Anaheim Ducks first-round pick Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters sat down with Junior Hockey Magazine to talk about life in quarantine, how he and his camp teammates kept busy during their time in Red Deer, and his expectations for the upcoming World Junior Championship:
Junior Hockey Magazine: How did you do during the quarantine and how are you feeling?
Jamie Drysdale: It’s not that bad. Hockey Canada is doing everything they can to make it a really comfortable environment for us and I think they are doing a really job at it. They are involving the players in a lot of the decisions they are making and I think that is really helpful. Every player and the staff really appreciates the hard work that has been going into them trying their best to take care of us and keep us busy. We’re looking forward to getting back on the ice.
JHM: What has your diet been like?
JD: For the most part, it’s really healthy, but it’s good. It’s what we need. I think one really important thing for us is to not take this time off and let this hold us back. We need to make sure we stay in shape and take care of our bodies and that we are getting the right sleep. It’s not 14 days off. It’s still part of the camp and we are still here to make a team so we want to make sure we are coming out hot out of this quarantine and really ready to get going back on the ice.
JHM: How have you been able to stay in shape?
JD: We have workouts at 10 a.m. every morning over Zoom. I was actually a little bit surprised by what we were able to do. We’re able to get a pretty good workout in considering it’s all body weight stuff. They also gave everyone a bike for our room so that is really big for conditioning. For me, and I am sure other guys too, just a couple days off the ice, I definitely feel it when I get back on the ice. It’s really important that we keep up our conditioning and use those bikes that were given to us. I think that is what everyone has been doing.
JHM: Tell us about the special guest from the Arkells.
JD: That was awesome. He was a really cool guy. He kept it real with us. He was fully himself and seemed like an awesome guy. He sang a couple of songs for us. I knew of his music prior to him coming on and I am a fan of his so it was really cool just to hear him talk, tell us some stories, and just give us some advice, and to play some live music. It was really cool to have that kind of fun experience. It’s nice when you are in a hotel locked up to get a little concert, so it was fun.
JHM: I heard you guys tried to have a bit of a poker game and that didn’t work out well. What happened?
JD: We tried to have a poker game. That would have been really fun. During quarantine at home, I have played poker. I downloaded it on my phone with my buddies so I became a fan of it. So I was excited to hear about a poker tournament coming up but I think there were some technical difficulties regarding setting the whole thing up and getting everyone on the same page so that didn’t end up happening. I hope that we are able to get one going and I guess we will see what happens.
JHM: What do you think the World Juniors bubble experience will be like?
JD: I think this is a really fun tournament and even more fun to be a part of. I think any time you get to see it live, it adds to the environment. I know from experience playing in these tournaments in the past, having my parents and my family there definitely makes things a lot better, knowing you have their support. But in saying that, I feel like we have kind of gotten used to this Zoom world now. I call my parents every day, FaceTime them, and still keep in touch with them and my buddies. It’s important that we still do that in this bubble and in this environment. I think they are making sure we are all still feeling all of the support that we would if there were fans and our families there and we all really appreciate that.
JHM: Do you like that people are starting to talk about the magnitude of what this roster could look like?
JD: I think it’s nice to hear that but in saying that I think one big thing that has been stressed upon all of us is that – and I think that we all know – is that sure we can be a really skilled team but everyone in the tournament is going to be skilled. I think we are at an age and at a level where it is just high competition regardless. Every team is going to give us their best game and likewise we are going to give every team our best game. I think that we can’t let that get to our heads. The team that goes to Edmonton will be a really good roster but in saying that we can’t think like that. We have to think that every team is going to come and give us their best and we are going to work just as hard if not harder than everybody else to in the end win a gold medal.
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