North Carolina native Jack LeGwin rencently joined the Dobber Prospects crew in the role of writer/scout for the Carolina Hurricanes. In addition to his experience covering high school and college backetball, Jack brings an additional vocal aspect to the Dobber Family. His experience with podcasting and interviews offer an additional perspective to the world of hockey, something that we welcome wholeheartedly. This week he’s kicking off his DobberProspects career with an interview with Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jamieson Rees. You can find the full interview here or continue reading for some of the interview’s highlights as well as Jack’s commentary and analysis.
“Adversity causes some men to break and some men to break records.”– William Arthur Ward.
The leading scorer on a Sarnia team that has largely struggled this year, Jamieson Rees is honest when asked about how his season has gone this year.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team that hasn’t made the playoffs,” Rees said, sounding a bit frustrated. “It’s tough. It’s a feeling that I’ve never experienced before. It’s good to know the feeling and to realize that I don’t want this to happen again.”
As for what his role is in the room as a leader, Rees said that he feels it’s important to set an example and be a vocal leader.
“I’m just trying to make sure everyone stays positive and keep the confidence around the room up. That’s one of the biggest things in becoming a good hockey player is to be confident and being not afraid to try new things.”
Making the jump from 20 points in his first year in Sarnia to 32 points in his second campaign to now being an alternate captain for the Sting, Rees has almost doubled his output with 61 points in 39 games. He said that this coming offseason he won’t be changing much, and will be continuing to work hard.
“Yeah for sure. I’m going to keep working with the same people that I have been in the past two or three years. I’m not going to change anything up. It’s another summer where I need to improve and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”
Drafted 44th overall in the second round of the NHL draft this past year to the Carolina Hurricanes, Rees said he had a sense of accomplishment with the feat.
“It was crazy. It was definitely a moment I had been looking forward to for my whole life,” Rees said. “It was something I had worked hard for my whole life but there’s still a lot more for me to go through to get to where I want to be.”
Having some familiarity with some of the other players that were invited Hurricanes development helped Rees to feel more at ease with his first step after being drafted.
“We did some team building stuff while I was in Carolina for development camp,” Rees said. “I knew Ryan before the draft, and it’s good to be drafted to a place where I know some people. Blake Murray as well, I’ve known him for a long time, I’d either be on a team or playing against him growing up, so it was nice having those two guys there was big for me so I could feel more comfortable.”
As for the transition to playing at the NHL level, Rees admitted that the adjustment to the next level is one that is intense.
“Making the step from the OHL to the NHL is even bigger than going from AAA to the OHL,” Rees said. “You have to play your heart out every time you’re on the ice. You can’t take a second to think, you always have to be moving.
The Hurricanes have a couple players that play a role similar to what Rees does, with Brock McGinn and Jordan Martinook representing the hard nosed, forechecking role as well as playing a key part on special teams on the penalty kill, and many see Rees playing that same role, and he agrees.
“I like playing that feisty kind of role,” Rees said. “Taking the body, playing fast, being aggressive has always been a part of my game and I take pride in it.”
Perhaps Rees adds some more offense down the road than either of the before mentioned McGinn and Martinook, and he says he looks at a player on a divisional rival as a player he tries to learn from.
“Now if I were to look around the NHL and see a player that I try to mimic or play like, Travis Konecny would be that player.”
Heading into a very important offseason, Rees says that the game of hockey is everything that he works hard for, and the game won’t ever go away for him.
“Hockey has been around my whole life,” Rees said, brightening up a bit. “My dad taught me and it’s all that I’ve ever really known. Hockey is my life, there’s really no way around it. It’s always been there and it always will be.”