Denmark's not known for hockey but 20-year-old Jannik Hansen is determined to buck the stereotype. Despite being drafted 287th overall in 2004, Hansen's proven he's got the skills winning the WHL's rookie scoring title last year with Portland. After ten more cuts Thursday, Hansen's now one of only a few prospects still fighting for a roster spot.
What has been the biggest surprise of your first NHL training camp?
How good the players are and nice they are. Some places when you come, the older players say “oh he’s young and they have to learn” but it hasn’t been like that at all. Small things like when they talk to you and say “how have you been” and things like that.
How have you liked camp so far?
I've enjoyed it a lot, you enjoy everyday you get to stay here. And when we’re so close to the season everyday is a treat to me. Just trying to enjoy it fully.
Who was your roommate in Vernon?
What kind of roommate is he?
He’s a very nice guy, like I said earlier, they’re all nice people. They don’t look down on you. It was nice.
Did he impose any rookie rules on you like packing his bags or setting the wake-up call?
No, not at all.
Finish the sentence: I’ve learned a lot from…?
Of course the Swedes - Sedins and Naslund. We have some things in common. Trevor Linden as well, I’ve talked to him a little bit too.
Isn’t there a lot of rivalry between the Swedes and the Danes?
Yeah, there are a lot of wars going on in sports between the two countries, like soccer and handball, but we’re getting there.
Have you gotten on the Coach’s bad side at all yet?
No, not yet.
What’s been your most embarrassing moment throughout the camp?
There hasn’t really been any yet (pause). I hope none will come.
Have your friends and family had a chance to come visit you or see you play here?
No not yet, but they were here last year when I played in Portland.
Do you think they will later on?
I don’t know yet, it’s a long way so they might plan a trip here.
Do you still keep in touch with all the people back home?
Yeah I keep in touch over e-mail
Do you have any siblings?
I have an older sister. She's a travel agent.
What’s been the best thing you’ve done on you’re day off?
We haven’t had many days off so we’ve just kind of been sitting at the hotel. But we had a chance to have a look down Robson street.
Did anyone recognize you?
No, not here but when I’m back home they do - there’s more people that know who you are. Towns are not that big so when you play hockey, people around hockey know who you are.
If not hockey… then…?
What would you want to do outside of sports?
I would be in the construction business because my dad does that and I started that after school.
What was your best subject in high school?
I didn’t really have a strong side in school, I was just trying to get by.
Was there anybody you played with that surprised you?
Of course, but when you’re out there, you’ve just got to get over who you’re playing against.
Did anybody give you a hard time out there?
No, not really.
What was your 'welcome to the NHL' moment?
In San Jose, when I stood out there for the first time and when they dropped the puck for the face-off, I was kind of surprised.