Sunday, February 5, 2012

One-on-One with Brooks Bandit RJ Reed

This weekend I had the chance to have a chat with a forward currently with one of the AJHL's top squad, the Brooks Bandits.

RJ Reed comes from Millet, Alberta, a small town of roughly 2000 a half hour south of Edmonton.

He has put up 103 points in 122 regular season games in the AJHL, along with 6 games played with the P.A Raiders of the WHL as well as the Vancouver Giants.

Check out RJ's stats here!

People say that the jump from Junior B to A can be a huge difference, but RJ, you were playing Midget House prior to jumping to the Brooks Bandits, obviously making that jump that much bigger; what would you say was the hardest aspect of Junior A hockey to adjust to in your rookie season?

The hardest adjustment for me in Junior A was definitely the size difference and the way the game was played all together. Coming in from house league I wasn't much of a player, my game basically consisted of slap shots and cherry picking. To sum it up, I had to learn that this was a totally different game and playing like that wasn't going to get me anywhere. It took getting yelled at many times by my coaches before I realized it. It obviously worked out for me, I'm doing alright now I would say!

Q2- Through your whole life you played a dominant role on every team you played for, is there a particular point in your career you highlight that made you realize Hockey is more than just a hobby?

Basically as soon as I got the nod from the coaches here in Brooks that I was making the team, my rookie season was when I came to realize it was more serious then just a hobby, playing in my hometown of Millet the year before; I thought my career was over and that I was just playing it for the fun of it. Getting told I made the Bandits made me realize that it was more then just a game and that maybe I could actually make something out of it and potentially make a career on it.

Q4- A question I like to ask everyone, goes back to the atmospheres of other teams in the league, other than Brooks, is there a town/arena in the AJHL that you maybe get an extra bit 'hyped' up to play in?

Well obviously to start this off, I have to say that the Bandit faithful have been no short of spectacular this year. There is a few rinks that get a lot of fans at games but overall here in Brooks we've got the best by far. To answer the question, I would say playing in Camrose is exciting. Over the past few seasons we've generated a little bit of a rivalry with the Kods. Camrose is also right close to my home town, so my mom and friends usually make it out to games. You always want to play good when you've got people there specifically to watch you.

Q5- The goal of every player in Jr. A is to win an RBC Cup, Spruce Grove is the 2-time defending AJHL Champion, what do you feel the Bandits need to continue to do if you want to hoist a championship trophy over your heads?

I believe we just have to keep playing the way we are. We have enough skill, so as long as we play smart, defensive hockey; the offense will come for us. Also the attitude has to be there, and for us it always is. Everyone comes to the rink to get better, hoping to get us one step closer to the RBC.

Q6- This ones for the youngsters out there, before every game, every individual prepares themselves a little bit differently, in what way do you mentally and physically prepare yourself for games?

For me there isn't much to it, I'm not much of a superstitious guy but for home games I do generally have the same routine. Stop by Timmies, get myself a large double double, get to the rink, tape my twigs, play a little sewer ball and by the time I do all that its pre-game meeting, then it's off to warm ups! Pretty casual for me.

Thank you to RJ for taking the time out to talk a little puck! Check back next week for another edition of One-on-One! This time, we'll go back to the BCHL!

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