Q&A with Jimmy Sharrow

By Holly Gunning

Jimmy Sharrow of the QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads was a 2003 draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers. The 6’3” Framingham, Massachusetts native completed his second season with the Mooseheads, with 38 points in 52 games and 67 penalty minutes. He is among 42 players invited to attend the 2004 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Grand Forks, North Dakota in August, used for selecting the next Under 20 national team.

Hockey’s Future spoke to Sharrow at the Thrashers 2004 Prospects Development Camp.

HF: Last year coming to prospects camp was a surprise because it was right after the draft, this year you had a long time to prepare. How did you get ready for it?
JS: My junior team didn’t make the playoffs so I’ve been working out since March. So I was kind of prepared when I came here, strength-wise. And obviously the workouts here are a lot tougher because you’re going twice a day. So I was prepared, I didn’t really do extra stuff to prepare for development camp.

HF: What’s the most fun part of camp?
JS: Being on the ice probably, because I don’t get much ice time during the summertime when I’m home. I don’t skate at all, I don’t really have anywhere to skate. Coming here, that’s the best part about it, being part of the organization. It’s such a great organization. Everything’s great.

HF: You really don’t have anywhere to skate?
JS: Well there are open sessions I could skate at, but nothing as intense as here. It’s a lot of fun to keep playing during in the summer.

HF: How do you think last season went for you, you got a lot more ice time.
JS: Yeah, it was a good season. We had a lot of rookies and it was a young team, but the season went pretty well. I got hurt early in the season. I think my first half was pretty good and then after I got hurt – it was an ankle injury, sprained ankle – it was just coming back from injury. It was tough especially because I came back early because coach needed me. Obviously it got better, I had 14 points my first year, 38 the next, so obviously it was a better year.

HF: You play some forward in addition to defense, is it tough switching back and forth for you?
JS: Well sometimes you wish you could stay at one position, just work at one position, you know. But, whatever the team needs. My coach, Shawn MacKenzie, he calls me into his office and is just like, depending on the team we’re playing, ‘we need an offensive threat tonight.’ He would just throw me up front and see what I could do. If I wasn’t having a good game up front, I’m sure he’d move me back. The transition is always a question people ask me when I say I play both. Everyone is always saying I need to work on my defensive game, and I know that, and going to forward you lost that. That’s the only part that’s hard.

HF: What’s the best part of playing up?
JS: I just like using my speed in the neutral zone. Finding that open ice and just taking it wide or something. It’s basically like a playground, our coach calls it, you do whatever you want. I think I have the speed and I just like using it in the neutral zone.

HF: Who is your usual defensive partner in Halifax?
JS: We mix it around, last year it was Beaulieu, but we only had like three strong D so he’d mix us in with rookies. But I think coming up this year it will be Alex Picard, he was drafted in the third round right before me.

HF: The USA team camp invite, was that a surprise?
JS: It was a great honor, you know, playing for my country again. I played on the Under 17 team, we won the gold medal, so it’s always an honor to play for your country. I didn’t get the call last year, but people tell me, you’re good defense, you’re good enough to play on the team. You don’t take it to your head. But, if you’re inviting 16 guys, and I was drafted in the fourth round and had a good camp, was invited to NHL training camp, so you kind of think you’ve got to be up in the top 16 in the country, you know. So I wasn’t waiting for a call, but I kind of expected it.

HF: So you think your chances are pretty good then (of making the team).
JS: Yeah, they invited a lot of the guys I played with on the Under 17 team. I know all the guys who are invited. I feel like my chances are very good, but you still have to go to training camp and work hard.

HF: How much do you weigh now?
JS: 185, 186.

HF: How much have you gained since last year then?
JS: 10 pounds? That’s hard. I came here (to this camp) at 180, but I had just gotten off a plane and hadn’t eaten all day. And then I gained six pounds in like two days. And then ever since we’ve been at two sessions, everyone’s been losing. I think I’ve lost weight now. I’ll just have to gain it back when I get home.

HF: What’s your goal for next year?
JS: We’re going to have a real good team, but my personal goal, I just want to keep my strength up. During the season, it’s hard, you play 72 games plus playoffs. My first year, we went 25 playoff games, three Game 7s, so I went into the draft really weak. I didn’t have much time to work out or anything. So keeping my strength up is one of the biggest things.

Copyright 2004 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without written permission of the editorial staff.