Boston College sophomore and Phoenix Coyotes prospect Benn Ferriero has become a dominant force for the Eagles this year, particularly in postseason. His outstanding performance in the Hockey East playoffs earned him a selection to the All-Tournament team. He would go on to help lead Boston College to their second consecutive Frozen Four appearance.
Benn Ferriero spoke with Hockey’s Future after practice on Wednesday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
HF: How does it feel to be here once again?
BF: It’s a great feeling. We were here last year and made it all the way to the (National) Championship game and this year we want to take it one step further.
HF: Obviously you guys lost a heartbreaker to Wisconsin last year. Do you feel that this is the year that you guys will finally get it done?
BF: Oh, I hope so. That’s what all four teams here are trying to do here. We came here for one reason and that’s to come back with the trophy. Most of the teams here are coming back so they want to get to the finals. We just want to take it one step further.
HF: You played such a big role in the success of the team in last year’s Frozen Four. Do you personally feel that the expectations on you are a little higher this year because of how well you played last year?
BF: I don’t try to put any extra pressure on myself. I know that I’m asked to do a few more things this year because I’m a year older. You’re asked to do more things as you get older but I don’t put any more pressure on myself. I just go out and do my job. We have a lot of good players on this team, so it’s not that big of a change.
HF: You’ve been playing with Dan Bertram and Joe Rooney. What is it that makes the line work and how has it allowed you to step up your play?
BF: We’ve been playing together for a long time. We just have a feel for each other and just know where each other going to be out on the ice. It really helps to get some chemistry going. We don’t really have to think about where the other players are going to be, we just know. Which helps us stay a step ahead of the game and it just helps us play faster and play the puck better.
HF: This year, I noticed that you’re playing on right wing. How does that compare to playing at center, which you did last year?
BF: It’s a little bit different. You don’t have as much responsibility down low. Dan’s been playing great at center and there’s no reason to change anything up. I just kind of experimented both ways and then got on a roll. Why change something if it’s not broken. I’m perfectly happy with the way it is and I think everyone is, especially with the way that we’re playing.
HF: You’re having such a fantastic year too. Do you feel that the move to right wing has also enabled you to increase your point production as well?
BF: Um, yeah, maybe. I’m not really sure (laughing). I just try to play well in every game and do what I’m asked to do. I have two great linemates that have helped a lot. We played together towards the end of last year and we did real well. This year we picked up right where we left off last year so I think that’s one of the reasons too.
HF: You guys lost two very good players in Chris Collins and Stephen Gionta at the end of last year. Do you feel that you have had to become one of the guys who leads the offensive charge this year with the loss of those two players?
BF: Yeah. They’re two great players and put up a ton of points for us last year. Some people needed to step up this year and I was one of them, but we’ve had a lot of guys that have stepped up this year such as sophomores like Brock (Bradford), Gerbs (Nathan Gerbe), and others like Joe Rooney and (Dan Bertram), who’ve increased their point production from right around where it was last year. So it’s not just me. It’s not just one player; it’s the whole team stepping up.
HF: One of the things that the team has been able to do this year, particularly in the postseason is spread out the offense. It’s not just one guy as you’ve said or one line. Do you feel that it is something that has helped contribute to the success of the team?
BF: Definitely. I think it’s really good for our team that we don’t have just one line that the other team can try and shut down and expect to win if they do. There’s a lot of offense spread out through out our team. Last year, we had Collins. He was our real go-to guy. Teams felt that if they shut him down that they had a good chance to win but I feel that this year’s team is different. There’s no one player that carries everything. Everyone feeds off of each other. I think it’s the thing that really benefits us as a team.
HF: You were drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes last summer. What was that like for you?
BF: It was great. The organization just built a new facility out there and the guys that I met going out there for the prospects camp were all great guys. The coaching staff seemed like such unbelievable guys. So in the future we’ll see happens.
HF: Have spoken with anyone from the Coyotes organization this year?
BF: Yeah, I’ve had contact with them throughout the year. It’s just basically about asking me how I’m doing, nothing big. I still have two more years to go at Boston College, so I’m not worried about it.
HF: Are you planning to attend their prospects camp this summer?
BF: Yeah, but we’ll see what happens. I went to it last year, so I’ll probably end up going down there for it again this year.
HF: What have been the one or two areas of your game that you feel has improved the most this year?
BF: I feel like that I’ve gotten a lot stronger. I feel that I’ve added a lot of strength. I’ve worked a lot on my strength training and my shot over the summer, so those are two areas that I feel that I’ve improved a fair amount. I still have to get better because I’m not close to where I should be.
HF: With the changes that have occurred with your team last offseason, do you feel that your role has changed in any way or is it a case of you taking your role to a new level this year?
BF: Yeah, I think I’ve taken it to a new level. I’m asked to play more minutes and stuff like that but I try to play the same way this year that I played last year. I’m just playing better this year, having to be a leader and things like that, but nothing too drastic. Like I said before, everyone has stepped up. We just feed off of each other and play for each other.
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