Exclusive Interview With Top Draft Prospect Luke Shenn
Jesse Marshall: So, for readers who out there who havenâ€™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: Youâ€™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: Thereâ€™s a lot of good players out there, for sure. I havenâ€™t seen all the players, but itâ€™s nice to get noticed that high. At the same time, thereâ€™s a lot of season to be played and a lot of work to be done. Itâ€™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: Iâ€™m not sure about that, itâ€™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. Itâ€™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 itâ€™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 countryâ€™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 didnâ€™t play the way he wanted you to, but as long as you stick to what he says and buy into what heâ€™s teaching when heâ€™s trying to get everyone on the same page, itâ€™s going to work out for you. He wins for a reason.
JM: This year in Kelowna youâ€™ve been playing a lot of minutes in a lot of different situations, howâ€™s it feel to be relied upon so heavily?
LS: Itâ€™s nice, this is my third year so Iâ€™m counted on to step up in more key situations. Iâ€™ve learned a lot from guys in the past who have been here and now itâ€™s my turn to step up now. Iâ€™m looked to for a little bit more ice time and Iâ€™m in a leadership role so itâ€™s a nice feeling.
JM: Youâ€™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 donâ€™t really discuss it at all. For me, it doesnâ€™t really go beyond just thinking about it to myself. I donâ€™t really like to talk about it in front of the other guys. Itâ€™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. Thatâ€™s our main focus right now.
JM: Is there any team you grew up a fan of that youâ€™d prefer to go to?
LS: No, I guess if the day comes where I do get drafted itâ€™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: Thatâ€™s a tough question. I like to say I kind of have my own style. I donâ€™t know, maybe a steady defenseman, like a Robyn Regehr. Thatâ€™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 thatâ€™s always part of your game, have you always been willing to take on that responsibility if called upon?
LS: Yeah, I wouldnâ€™t say Iâ€™m going to go out looking for it, as some guys would. I just realized Iâ€™m kind of a bigger guy out there. I fought a few times when I was 16 or 17 too. I donâ€™t mind fighting, but Iâ€™m not going to go out there looking for it. If it has to be done, then Iâ€™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 youâ€™ll get rewarded, youâ€™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 heâ€™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. Itâ€™ll be fun when the day comes. We donâ€™t get to play each other too often. Weâ€™re pretty far away from each other. Itâ€™s a pretty far travel, so itâ€™s only once or twice a year. And yeah, why not? If heâ€™s coming down, I might as well. Iâ€™m sure heâ€™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 weâ€™ve improved from last year, the practices have even been a lot better, and thereâ€™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 â€œWâ€.
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: Howâ€™s your golf game been?
LS: I havenâ€™t been out here in awhile, but itâ€™s okay. I just try to get out whenever I can. Thereâ€™s a lot of nice courses in Kelowna. Itâ€™s well known for the golf.
JM: Favorite movie?
LS: Night at the Roxbury.
JM: If you couldnâ€™t play hockey anymore, what would you find yourself doing?
LS: Iâ€™d always like to stay involved in hockey somehow. I just like to be around the game. Itâ€™s interesting to see how many hockey jobs there are out there. If not, maybe a firefighter or something like that. My dadâ€™s a firefighter. Iâ€™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!