FFB: Was the decision to come to Fargo an easy one for you and if not, what made it difficult?
Nate: Yes, it was a difficult decision leaving my family and friends and everything and everyone I had grown up with. I played four years of high school hockey so I felt that that part of me needed to move on to Fargo in order to develop into a better player. I miss things from back home but the guys, my billet family, and the coaches have made my transition to Fargo easier.
FFB: Why did you choose Minnesota? Were there any other colleges on your list, or was Minnesota your only choice?
Nate: I chose Minnesota because of the tradition and the opportunity of winning a national championship. I felt like it was a great fit for me as a person and that I would fit in well at the campus and with the team. My other choices were Colorado College, St. Cloud State, and North Dakota.
FFB: There was a rumor out there that you may go to Colorado College. Is there any truth to that?
Nate: There are always rumors out there about situations like that, but no there were never any intentions on moving away from my decision to play for the Gophers.
FFB: Were you always a defenseman or were there other positions that you played in the past?
Nate: I was all over the place growing up. In squirts, I played center and a little bit of wing. In peewees, I was a defenseman my first year. I was then back to forward for the first half of my second year, and then back to defense. After that, I made our varsity team at my high school as a forward playing left wing. It wasn’t until about halfway through my freshman year that I got moved back to defense, where I have been ever since.
FFB: We all know you have a hard slap shot, is that something you had to work at, or did it come naturally?
Nate: It was kind of both, I guess. I have shot a lot of pucks during the summer and when I was in peewees I think 95% of the shots I took were slap shots, so it just started to come natural to me after a while.
FFB: College players are undergoing pressure to leave early. What are your plans for attending the University of Minnesota? Do you see yourself playing 2 or more years?
Nate: That is a difficult decision for many college players now with the pros looming over their shoulders to make the jump, but I don’t see any plans to move on as of now. That is not really a concern of mine right now, on how fast I can get to the pros, pending I even get that far. So, like I said, no plans on leaving.
FFB: Who outside of your family has made the biggest impact on your hockey career?
Nate: I would have to say my high school coach Eric Johnson. He was my coach in peewees for a year before taking the high school job, and he coached me all four years I was at St. Cloud Cathedral. Coach Johnson would help train me in the summers if I would ever have to be in shape for a summer select festival or some tournament that I would be playing in. Also, he helped me with talking to colleges for making my decision on where I wanted to play, and which school was the best fit for me. In addition, he was great with preparing me for Fargo this year; he had all the best wishes for me to continue on with my career despite having a year left of eligibility in high school. Coach Johnson helped me with becoming the hockey player I am now, as well as helping me develop the personal character that I needed on and off the ice in order for me to succeed at the next level.
FFB: What is your favorite TV show? Favorite movie? Favorite music?
Nate: I would have to say the Sons of Anarchy or Family Guy. Favorite movie would have to be The Boondock Saints. Favorite music would have to be pretty much anything, just whatever will get me fired up when I get ready to play.
FFB: Who do you think is the funniest guy on the team? Any specific reason for that?
Nate: I would have to say Nick Oliver. Ollie has been one of my best buddies in hockey for the past 5 years or so. I met him a long time ago playing in selects and against each other in the summer. He brings a vibe into the locker room that cannot be matched or brought down in any way. He is always in a good mood, quick for a joke, or helpful in any way he can. It's just the way he is, he is a goofball of a guy but can be as serious as they come when need be, but the loosest guy when the times are not serious.
FFB: What does a typical weekly practice schedule look like?
Nate: Our typical week consists of Monday being a “get back into it” day where we are going hard, just getting back after a day off on Sunday, usually, and that is followed by a workout. Tuesday is our toughest day - hard drills, lots of battling, odd man rushes, and conditioning highlight Tuesday, while practice is also followed by a workout. Wednesday is a flow day, lots of open ice movement, quick decisions and such. Thursday is mostly speed and getting guys ready to play whomever we are playing if we are at home or a travel day if we are away.
FFB: What are you going to major in at Minnesota?
FFB: What other sports do you like to watch/play?
Nate: I love to play baseball, and I enjoy watching NHL games and the Vikings play football.
FFB: Who was the best player you played with at St. Cloud Cathedral? Who was the best player you played against while there?
Nate: I would have to say the best player I played with would be Matt Crandell, he is currently a defenseman at Michigan State University right now. The best player I played against would probably have to be either Jack Connolly (Duluth Marshall, UMD) or Ben Hanowski (Little Falls, SCSU).
Posted by HockeyTrend at 3:23 AM