Exclusive Interview With Top Draft Prospect Luke Shenn
Jesse Marshall: So, for readers who out there who haven’t had the chance to see you play, what kind of defenseman would you describe yourself as?
Luke Schenn: Just a steady defensive-defenseman that makes simple plays and plays physical.
JM: You’re obviously rated number five this year in the ISS to start the season. Did you expect to be ranked that high from the get-go, or was that a surprise to you?
LS: There’s a lot of good players out there, for sure. I haven’t seen all the players, but it’s nice to get noticed that high. At the same time, there’s a lot of season to be played and a lot of work to be done. It’s nice to be mentioned like that, but I still have a lot of work to go.
JM: Was there a point last year that you realized there was a buzz about you?
LS: I’m not sure about that, it’s always good to be recognized and getting the opportunity to play with Hockey Canada and getting the chance to play for U-18 and then the last Super-Series. It’s always nice to have your name in there and be a part of that. Anytime you get the chance to play for your country it’s a nice feeling.
JM: Speaking of the Super Series, how was the experience of going over to Russia and playing in front of a crowd like that?
LS: It was awesome, we got to go over there and it was a good experience for all us. None of us on the team had ever been there before. The crowds were crazy, and it was a good experience to see Russia and find what that country’s all about. I learned a lot and got to play with some really good players, so it was a great experience. I learned a lot from it.
JM: Was it tough playing for Brent Sutter?
LS: No, it was a great experience being taught by Brent Sutter. I guess it could be tough on you if you didn’t play the way he wanted you to, but as long as you stick to what he says and buy into what he’s teaching when he’s trying to get everyone on the same page, it’s going to work out for you. He wins for a reason.
JM: This year in Kelowna you’ve been playing a lot of minutes in a lot of different situations, how’s it feel to be relied upon so heavily?
LS: It’s nice, this is my third year so I’m counted on to step up in more key situations. I’ve learned a lot from guys in the past who have been here and now it’s my turn to step up now. I’m looked to for a little bit more ice time and I’m in a leadership role so it’s a nice feeling.
JM: You’re playing with Tyler Myers, another kid getting some attention for the draft. Do you guys talk about the prospect of getting drafted at all?
LS: No, we don’t really discuss it at all. For me, it doesn’t really go beyond just thinking about it to myself. I don’t really like to talk about it in front of the other guys. It’s a long ways away and we know that we have a lot of work to do. We just want to help get the team on the right page. We have a lot to prove from last year when we missed playoffs. That’s our main focus right now.
JM: Is there any team you grew up a fan of that you’d prefer to go to?
LS: No, I guess if the day comes where I do get drafted it’d be a nice feeling. I just have a lot of work to do, still pretty much a full season away, so I have to keep on improving and getting better, and hopefully the day will come.
JM: Growing up in Saskatoon, did you have a favorite player?
LS: I always liked the Calgary Flames, I always liked watching guys like Jarome Iginla, Robyn Regehr…I always enjoyed watching the Flames.
JM: If you had to compare yourself to a current NHL defenseman, who would it be?
LS: That’s a tough question. I like to say I kind of have my own style. I don’t know, maybe a steady defenseman, like a Robyn Regehr. That’s a tough one.
JM: What does Luke Schenn need to work on to round out his game for the rest of the year?
LS: My overall skating and foot speed and just being quicker to close in on checks, quicker on the ice. Also shooting and getting more shots on net.
JM: I got the chance to see you drop the gloves recently against Vancouver. Is that something that’s always part of your game, have you always been willing to take on that responsibility if called upon?
LS: Yeah, I wouldn’t say I’m going to go out looking for it, as some guys would. I just realized I’m kind of a bigger guy out there. I fought a few times when I was 16 or 17 too. I don’t mind fighting, but I’m not going to go out there looking for it. If it has to be done, then I’ll do it.
JM: Your younger brother Braydon is a rookie playing for the Wheat Kings this year, what kind of advice have you been giving him?
LS: Yeah, I just told him to go in there and work hard every practice and every game and you’ll get rewarded, you’ll get more ice time. Starting out as a rookie you never know, you just feel things out at the start of the season and just keep on working hard and being consistent.
JM: Are you looking forward to that matchup? And I have to ask you, if he’s coming down the boards and you have a shot at him, are you going to let him off easy or are you going to let him have it?
LS: Yeah, looking forward to it for sure. It’ll be fun when the day comes. We don’t get to play each other too often. We’re pretty far away from each other. It’s a pretty far travel, so it’s only once or twice a year. And yeah, why not? If he’s coming down, I might as well. I’m sure he’d do the same thing to me too.
JM: Talk about Kelowna a little bit. How has your start been this year, and do you guys feel like you can get this team into the playoffs?
LS: We started average. I think we’ve improved from last year, the practices have even been a lot better, and there’s a lot more life around here. Guys have been a little bit more experienced. We blew a couple of third period leads and we just have to show up and learn how to win. We have to do whatever it takes to get the “W”.
JM: Okay, now for the easy stuff; any hobbies you have besides hockey?
LS: I like to golf and fish, that type of thing.
JM: How’s your golf game been?
LS: I haven’t been out here in awhile, but it’s okay. I just try to get out whenever I can. There’s a lot of nice courses in Kelowna. It’s well known for the golf.
JM: Favorite movie?
LS: Night at the Roxbury.
JM: If you couldn’t play hockey anymore, what would you find yourself doing?
LS: I’d always like to stay involved in hockey somehow. I just like to be around the game. It’s interesting to see how many hockey jobs there are out there. If not, maybe a firefighter or something like that. My dad’s a firefighter. I’ve always thought that was kinda cool.
A special thanks to Luke for being so kind. We wish him the best of luck throughout the rest of the season!