Connor, talking with the strength coaches and a question [came up], “hey, how do the guys look?” I said “skinny and strong.” If there is a poster boy on their behalf, it was you. What have you done in the offseason to maintain fitness and of course get stronger.
Connor Brown: I worked with Matt, the strength coach here. I was in Toronto all summer, which is an advantage for me being from here. I really try to take full advantage of it. I’ve put on a lot of good size. You know — make sure you’re putting on weight but the good kind of weight. I feel stronger. I feel a lot faster. It’s a good start.
Garret Sparks was talking about this being one of the most competitive camps he’s been a part of it. Spots up front are going to be few and far between as far as you’re concerned. What’s the confidence level like given that you had an opportunity to play in the NHL last year and really play deep into the Spring with the Marlies?
Brown: I feel good. I think what you do is you play as best as you can and let the chips fall where they may. I feel good about my game right now. I think I am skating right now. I took good strides in the offseason to improve my game. I’m excited to get into some exhibition games.
In watching you in the scrimmages, backside pressure so very important and getting back in transition, hasn’t it been?
Brown: Absolutely. I think in my role in the NHL I’ll have to be strong defensively and reliable. I think that’s something I pride myself on. I’m just trying to be in the right spots and play hard.
A sense of familiarity getting to come to another camp in Halifax and having that guy in the center #42 (Tyler Bozak)?
Brown: He’s an easy guy to play with. It makes it fun. You feel confident with you. You know he’s going to give you the puck back if you give it to him. It’s really nice. I really enjoy it, and I hope he enjoys playing with me.
You changed numbers.
Brown: Yeah, #12.
What’s behind that?
Brown: Ummm, sixth rounder… No, I think I’ve had a different number every year at camp. I’m #12. I don’t mind it at all.
Ever worn #12 before?
Brown: Nope, never. I’ve got an uncle Jerry who wore a #12 so he was pretty excited about it.