The last of our interviews with Team USA Junior Division Captains brings us to Drew Albright. Drew is a monstrous 6 ‘ 3″ defenseman who has blossomed into one of the best young defenseman to come out of the Pittsburgh area in recent years. Drew was one of the youngest players selected to the Bronze Medal winning 2014 U18 Junior team that beat Canada 2-0 to win Bronze. He’ll be looked to as a leader on this team as they attempt to achieve their goal of nothing short of the Gold medal. Drew is also a talented multi-sport athlete who plays baseball and basketball. He’s planning on attending a local college on an athletic scholarship in the future. He’s also a big fan of Ramen Noodles and loves destroy a bowl or three while watching his favorite hockey movie, Goon. Like many Pittsburgh kids he’s a devoted Penguins fan and is currently enjoying their playoff run as they prepare to battle hated rival the Washington Capitals. Drew may be the last of the interviews posted, but we’ve saved one of the best for last.
Describe what it means for you to be named an Assistant Captain of this team?
It’s a pretty cool feeling having my coaches and teammates being able to have that trust in me to lead the boys on and off the rink each time we are together.
What are the responsibilities of a captain/alternate?
Our responsibilities as the leaders of the team are to make sure we set the good examples that will not only help our team win, but off the rink represent our country with class and pride.
What are the keys to making sure your team will be as successful as it can be at the WJBHC?
We need to click and come together as one whole family, which I think our team has done already during the few practices and tournaments we have played in together. One key thing is to make sure we stay relaxed. The bigger area brings a great but intimidating atmosphere at the international level and we can’t let the setting or screaming fans have an impact on our play. Keep it simple and play our game.
What style of leadership will you bring?
I’ll always be myself and keep everything honest. If anyone ever needs anything or help they can come talk to me.
Who do you credit for your success as both a person and a hockey player?
I’d like to thank all the previous coaches in the past years especially Fred Hunt, and Steve and Dan Gregory who have been helping me out and getting on me since I was a little kid. They’ve guided me to take the right path on and around the rink to make me a better person as a whole. Also, I’ve always looked up to their games and playing on the same team as them at the men’s level not only helps my play, but also my attitude and leadership skills tremendously.
How do you prepare for games? Are there any superstitions you follow?
Before games I like to blast music in the locker room with the guys and make sure everyone is pumped up and ready to go. No tenseness or worries, but when I hit the rink it’s all business.
You have previously played in the 2014 ISBHF Junior World Championship, how will that experience help you in Sheffield?
Playing in Slovakia in 2014 I know Is going to help me out tremendously. Being 2 years younger than everyone else, I took in a lot from some of the older leaders we had on the team. Also, I have Been trying to hand down all of the knowledge I got from it to the guys on this years team, so that when its go time, were as ready as possible. I know what it is going to take to win gold this year and we don’t plan on settling for anything less.