The defenseman was traded from Waterloo to Omaha three games into the season. The Longmont, Colo., native has become such an important part of Omaha’s turnaround from a 2-7 start that his teammates elected him captain in January. The New Hampshire recruit also is the USHL’s second-highest scoring defenseman with 27 points from six goals and 21 assists.
Q: What were your thoughts on being traded so early in the season, and are you happy with how things have worked out?
A: It was a little bit of a surprise, but it’s been a great opportunity for me and things have worked out for the best. I’m very happy. Things have definitely worked out here. Omaha is a great place to be, it’s a great city and a great organization.
Q: When you were traded, did you even think that you could move into such an important leadership role?
A: I actually didn’t think about anything like that at all. I was just thinking more of the move and how things would work out when I got here.
Q: How have you adjusted to a role where more is expected of you by your teammates as a leader?
A: It’s been awesome because it’s been a lot of fun with the guys. They’ve been great, and I really couldn’t ask for anything more. You just have to think more in advance planning things for the team, team events.
Q: Has being team captain affected how you prepare for games?
A: Yes. You have to change your approach a little bit because now I have to think about how the other guys are going to see what I’m doing. I just have to be more of an example.
Q: What have been the biggest turnarounds for the team to get to this point after the slow start?
A: Really it’s just been buying into what the organization is about and what Coach (Mike) Aikens has put out there. He’s a great coach and he’s really helping us get better as a team. We just started with working on the little things. We did a lot of big things right that weren’t winning games, but when we started doing the little things, that when things started turning around.
Q: Where have you made the biggest strides individually this year?
A: I’ve really just been trying to improve my overall game because you can always improve on everything you can improve. From last year to this year, I’ve added a little more offense to my game.
Q: Has your offense picked up because that’s something you consciously were working on or more because the opportunities began to present themselves?
A: A little bit of both. I started out wanting to improve it, but there also have been opportunities that have been there.
Q: What are some of the important things you guys need to do to keep a spot in the top four of the Western Conference standings?
A: Nothing has to change from how we got here. Just keep doing the little things right, living right on and off the ice. We don’t really need to change anything.