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Tanner Richard, the 19 year old from Jona, Switzerland is making a big impression over here with North American hockey! Currently, Tanner has signed on for a second season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm. Richard has had some BIG moments since starting to skate over the last 15 years which include being drafted in the 3rd round of the NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning . Not looking to stop the momentum and using hard work to make his dreams happen this next year he is looking to make great plays and moves with the Guelph Storm.
Tanner was great and answered some questions about what happened at the NHL Draft, what’s to come for him and even talks a little about why he will not be switching to my favorite sport to play Golf! Be sure to follow him on Twitter @Trichard27 because this future star of the NHL is one that actually tweets his followers back, answers questions, or just say’s hello!
1. You were selected in the 3rd Round, 71st Overall in this year’s NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning, what emotions were going through you when they called your name?
As soon as I heard my name my mother jumped up and hugged me and she was saying something to me but I didn’t really hear it. Flashbacks of my whole career were going through my mind and I was kind of in shock and just so happy.
2. At the draft selection who did you bring with you? What was their reaction?
I flew to Pittsburgh with my parents, my brother, my swiss friend Tim Bozon who was also drafted and his father. I had a few relatives make the drive from Toronto as well and my agent and his partner. All together there was 17 of us.
3. When did you know that all you wanted to do was play hockey for a living? What would you be doing if hockey wasn’t an option?
I have known ever since I can remember. My father was a professional hockey player in Switzerland, so I have always been around ice hockey and have always loved the game and to become a hockey player and make a living playing the game I love has always been my goal.
4. You are currently playing with the OHL’s Guelph Storm, but what is your ultimate goal with your hockey career?
My goal, vision and dream is to play in the NHL.
5. Being Swiss, what are some of the differences playing in Europe versus North American leagues?
In Europe the ice is much bigger so there’s a lot more room to skate, which also gives you more time to make a play. The game isn’t as physical as here. Europeans are also known to generally be a bit more fancy instead of gritty and grinding there way through.
6. What do you consider your biggest strength on the ice?
I like to think my strengths are on special teams. My vision and ability to read the play allows me to make plays that others can’t. I consider myself more of a playmaker than a goalscorer so I like to find the open guy and set my teammates up for a goal. I also do quite well in the face-off circle.
7. What are some of your pregame rituals?
I always have the same pregame meal and have a nice power nap.
8. How do you stay in shape off the ice?
I train twice a day from Monday- Friday through the whole summer with my city’s pro team back in Switzerland.
9. A lot of hockey teams require involvement with the community, what has been your best experience so far with the Guelph Storm?
I think the most enjoyable public relation I did last year was participating in the city of Guelph’s Annual Christmas Parade. I was joined by 3 teammates and we walked through the parade and handed out candy canes to kids. Also, the “Skate with the Storm” is something I really enjoy. We have about 3 or 4 of them per season. It gives the fans an opportunity to come on the ice after a game and skate with the players and take pictures and get the players to sign things for them.
10. What advice would you give to any new hockey player wanting to play the sport professionally?
Hard work beats skill if skill doesn’t work hard! No matter how good you are, there’s always going to be somebody better than you, so never stop training and try to get better every day. Have fun with it, being able to play hockey is a privilege.
1. Who has been your favorite hockey team/player growing up?
Growing up my all-time favorite player was Steve Yzerman. My favorite team since I’ve been 11 is the Tampa Bay Lightning, I saw my first NHL game in Tampa the year they won the cup and they’ve been my team ever since.
2. What is your go to snack?
I love Dill Pickle chips and Cheese Doritos
3. Would you ever touch the Stanley Cup before it was actually yours?
As a kid, yes for sure. Now definitely not. I took a picture beside the cup at the Draft this summer but I wouldn’t touch it.
4. What has been your favorite fan sign?
Either for you or another player you’ve come across? I haven’t seen many but my 2 favourites would be: “Supertan” and ” Mr. Swiss #27″
5. Recently you and a few players from the Guelph Storm were out on the golf course, will you be switching sports?
Definitely not. I am convinced I am the worst hockey player to ever attempt to play golf. I lost 12 balls on 18 holes. Luckily it was best ball so it didn’t quite take me forever to finish. I wasn’t much help to my teammates on that day, I’ll stick to hockey.
Remember to follow Tanner at @Trichard27!!!