The United States National Team Development Program has developed some of America’s best and brightest hockey stars. Only the best young American players earn their place on USNTDP and Brock Faber by all accounts is one of the best that they currently have. I spoke with the 17-year-old defensemen to discuss his goals for the 2019-20 season, his overall game and what he wants to improve on, how he got into the game of hockey and more.
Q: So my first question for you is when did you first start to play hockey?
A: I started when I was around 4, on my backyard rink.
Q: How would you describe your playing style?
A: I am a two-way defensemen. Not the most flashy, but will jump up in the rush and move pucks north.
Q: Is there any NHL player who you try to model your game after?
A: Charlie McAvoy. I feel that we play very similar.
Q: What areas of your game, if any, do you feel you need to improve upon this season?
A: I think that I need to work on my shot the most. As a defensemen, it is a vital skill to be able to change the angle and get pucks through to the net.
Q: What are your expectations for yourself this year leading up to the draft?
A: I’m just focused on becoming a better play and doing my best to help this team get gold in April.
Q: What has been the highlight of your hockey career so far?
A: The highlight of my career would have to be putting on the USA jersey for the first time.
Q: How did it feel when you found out you made the team?
A: It was a tremendous honour. I was so unbelievably excited and ready to jump on this amazing opportunity.
Q: Have you felt that there is an added sense of pressure on yourself this season due to it being your first year of NHL draft eligibility?
A: No not really. I’m just focused on my game and doing what I have to do to help my team win.
Q: After the U18 Nation team had a historically successful draft last year, have you gotten any pointers and tips from the players on how to approach the season and tune the pressure of the draft out?
A: I haven’t really talked to many of them but obviously from interviews & such they have all said that there is only one thing to focus on and that’s winning a gold medal.
Q: What would being drafted mean to you?
A: It would be a dream come true. Ever since I first started playing hockey that’s been one of my biggest goals.
Q: Do any teammates come to mind that may really surprise people this season and be a key player to the team?
A: I would have to say that Chase Yoder will surprise a lot of people.
Q: Growing up, did you have a favourite NHL team and a favourite player?
A: Growing up I loved watching all teams. My favourite player growing up was either Zach Parise or Brent Burns.