Ottawa Senators prospect interview: Jason Spezza

By Robert Neuhauser

Jason Spezza
Team: Belleville Bulls (OHL)
Position: forward
Birthdate: June, 13th, 1983
Height: 6′ 2”
Weight: 210 lbs.
Shoots: R

When did you start playing hockey?

I was about three when I really started playing hockey.

Where did you start playing hockey?

I was born in Mississauga, Ontario, and I started playing there.

Who directed your first hockey steps?

The main force was my dad. He was a former goaltender and he wanted me to play hockey.
But not in goal, I wanted to play the forward position. My uncle played in the
OHL and he also influenced the beginning of my career, but not as much as my dad.

What is your biggest success in hockey so far?

I’m very happy that I got drafted to the NHL by the Ottawa Senators, I can stay in
Ontario and that is great. Speaking of the international competition, I would mention
my three appearances at the WJC, everytime I was on a team which won a medal – two bronze
and a silver one this year. This is a big success. And I also performed for the Team Canada
in Europe, I was 15 at that time and it was a huge experience for me.

Who is your hockey role model?

I grew up watching Mario Lemieux, he is an unbelievable player. When I was small he was
playing great and he is still playing amazing hockey after his return.

Your favorite NHL team?

Lots of Canadian people support the Toronto Maple Leafs. As an Ontarian, I also like
the Leafs.

Do you have a favorite number you like to wear on your jersey?

Yeah, I like the number 9. It’s my “lucky number”. In Ottawa Martin Havlat wears the 9,
so I probably won’t wear it in Ottawa next year if I make the team.

How would you describe yourself as a player?

Well, I think that I’m good offensively. I’m creative and I can make plays. Offense is my
strength, but I have to work on my defensive play. That’s my weakness.

Do you have a player you like to play with?

Back with the Spitfires, I enjoyed playing with Steve Ott. He is really a great player
and is very skilled. We played some very good games together.

Have you had any serious injury in your previous career?

No, I’m lucky. Hope it stays that way.

Your plans for the near future?

I want to help the Belleville Bulls win the OHL championship title and hope we can
advance to the Memorial Cup. In the summer then I want to work as hard as I can to
make the Senators team and finally start my NHL career.

What are your experiences from your first NHL camp with the Senators?

It was a huge experience for me to learn from all the NHL players. Everything is very fast
at this level. I hoped to crack the opening roster, but it didn’t happen…but now I know
what it takes to make a NHL team and can learn from this experience.

How were your feelings when you were demoted to the OHL?

I must say that I was very disappointed, I thought I can make the team. Now I must bounce
back and prove that I’m ready to compete at the NHL level.

What do you do in your free time?

I just like to hang out with my friends, watch some movies or relax. I’m done with school,
I want to concentrate on my hockey career.

How do you handle all the pressure that is made on your person?

I try to play my best and have fun. I want to enjoy the games and not think about all
the other stuff. Just keep my head clean.

Your hockey dreams?

A succesfull NHL career, that’s definitely my biggest dream.

And what would you do if you wouldn’t be a hockey player?

I don’t know, I would probably be a businessman…