Q&A with Ken Magowan

By Holly Gunning

Ken Magowan, a 2000 draft pick of the New Jersey Devils and native of Kelowna, British Columbia, played four years for Boston University. This fall he was assigned to the ECHL Augusta Lynx. Thus far he has 21 points in 31 games, including a hat trick on November 30th. He leads the team in plus/minus at +3 as a rookie.

This week, Magowan was named as the Lynx sole representative to the 2005 ECHL All-Star game. The game will take place January 26th in Reading, PA.

Hockey’s Future spoke to Magowan following the Lynx 3-2 victory over the Gladiators in Gwinnett on Saturday.

HF: You were just selected for the ECHL All-Star game, are you excited about that?
KM: Yeah, I’m really excited. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s a couple weeks away but I’m just trying to keep our team rolling right now, we’re doing well, we’re on a bit of an upswing as compared to before the break. When I get there, I’m sure it will sink in.

HF: Is your family going to make it out?
KM: No, they can’t make it. It’s a long trip for them.

HF: How do you think your personal season has been going so far?
KM: I was off to a better start than I thought. Everyone hopes for a good start, a fast start, get it going the first couple games. I was fortunate to get one in the first game to get my confidence going. From there it was just a snowball effect, every goal and every assist keeps my confidence going. It’s going well so far. The team is starting to turn around now so it’s fun.

HF: How did you feel the transition was from college to the pros?
KM: It’s a different game obviously. Not so helter-skelter, smarter hockey, the puck moving really quick. It’s more puck-fast than it is tempo-fast, that’s hard to explain, but it’s a little different game, a little smarter. It was definitely a challenge when I first started.

HF: Do you feel like that’s still something that you fight every game?
KM: I think I’m getting used to it now, 31 games. I think now I’m getting a feel for it. You lose the college habits and gain the pro habits. That’s what you want, to dump those habits as soon as possible.

HF: When I watch you, it seems like sometimes you give the puck away sooner than you have to, because you don’t think you have as much time as you do.
KM: Sometimes, yeah, you don’t realize you have as much time as you do. Here the players are smarter and if you hang onto it more you can make a better play. I think I’m still adjusting to that for sure.

HF: You’ve been playing with (Louis) Goulet and (Todd) Bennett, can you talk about your line and how it works?
KM: We’ve been playing really good. I like to go in the corners and play a physical game down low, and Todd also, he’s got the speed down the wall. He creates a lot of room for Louis, he’s just buzzing around, he’s a great playmaker, has great hands. We just try to find each other open. We just move the puck down low and we’ve been successful so far.

HF: In a story a few years ago, you described yourself as a grinder. Would you still describe yourself that same way?
KM: Not so much a grinder, that’s kind of a one-dimensional phrase. I know I can score, put the puck in the net. I like to play down low and play physical. If I said anything, I’d consider myself a power forward. I think at school I kind of got in the mindset of thinking I was a grinder, I was fine with that. But I think it’s just a phase.

HF: So are you scoring more than you expected?
KM: (laughs) Well, everyone expects to score 100 goals, but no, I’ve been happy so far, I just hope to be a little more consistent. If you break down my goals, I got a hat trick in one game, a two-goal game, and that’s five goals out of 11. That’s not very spread out. That’s one thing I’ve been fighting to deal with, to be a little more consistent. Don’t score a hat trick and then not score for six games. That’s not what the team needs me to do and that’s not what I expect of myself.

HF: When you had your hat trick, did you do anything different that game or was it good luck?
KM: It’s just one of those things that just happened. The first goal, I got it on my tape and I put it on net. The second goal was really lucky and the third goal was even luckier, it was an empty net. I put it backhand and it got on its end and just rolled in three different directions. But no, that night I got bad sleep, I was tired all day. That night I was at the Atlanta airport for hours and hours, had an awful night sleep. It was just one of those things that happens, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. It’s not like I felt great, it just happened.

HF: You’re playing both special teams, how would you describe your role or contribution to the team?
KM: I think I can contribute in every aspect of the game. I can score goals, and I take a lot of pride in my defensive play. Playing special teams is a pleasure to do. Playing 5 on 4 you get a better chance to score goals and I love killing penalties too because I take pride in my d-zone. That’s where you can shine the most and be a successful player.

HF: Which NHL player do you look up to or pattern your game after?
KM: (smiles) I’m getting to that age where it’s like you don’t want to have an idol because I’m 23 years old, but growing up I definitely wanted to be like Trevor Linden. Growing up four hours outside Vancouver, they were my team and I always followed them. Seeing Trevor Linden, a big power forward who could skate and score, he was a huge part of that team until he got traded. I’m happy he’s back. But that’s what I patterned myself as back then, and now I’m trying to be my own player, figure out myself. I’m at that age where you don’t want to be standing around. (laughs)

HF: What do you feel like you need to work on still?
KM: Definitely my consistency and off-ice stuff, trying to eat well. Sometimes you get tired and it’s a long season compared to the seasons I’ve been used to the last four years. I’ve already played more games this year than I played last year because of injury. It’s a grind and you have to take better care of yourself off the ice. Sleeping more and getting better food, eating on schedule. Try to focus on that as much as possible.

HF: What are you drinking there?
KM: It’s called Endurox, it’s kind of a post-competition thing. It regains your muscle faster than water would.

HF: What is your goal for the rest of the season, or is it just the things you’ve mentioned already?
KM: As a team goal, I want to help the team reach the playoffs for sure. We dug ourselves in a hole before Christmas, but we’re playing well and I want to contribute every night and hopefully be consistent. If I can’t score a goal or get an assist, play good penalty kill and don’t get scored on in my zone. That’s my mentality. Tonight I didn’t play very well, but I thought I played not bad defensively, so that’s what I want to do, contribute in some way.

Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.