Four weeks of reporting and almost 8,800 words worth of quotes culminated in a five-part series looking at the issue of college hockey players leaving early for the pros.
And regrettably, the series started off on the wrong foot with a glaring fact error in the first part.
But aside from that, I hope the series is entertaining and informative. It was certainly hard to pick out what to use and what to omit in terms of quotations. I’ll be posting some additional quotes and info throughout the next week as a kind of supplement to the main stories.
Here are some more quotes from Kyle Turris and Jamie McBain
Kyle Turris, F, Phoneix Coyotes (UW 2007-2008)
On the pressures of being drafted
“I think once you’ve been drafted, that’s when the pressure starts. I think going into school, there was a lot of pressure on me to perform and live up to being a No. 3 overall pick.”
On why he spent a year in the minors
“I played almost a full year my first year in Phoenix – I think I played like four or five games in the minors that year, and played the rest with the NHL club. Last year, I had back surgery and played the year in the minors.
It was really frustrating because I had the surgery end of April after the end of my first season in Phoneix. I couldn’t do anything pretty much until August 1st. I could work out, I couldn’t lift, I couldn’t skate. It was just a lost summer for training. I was out of shape and overweight for my standards. It was frustrating, I played the whole year in the minors.”
On playing college hockey
“Going to the University of Wisconsin, where the atmosphere is better than most NHL arenas. Living the college atmosphere, and getting to meet all the people I did, living in the dorms, there’s nothing like it. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I really enjoyed it. I loved the experience.”
On telling UW head coach Mike Eaves he was leaving after one season
It went down well. Mike Eaves and I had a really good relationship and we talked about lots of things like this and were open to each other from day one. He was very respectful of the decision and I honestly, can’t say enough good things about Mike. I have a lot of respect for him. And how he treated me, how good he was to me. I can’t thank him enough.
I was nervous going in, having that conversation, because I know it’s tough for a program to lose a good freshman. At the same time, I knew he would be good about it and respect the decision.
On if he would do it any different in retrospect
“It’s always easy to look back, but all I can tell you is I’m getting to live my dream right now in the NHL. I loved university and the whole atmosphere at Wisconsin, it was probably one of the funnest years of my life. Either way I couldn’t have gone wrong.”
Jamie McBain, D, Carolina Hurricanes (UW 2006-2009)
On why he left
“For me, I had kind of accomplished everything I had hoped to accomplish on an individual level while I was at Wisconsin.”
On how the process works
“You talk to your agents more than you talk to the organization, because your agent kind of tells you what the organization is feeling and their offers to you.
It’s just kind of the process of hearing things through the grapevine and making your decision from what you hear.”
On getting drafted and the pressure
“You don’t’ think about it a whole lot. It’s kind of like your senior year of high school, where you’re a young kid, but that’s almost your most cherished, because that’s your draft year and that’s where [they’re] going to decide where you’re going to get picked in the draft.
Obviously that influences your future a little bit from that standpoint, because if you’re a higher pick, obviously there’s more of a chance of getting more recognition at the college level and furthering your career that way.
Once you get drafted and you get to college, most of the pressure – it’s still there obviously, especially if you’re a high, first round, second round pick – but at the end of the day, the pressure’s kind of relieved once your name is called in the draft, you just focus on playing hockey and going to the school, the program you’re committed to.”
On what the toughest part of adapting to the pro game is
“It’s learning the pro level style of game, and especially more than anything, it’s just the grind of the season. It’s obviously different than college, we’re playing 35, 40 games a year. You get to the pro level and you’re playing 82 regular season games with potential of 100 games with a playoff run.
More than anything else, it’s getting your body, the right mindset to be able to go through that grind of the 82-game schedule and be effective every night. That’s what it was for me last year, kind of learning the ropes.”
On telling his teammates he was leaving
“We had a very close class that year and it was tough leaving them behind, especially going into our senior year.
It’s something that for me, was a tough, personal decision, to leave them. But I was always watching, and keeping an eye out and talking to them. It’s always tough to watch, but at the same time, it’s all part of the equation.
Any time you have to tell close friends that you’re going to be leaving and not be around for the senior season, it’s tough. It was good to be around them for the last couple weeks of the school year. To spend that time with them and keep in contact with them – like I said, they’re lifelong friendships, so I’m always talking to them, we’re all staying in track with each other.
On the Hurricanes organization
“Carolina was a great organization for me, they never put pressure on me to leave school or anything like that. They put it all in my hands, my progression and when I thought I was ready, good to go.”