Behind the mask. 10 questions with Price George Cougars Goalie Nick Mcbride

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Mcbride during his tenure in Prince Albert

Friday December 18th

By Dane Frizzell

 

This week we had the opportunity to speak with Nick Mcbride, goaltender for the Prince George Cougars, of the Western Hockey League. Mcbride is currently in his 3rd season in the WHL. The 18 year old has a 6-2-0-1 record this year with the Cougars. He played his minor hockey at the Burnaby Winterclub before making the jump to the WHL. We had an opportunity to talk about growing up playing the game and the importance of teammates.

Dane – “Growing up did you always want to be a goaltender?”

Nick –  “Yeah, I spent a few years trying to convince my parents to let me play goalie full time. I was always the goalie in road hockey, mini sticks and such growing up.”

Dane – “You have been in the Western Hockey League now for 3 seasons. What is it like playing in one of the finest development leagues in the world?”

Nick – “It’s a very cool experience getting to play with and against some of the top NHL prospects. I’m used to it now but originally joining the league was a huge step as your life during the season revolves completely around hockey.”

Dane – “You play in one of the most scrutinized positions in all of hockey. You are the most important person on the ice for your team each and every night. How do you remain calm, cool and collective in your net?”

Nick – “The keys to that are having confidence in your own ability, having a short memory, and having thick skin on the ice.”

Dane – “Hockey players are creatures of habit. They all have their own game day and pre game superstitions and traditions. What does your game day routine look like?”

Nick – “I don’t have much of a routine (anymore) before I get to the rink other than your usual pre game skate and just chill out at home. At the rink its a pretty strict routine of eye hand work, stretches, visualizing, music and getting worked on by the team athletic therapist”

Dane – “Is there a goaltender you look up to or model your game after?”

Nick – “Not so much, I’m just taking my own path.”

Dane – “You began your WHL career in Prince Albert with the Raiders. At the start of this season, you were traded to the Cougars. There was a bit of shock following the trade, did you request to be moved out of Prince Albert?”

Nick – “I did. There’s some reasoning behind it, but mostly because we had 3 WHL caliber goalies in PA, and I thought out of everyone I needed a fresh start the most. There was no hate from either party. I loved my time as a Raider. It was more so me saying, “if you are gonna trade someone I think you should trade me” other than me demanding to be dealt.”

Dane – “Last season you played in the CHL/NHL Top Prospect game. You got a chance to play alongside some pretty impressive players. McDavid, Barzal and Ryan Strome just to name a few. What was that like to play in a game if this caliber?”

Nick – “It was a very cool experience, and super fun to be a part of.”

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Mcbride playing on Team Orr at last year’s CHL/NHL Top Prospects game.

 

Dane – “You played the majority of your minor hockey at the Burnaby Winter Club. That program has turned out so many amazing athletes and hockey players. What does it mean to be apart of the history of that organization?”

Nick – “Im very proud to be an alumni there. The teams I was lucky enough to be apart of accomplished so much and I will always look back fondly at my time there.”

Dane – “Last season was the first season you were eligible for the NHL draft. You remain undrafted moving into this draft. If you had your pick of which team to be drafted by, who would it be?”

Nick – “It doesn’t really matter to me where I go, but if I had to choose, I would say LA. I had a great time at the LA Kings camp and they have an outstanding organization there.”

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Mcbride at the LA Kings training camp this past September

Dane – “Teammates are a big part of the game of hockey. Are there any teammates you would like to give a shout out to or mention?”

Nick – I’ve played with so many great guys it’s hard to pick out a few. Teammates are like family in the WHL, and its special to be a part of.”

Dane – “Thanks for doing this Nick! Best of luck for the rest of the year in Prince George.”

Nick- “No worries man.”

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