Q&A with Dan Turple

By Holly Gunning

Dan Turple was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers last month in the sixth round, 186th overall. The 19-year-old goaltender was 24-11-4 with a 2.61 goals against average and a .923 save percentage playing for both Oshawa and Kingston of the OHL. He stands 6’5” 210 pounds and is a native of Oakville, Ontario.

Turple spoke to Hockey’s Future at the annual Thrashers Prospects Development Camp at the IceForum in Duluth, Georgia.

HF: Since you weren’t at the draft, how did you find out that you had been selected, were you watching it online?
DT: Yeah, I was watching it on the internet with my parents and I saw my name pop up. Then I got a call from them about an hour later.

HF: Did you expect to get taken or was it a surprise?
DT: No, I thought I had a pretty strong season. Where I went, that was kind of where I expected I’d be going. There weren’t a lot of surprises, just excited to get drafted.

HF: Had you talked to the Thrashers before?
DT: Yeah, I’ve talked to them for a couple years.

HF: Did you have a lot of interviews with other teams too? Did you think they had more interest than others?
DT: I thought Atlanta had the most interest. I talked to a few other teams, but I got the same out of everyone.

HF: Can you talk about last season, the chronology and how it went for you?
DT: I think it was October, actually Halloween, I got traded from Kingston to Oshawa and finished up the year in Oshawa. We got beat out in the first round of the playoffs.

HF: Some said you played better in the playoffs than the regular season, would you agree?
DT: I think I finished off the season the same as I did in the playoffs, went on a pretty good streak the last 20 games or so and just carried it on through the playoffs.

HF: Going back in time, how did you become a goaltender?
DT: I think what it was is I just went to the rink for novice registration and we’re in the line and my mom said ‘Quick, what position do you want to play?’ and I said goalie (laughing). That’s how it started.

HF: Was there a goalie you liked? Why do you think you picked that?
DT: I don’t know (laughing). I can’t remember. Obviously I liked Patrick Roy and that, but I don’t know. I don’t know why I picked it.

HF: How old were you at the time?
DT: I think I was 8 or 9.

HF: How would you describe your playing style? Is there someone you emulate?
DT: I try to use the butterfly because of my size, but I don’t want to categorize myself as an all-butterfly goalie because I do like to take up the net standing up too. I’m all over the place.

HF: How have you improved over time, is there one area of your game you think you’ve improved?
DT: I think especially from last year to this year, my mental game. I’ve really gotten comfortable with my routine and just getting in the right mindset for a game.

HF: How do you feel like the camp is going so far?
DT: I think it’s great, great goalies up here, great players. I’m just glad to be here.

HF: Was it what you expected?
DT: Yeah, I came in here expecting it was going to be hard work and so far it has been.

HF: It must be a little strange with five goalies all together when normally there are only two of you.
DT: Yeah, well, it’s a lot of shots. You can use a break once in a while. It’s kind of a bonus to have a couple more guys out there. And it gives you a push now and then. If you’re by yourself, there’s no one behind you waiting to get in to push you. So you have little competitions in your head against them.

HF: When the roster first came out you were the only one listed, were you ever afraid you might be the only one here?
DT: I figured they’d add more goalies, I was just waiting to see who it was.

HF: Is there anything you’re trying to work on this week in particular?
DT: I’m just trying to work hard every day. Just trying to stop everything I can and keep working.

HF: Looking forward to next season, what are your goals?
DT: I set kind of a wins thing last year, a certain number of wins, and I reached that so I’m probably going to try to bump that up. Try to improve on it from last year.

HF: What’s the outlook for your team?
DT: I think we’re going to be young, skilled. Should have a good team, get a couple players in and have a good run.

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