Q&A with Michael Frolik

By Stephen J. Holodinsky

At the Florida Panthers rookie camp, Hockey’s Future had an opportunity to sit down with 2006 first-round draft pick Michael Frolik after the team’s first game.

HF: How are you enjoying rookie camp so far?

MF: I’m excited to be here and it is very fun here with the guys. I try to play my best and I hope it helps me make it to the next level.

HF: Is there any one thing they have you working on here?

MF: Last year I needed to improve my stability and my physical game so in the summer I trained for that and I hope to do better this year.

HF: Was the CHL what you expected it to be when you came over last year?

MF: For sure last year wasn’t that fun because we didn’t have that good (of) a team but I experienced a new language and a new style of hockey and it was for sure good for me.

HF: What is the main difference between the styles of the QMJHL and the Czech Extraliga?

MF: The Czech Extraliga has smaller players with more experience and because of that they play smarter. Here you play on smaller ice with a more physical game, but I think this style is closer to the NHL.

HF: You missed some time at the beginning of last season with shoulder problems. What exactly was wrong with your shoulder and how is it now?

MF: I was injured in the second game of the hockey season, it was just that the bone was higher, but it wasn’t dislocated. After three weeks it was okay and now it doesn’t hurt.

HF: Is there one facet of your game you were able to improve on during your time in the QMJHL?

MF: In Czech Liga I was playing third and fourth line and in Rimouski I play everything like every power play, every penalty. It was a very good experience for me.

HF: You’ve been listed as a left wing, center and right wing. Tonight you lined up at left wing. Is there one position you prefer and why?

MF: In the Czech Republic (for Kladno) I played right wing, in Rimouski last season I played center, but (growing up) I played left wing and I prefer left wing.

HF: With recent graduates of Rimouski being Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Sidney Crosby, how did it feel coming in and being their next marquee player?

MF: Two weeks before, Sidney was practicing with us. It was fun to meet Sidney. He’s a really good guy; I learnt from him, I watched him on the ice.

HF: Were you nervous at all coming in and knowing that these three guys had all been here in the last few years and now all of a sudden everybody was looking at you?

MF: I like a little bit of pressure. I know before there were some great players but I try to play my game.

HF: Let’s go back a bit and talk about your draft year. According to scouts you went into a bit of a freefall during your draft year. What do you think happened during that time that had scouts pushing you down their draft boards?

MF: I (don’t think) I had a good season. I started on the first line with experienced guys but after we started losing they put me on the third and fourth line and I didn’t play too much and I didn’t get many points. I think that is why I (went) a little bit down but it (didn’t) matter if (I went) third or tenth, I’m happy to be drafted by Florida. I’m happy about that.

HF: Who would you say your game resembles the most?

MF: Someone told me Patrick Elias from New Jersey.

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