is a really great time to be a fan. As an offseason special, I got a chance
to conduct an interview with Spokane Chiefs defenseman Kyle Rossiter. Kyle
was drafted 30th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 1998 NHL draft. To
this date, he has currently played 4 season’s for Spokane of the WHL.
Hockey’s Future: How old were you when you started playing hockey?
Kyle Rossiter: I was 5 when I started playing hockey in Edmonton.
HF: What did it feel like to be drafted into the NHL?
KR: It was a big relief because it just seemed like the pressure had been
building all season and everyone speculates as to when and where you’ll be
drafted you really feel like you are under the microscope.
HF: Was there any special team(s) you wanted to be drafted by?
KR: Any team was fine by me, at this point you just want to get your foot in the
HF: Why did you decide to play Major Junior instead of perhaps going to a U.S.
KR: I, like most hockey people, viewed major junior as the faster track to the
NHL. I knew that I could always go back to school if things in Junior
didn’t work out and with the CHL scholarship plan I knew that if things
didn’t go my way that Spokane would foot the bill for four years of
HF: Who do you think was the biggest help in your hockey career thus far?
KR: Mike Babcock, my coach in Spokane, has no doubt molded me into the player
that I am today. I knew so little about systems and defensive play when I
came to Spokane at age 16. He taught me basically everything except the
most basic hockey skills.
HF: What has it been like playing in Spokane recently?
KR: I had a great four years in Spokane it was a lot of fun they just seemed to
fly by. This season though was very special for me. I knew going it that
it could very well be my last year of Junior. At the start of the season all
the pundits had us picked to finish last in the West division. We won the
West division and advanced all the way to the league final with a team that
people said “Didn’t have enough talent.”
HF: It’s a long season…Who are some of your good friends during the season?
KR: During the season I spend a lot of my time in the company of Derek Schultz.
He was our team captain and we roomed together during my first season in
Spokane and he basically showed me the ropes, we’ve been close ever since
although we never lived together again.
HF: What is your current status as far as playing with the Florida Panthers?
KR: Not really sure what they have planned for me next year but I know that all
I can do is go out at camp and play as well as I can and try and make the
HF: Finally I have to ask what advice you’d give to kids growing up who want to
be hockey players?
KR: Learn how to skate. Power skating might not be as much fun as shooting
pucks around but skating is what makes the difference. If you skate really
well you have a chance to play somewhere.
(Again for myself Jonathan Litterine, and all of us here at
Hockey’sFuture.com we would like to thank Kyle Rossiter for taking time out
of his busy schedule. We wish him the best of luck in his hockey future.)