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Q&A: BRETT MACLEAN

Tuesday, 05.13.2008 / 4:10 PM / Features
By Heath Price-Khan
Over the last two seasons with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL (Ontario Hockey League), Brett MacLean has been a scoring machine with 108 goals in 129 games. During the 2007-2008 Season, he led the league in goals with 61 in just 61 games, and finished second in points with 119. With numbers like that, MacLean will without a doubt enter this year's training camp as one to watch. This 2007 2nd round draft pick is clearly on a mission to prove that he is ready to make an impact in the NHL.

Heath Price-Khan: For the fans in Phoenix that have not seen you play yet, describe your style?
   
Brett MacLean: I am an offensive minded power forward that can find my way into open spots to score goals. Basically, I am a big guy (6’2” 200 lbs) that is strong on the puck and strong in the corners.

HPK: Is there a current NHL player that you might compare yourself to in terms of the way you play the game?

BM: Maybe Jason Arnott (Nashville Predators) to an extent, I try and play a little like him in terms of being physical. He is a guy that can put up goals and make big plays.

HPK: Which players did you idolize as a kid growing up in Canada?

BM: Growing up it was definitely Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux like most kids. As I got older, I definitely learned to appreciate the way guys like Jason Arnott play the game.

HPK: Who was your favorite team?
   
BM: The Montreal Canadiens

HPK: Did you play other sports growing up or was it all hockey all the time?
   
BM: I played Soccer and Lacrosse in the Summer, but in the Winter it was strictly hockey for me.

HPK: You had a monster year with the Oshawa Generals, what was the key to your success?
   
BM: I started off strong and got a lot of confidence going so it just steamrolled from there. I had some great linemates who generated a lot of opportunities for me so that really contributed to my success.   

HPK: What has been the biggest improvement in your game from the day you were drafted to now?
   
BM: Probably the fact that my strength and skating have significantly improved, combined with the fact that I have been learning to play the game more defensively. My smarts are also much better than they were.

HPK: You were taken in the 2nd round (32nd overall) in the 2007 Draft. Was that a disappointment at the time when you did not go in the first round?
   
BM: I was rated to go in the first round so I guess it was a little disappointing not to go there. At the same time, I was thrilled to go a team like Phoenix that gives its draft picks an opportunity to play. I’d rather go there than be picked earlier by a team where I would not have the same opportunity.

HPK: Do you now look at what happened on your draft day as a blessing in disguise because you went to the Coyotes and will have a chance to compete for a job at such a young age?
   
BM: After looking at it for a while and seeing the opportunity Phoenix has been giving their young players it is definitely great to be going there. A lot of teams bring in guys through free agency and things like that so you don’t get the kind of opportunity I will have with the Coyotes organization. It was definitely a blessing.

HPK: How old were you when you realized you had the talent to make a run at an NHL career?
   
BM: Growing up I always wanted to play in the NHL, but it was probably my OHL draft year where I really started to think that I had a chance. I was always a good player, but I did not really put too much thinking into it, I just played the game. When I realized I could go in the first round of the OHL draft, it really opened my eyes up to the fact that I could make a career out of playing hockey.

HPK: Did you think about attending college or were you set on taking the junior route?
   
BM: Being a Canadian kid and having that opportunity to go in the first round made juniors the choice for me. I did not really think too much about going to college. If things would have went different, I might have taken more of a look at it, but I never really had that thought process.

HPK: Who was your coach in Oshawa and how much of your success do you attribute to him?
   
BM: Brad Selwood was a great coach for me in Oshawa. He traded for me when I was with Erie and gave me a great opportunity. He taught me a lot and helped me build my confidence. Over the last 2 to 3 years he has really helped me with the development of my hockey career.

HPK: Do you look at the success the young players on the Coyotes had this year and get added confidence?
   
BM: It shows me that there is a big step between playing Juniors and the NHL, but guys are showing they are able to do it after being given the opportunity. Watching those guys has given me some great motivation to word hard and try and be one of those guys.

HPK: What is your goal coming in to camp this summer?
   
BM: I want to work on my skating this summer and get bigger and stronger to give myself the best opportunity to make the team next year. Whether I do or not may come down how I prepare this summer. Other than that, it is about working hard all next year to prepare for the future.

HPK: Are you working on specific things this offseason to prepare yourself for the pro game? Is it skating, weight training, or something else?
   
BM: Right now I am in the gym more, but come July and August I will be on the ice a lot to work on my skating. I need to take a little time off from skating because I have been on the ice non stop since last August.

HPK: What else do you have going on this offseason? Anything fun planned?
   
BM: I might go to the Bahamas with some of the guys I played with in Oshawa. We have been together for four years so it would be nice to have one last hurrah with the boys.

HPK: What kind of stuff do you do for fun? Is it Golf, Video Games, or maybe some other type of outdoor activity?
   
BM: I golf a little bit when I can. Plus, I live right on the beach in Ontario so I hit the beach a lot of go out on the Sea-Doo.

HPK: What is something interesting about Brett Maclean that Coyotes fans might not expect?
   
BM: I am a pretty big reader so I spend a lot of time reading books.

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