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NHL Entry Draft

Winnipeg Jets 2016 First Round Draft Pick (2nd overall): Patrik Laine

Meet the Jets 1st round pick.

Patrik Laine post draft chat



Transcribed interview:

Q. What was it like to hear your name at No. 2?
PATRIK LAINE: Yeah, it was quite special to hear my name as the second overall. It was the best day and moment of my life so far.

Q. What was the day like for you? Were you nervous going in?
PATRIK LAINE: Not so much, just hanging around and not thinking about the draft. When the draft started then I was nervous, but not anymore.

Q. You had heard that you might go to Winnipeg. When they called your name, what went through your mind?
PATRIK LAINE: Of course I was happy to be selected as the second player. It’s just amazing to be a part of their organization and their city and just looking forward to it.

Q. To some extent are you happy to have this process over with and knowing where you’re going now?
PATRIK LAINE: Yeah, I think it’s a relief to finally know my next team, and I don’t have to think about those things anymore, just focus on Winnipeg and just practicing.

Q. Have you thought about that team and who you might be playing with next season?
PATRIK LAINE: Not yet. There’s not been so much time that I could think about those things. Of course at some point I will maybe think about more of that, but not yet.

Q. Do you know much about Winnipeg?
PATRIK LAINE: Not so much. I’ve heard that it’s pretty cold out there and it’s a big city and nice city. Those are the things I know.

Q. Obviously Teemu Selanne is a legend over in Finland. The fact that he was a star in Winnipeg, do you know about that and know everything that goes along with it when he played for the Jets?
PATRIK LAINE: Yeah, I’ve heard about that, and I think it’s easier to go there if the city and the organization know something about the Finnish people and Finnish players. I hope that I can maybe do the same some day.

Q. Are you surprised that your countryman, Jesse Puljujarvi, didn’t get drafted third overall, that he went fourth?
PATRIK LAINE: I’m not going to say anything about that. That was their decision, and I said earlier that anything can happen in these things. That just happened, and I’m just happy for him and for everybody.

Q. What kind of player is Edmonton getting?
PATRIK LAINE: I think powerful. Power and good skater who can also score and is physical and a kind of power forward who can score.

Q. What kind of expectations do you have for yourself for your rookie season?
PATRIK LAINE: Now I don’t have any expectations. I just want to earn my spot on the team, and I just want to play in the NHL, and that’s my next season’s goal.

Q. What’s the biggest thing you want to work on over the course of the summer?
PATRIK LAINE: Maybe explosiveness because it’s smaller ice, so everything – you have to do everything quicker than in Finland. I think just power to my legs, then it’s good.

Q. How difficult is that adjustment going to be in North American?
PATRIK LAINE: I think it will go just fine to go there, just to the rink and the ice and the game there. I think it will be just good.

Q. What did you do last summer to have such a good season?
PATRIK LAINE: Just practiced hard. That’s the most important thing. Just practiced and eat good and sleep, sleep well, and you have to finish all of those things as well as you can.

Q. What’s your best quality as a player?
PATRIK LAINE: I think my offensive game. I think I’m pretty good at that and scoring goals and creating chances.

Q. Was it everything you dreamed it would be?
PATRIK LAINE: Basically, yes. I’ve been waiting for this moment now for 18 years, and it’s over now, so I’m just really happy and very proud of myself and just honored to be here.

Q. Do you have any coaches here with you as part of your group of 15?
PATRIK LAINE: No, I just have family and friends.

Q. What do you think of Jesse going to the Edmonton Oilers?
PATRIK LAINE: I’m not going to say anything about that. All of these teams are good, and I think he’s going to have a good career and rookie season there, and I think it will be a good place.

Q. Do you think he may be as good as [Jari] Kurri?
PATRIK LAINE: Yeah, I hope so.

Q. I know you weren’t born when Teemu Selanne played his rookie year in Winnipeg, but what do you know about his legacy in that city?
PATRIK LAINE: I know that he scored a couple of goals in the rookie season, and I think the city kind of exploded from those moments, and I think he’s a huge person in Winnipeg, and I hope I can be that kind of person some day.

Q. You hear about you’re a scorer and a guy that can provide some offense. Do you expect to be able to step in next year and be able to be a part of this team?
PATRIK LAINE: Yeah, I hope so. I will do everything I can to be part of that team and earn my spot on the roster, and I will practice hard and hope that if I get the chance I will use it.

Q. Before you actually play for the Jets – the World Cup, just how does that change the way that you prepare for the regular season?
PATRIK LAINE: Of course it gives you a lot of motivation to be in a World Cup team and be drafted second overall. I don’t think it’s going to change – not going to change anything about my training and everything. I’m just going to train as good as I can and let’s see what’s the result after the summer.

Q. What’s it been like for you to be added to that team and then combine that with being drafted now?
PATRIK LAINE: That was a huge thing to be selected to the World Cup team with the best players in Finland and all around the world. It’s an honor to be part of that team and part of that tournament, and I just want to show everybody that I’m a good player and I can play there.

Q. Will you spend the summer in Finland?
PATRIK LAINE: Yeah, I’m going to spend it in Finland, yeah.

Q. What do you make about three Finns going in the top five?
PATRIK LAINE: I think that’s quite awesome. We’ve never done that before, so it’ll be a huge thing for our country and ourselves as players and as persons. It’s kind of quite huge.

Q. What does it say about Finland’s dominance of late, and this is certainly a reflection of it with how you guys have done at the World Juniors and the World Championships?
PATRIK LAINE: Yeah, I think that shows to everybody that we have good juniors coming and we can be good at those tournaments, and after those we can get drafted high. We have good juniors coming.

Q. What happened in Finland that made things go this way, to produce three top-five picks?
PATRIK LAINE: I don’t know. I think we are talented players, and I think we’ve been playing good these couple of seasons and just practicing hard, and we have good junior coaches who are helping us, and I think those combine together.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports