"I had it in my mind that I wanted to sign an NHL contract and if they (Rangers) weren't ready to offer me that, if they were just going to offer me an American Hockey League deal or East Coast League deal, I would have come back to Kelowna. When New York stepped up and offered me the entry level deal I thought this was a good opportunity and I should probably take this and jump on it."
Did you consider the volatile position that any 20 year-old faces in the WHL? A team is only allowed three overage players and it's the older players that are often moved through a trade. Did that ever enter your mind when you considered the possibility of signing rather than coming back to the Rockets?
"In Kelowna I wasn't too worried about that considering we...at the time I Ieft for training camp we had only one 20 year-old, and that was myself. So I wasn't worried about getting traded and Bruce (Hamilton) and the Kelowna Rockets organization were nothing but good to me the last three years, so I wasn't concerned about getting dealt anywhere."
It's common now to see American born players coming to the WHL, but even in 2005 when you came to Kelowna it was still quite rare. Do you ever have any second thoughts about your decision?
"My first season to be honest with you I really had some doubts, especially when I got that big knee injury and I was out and thing just weren't going my way. But the more I stuck with it the more comfortable I got, so I am definitely happy I went to Kelowna and it was nothing but good for me, so I am pleased with my decision to go out there."
Over your 3 seasons with the Rockets, share some highlites for me?
"Scoring my first goal in Kootenay was pretty big. Even though it was an ugly goal it was still my first goal so it was pretty exciting. When we beat Everett in my first year in double overtime."
How about the teammates you leave behind?
"Oh absolutely. These are guys I am going to be friends with for the rest of my life. I mean guys like Schenner (Luke Schenn), Longer (Colin Long) and Bennie (Jamie Benn) are a terrific group of guys and I wouldn't trade them in for anybody."
Any final words to the fans in Kelowna?
"I just really appreciate their support over the last three years. I am really thankful they gave me an opportunity and I am just really happy they backed me for the last three years."