Yesterday, I had the chance to interview Blues' up-and-coming prospect TJ Oshie. Here's the transcript of the interview:
NB: TJ, you participated in this development camp last year. What's the biggest difference between last year and this year?
TJ: I think it's just being more confident and comfortable on the ice. Last year, I was new to everything and really didn't know what to expect. This year, having gone through it, I think it makes things a lot easier.
NB: For some fans that haven't really seen you play a whole lot, tell us a little bit about yourself on the ice and what your style of play is.
TJ: Well, I like to be a hard worker out there...play with tenacity and work hard. I like to be offensive, but I like to play the body as well, so I try to bring the complete package as much as I can.
NB: Coming straight out of college and not really playing in any junior leagues or minor league systems, does it present that much more of a challenge for you to come in and try to show the other guys on the team, as well as the fans, your full potential...or is it something you really don't think about?
TJ: Well, I think college has grown quite a bit, in my eyes, to be one of the more elite leagues. I think it's a different mentality. The game's different obviously in Juniors...they play of an NHL-style game, and in college, we play half-minute games, and have a lot more practices. I think I just got to adjust to the style of play (in the NHL).
NB: How is it gonna feel stepping on the ice in the first regular-season game, and playing alongside guys you probably grew up watching like Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk?
TJ: It's gonna be unbelievable...definitely a dream come true, and a moment that I'll definitely cherish. I'm sure every player remembers the first time they step on the ice, and I definitely will.
NB: What can Blues' fans expect from TJ Oshie this year?
TJ: Well, I hope to make an impact early. Obviously, it's hard for a rookie to step in and make plays and try to be a difference-maker for them, but I'm gonna try and do that for them.