Christoph Gawlik is currently ranked 66th among European Skaters by Central
Scouting, but is considered by many in Germany to simply be the most dynamic,
exciting and talented German player under 20 years of age. This past season he
put up 27 points playing mostly on the third line for the DEL champions Eisbaren
Berlin, who won their second consecutive championship in a most convincing
manner. Gawlik then found himself
promptly nominated by national team coach Uwe Krupp to play with Team Germany at
this year’s B Group Men’s World Championship in Amiens, France.
The young redhead made the most of this opportunity scoring three goals
in five games while going +5 in helping Team Germany quickly jump back into the
A group of the IIHF.
Hockey’s Future recently had the
opportunity to conduct a short interview with Gawlik.
HF: You’re listed as No.
66 in all of Europe. Have you long thought about one day making it to the
NHL and how do you feel about the possibility of being drafted this summer?
CG: The NHL would have to be
the dream of any and every young hockey player. The idea of being drafted is
simply super. At this stage, I’m simply trying to work hard on myself and my
game and the rest will hopefully take care of itself.
HF: During the 2005-06 season, you
established yourself as a regular in the DEL, not a small feat for someone in
your age group. How does it feel to
be so young and yet to already have been an important component in winning a
championship at the highest level possible in your country?
CG: It’s simply an
indescribable feeling that I can’t easily put into words. I’m just very
satisfied with the way the last season developed and am so happy that I’ve
received the chance to establish and prove myself and to help the team.
HF: The 2004-05 season was not the
best one for you and that was more or less the result of shoulder and knee
injuries. Are these injuries now a thing of the past and did you still see that
season as having been positive for your development?
CG: The injuries are a thing
of the past! I’m a positive thinker and I always attempt to make the best of
everything, regardless of the situation, whether healthy or injured.
HF: What has Pierre Pagé (a coach
with NHL experience) meant to you and your career thus far?
CG: Pierre Pagé is a very
good coach. He throws the young player right into the deep end and in so doing,
attempts to quickly give them the opportunity to prove themselves. I think that
the young players not only gain lots of playing experience from this, but also
receive a lot of confidence from the coach.
HF: Speaking of coaches,
you were nominated for the National Team by the new national team head coach Uwe
Krupp. With that, your young career
gained prominence with your successful and convincing showing in France.
Were you surprised to get so much playing time and how does it feel to
have been a champion two times within just a few weeks?
CG: Yes, it was quite a
surprise, but also a confirmation of the good season I was having. It was quite
an honor to get to be part of it. The feeling was wonderful and it couldn’t have
HF: What are your plans for the next
CG: I currently have a
contract with Berlin. Berlin is a lovely city and I enjoy living here. The
organization is very professional and I’m receiving the best educational
HF: Your size hasn’t prevented you
from being successful thus far throughout your young career. With the new rules
in the NHL, smaller players were able to excel in the course of the last season.
That should be an advantage as far as your draft chances are concerned.
Have you at any point had contact with scouts or NHL teams and is the NHL
your ultimate goal?
CG: That’s quite a funny thing
actually! I grow a little every year and I’m now up to 5’11, but yes, this new
direction in the NHL could be an advantage for me. As for the NHL itself, it’s
definitely the ultimate goal. Hockey is my life and I always try to do my best
to get to the top and to become better.
HF: The draft takes place on June
24th, right in the middle of the World Cup of Soccer which is being held in
Germany. How are you going to keep yourself informed about the events of the
draft and are you nervous or excited about it?
CG: My agent Klaus Hille always
provides me with the information I need, but I’m not going to go crazy about it.
Should I be drafted, I’ll hear about it soon enough and a dream of mine would
then be becoming a reality.
2006 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without
permission of the editorial staff.