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2023 NHL Combine: Part Two – Media Availability Interviews

Joely Stockl and Chase Rochon had the opportunity to represent McKeen’s at the 2023 NHL Combine this past weekend, and interview many players during media availability. Media Availability is the very last step in the NHL Combine for the players, and it is the last opportunity that they have to speak to the media before draft week in Nashville. Interviewing the players is a great opportunity for scouts/media to get a sense of who the players are as people, and how their character ties into their on-ice game. Joely and Chase were able to interview an astounding 30 players at the 2023 NHL Combine, and learn information about the players that you don’t see on the ice, including off-ice habits/hobbies, superstitions, offseason training, current strengths & weaknesses, and more!

2023 NHL Combine Player Interviews:

Colby Barlow, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

Barlow on what it meant when he was named captain of the Owen Sound Attack this past season:

Connor Bedard, Regina Pats (WHL)

Bedard on his offseason plans and habits:

Connor Bedard speaks on favourite Canucks player Tyler Motte and what draws him to his hard-working game:

Bedard on his superstitions:

Zach Benson, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

Benson on what it means to be a part of such a special draft class coming out of the WHL, and the steps he is going to take over the summer:

Zach Benson talks about hockey his ability to scan the ice as one of the smarter players in the draft class:

Tristan Bertucci, Flint Firebirds (OHL)      

Tristan Bertucci talks about his Toronto Marlboro days:

Bertucci on being a better golfer then Colby Barlow and sports he plays outside of hockey:

Oliver Bonk, London Knights (OHL)

Bonk on the “twin” chemistry between Cowan and Barkey, and how being sent down to the GOJHL in the 2021-2022 season helped his development:   

Hunter Brzustewicz, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)   

Brzustewicz telling us what animal he would describe himself as, his experience in Kitchener, and his skillset:

Leo Carlsson, Orebro HK (SHL)

Leo Carlsson talks about his future and enjoying the moment:

Leo's life away from hockey:

Easton Cowan, London Knights (OHL)

Cowan on his “twin” connection with Denver Barkey and the lessons he learned from a tough loss in the OHL Finals:

Easton Cowan talks about his connection with fellow OHLers, the Hunters and, teammate Sam Dickinson:

Cowan talking about his old Instagram account where he used to shoot pucks and do puck tricks with his friends:

Andrew Cristall, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Andrew Cristall says Logan Stankoven is the hardest player he has played against. Also says Bedard is better than Kent Johnson at inline hockey:

David Edstrom, Frolunda HC (J18, J20, & SHL)

David Edstrom talks about his lethal shot and how he developed it:

Brad Gardiner, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

Gardiner on the Ottawa 67’s, his strengths, and next steps over the offseason:

Riley Heidt, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

Riley Heidt talks about his draft interviews:

Samuel Honzek, Vancouver Giants (WHL)

Vancouver Giants forward Samuel Honzek talking about his experience coming over from Slovakia to play in the WHL, and what it means to represent his country internationally:

Nick Lardis, Brantford Bulldogs (OHL)

Lardis talking about his experience with the Bulldogs in the second half of the season:

Lardis on improvements he wants to make over the offseason:

Lardis talks superstitions

Nick Lardis talks time away from the rink and his golf game:

Tanner Molendyk, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

Tanner Molendyk on his hobbies and superstitions:

Oliver Moore, U.S. National U18 Team (NTDP)       

Oliver Moore of the NTDP talks about how he developed his elite skating ability:

Moore on the top NTDP line of Smith, Perreault and Leonard and how it may have benefited his development:

Moore talking about his emotions and mindset throughout the comeback at the U18’s in the gold medal game against Sweden:

Moore going forward:

Etienne Morin, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)         

Etienne Morin tells us that he was asked what animal represents him, and his “unique” answer:

Bradly Nadeau, Penticton Vees (BCHL)

Nadeau on his experience playing alongside his brother Josh Nadeau in Penticton of the BCHL:

Bradly Nadeau talks about Mitch Marner and Seth Jarvis as who he models his game after:

Jayden Perron, Chicago Steel (USHL)

Jayden Perron speaks about teammate Macklin Celebrini and activities away from the game:

Perron speaks on superstitions:

Perron, on what's next:

Alex Pharand, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)  

Pharand on his off-ice habits and various superstitions:

Luca Pinelli, Ottawa 67’S (OHL)

Luca Pinelli talking about his strengths and areas for improvement heading into next season:

Luca Pinelli talks about teammate Henry Mews and his free time away from the game:

Caden Price, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Caden Price talking about his translatable skills and areas for improvement:

Caden Price talks about his time away from the game:

David Reinbacher, EHC Kloten (NL)

David Reinbacher on being considered the most "NHL ready" defenceman in the draft class, and what his off-season plans are:

Gracyn Sawchyn, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

Gracyn Sawchyn talks about the challenges of the long playoff run, and playing for the memorial cup:

Otto Stenberg, Frolunda HC (J20, SHL)

Stenberg talking about the Swedish NHL players that he looks up to:

Otto Stenberg talks what he needs to do to make it to the next level:

Carey Terrance, Erie Otters (OHL)

Carey Terrance speaks on the Erie Otters and playing with top prospects in Malcom Spence and Matthew Schaefer:

Tom Willander, Rogle BK (J20)        

Tom Willander on how his standout performance at the U18’s has improved his draft stock:

Tom talks about looking forward to playing with top prospects Lane Hutson and Macklin Celebrini:

Tom Willander talks about his draft interviews:

Matthew Wood, University of Connecticut (NCAA)

Matthew Wood tells us about his “interesting question” from the interviews, about what he wants to be said at his funeral:

Koehn Ziemmer, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

Ziemmer talking about what it means to be a part of the special draft class from the WHL this year as a late 2004 born player:

Koehn Zeimmer speaks on competition in the WHL: