A number of the top prospects of the Anaheim Ducks have missed significant time over the past two seasons due to injury and 2006 draftee, Bryce Swan is no exception. In 2005-06, the 38th overall selection was able to see action in only 34 games with the Halifax Mooseheads because of
three separate injuries. Although he plays a crash-bang style, it is worth noting that none of these injuries came as a result of his play, but rather from what he refers to as ‘awkward plays’.
Hockey’s Future caught up with Swan earlier this month, as he was sitting out with a broken bone in his hand. He has since returned to the Mooseheads lineup and in the seven games he has played, Swan has four points, all of them goals.
HF: First, can you describe your style of play and what you bring to the Mooseheads?
BS: I like to bring a physical presence for sure, a bang and crash style. I do what it takes to win. I bring my lunch pail
every day and get to work hard and be a leader for our team.
HF: You were drafted by Anaheim and there’s a bit of a connection between the Ducks and Mooseheads over the years with players like (Jean-Sebastien) Giguere and (Joe) Dipenta. Did you know they were looking at you?
BS: Yeah, I talked to them three or four times before the draft, during the
Combine actually and once the day before the draft. So I had a pretty good feeling about it. They said hopefully I would be around when one of their picks come. It’s an honor to go anywhere and Anaheim’s a great organization. They have lots of young players and I’m looking forward to cracking the lineup someday.
HF: Were you drafted around where you expected to go?
BS: Yeah, I mean, I had a tough year last year with injuries. But to go in the second round is nothing but an honor. There was a lot of great players in the draft and I was just happy to be drafted anywhere.
HF: You mentioned the injuries. Can you talk about why you’re out of the lineup right now?
BS: Just have a little fracture in my hand. It’s nothing serious, I could have played, but they felt it would be best for me to just sit it out and take the next couple of days off instead of rushing back in there. Next week, I’ll play with a cast on.
HF: Can you talk a bit about the three injuries you went through last season?
BS: Yeah, there was a groin, a shoulder separation and a broken hand. The groin was just an awkward play. They were all awkward plays. I stepped on a puck and pulled my groin. The separated shoulder: it was my first game back from the groin and that was a weird one too. I just took a regular hit but it was a hard hit and my shoulder separated. My
thumb — a guy crashed the net so I thought I’d look out for my goalie. That’s the breaks, I mean it happens. I’m ready to go, ready to step in there again.
HF: You spent some of the summer in Anaheim and played in the Pacific Division Shootout. How do you think you played?
BS: I thought I played pretty good. Took me the first game to adjust to the speed and everything. There were a lot of great players there, a lot of older players. The speed and the strength are the biggest things, but once I got used to it, I found I played pretty good and competed really well.
HF: You mentioned speed and strength. Are there a few specific things that Anaheim told you to work on?
BS: Well they said they were happy with my base and just to work on everything. Speed, strength, my shot, just everything it takes to get to the NHL.
HF: Is there any player you model your game after?
BS: Ryan Smyth for sure. He brings his lunch pail everyday; he’s a great leader and a great role model, so that’s why I try to play like him.
HF: Can you give some thoughts about the Mooseheads this year?
BS: We have a young exciting team for sure; we have lots of great players. There’s a good balance, a good group of all the guys. There are good guys that got a chance to play last year. Now that we have (Jeremy) Duchesne (PHI) back, that and (Ryan) Seymour, he’s a great leader. So is Luce (Luciano Lomanno). They contribute so much. (Jakub) Voracek, he’s fantastic. Potential first round, could be first overall if he keeps going the way he is. So the sky’s the limit for us. We don’t like to be too concerned about our start, but come crunch time I think we’ll be right in the middle of things.
HF: A few thoughts on the name change and the new jerseys for the Ducks?
BS: I think it’s great. Well, actually the Mighty Ducks was one of my favorite movies. D2 was my favorite. But they changed ownership and wanted to get a new image. The fans are really excited about it, the players are and the jerseys look great. I thought the name was a little weird at first, but it’s grown on me and I really like it.
HF: Any jokes in the locker room about a Swan being drafted by the Ducks?
BS: (laughing) Yeah, there’s a few. Actually, I got one from Cape Breton from the draft. I went home to Cape Breton and I was driving back from Halifax and me and my friend stopped to gas up and the headline was ‘Swan lands in Duck pond’. A nice little pun there, you can always play on that, it’s a little funny.
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