As the Canucks prospects assemble in Penticton, BC for the Young Stars Tournament, we had an opportunity to ask some of them some questions. Today, we present a one-on-one with Twitter star and forward prospect, Bill Sweatt.
Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com
CHB: Give us your thoughts on how you felt last year went for you, personally and professionally.
Bill Sweatt: I think it went pretty well. I got sent down in the exhibition games part of the preseason. And then I just developed, went down there in the AHL, developed my game. Realistically, I knew I was probably going to have to play down there for a year or a little bit just to get used to the pro game because I came from college. And I went down there and did that. We had a great coaching staff. They taught us a lot of things. They really helped me develop my game, both in the offensive zone and the defensive zone.
CHB: What made you sign in Vancouver last year?
Bill Sweatt: When we were starting to look at all the different teams – the interest level, the prospect line, see where I could possibly fit in the future – and that was one of the big reasons I signed the deal. It wasn’t so much for the first year, it was for the second and third year, you know when some of these guys’ contracts are coming up, do they stay or not stay, and then you step into some of those roles that become available. It wasn’t so much salary. It was more like when guys become unrestricted free agents, you know, they can sign there, they can not sign there. Basically, just look in the future, not just the first year but down the line as well.
CHB: You’re quite active on Twitter, and more specifically, #MMDM. Tell us a little bit about this initiative.
Bill Sweatt: It’s a thing my agent started. It’s called “Make My Day Monday”. You go out, and on Mondays, you do a good deed. I usually to do a charitable donation to a different charity every week. It’s just a nice thing to do. Be a professional, be giving and caring to others kinda thing.
CHB: And is it just you and a couple of people?
Bill Sweatt: It started out with just my agent and his players, and now it’s grown so that other people just do it. It’s actually gotten pretty big. It’s actually kinda exciting.
CHB: What was the best thing that you did?
Bill Sweatt: There was a time last year when every week I would ask my followers what charity, what means a lot to you and they would say this charity and why. And I would just pick the best one I would thought for that. I think they’re all equally as good. As long as you’re helping out and doing something for everybody else.
CHB: What part of your game do you feel you improved on the most last year?
Bill Sweatt: Learning the pro game. Because where I came from in college, I came from (playing on) an Olympic-sized rink. Learning how quicker everything is and how it happens faster on a smaller sheet, playing better and possessing the puck down low, getting a lot better on the boards and by the defensive zone where you’re catching the puck fully in the middle of passing it or chipping it past the ‘d’.
CHB: What goals have you set for yourself this season?
Bill Sweatt: My goal is to at least get a couple of games in the NHL. I feel like, last year, I was new to everything and I didn’t know what to expect. I had a good tournament here last year and then a decent main camp, but you can see that it just wasn’t quite there. Got sent down to the A, started off slow, and then really started to get going after 5 or 10 games. And then became a pretty good player on that team and a top-end player. And so that’s why I think that this year it’s realistic now to… I could, I’m shooting to play a couple of games in the NHL. That’s my goal.
CHB: And finally, the best nickname on the team?
Bill Sweatt: I usually call Schroeder either “Smalls” or “Tum Tum” from 3 Ninjas.