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Interview with Glenn Gawdin, Swift Current Broncos

A strong performance for the Broncos in his sophomore season for the former fifth overall draft pick. A right-handed shot with decent size he is currently in fourth place in team scoring with 36 points in 46 games (46-12-24-36) after finding his bearings in his rookie year (66-10-12-22). 

Currently ranked number 47 on the McKeen’s Draft Rankings while Central Scouting places him 37th among North American forwards in their rankings released today. He was recently added as a replacement for Pavel Zacha to play for Team Orr in the CHL-NHL Top Prospects game this coming Thursday. Providing another showcase while facing off against teammate, and fellow draft eligible, Jake DeBrusk on Team Cherry.

McKeen's correspondent Randy Gorman caught up with Gawdin recently for this interview:

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Photo by Darwin Knelsen, courtesy of the  WHL.
Photo by Darwin Knelsen, courtesy of the WHL.

McKeen's: Where did you play your minor hockey?

Gawdin: I played most of my minor hockey in Richmond, BC, with an organization called Seafair minor hockey. When I reached midget age I played here in Vancouver for the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the BC Major Midget League.

McKeen's: Building on that, growing up here in the greater Vancouver area and watching the Vancouver Giants play, how special is it for you to come back here and play in this building in front of family and friends, and against the Giants?

Gawdin: It's definitely very special, especially as you said growing up here and watching all the players that have played here and graduated onward to play pro. Also, being here and playing against some of my former team mates who now play for the Giants is special.

McKeen's: What is the biggest adjustment you had to make coming into this league from midget hockey?

Gawdin: I think for me, it was adjusting to not being the go-to guy right off the bat. Having to adjust to a role playing on the fourth line with reduced minutes is an adjustment you must get used to as a rookie. But the opportunities do come with patience.

McKeen's: Did you set any personal or team goals going into this season?

Gawdin: I'm not trying to get too far ahead of myself. Obviously, I want the team to do well and go as far as we can. I think success and everything else will take care of itself.

McKeen's: Does it bother you that there are a lot of scouts in attendance watching every game?

Gawdin: You can't let that interfere with playing your game. In the back of your mind, you know they are there because you see them before and after the game. If you are thinking about it, that's when you will make a mistake.

McKeen's: What is the strongest part of your game, and what are the things you want to work on this season?

Gawdin: I think my vision is my strongest asset, the ability to see and think the game at a rapid pace. A lot of that comes from me growing up and playing lacrosse at a young age for the hand eye coordination factor. I think as far as weaknesses, I would like to get faster and stronger in my core base so I'm able to win puck battles.

McKeen's: Building on that answer, how much importance or emphasis do you put on core strength work-outs off the ice in developing a strong base to win puck battles and hold defensive position on opposing players?

Gawdin: It's huge, obviously the summer time is when you must work on this with your trainers in the weight room. The players are bigger and stronger at this level so you have to get stronger in order to compete on a level playing field?

McKeen's: How does it feel to be considered a draft prospect?

Gawdin: It's a very special thing. I grew up watching the draft so I know how special it can be to hear your name called by an NHL team.

McKeen's: Who has had the greatest impact on your hockey career to date?

Gawdin: Definitely my father. He put me on skates at a very young age which helped benefit me immensely. Jokingly, I think I could actually skate before I could walk. He taught me the little things, took me out on the ice before practice to work on the various areas of the game. After each game we would have a talk and he would tell me what he thought I was doing right and what I was doing wrong or what needs to be worked on.

McKeen's: Was any player that you admired watching play in the NHL while a young kid that you wanted to pattern your game after?

Gawdin: My dad is a die-hard Leafs fan, so I really admired Mats Sundin while growing up watching him on a TV. I just try to take a few things from the way he played. I'm also a big fan of Joe Thornton, who is a big strong guy and a great role model.

McKeen's: Hockey is growing and is an international game, do you have any prior experience playing for Canada or just a minor hockey team in any International tournaments? 

Gawdin: I've had a chance to play at under 16 and 17 tournaments on the world stage. Playing against teams like Russia and Sweden was a great experience. A big difference in international play is that there is not as much physical play like there is pretty much every night in the WHL. The focus is on skating and skill, however the Europeans are rapidly incorporating more physical play into their games. you can just witness this at the World Junior tourney every year.

McKeen's: You have a good shot, with a pretty good release, have you been putting extra work in on that with coaches and team mates?

Gawdin: It's something I have been working on a lot. When I was growing up playing, I thought of myself more of a play-maker or set-up man. When I came here though, Coach Mark Lamb wanted to me to shoot more and I'm having some success with it.

McKeen's: What do you like to do in the off season away from the game?

Gawdin: I mentioned earlier I liked to play lacrosse in the off season, but since I am a little more serious about my hockey and playing at this level, I decided to give that up so as to reduce any chance of off season injury. I just try to relax and work on hockey related stuff.