Carolina Hurricanes prospect Zach Boychuk played 31 games for Carolina and 52 for the Albany River Rats this past season. He had 3 goals and 6 assists for a total of 9 points for the big club and scored 15 goals and earned 21 assists, for 36 points while in Albany.
Last Thursday night after the Rats were eliminated by the Hershey Bears, I had an opportunity to speak briefly with Boychuk. We talked a bit about his season in general and what his plans were for the offseason.
Q: What can you learn and take away from a tough series like this one, as well as your season in general?
A: We had a lot of first year players on this team who learned a lot. We (young players) played on special teams and in all situations. This was a great experience for us, to play against a team like that, a championship team who has all star type talent and incredible depth. Someday you want to be able to play and get results like they have. Everyone is down right now and it sucks that we lost in four straight, but in a few days we can look back and recognize that we did a pretty special thing this year.
Q: Will you be working on anything in particular during your offseason and what are your goals for next season?
A: I'll be working on the same stuff I do every summer, I'll keep trying to get stronger and quicker. This is my first professional season and over the course of the year, I have grown more as a person and as a player than I have at any time in my entire career. I have learned a lot and I know what it takes to play against guys in the NHL. And I know what it takes to grind as needed in the AHL. Next year my goal is to get bigger and stronger and try my best to make the Carolina Hurricanes and stay on the team all season long.