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Offside with Juraj Simek

Saturday, 13.09.2008 / 8:53 PM / Features
Vancouver Canucks
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Offside with Juraj Simek
The Canucks sixth round draft pick in 2006, Juraj Simek, has been quietly working his way towards a spot on the roster. At just 20 and one professional season under his belt, Simek is ready to show what he's got at the Canucks prospect camp this week.

Never shy when it comes to media and getting in front of a camera, get to know the young prospect better.

What’s the story behind your number?

Usually I wear number nine but last year, I had 23 for the Moose. My mom used to play basketball on the national team of Czechoslovakia and she always wanted to wear number nine but she never could so I picked it.

But I never chose basketball because when I was little, I was very energetic and I didn’t know anything about basketball and I didn’t actually really like it that much so I started playing hockey.

What is the most embarrassing thing to happen on the ice?

At World Juniors against Canada, I came to do warm-up on the ice in front of probably 16,000 people, I lost my steel and fell in front of everybody so the whole rink started laughing at me. I tried to get up but I couldn’t because I didn’t know what was going on and I fell and I slipped and kept falling.

They realized that I lost my steel and my teammate pushed me out with a stick back to the bench. They fixed it and it was good for the rest of the game.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I do the same thing all the time. I’ll sleep in the afternoon, then have a pre-game meal. Before the game, I do some stick handling on the ice.

What is your favourite thing about your home town?

My favourite thing about my hometown is the mountains, so Vancouver’s perfect because it’s a little bit like home.

What is your first hockey team?

It was in my hometown with Bern. I started when I was five. When I was a kid, I rotated positions, one time I was goalie or defenceman until I was about six years old and then I was always forward. I remember when I had to play goalie and my dad tried to put the pads on my legs and he put them the wrong way. He put the right pad on my left leg and my left pad on my right leg so it was kind of funny.

Sporting event I wish I was there for...

Last year’s world championship in Canada, unfortunately I couldn’t go.

Who if your favourite movie villain?

The only one I can think of is from the Dark Knight. I liked the Joker – he was pretty good. I saw Batman Begins and this one but Dark Knight was way better.

If not hockey, then...

That’s a good question, I don’t know... probably doing school right now back home and just finishing my two years that I have to finish still. I studied classes like economy, anatomy, computers, that type of thing.

What is the best sign you’ve seen at a game?

It was last year, we played in Milwaukee and there were some girls from Slovakia and they had a sign saying they want to marry me. That was probably the first one I saw like that.