Draft Prospect - 2016
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Erik Gudbranson
North American Skater
Kingston, OHL
Final Rank:  4 Midterm Rank:  6
Position:  Defenseman Shoots:  Right
Height:  6' 4" Weight:  195
Born:  January 7, 1992    
Birthplace:  Ottawa, ON, CAN
On playing for Doug Gilmour: Well, it's definitely special being coached by an NHL icon. He's got so much experience and wisdom that he's just passing down to the younger guys. I mean, it's real special when you get to just sit down, talk hockey with someone like that, and I mean, he's very knowledgeable with what he's doing. He knows the little things that it takes to make it to the NHL and being able to learn that from him is really special.

On learning from Doug Gilmour: Absolutely. He has got so much wisdom behind him. He knows how the system works. He's well known for his little things that he does, just playing the game smart, playing the game right. He knows how to do that. He's very committed to making us better.

On his 2009-10 season: Well, at the start of the year, I actually started with a pretty quick start. I felt I was playing well. Felt fine. Had a little freak accident, sprained my ACL trying to throw the big hit. I worked hard to get back and I was initially supposed to be out for six weeks, and came back after four which was good; and played for another two or three weeks, and unfortunately caught mono, which only is going to happen once. I must say, there was good timing with it being over the Christmas holidays where I could just go home, sleep in my own bed, eat home cooked meals. That was really helpful and feeling better now.

On dealing with the setbacks mentally: Well, I can't really think of it, because I have no control over it. That's what I've decided. I mean, it's tough to watch and to have to stay away, watch the guys go on the ice and not being able to suit up yourself. I've been chomping at the bit every single time I see them even for practice. It's tough to have to go through this, but I have found ways to find positives out of it. I'm doing little things to just try to get better off the ice, just be smart and stuff like that.

On the inspiration his younger brother, Dennis,
provides: I mean, seeing a little kid going through something like that - cancer is definitely not something that anybody should ever have to go through. I think it was even though it was some of the worst times of my life, I have to say, now it's one of the best things that's ever happened to me. The kid is absolute nails, that's what we call him. He's just a little guy, smiles all the time. He's never sad. He's just a huge inspiration. He's just a great kid and I mean, he shows the way for us. It's not that he shows it on the ice or anything like that. He shows the way of life. He's such a happy kid and he just wants to have fun.

On his younger brother, Alex, following in his footsteps: Well, I mean, being his older brother and me going through the system first, I think it's a real honor to have him look up to me. He calls me up every day just asking questions like that. He's a great kid. He's got lots of skill. He's a lot bigger he'll be a lot bigger than I will be, but he's going to do well in his career.

On helping others off the ice: There is a kid in Kingston, a 14 year old named Austin. He was diagnosed with the same thing as my brother had, leukemia, and my teammate Nathan Moon and I, went to see him. The time I saw him, he didn't even know we were there. I have to say it brought a few tears to my eyes. It was kind of surreal knowing what the nurse was talking about when she was messing with his equipment and stuff like that. Things like that, it just brings you down to earth and makes you count your blessings; being able to use everything and just playing the game that you love for a living. It's definitely something that I think some guys overlook, and I think I'm mature enough to realize that and know that I'm very fortunate.

On his style of play: I seem like a nice guy now but I like playing with a real edge on the ice. I like throwing the big hits. I mean, I play the game hard. I play the game; I don't mess around when I'm on the ice and I make sure everything gets done. I'll do anything to get it done. I think I move the puck well and I have a pretty good shot from the point. And I think the edge, that's big for me.

On the NHL Entry Draft: Well, it's definitely something that I look forward to, but during the season, it's tough to think about it. I don't really want to let that get in front of me. It's really the Frontenacs first for me right now. I know it's in the back of my mind, and obviously as I'm looking forward to it, I think it's going to be a huge day for me and my family. I think it will be really special watching all of these guys go up to the podium, curve the hat and stuff like that. For me being able to do that will be really special.

On his strong family roots and his start in hockey: Well, my dad brought me out, obviously I was just watching hockey. I remember doing that when I was younger. It's tough to remember playing mini sticks and stuff like that. But I remember the day he put me in Timbits hockey, he was my coach and I played there for two years, and then made an early jump into the novice b system which was my first organized hockey year. Ended up winning the only championship, league championship I've won, still got the medal hung over my bed. But yeah, that's definitely that was how it was and I have really strong roots back home. I make sure that whenever I see a little kid from Orleans, sign him a little autograph and stuff like that. I really enjoy being back home and stuff like that.

On his childhood hockey hero: Childhood hockey hero, I always looked up to Paul Kariya when I was younger. I always loved how quick his feet were and stuff like that and how speedy he was.

On his most embarrassing hockey moment: Embarrassing hockey moment, absolutely no doubt last year in Guelph. I didn't know there was a moment of silence on Remembrance Day, after the National Anthem, took a nice little lap around the ice. That was pretty embarrassing.

On his favorite goal celebration: You know what, I'm a low key guy, but I saw, actually John Carlson do a little arrow shooting and I thought that was pretty funny. I think I might throw that one in there if it's a big goal.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

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