Some quick quotes to pass along from LA Kings prospect Jordan Spence, who is participating in camp with Team Canada right now, preparing for the upcoming World Junior Championship…
On being one of the few players in camp to have already played regular season games this season, and if he feels that has given him any sort of advantage – There’s an advantage to that. We’re fortunate, with the QMJHL starting in October. For me, playing 13 games, I think it really helped. I got comfortable on the ice with puck handling and everything, all the skills. I was on the ice every day with practices, so coming into camp I was confident and I was comfortable with how I’ve been playing. I think that really helped me with inner-squad games and practices.
On fighting for a spot in camp – Every practice, every inner-squad game is a is a key game for everybody. For me, I’m fighting for my role and if the coaches want me to play a certain role, I’ll play that certain role. I’m gonna do my best on the ice and provide the things that coaches need for me to play in games.
On players representing their home cities when playing for Team Canada – There’s pride in wearing the Canadian jersey and to represent Canada. I’m from PEI [Prince Edward Island], a small island, so I’m going to represent them well. I’m really fortunate to make this team and it’s my first experience in the World Juniors, so I’m gonna have fun and we’re going to do our best.
On being one of only two players on Team Canada not selected in the first round of the NHL Draft; and if he viewed himself as an underdog coming into camp – I had to fight for my spot with this team. There are a lot of good players that tried out for this team, so I just wanted to showcase my skill in the inner-squad games and in practices. Every game was important and that’s why I took every game as serious as possible and left it all out there. It was a challenge, but lucky for me I made the team and I’m just really excited for the future.
On how long the World Junior tournament has been on his radar – When you’re growing up as a little kid you you’ve watch World Juniors every year. For me, it started in Japan, when I was a kid and watching World Juniors every year with my dad. It’s always been a dream of mine and getting selected to a Summer Showcase and then getting selected to this Selection Camp, it’s a real honor. Obviously, when I heard the news [I made the team], it was a big day. I was really happy, but it’s our time now to focus again and win the gold medal.
On his long and winding road to get to this point – It’s been a roller coaster; playing in Junior A and then up in the Q. Obviously there have been some ups and downs, but I’m fortunate enough to be here right now. Playing with the Somerset Capitals and then the Moncton Wildcats, I’ve been fortunate to play there. They gave me a lot of chances to improve and show my skill; to improve on the ice and off the ice. It’s been unreal.
On how much he’s played on his off-side and how comfortable he is there, if that’s what’s needed – During practices I’ve been we’ve been switching sides — with [Braden] Schneider, he’s been my D-partner, as of right now. I’m just trying to get as comfortable as possible. If the coaches want me to play on the left side, I’ll play on the left side and do the best I can. I’ve been playing right side pretty much the whole time, if I have to go to the left side, I’m more than comfortable to go there.
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