For the third straight year, St. John’s Prep hockey produced an NHL Draft pick.
Following in the footsteps of former ESPN Boston Mr. Hockey Colin Blackwell (Harvard) and current BU Terrier Sam Kurker before him, recent Prep grad Brian Pinho became the most recent of head coach Kristian Hanson's players to hear his name on Draft day, selected by the Washington Captials in the sixth round (174th overall) on Sunday.
We caught up with the North Andover resident and Providence College commit on Monday to get his Draft night experience:
On whether he thought Washington would be destination: “I had a feeling. They were one of the teams that I had an interview and a meeting with them. I had a hunch that it might be Vancouver, Anaheim or Boston though. So I kept watching those teams as their picks came up through the rounds. But I really didn’t have a good sense where I’d go.”
On the Draft process: “There were a lot of different types of meeting. With Washington, we actually just met up at a Dunkin’ Donuts. In the meetings, you just go over your strengths and weaknesses, but the key is to be honest with them. They want you to be honest. You don’t want to say you’re the strongest skater in the world when you’re not because they already know. When I went to meet with the Bruins, it was at the Garden. I worked out, had lunch with them. Looking back on Washington, it was pretty basic. They asked me questions about my game, how I saw myself as a player and it was a background check on family, my parents, siblings, what they do. Basic stuff like that.”
On how he watched the Draft: “We stayed at home. My brother had a couple of his friends over, had a couple of my buddies over, hanging out by pool. We had a TV set up by the shed. When it got later and the bugs were out, we moved inside and watched the TV.”
On how he might fit into Washington’s system: “I think I can fit in there, being a two-way player, playing my game. Obviously, they have a lot of big scorers like [Alex] Ovechkin, [Mike] Ribeiro, but I think it would be more a two-way, defensive forward, being able to move the puck and see the ice well.”
On his offseason regimen: “Actually, I just got back in Boyle’s [gym]. I’m there at 7 a.m. with a group that has Chris Kreider in it, the Rangers forward. It’s good motivation having a guy like that around. It pushes you. Then, from 2-4, I’ll head to Ristuccia and work on my skating with Paul Vincent. I’ve been doing that for the past several years. We do a lot of edge work there, and before I started there, I’d never really don that. I was horrible at it initially, but then you get really strong on your edges and that’s really what you need at the next level. You have to be able to skate, it’s the most important part of hockey. I love Mr. Vincent, I think that I owe a lot to him.”