Stevenson is on knee, center, blue sweater (photo by me)
Dustin Stevenson started off our interview with "Sorry if I smell bad." Think I'm going to like this kid.
(And for the record, I couldn't smell anything. Probably because I was so cold at that point that all my senses were dulled.)
Rink Rebel: You were the first player from the SJHL to be signed by the NHL, so how did that feel?
Dustin Stevenson: Oh, it felt great. It's everyone's dream, I think, it was my dream for sure, to sign an NHL contract. I didn't think it was going to happen this soon, but it definitely felt real great.
RR: Most of the guys here are from collegiate hockey, KHL, CHL, how do you think your game would differ from that?
DS: I think I had good coaching where I played so I feel like I'm right with everyone in this camp, I don't feel out of place at all. There are some good players here, and there's definitely a little bit more skill, but I feel like I fit in.
RR: Bruce had singled you out saying you had a good development camp, what did that do for your confidence?
DS: It helped my confidence a lot. I mean especially for this camp, now coming back I kind of know where I fit in and where I sit with the guys and it definitely pumped the confidence up a bit.
RR: Obviously I understand why you picked the contract over your scholarship to St. Lawrence, but do you feel disappointed in a way that you had to forgo that scholarship?
DS: [shakes head] Not at all. I don't look back on that decision at all, I think this is the best for my development, and that's a decision that me and my family made as soon as I got offered a contract. So no, I'm not looking back on it. I'm happy with the decision I made.
RR: People tend to compare your style to Chris Pronger, is that accurate? Or who do you think your style of play is like?
DS: I guess it's fair to compare me to him, I'm not sure really, I just try and play my own style of game, but I guess I can see we're both kind of tall, puck-moving defensemen.
More interviews to come on Thursday!