TEAM: Belle Tire Midget AAA
SEE MORE STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS
Want to be featured? Tell us about yourself.
Q: How did you and your teammates do this past season:
This season I played for the Belle Tire Midget Minor team. We did not win states or nationals. We lost in the final games of the state tournament. We finished in 2nd place in the Tier 1 Elite League, and 3rd overall in the country. I finished in the top 10 in the league for wins, goals against average, and save percentage. It was the best season of my AAA career.
Q: How did it feel getting drafted in the OHL by the Plymouth Whalers? Are you looking forward to camp?
Getting drafted in the OHL felt incredible. It is almost indescribable. I felt excited that I have a chance to take the next step in my hockey career. I was proud of myself for working hard my whole life to try and achieve this honor. I was also very thrilled that I was able to be drafted by the Plymouth Whalers. I have been to plenty of their games, and I never thought I would actually get a chance to play there one day. I am very excited about attending rookie camp this spring. It will not only be a tryout, but a chance for me to take away as much information as I can so I can improve my game even more.
Q: What are some of your career goals on and off the ice?
I have many career goals for myself both on and off the ice. My biggest goal is to be able to have a long career as a professional NHL goalie. Another goal is to win the Vezna Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy. Even though I have been drafted by the Plymouth Whalers, my journey in playing hockey has only just begun. My goals for next season are to make the Plymouth Whalers and better my skills as a goaltender. My goals off the ice are just as big. When the season starts, I want to be in the best physical shape I could possibly be in. I also try to be in the best mental state of mind I can be in. It is a very long season and the mental game for a goalie is just as big as the physical part. School is also a big part of my off ice goals as well. In addition to reaching my goals as a hockey player, I want to go college and try and become a sports manager or coach for a hockey team. The hockey life will never leave me whether I am playing or coaching it.
Q: What are some of your daily habits 24 hours before a game, on game day and also an hour before a game starts?
Usually 24 hours before a game I don’t really have a routine. I try and relax and rest, have a good dinner and just start to focus on the game. On game day, I like to have a nice meal about 3-4 hours before the game starts. I usually arrive at the rink for the game about an hour and a half before puck drops. I take 10-20 minutes to get all of my gear out and change into some off-ice clothes. I then take 20 more minutes to just sit and listen to my iPod and start focusing on the game. Then I begin to warm up and stretch on my own for 25 minutes. In this time I do stretches and hand eye coordination exercises with three racket balls. After my stretches, I start getting my lower gear on and begin to get in “the zone”. I try to flush out anything going on around me and focus on the game ahead of me. I visualize what I can do to help my team succeed. Right before we go on the ice I get my upper gear on and the hit ice physically and mentally prepared.
Q: How did you handle living away from home this past year? How was it like being in a new area, living with a new family and going to a new school?
Living away from home this year has been a great experience for me. I have become a more mature and responsible young man in just a few months. At first it was difficult to get used to the change, but as the season went on and I made new friends, everything started to get easier. Living with a different family was also something that took some time getting used to. Living with a teammate made the change a lot easier though. My billet family became like my second family to me. It has also helped me prepare for what I should expect the next few years of my life to be like living away from home. Many kids don’t leave their homes until they play juniors, so living away from home this year almost gives me an advantage over them. Going to a new school was the most difficult part to get used to. My old school that I went to was very small, and everybody knew everybody. Now making the switch to a school almost 4 times the size of my old one was very difficult. But as the year went on and I made more friends, it became much easier.
Q: What’s your thoughts on Bandits Elite Camp and how did it get you prepared for this past season?
This past summer was the first time that I went to the Bandits Elite Camp. It was very challenging and nothing like I have done before. But in saying this I feel that just one week of hard training has changed the way I play the game and think of the game dramatically. Coach Stan introduced a new style of play to me which improved the performance of my game. At the camp it was the first time I had heard of H.A.P. which stands for “Have A Purpose.” I use this term to help me improve my game on and off the ice by giving 110% every time I do something, hockey related or not. This also helped me throughout the season whenever I felt like I wasn’t preforming at my best. I can’t wait for this summer’s camp.
**Video on Alex and other Jr. Elite goalies from last years Bandits 2011 Jr. Elite camp**