Kings Camp Preview: 7 Questions with Dman Andrew Bodnarchuk

Bodnarchuk-AHL-ManchesterEven without suiting up for a single NHL game, one could argue that last season was a career best for Manchester Monarchs defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk. In his sixth professional season, the former Bruins draft pick put up 32 points, 12 more than his previous best of 20. On top of that, his +43 rating left him atop the entire list of AHL skaters.

To end the season, Bodnarchuk was a member of the Kings’ Black Aces, as L.A. went on to win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons. Gearing up for training camp, Bodnarchuk spoke exclusively to MayorsManor on that experience, his defensive partner earning an NHL contract, and more…

On being a part of the Black Aces:

“Yeah, that was an absolutely incredible ride. We had a really good group of guys that were a part of the Black Aces, but I think if you talk to the guys that were there, the feeling of being a part of it, even though we weren’t playing, was really there. We were emotionally invested. As you got down to the wire, in the last couple series, it was an incredible experience. The team did a great job making us feel [like we were] a part of it, and making sure we were ready. Even though you’re a Black Ace, if something were to happen, then you would get into the lineup. We were getting groomed to play, and I think we had an absolute awesome time of it.”

On who should be the next captain in Manchester now that Andrew Campbell has moved on:

“I have no idea. We have to wait to see who’s in Manchester, and whatnot. I’ve always heard that Manchester’s such a young team, and they have a prospect first mentality. There are a select few group of guys who have been around a few years and have that experience. I’m sure whoever gets the job as the captain will do right by it.

On JF Berube’s suggestion of Brian O’Neill as captain:

O’Nei’s (Brian O’Neill) a great pick. He’s a vocal guy, he’s an intelligent guy, he’s a heart-and-soul guy. As a captain or a leader, you want a guy that leads by example, and he’s one of those guys who leads by example. You don’t always need a rah-rah type of guy. I think we have a good group of guys who are heart and soul players, so no matter who the captain is, they’ll be a good group of players.”

On Manchester’s new head coach, Mike Stothers:

“I do not know a lot about him. I know he’s coming from the OHL. I anticipate I’ll meet him in the next couple of days here – I just got to LA. I’m assuming I’ll run into him and meet him. When he first came on as coach, we exchanged a quick text message, just welcoming him to the organization, and him touching base with his number, and if the was anything we wanted to talk about over the summer. I have not had an official meet with him, so I’m looking forward to that.”

On his mentality in training camp:

“I think that’s where people get in trouble. As you go through a few more training camps, and as you get older as a professional, you learn what makes you successful. When you step out of your comfort zone or try and do too much, that’s when you get in trouble. As far as spots being open, you always want to go to camp with the mindset of making the team. If you’re not doing that, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Regardless of the roster or depth charts or what have you, you always want to bring your best game and your ultimate goal is to make the team.”

On Vincent LoVerde earning a contract with the Kings:

“I was so excited for Vinny when he earned that contract. I’m probably one of the number one Vinny LoVerde fans, being his partner over the past couple of years and knowing his road to an NHL contract. It’s an uphill climb to get an NHL contract if you don’t get your entry level [deal] out of junior or college. He’s a guy that started in the East Coast league and got a call-up to the AHL and has improved himself for a couple of years. Heading into the end of the year last year, we were roommates for a bit. I was excited for him, because I anticipated he would get an NHL contract – I just didn’t know where. For LA to sign him to an NHL deal and not just an AHL deal is awesome. I was ecstatic for him.”

On how he continues to improve his game after putting up career best offensive numbers last year:

“I would almost revert back to what I was saying about training camp. Obviously, I can look back and reflect on what made me successful last year. Like you said, my offensive numbers were my career best in the American league, and defensively my plus-minus was up there too. I think you have to look back at what made you successful and replicate that for this year. Am I looking at the year and making goals of how many points I want? No, because that’s not my game. I’ve always prided myself on the defensive end of the puck, but I think the offensive end of the game is starting to open up for me. Like I said, I’m going to look back on what made the year successful for me, and learning lessons throughout the year that I can improve upon as well.”

RELATED CONTENT:

Well-rounded game key for emergence of Monarchs’ Bodnarchuk

Bodnarchuk crushing it at the hotel, putting the pedal down

Player Evaluations: 2013-14 Manchester Monarchs defensemen and goalie

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