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Canadiens rookie camp day 1 & 2 interviews & transcripts

Canadiens prospects met the media Friday and Saturday after the beginning of rookie camp.

Gregory Shamus

Day one

Jiri Sekac

On cracking the lineup:

"It's in my hands, I will do my best to make the team."

"The team is really good, there's not a lot of spots. But as I've said, I'm gonna do my best and try to fill a spot."

On choosing Montreal:

"Probably just my feelings about the city, about the organization. It just looked to me like the best choice, and that's why I chose Montreal."

On being older than the other rookies being an advantage:

"Well for sure it's a big advantage, because a lot of those guys haven't played in a professional hockey league yet. Or they did, but just a year or two. That's my biggest advantage right now."

On his excellent beep test:

"It was pretty tough for me, but that's what I was working for the whole summer (better conditioning), and it worked, so I'm glad for that"

Charles Hudon

Tim Bozon

On returning from meningitis so quickly:

"Six months ago now, obviously, but that was my goal. I'm not scared to say that was my goal, and we always believed, me and my family, and the doctors of the Montreal Canadiens. If you to talk a lot of people they'd tell you I'd be here today. I always believed. My parents and my family always believed. And we did everything this summer, we worked so hard to reach my goal and be here today. I'm really proud of all the people that helped me. I was never alone, and I want to thank them so much, and it's for them I'm fighting today."

On whether he knew it was serious at the time:

"I almost died. It's scary to say that. I could have lost my legs, my arms, or my view (vision). I got lucky enough that I fully recovered from that. When I talked to a lot of people they were really surprised, because I was healthy, young, and sporty. And I know I've gotta thank the guy up top there, but I always believed."

On the recovery process:

"It  was really hard for like five months after I left the hospital in Saskatoon. I came here and met the doctors and neuro(scientists), then I went back to France for one week to rest. After that I went to a rehab center in France for three weeks, to try to relearn how to walk, to manage myself... I couldn't even walk properly, my balance wasn't good. So three weeks there with lots of support, and I improved a lot. Then Pierre Allard (Canadiens strength and conditioning coach) made a program for me slowly. After that I went back on the ice for the first time in May or June, I don't remember. Since that I started getting better and better, and I'm here today."

Day two

Michael McCarron

On his conditioning and his approach to rookie camp:

"To be quite honest, last year I wasn't in quite the good shape that I'm in this year. This year I came in in better shape, and it's like Marc Bergevin said, it's up to you to make the team, and so I came in in a lot better shape. He said there's spots to be taken so I'm just trying to work for a job here, and not really take it any different than I did last year. To be quite honest with you, I'm just more ready, I would say."

On last year's camp being an eye-opener:

"You know I was 18 years old and I came in here and saw NHL guys that I was practicing with, and I was like 'wow, I watched them on TV growing up', and it's pretty special when you're with them. So last year was definitely an eye-opener."

On his first year in London:

"I learned a ton. I was on a team that was stacked with first round picks, everyone was signed, everyone was really good on that team. I learned so much. The first half I wasn't quite ready to go, and I wasn't expecting that, so the first half was a disappointment to me. It kinda sparked my second half though. The second half I thought I was ready to play every game, and I came to play."

On the level of play in the OHL being a shock:

"It was that, and it was me not being ready for it. Like I said, I wasn't in shape coming into this camp, and I wasn't in shape going into the OHL. Now I know what it takes, how much hard work it takes, so I'm back here ready to go."

On if London was the best place to go:

"Absolutely. Like I said, I learned so much. To be on a team with so many great players, I learned so much with my offensive ability, as well as defensively. They put me at center to learn the defensive zone, to learn how to play there. The Hunters move you on to the NHL, they know what it takes. So that was definitely the best decision for me."

On getting cut from Team USA's World Junior camp:

"It's always tough to get cut from something, but that's not going to make or break my career. I'm not too worried about that, all I've got to do is go out on the ice this year and prove what I have, and just play my game. It's not going to make or break my career, I'm not too hung up on it."

On the chances of making the Habs this year:

"Absolutely, that's why I'm here, right? To try to make the NHL, and I'm going to give everything that I have in this camp. We'll see how things go.

Jiri Sekac

On the rigours of rookie camp:

"After off ice stuff yesterday, I wasn't in the best shape, but I'll get through it and be ready for the next day."

On dealing with all the attention:

"It makes me really happy. I'm happy that I actually get that much attention, because I like when people talk about me. It makes me feel really comfortable and good."

On how he feels about dominating off-ice testing:

"It doesn't play into hockey, the tests are secondary, but you need to be in shape, and that's what I was working for the whole summer, to get in my best shape."

On what motivated him to come to Montreal (again, jesus christ):

"I was here for a visit, and I just really liked the city. I love the way the organization is going. I got to see the locker room and I actually was at the Bell Center as well. And when I saw the rink, it was amazing. I'd never been in a rink big like that, and it kinda just swallowed me. I just wanted to be a part of this organization."

Jeremy Gregoire

Jacob de la Rose

On whether he reads media coverage:

"I don't read or listen to that, I'm just focused on my own game and trying to play my best out there. That's all I can do, and see how far that will take me."

On being excited for training camp:

"It's a great feeling to be here, I've been waiting for this for a lot of months now, and I'm super excited to start the camp here. It was a really nice first practice."

On being at the real camp:

"I've been to two development camps but this is my first rookie camp, so I'm really excited for it."

On being comfortable here:

"I'm starting to know a lot of players here, and the staff, so it feels really good."

On whether he's talked to management about a spot on the team:

"No, I haven't talked to anyone. I'm just trying to do my thing out there and the rest will solve itself."

Sven Andrighetto

On the difference between this year and last year:

"It gives me confidence, I mean it's my second year right now, and last year was a lot different. I have more experience, as you said, it's my second year, and I'm really confident in this situation."

On whether he thinks he has one of the open spots on the Habs:

"You don't get anything for free, I mean you've gotta work for it. It's not like they tell you; "Here, that's your spot," every single guy in here wants to play in the NHL, and I'm one of them. You've gotta earn it and you've gotta work for it."

On what he learned and improved last year:

"Pretty much my overall game. Being consistent, and especially in my defensive zone. I talked a lot to my coaches in Hamilton. If I want to get to the next step and be in the NHL, I've got to be a good two-way player. I know that my strength is the offensive zone, so I also want to be responsible on the defensive side. I think that brings me to the next level."

On what it means that Bergevin regards him highly:

"Of course it's different than last year, I'm more confident right now, because I know what's going on, I know how it's going, I know all the people here. Last year it was totally different, I came here and didn't know what to expect. This year I know what to expect and I'm ready for it."

On what he can learn in a weekend camp:

"There's always something you can improve. You're never good enough. You can learn from all the players around you, you can pick up something and bring it into your own game. You work with the coaches and they give you their input. You just want to improve yourself as a player."