Q & A with TJ
How did the Warroad community shape you as a person/player?
Warroad brought out my true love of the game for hockey. It happened the first time I went there, when I was 10 years old, skating on my cousins outdoor rink. I truly fell in love with the town when I moved there in high school and put on the Warrior jersey, at The Gardens Arena.
Why does Warroad produce so many great hockey players?
So many great players come from Warroad because of 3 things. The daily access to the ice, the competitiveness the players bring out in each other, and their passion for the sport.
What are your 3 best memories of hockey on your road to the NHL?
My 3 best memories on the road to the NHL are 2 Warroad State Championships and signing a letter of intent to the University of North Dakota.
What does a "day in the life" of an away game look like?
We usually practice around 11:30am, followed by a big meal at the hotel and a nap. I usually head back to the rink around 4pm for the game. Then I start my normal pregame routine.
Was there a single moment you knew you were good enough to play in the NHL?
No. I still question myself each summer. That’s what drives me to continue to get better and keep up with the game. The league keeps getting faster and more skilled every year.
What are your quirks - left skate first? taping stick method? no socks?
No quirks. Whatever happens, happens. I do have secret handshakes with about 13 of the boys before each period.
What are you really focusing on during a break away?
Don’t get caught.
Favorite/most memorable goal of your entire hockey life?
The winning shootout goal against Russia in Sochi.
What do you eat before a game?
Salmon, veggies, sweet potato and avocado.
If you weren’t a hockey player what would you be doing?
No idea... I would wish to be a pro golfer.
Most inspirational player or coach on your road to the NHL?
My dad has to be #1. He taught me how to be unselfish and how to use my imagination with the puck. Both of my parents had a major impact on me.
On a break-away or shoot out... when or how do you know where you are going to shoot?
I have my moves, that if executed properly and the goalie plays true to the puck, they should go in every time. When a goalie guesses right or there Is bad ice or I’m not focused, I miss.
Favorite card game?
7 up 7 down. It’s a trump game that I’ve only seen NHL players play.
What curve... heel? toe? mid?
I have one of Ovi’s versions of his curve. The curve starts early at the heel and then gradually curves all the way through to the toe.
Favorite road game city?
Minnesota, because I get to see friends and family.
Favorite road arena?
Excel Energy Center, St Paul, Minnesota. Two high school state championships and a WCHA final five title there.