Justin Robidas and Bobby Orr were kind enough to take some time to talk to Canes Country about their time in Raleigh so far and the upcoming season.
Interview with Justin Robidas
Walk us through where you were when you found out you had been selected by the Hurricanes? How did it feel?
I was with family and friends with a huge TV in the room. We were all together and I was really excited. It was a great day for us.
Your dad had a long NHL career, was he one of your biggest inspirations and teachers growing up?
For sure. I grew up in the hockey mindset and I had the chance to go to the rink and meet the NHL players every day. Being around that every day inspired me and gave me the love for the game. My dad has taught me a lot both on and off the ice and has been a major influence.
It was a bit of a shortened year for your QMJHL team but you still managed to put together an impressive draft year. In what ways are you looking to improve heading into next season?
We got to play a short season and playoffs, but it was still a season. I want to get stronger, add muscle and work on my all-around game. Shooting, skating, and improving everything else.
This is the first NHL camp you’re attending. What are some of the differences between an NHL camp and a QMJHL camp and what have you been able to learn thus far?
For me, it’s that the little details matter. Sometimes you can get by without doing the little things in juniors but those little details will separate you from the rest in the pros. You can be the best player on your junior team but once you get to the NHL camps everyone is the best player on their junior teams so you have to work a lot harder to stand out.
How have you been liking Raleigh?
I’ve never been and it’s a great city. I haven’t seen much but it seems really nice. It looks beautiful and I’m excited to discover it in the next few years.
You were recently named captain of the Foreurs. Could you talk about your team and what it means to be named captain?
It’s an honor. For them to have the confidence in me [to name me captain] is huge. We have a great group of guys and I’m excited to lead them. I want to teach these young guys what it takes to make a deep run and I want to help make them better hockey players. For them to have the confidence to name me is special.
What’s one area of your game that you feel is a little underrated?
That’s tricky. For me it would be my size. People see that as a disadvantage. In some ways it is, but if I use it correctly, I can use it to my advantage. People might discount me for it but I think that I’ll be able to make an impact regardless.
What are some things you like to do outside of hockey?
I like to play other sports like basketball, football, soccer. I’ll watch sports too and play golf during the summers.
Interview with Bobby Orr
First of all, congrats on being drafted by the Hurricanes. Could you talk about where you were when you found out and what it felt like?
Similarly to Justin, I was with family and friends and an old coach. We all shared that moment together and were waiting for that to happen. I was so excited and everyone was proud. I’m honored to be a part of the organization.
How did you get into hockey and who were some of your favorite players to watch growing up?
My parents put me in a bunch of sports growing up but hockey was the one I was excited about the most. I loved it the most and wanted to keep playing. My family and I are big Canadiens fans and I loved getting to watch Koivu. Playing hockey was in our blood, it seems.
Your team had its ups and downs this past season. What were some of your biggest takeaways from last season that you can build on heading into next season?
Last season we were the youngest team in the CHL but we tried to get better every day and prove people wrong. I learned from a lot of guys that have played pro (at camp) to focus on the little details and keep improving every day. Obviously this year I want to focus on getting stronger, more explosive, and working on my shot. I want to work hard every day and do what I can to help the team win.
What has been the biggest difference for you at an NHL camp?
The pace of the game is very different. The intensity is high and you’re playing with older guys, which is tough. They’re stronger, so you have to be able to keep up and work hard. I think I can. I try to make the right plays and follow their example. It’s a big step between the two levels.
Is this your first trip down to Raleigh? How have you liked it so far?
I haven’t been to Raleigh before, actually. We haven’t explored too much but I’d love to in the next couple of years. The facilities the Canes have are unbelievable and I’m trying to enjoy myself here.
You spent time on a line with Nashville prospect Zachary L’Heureux this season. Are you going to be a little more competitive matched up against him this weekend?
We grew up playing against each other playing midget hockey but it’s been a while. We’re good buddies now, which will be different. We text each other a lot so it’ll be fun.
What are some things that you like to do outside of hockey?
For me, I like to golf. I’m a big golf guy and I like to watch it as well. I play other sports with my friends in the summer. We have a lake house and we’ll go out on the boat and just have a good time.
The prospect showcase kicks off on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET.