If a German fan were to hear the name Paul Weismann, he’d most likely ask,
“Where’s he?” – “What happened to him?” The 20 year old guy from around
Rosenheim, Germany is a former junior national team member and a current
defensive prospect. Weismann went to the USA in the summer of 2000 to study at
the Bowling Green State University in Ohio. And he changed the residence at
the beginning of January as he went to the Geneseo College, New York. As to
whether the reason for this was that he didn’t like the food there or to play hockey for the university team, the Ice Knights, just
take a moment to read this interview with him:
HF: Hello Paul Weismann, how do you feel at your new University right
PW: Pretty good. My new competitors are very nice and I enjoy the daily
HF: You were in Germany over parts of the summer. What did you do there –
play some hockey or do some training with the hockey team in Rosenheim?
PW: Yes, I was in Germany for three months. I worked two months for my
parents’ firm and I spent some time with my family and girlfriend on vacation in
South Africa for two and a half weeks. I was on the ice in Rosenheim for three
weeks in August and did some summer training with a few players from Bad
Aibling, Christian Gegenfurtner from Bad Tölz, Patrick Senger (Berlin Capitals)
and Robert Müller (Adler Mannheim, 2001 Draft Pick).
HF: Do you keep in touch with former teammates from your time in
PW: Yes, with Markus Busch (Schwenningen), Daniel Hilpert (Landshut), Georg
Rainer Köttsdorfer (Valley/USA), Thomas Brandstädter (Bayreuth), Robert Müller
(Mannheim) and Andreas Paderhuber (Bad Aibling).
HF: Do you keep up with events happening in the German hockey scene?
PW: As much as possible. I look in the internet to check the standings
HF: Let’s talk about the start of your young career. When did you step on the
ice for the first time?
PW: I was five years old.
HF: What or who introduced you to the sport of hockey?
PW: I kind of found it myself. I just wanted to play hockey.
HF: Do you have a hockey role model?
PW: Ron Fischer, from the past of Rosenheim.
HF: You played for the all-Bavarian team at the age of ten. You then played
your first game at the pro level for Bad Aibling at the age of 17. We also saw
your name on the roster of the DEL-Team Star Bulls Rosenheim in the season
1999-2000. You didn’t quite break through though – why?
PW: I was the youngest of ten defenders in Bad Aibling and did not have the
experience necessary. I just wasn’t as cool as the older players. The DEL is one
of the best leagues in the world and I wasn’t ready, but I did profit from the
training sessions very much.
HF: Looking back in the past, what would you say about your time in
PW: I had a very good time in Rosenheim. And the time helped me get to where
I am right now.
HF: Why did you decide to go to the USA? Was it more a scholastic or athletic
PW: I’ve wanted to play in the USA since I started playing hockey. Besides, I
wanted to develop myself in school stuff, since I may not be fortunate enough to
make a big career out of ice hockey. There are better possibilities to play
high-level ice hockey in the USA while also getting the chance to study things.
Such a combination of school and hockey is just impossible in Germany.
HF: What were your first impressions about the Bowling Green State
PW: Big! Everything is bigger than at home.
HF: How were you received by the team and what’s your expectation for this
season for the Falcons?
PW: I was accepted pretty quickly and I never felt alone. In my opinion, they
have a better team than last year – the offense is much better than last year’s
offense. Based on potential alone, they have the ability to be in the top five
of the league without any problems.
HF: Who are/were your best friends on the team and at the University?
PW: Actually, I get along well with everyone, but especially with Neil
Schmitz from the baseball team, Brian Escobedo, Roger Leonard, Erik Eaton and
HF: You played in just eight of 30 possible games in your freshman season.
Did you have injury problems, problems with adapting to the CCHA or was the
competition for a job in the defense just too stiff?
PW: We had nine defensemen and only six are played per game. I had to adapt
to the smaller ice rink where you have to do everything more quickly. Plus, I
wasn’t directly recruited by the coaches. One can say I was a walk on. Curtis
Fry, a Bowling Green graduate and former player of the Star Bulls Rosenheim,
introduced me to the program at Bowling Green. I know, that I won’t get much ice
time in the first two years.
HF: You watched the first few games from the stands as the season 2001-2002
had been started.
PW: I watched two games from the stands and dressed the next two games. I had
a disadvantage in comparison to my competitors. They’ve been skating on the ice
for about eleven months. I sat out three months due to my time in Germany, since
there wasn’t an opportunity to skate on ice during the summer there.
HF: Why did you left Bowling Green and why did you chose to be a part of the
PW: Brian Hills, the head coach from Geneseo was our assistant coach last
year (at Bowling Green). And Hills was the man who recruted me to Bowling Green.
As I didn’t get the ice time I wanted – i get in contact with Brian Hills and I
decide to change the University after a visit at Geneseo. Besides, Geneso
provides a better education.
HF: You left the NCAA Division I to play at the Division III / the SUNYAC. A
step forward or a step back?
PW: For sure, the SUNYAC hockey isn’t as good as the hockey in Bowling Green
– but i play very often, in Power Play’s and in Penalty Killing situations. I
play a bigger role in a game than in Bowling Green.
HF: What do you estimate are your chances for the remainder of the season?
And how good will you develop in Geneseo?
PW: My development will be the same as in Bowling Green, I think. Maybe, the
steps forward will be bigger than there. The training sessions were on a high
level, but that doesn’t help if you don’t play. My offensive skills will be
better within the ice time here in Geneso. Ice time that I won’t see in Bowling
HF: Are the Ice Knights good enough to play a big part in the championship
PW: I can’t really estimate our chances, because i played in just two games.
We aren’t the favourite this year, I think. But, we all know that everything can
happen in the Play-Off’s.
HF: Kevin Bieksa was one of your competitors in Bowling Green. He was drafted
by the Vancouver Canucks (#151) this year. What’s your opinion of him and did
you learn something else from him?
PW: Kevin is a really good defensive and offensive player. He’ll play in the
NHL in the future. Bieksa controls the game and has pretty good positional
HF: What are your hobbies? How do you spend your free time at the
PW: I often play street hockey for the WSV Oberaudorf during the summer. In
my few free moments, I often visit the sauna, play Playstation, watch movies and
hang out with my buddies.
HF: What is your favourite movie and which movie you watched in the cinema
PW: American History X and American Pie 2
HF: What kind of music do you prefer?
PW: Actually all.
HF: Are you in contact with any other German player/s, who currently play in
PW: I kept in touch with Georg Rainer Köttsdorfer last season.
HF: Your parents have their own company in the chemical industry area called
Wearcheck, based in Brannenburg, Germany. You plan on majoring in chemistry – do
you want to work for your parents’ company in the future?
PW: Yes, that’s the goal. But first, I want to know how good I can do in my
HF: What are your long term goals for your hockey career?
PW: Let’s see what happens here and how good I develop. Maybe I can make the
jump straight into the DEL or my dream to make it to the NHL will come true, who
HF: You were invited to a German national team camp for the last time in
1999. Any hopes that national coach Hans Zach will call you up in the coming
PW: I don’t think Zach really knows me. No, I don’t expect a call up in the
next three years.
HF: Will you go back to Germany after your college years or would you prefer
to stay in North America for a while and take your first pro steps in a minor
PW: I want to play in Germany at some point, for sure. Maybe I’ll stay here
for a few years after I graduate in order to get experience in the minor
HF: You should have a big advantage in the physical play due to your height
and your weight. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
PW: My strengths are my hard slapshot und naturally the one-on-one situations
where I can use my height and range. Besides that, I have a good eye … I think
so anyways. I have to work on the stick handling and taking on passes better
than I currently do. I need to pass faster too – I shouldn’t have to look before
I pass. Also, I could improve my skating to make it more fluent. That will give
me the ability to make faster moves or something else like that.
HF: If you had to compare yourself and your playing style to a defender from
the NHL – who would it be?
PW: That’s not easy. I’m not a offensive defender, I’m a stay-at-home guy.
Maybe I would compare myself to Cory Cross, he’s a big guy and played for
Toronto last year.
HF: What’s your favorite team that you’d most like to play for?
PW: The San Jose Sharks.
HF: What was your biggest hockey moment ever in your young career?
PW: Hard to say. Highlights were the championship in the German juniors, my
first goal in the 2.Liga Süd for Bad Aibling and being captain of the
HF: In your opinion, is the step of going to North America good for the
personal and hockey development of a young and ambitious prospect or are there
too many difficulties involved?
PW: I can only advise it to every talented German player. You have the
possibility here to develop at many levels, to become a responsible and
independent person. Besides, the training and the coaching is amazing here. It’s
easier to be discovered in the USA. The games are watched by scouts from the NHL
and other pro leagues.
HF: What kind of headline would you like to read about yourself in the
PW: “Paul Weismann signs a ten year contract with the San Jose
HF: Last but not least a very important question. You came from Bavaria – do
you miss any typical German or typical Bavarian things, like maybe the
traditional Oktoberfest, Weisswurst or Bavarian beer?
PW: I miss the beer for sure since I’m just twenty years old and not allowed
to drink beer here. I certainly miss typical Bavarian things like a good baker
or Bavarian cuisine.
HF: Thanks for taking the time and I wish you all the best.
Name: Paul Weismann (pronounced Vice-man)
Nicknames: Paulyyyy, German (only in the USA)
Defender, shoots left
Weight: 231 lbs.
Born: 1/29/1981 in Rosenheim, Germany
Other informations:– Won the championship with the bavarian junior national teams in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999.
– Several Call ups to the german junior national teams (U16 till U18).
– Nine international games for the german streethockey national team (where also Capitals’ Draft Pick Robert Müller played); junior world championships: third place.
– Streethockey titles: south german championship 1999, 2000 and 2001. German Championship 1999, German Championship runners-up 2000
– Hometown in Germany: Brannenburg, near Rosenheim, bavaria.
– Homepages from the firm owned by his parents:
Click here for the english version Click here for the german version
SB Rosenheim Juniors
EHC Bad Aibling
SB Rosenheim Juniors
SB Rosenheim Juniors
Geneseo Ice Knights
German Under-21 Junior League
2. Liga Süd
Third German League, south division
Central Collegiate Hockey Association
NCAA Division I
State University of New York
NCAA Division III
Deutsche Inline Hockey Liga
Highest German Inline Hockey
I would like to thank Barbara Weismann for helping get this interview done.