call from the GM in Bathurst that I was traded to Lewiston. At first, I was skeptical a little bit. I didn’t know the team, I really didn’t know many of the players, and I didn’t know if the team was going to be any good or not. When I got here, you know, it was great, and I’m really happy to be here now.

This year, you’ve added an offensive side to your game. Is that because you’ve been given a different role, or do you feel you’ve just evolved as a player into this role?

In Cape Breton, I wasn’t really playing, and every first-year player, if you’re not playing much, you drop the mitts a few times and you play with the ice time you have. As an 18-year-old, it was about the same, but I started to change my game a bit. I lost some weight and my skating was way better. That’s when I decided to change my game completely. I had a good season as a 19-year-old, and I really wanted to push the offense as much as I can, and that’s what I’m doing this year, too.

In addition to being an offensive defenseman, you tend to be a hard-nosed player. Do you feel there’s a reputation you’ve earned, as a tough player in the league? And do you think that affects you out on the ice?

I earned a reputation my first year, I fought all the bigger tough guys in the league. Everybody knew who I was. That first year, I maybe had 13 fights, and now in three years I have three or four. The second year, people didn’t really want to fight me, they knew who I’d fought the year before, so then it went on and on. But that’s part of my role, too, to scare the other team. I’m pretty sure, at the beginning of the game they might come into the middle of the ice, but hen i step up a few times, they’re going to keep their heads up after that.

Talk about the way this team has come together this season. There seems to be a remarkable team chemistry …

All my other team, there have always been the French players and the English players, and there were always conflicts between them. Here, there’s always going to be the French and English part, but we’re always together. This is the team with the best chemistry I’ve seen in my junior years, and I think that’s really going to take us far. I think we’re going to go far with this team this year. Everybody has a huge heart and they work hard all the time.


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