Some quick quotes to pass along from tonight’s media call with LA Kings prospects Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev, and Brock Faber from Team USA’s camp in preparation for the upcoming World Junior Championship…
Kaliyev on this week’s camp – I think it’s been a pretty good the past couple days, lots of practices and a lot of systems, and a lot of video. So I think we’re all getting synced up together as a team and learning to depend on each other and trying to be the best out there as a team.
This should get Kings and Ducks fans talking for a few days…
Nothing set in stone just yet – obviously – however, during this week's Team USA camp, here's one line that's been together:
First of two #WorldJuniors exhibition games on TV 12/20
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 11, 2020
Kaliyev on playing on a line with Turcotte and Trevor Zegras thus far – It’s really exciting. We all know each other and played with each other (or against each other) a lot of times, so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully, we stay together and can show off our best skill as a line.
Turcotte on the possibility of potentially playing on that line with Kaliyev and Zegras – Obviously it’d be pretty cool, but we have a lot of really good players here — a lot of really skilled players — and I think we’re very deep as a team. I’d be happy to play with anyone on the team. I think we have a really deep team, like I said, so I think any line combination is a good one.
Turcotte on not playing in a game for so long and itching to get back into a competitive environment – It’s been great. Just being around the boys and hanging out with them has been a lot of fun. I think having these practices, we’re all trying to make the team. And it’s really competitive out there, like you said. We’ve been going pretty hard in practice too, and doing a lot of scrimmages, working on those systems and situations that I haven’t really been a part of in a long time. I’m getting acclimated and looking forward to getting the ball rolling and to playing some exhibition games, then starting the tournament.
Turcotte, who was wearing a tuque, like Kaliyev – Us Cali boys, we’re not used to wearing them, so we’re taking advantage of the cold weather.
Faber on being in camp – It’s great to be back here. It’s super fun to see all the guys again, like Turc said, and to practice in the rink you used to play in [while at the US Program], it’s been awesome. I’m excited for the tournament to start.
Faber on how strange it was to be at USA Camp this week, with his Minnesota team playing nearby – I actually stayed in my room and watched it. I watched it with [Jackson] LaCombe and [Ryan] Johnson. It was a lot more nerve-racking watching than playing. It was super fun to watch though and glad they ended up taking home the sweep. It was definitely exciting and it was a different perspective, I’m not used to it, for sure. But, me, Johnson, and LaCombe were pretty pumped up when we saw that they brought home the sweep, like I said.
Turcotte on building on the experience of last year’s tournament – I think going through what we went through last year, finishing in sixth place, that was a tough pill to swallow. We were younger players on the team too, so we hadn’t gone through something like that before. I think this year coming in, we know how hard of a tournament it is, how important it is to bond together as a team, and I think ultimately that leads to success on the ice. Our goal this year is to win a gold medal and and nothing less than that. I think that’s a huge help from last year, going through that adversity. We’re just not putting too much pressure on ourselves. Like I said, we know what to expect now, so I think that’s going to be really important coming into this tournament and very useful for us.
More from Turcotte and what he learned at last year’s tournament – I think one of the problems is that I was too hard on myself. It’s a huge tournament. Everyone in the whole world who follows hockey is watching. I think it’s just about having fun with it, bonding with the guys, and trying to win a gold medal. I think that’s all you can really control; just having fun every day and working hard. That’s what I’ve been trying to do in camp and it’s been a lot of fun so far. I think [it’s about], just not putting too much pressure on yourself and just going out there and doing your best. I think that’s all you can really control.
Turcotte on what head coach Nate Leaman has been preaching this week – Play fast. He uses the word ‘dictate’ a lot, just not waiting around out there on the ice, always pushing the pace, whether that’s line rushes, forechecking or whatever it may be. It’s about playing fast and putting the other team on on their heels, and using our speed and skill to our advantage. We want to be a fast team and make plays. We don’t want to sit back. I think that’s something I’ve really taken away so far from camp.
Turcotte on what the Kings have told him regarding training camp – I’ll be here for the whole tournament, so that’s just my main focus right now; helping the team win a gold medal. That’s all I’m really worried about right now.
As USA GM John Vanbiesbrouck recently told us on @kingsofthepod, the plan to get down to 25 is to cut three forwards and one defenseman from the current group of 29 in camp.
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 11, 2020
Faber on what his nerves are like tonight, less than 24 hours away from finding out if he made the final WJC roster – It’s a bit nerve wracking, but mostly excitement, honestly. I’m super excited to see. I think I had a pretty good camp and I think I had been playing pretty well leading up to the camp, so I’m confident. But, you know, whatever happens happens. I’m definitely nervous but also very excited.
Faber on working with former NHLer Paul Martin this season, as he’s a new assistant coach with the Golden Gophers – He’s helped a lot. He knows a lot, after playing 14 seasons in the NHL. He’s awesome to have have on the bench. He’s awesome to have during practice, and whatever you ask him, he always has an answer. So it’s definitely cool. He’s somebody I looked up to and now that he’s my coach, it’s awesome. He’s taught me and the whole d-core — the whole team — a lot. He’s also gotten super comfortable with the guys, so we’ve gotten some stories out of him too. He’s just an awesome coach and I’m definitely super thankful to have him on the batch, like I said.
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