The second player to be featured as part of ProSportsBlogging’s series of interviews with some of the top young talent in Quebec is Patrick Walsh. Walsh, a 1994 birth year, was recently selected by the Quebec Remparts in the first round of the 2010 QMJHL draft. The 6’1 center grew up playing hockey in Montreal’s West-Island, which culminated with a dominant season at the Bantam AA level in 2008-09. Walsh spent this past season playing for the Lac St. Louis Lions of the Midget AAA league; he was second on the team in scoring with 17 goals in 35 games and he led the team with 10 powerplay goals.
Walsh has the build of a power forward, but it’s his scoring ability, deceptive quickness and hockey sense that make him an impact player. Combine that with his ability to play in all situations, his tremendous character and a relentless work ethic, and you can begin to understand why the Remparts were so high on Patrick Walsh.
Despite a hectic schedule, Pat was willing to answer some questions for ProSportsBlogging.com. You will see from his comments that he is the real deal and has the makings of a true professional.
PSB: The QMJHL’s Central Scouting had you ranked as the 24th best player available for the 2010 draft. The Quebec Remparts took you 14th overall in the first round, showing some obvious confidence in your ability. Being born and raised in Montreal, how does it feel to be drafted by the team that has Canadiens’ legend Patrick Roy as it’s GM and Head Coach?
PW: I was a little shocked at first because I wasn’t aware that I would end up in Quebec. It’s definitely a privilege to be drafted by the Remparts and I couldn’t be happier with the results of the draft.
PSB: What factors played into your decision of choosing the QMJHL over the increasingly popular choice of going to a US Prep School?
PW: As a hockey player, my goal is to one day play at a professional level and I feel that this is the best route to get there. I think that the QMJHL really prepares you for the next level of hockey which is hopefully the NHL.
PSB: The first thing that anyone watching you notices is your size; yet you don’t play the classic “power forward style”, rather you excel as a skill player. In what ways do you use your size to your advantage?
PW: Having a little extra size definitely helps with things like puck protection and working in the corners. Just being a bit bigger than the guy you’re up against helps you come out of battles with the puck. Obviously it’ll be a lot tougher in the Q but I’m going to train a lot over the summer so I can be ready for the physical level of play.
PSB: On a similar subject, what aspect of your game do you pride yourself on?
PW: One thing I take pride in is my work ethic. I like to be the guy who always gives 100%, no matter the situation. Backchecking just as hard as I forecheck, sacrifice and hard work are for sure the things I will be doing next year.
PSB: With training camp not that far away; what do you hope to improve on over the summer to give yourself the best chance to make the Remparts as a 16 year old?
PW: I think the biggest difference as you move up levels in hockey is the speed of the game, so over the summer my main focus is going to be my skating. It’s not because I’m a bad skater, it’s just quick starts, acceleration and jump that will improve my chances of making the team next year.
PSB: Do you have a favorite NHL player who you like to model your game after?
PW: My favorite NHL player is Rick Nash. It’s hard to model my game after him considering some of the stuff he does is unbelievable, but I try at least. He’s a power forward who plays both ends of the ice and will do whatever it takes to win. These are qualities I hope to carry into next season.
PSB: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as a hockey player?
PW: I’m lucky to have had excellent coaches who have given me lots of advice but I think the best advice I’ve been given is to not to be too hard on myself. Nothing positive comes out of putting yourself down and it only wears you out mentally.
PSB: Finally; what do you hope to accomplish in the next 3-5 years?
PW: I’m really looking forward to developing as a player and hopefully, within a few years, get drafted to the NHL. I am going to do everything I can to reach my goal of playing in the NHL and I think playing Quebec Major Junior hockey is only going to bring me closer to reaching that goal.
PSB: Thanks for doing this Pat, good luck at the U17 Quebec camp in July and I hope to see you in a Quebec Remparts jersey soon enough.
PW: Thanks Corey, I will do my best!
OTHER “FUTURE STARS” PROFILES:
June 7 – Sammy Hodhod (Shawinigan Cataractes)
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.