Adam Courchaine is one of the most explosive players in the B.C. Division of the Western Hockey League due to skating, his ability to distribute the puck, his natural ability to find the back of the net. It is because of these reasons that the Minnesota Wild selected him in the seventh round of the 2003 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Courchaine, selected 219th overall, is currently leading his club with 51 points after 43 games, just as he did in his draft season, which saw him register 43 goals and 42 assists for 85 points. Currently he sits twelfth in the league in goals with 21, and his 29 assists rank him thirteenth in the league.
Adam Courchaine has only one objective in mind when it comes to the 2003-04 Western Hockey League season, taking the Vancouver Giants deep into the playoffs.
Hockey’s Future had the opportunity recently to catch up with the young Minnesota prospect.
HF: What was being taken in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft like?
AC: It was a fun time for me, you look forward to it all your life and it finally came for me so it was a pretty exciting time. I was down at the lake when I heard the news, doing some relaxing, so it was pretty exciting news for me.
HF: The Minnesota Wild made you their seventh round selection. Did you have any reaction to being drafted by the Wild?
AC: I think it’s a great team for me to go to because look at the way they play, you know, they’re not a big money team and they have a lot of smaller guys that work hard and they play that kind of game and maybe one day I could jump in there.
HF: Is that the kind of style you play, a hard-working, gritty guy?
AC: Yeah, exactly. I work hard and be gritty, and I also try to set up plays and score some goals.
HF: You were in attendance at the Minnesota Wild training camp, what was that experience like for you, and what did you take from it?
AC: It was a great experience, being my second professional camp and all. I went to Vancouver the year before so I knew somewhat what to expect and it was fun, a good experience for me.
HF: Are there any adjustments in your game that you can see in order to make the jump over to the professional level?
AC: For the most part, probably get stronger, like everybody says. You’re playing with men up there and I think that’s probably the thing I need to work on the most.
HF: You attended the World Junior Camp in December as well. Could you describe that experience?
AC: It was fun, and of course a great experience. Unfortunately it didn’t work out but that’s the way it goes, you know, and I just took it as a positive and something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
HF: Were you able to watch the tournament at all? Were you glued to the television like so many other Canadians?
AC: Yeah, I watched it, and you know I was cheering on those guys! I know a few guys on that team so I wanted to show my support for them, but unfortunately they lost and it was tough for them.
HF: The Vancouver Giants, while they are in a slump currently, they are doing very well overall. Any comments on the season so far, maybe looking towards the playoffs?
AC: You know, I think we’re doing well. The last four games have been unfortunate, haven’t been receiving the bounces our way. We’re on this road trip and we have to win on the road, and I think there’s no better time to start then now.
Joey Kenward, Vancouver Giants Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations, also shared his time in talking about his club’s star forward.
HF: Would you be able to share your thoughts on Adam being selected to the World Junior Camp and his experiences there?
JK: Yeah, he obviously took it as a great honor to go to that tournament as a kid who’s never played at the international level. He certainly did everything in his power to earn that opportunity to get invited to play for Canada. Was he disappointed that he didn’t make it past the first round of cuts, you bet, who wouldn’t be? He certainly has turned that negative experience of being cut into a positive since he’s come back to the Giants after the World Junior Camp. He has been on fire. He has really lead this team in every facet of the game.
HF: Has his play since the training camp improved?
JK: No question. I don’t think he’s doing it out of the fact that ‘Hey, I’m going to prove that I should have been at that camp,’ no. It’s an opportunity to him to get back to what he does best which is score goals, set up goals, and hopefully lead this team into the playoffs.
HF: What has Adam Courchaine meant to the Vancouver Giants this year?
JK: I mean, obviously he leads by example and that’s on the scoring sheet, and he’s certainly as good a skater as I’ve seen in this league in a very long time. He can put it into second gear on the fly like most players can’t and he catches a lot of defensemen off guard when he can turn up the afterburners when he gets going with the puck. He’s got pinpoint accuracy with the puck and he’s the best pure scorer in this league, especially in the B.C. division right now, and it’s not a surprise to me or anybody that’s really followed him the past couple years, that he leads the BC division in scoring.