Name: Rick Nash
Team: London Knights (OHL)
Rob: At what age did you start playing hockey?
Rick: It was at two.
Rob: Where did you start playing hockey?
Rick: It was in Brampton, where I grew up.
Rob: Your favorite NHL team?
Rick: Toronto Maple Leafs.
Rob: Your favorite NHL player?
Rick: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rob: The biggest success in your hockey career?
Rick: Playing major junior and winning the top OHL rookie last season.
Rob: How would you describe yourself as a player?
Rick: I think that I’m a solid all-round player and that I can play
Rob: What do you do in your free time?
Rick: I like to hang out with my freinds, have a rest or play golf.
Rob: Thank you and good luck.
HF: How is your relationship with fellow Avalanche draft pick Vaclav Nedorost, and is there a rivalry going with him to see who will become the better player?
RV: I have to say that me and Vaclav are very good friends. We were roommates in Russia at the WJC. We keep in touch a lot during a season over the internet and we are also planning to go on vacation in the summer together. I don’t think there is any rivalry between me and him at all. How I said we are good friends and we hope that we will play for Colorado Avalanche together one day.
HF: What was the best moment when you won the gold medal in the World Junior Championships?
RV: The whole tournament in Russia was a special time for me. Even the training camp in Czech before. We had a lots of fun as a team and I was very happy to be on that team. But the best moment was probably right after the final game against Finland. After the final buzzer we realized that we achieved something what we come for so it was a big relief and lot of happiness. So winning the gold medal for my country was probably the best moment in my hockey career.
HF: How will playing for the best team in the QMJHL prepare you for playing for the Stanley Cup contending Colorado Avalanche?
On the Rangers roster right now, one will find several emerging talents who are all under the age of 25. Wingers Radek Dvorak and Jan Hlavac showed they could net 30 goals ands 60 points at the pro level, and they are only expected to improve. Mike York showed that he could play in situations other then offensively and may just be the most versatile member of the whole team. Tomas Kloucek jumped from AHL rookie team member and all-star to a solid NHL rookie who is logging close to 20 minutes a game and may earn a spot on the NHL’s All Rookie squad. Kim Johnsson battled slumps but improved upon his point totals and defensive play from his freshman campaign, while Dale Purinton made the seemingly impossible jump from the AHL to a semi-regular spot on the Rangers blue line. Mike Mottau learned the pro game and after a successful season in the minors finds himself playing the point with his idol Brian Leetch. Peter Smrek was acquired in a late season deal and looks like he may be a quality defenseman who isn’t always noticed but always gets the job done. Most importantly once forgotten first round pick Manny Malhotra returned to the NHL having learned a new position which lately has been put to excellent use. While not only chipping in with the odd point or so, Manny has added speed, energy and size to a line that appears to possibly stick as the first line next season. At the very least the combination has shown the Rangers brass what Malhotra and Dvorak are capable of with a little development.
Yet with all the developments at the NHL level, progress at the minor, Read more»