McKeen's correspondent Randy Gorman conducted an interview with Everett Silvertips defenseman Alex Theriau just before the end of the WHL's regular season. Theriau, who is eligible for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, is ranked No. 77 among North American skaters by Central Scouting heading into the draft.
McKeen's: Where did you play your minor hockey?
Theriau: I grew up in the Cowichan Valley, in the Duncan area of Vancouver Island. I played all my minor hockey there until my second year of bantam when I joined the Burnaby Winter Club in my bantam draft year and stayed one more year for midget before joining the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
McKeen's: What was it like to be drafted by the Lethbridge Hurricanes and then subsequently being traded to the Everett Silvertips?
Theriau: I enjoyed my time in Lethbridge, and as a sixteen-year-old, I was a bit surprised to be traded but I've been having a great time with the Silvertips. We have a great group of guys and everything's working out.
McKeen's: Are you happy with the way your game is developing, is it all about stats, and what are the things you want to improve on?
Theriau: To be honest, I don't really worry about points. I just try to concentrate on playing a solid game. Some things I want to work on is my physical game, I want to throw more checks and get involved in the play more that way.
McKeen's: Being on a team with a strong veteran defense that's gifted in its abilities, how have the older, experienced players helped you with your development?
Theriau: The veteran guys have been great leaders for the young guys on the blue-line. Whether it's pulling us aside and showing us a few things or leading by example. I learned a lot from Radko Gudas, I played with him for awhile. It's just great to have such a strong defense corps top to bottom.
McKeen's: Does coach Craig Hartsburg work on a lot of specific drills in practice?
Theriau: We do a lot of transition game drills for positioning, and a lot of neutral zone regroups and those type of situations. I think it helped me while I was growing up that I had some power skating instruction to help with my foot speed.
McKeen's: Who has had the biggest influence on your hockey career to date?
Theriau: I would have to say my second year bantam coach at the Burnaby Winter Club John Bashler. He had a great deal of influence on me and helped mould me into the player I've become today.
McKeen's: Do you worry about all the attention that you get from scouts in the stands?
Theriau: No, I'm conscious that they are there, but honestly, you just have to go out there and execute and play your game and those things will fall into place later.
McKeen's: What are the goals of the Everett Silvertips and Alex Theriau for the remainder of the season and the playoffs?
Theriau: I'm just going to play as hard as I can and see where it takes me. As for the as the team, were on a bit of a roll and we want to go deep into the playoffs, and all the way to the Memorial Cup.
McKeen's: You play in the U.S. Division of the WHL, which was very tough and competitive this year, so there are really no off nights where you have an easy opponent.
Theriau: Oh, absolutely not, both our division and conference is really strong and it keeps us on our toes every night, and that's a good thing because it keeps us focused every night on our play.
McKeen's: Are you excited and looking ahead to the draft in Los Angeles, or are you just taking it game by game, one step at a time and not thinking ahead?
Theriau: I think I'll take one step at a time. Of course, every kid dreams of getting drafted and I'd love to be there and have that chance.
McKeen's: What does Alex Theriau like to do in his spare time away from the game?
Theriau: I'm an outdoors-type-of-guy. I like to go fishing and get to the golf course as well.