|T.J. Friedmann, photo by Darren Stone, Times Colonist|
T.J. Friedmann: I’m excited to be able to join a program like Quinnipiac. It feels good to finally know where I’ll be continuing my education and hockey career.
Jonathan Singer: When did you start playing hockey as a kid?
T.J. Friedmann: I learned to skate at 3-years-old and two years later I started playing the game.
Jonathan Singer: What are some of the reasons you got involved in the game?
T.J. Friedmann: When I was younger I would play ball hockey with my cousin at his house. Once I learned to skate, it was an easy transition into playing the game.
Jonathan Singer: It seems like the St. Louis area is starting to develop many high end prospects in recent years with the likes of Matt and Brady Tkachuk. Have some of the recent success of the St. Louis Blues contributed to that rise of the talent increase in the Missouri area?
T.J. Friedmann: I think so. The Blues organization has been doing a great job of giving back and helping with the development of kids through summer camps and the AAA Blues program. More and more kids are wanting to play hockey in the area now since they have such great role models to look up to.
Jonathan Singer: You played in the NAHL at a young age starting when you were 16. What did you learn from playing in that league at such a young age?
T.J. Friedmann: Playing in the NAHL at a young age helped me realize that my game and my body needed to mature if I wanted to have success at a high level of hockey. I started to see and recognize the work it takes to have success in juniors.
Jonathan Singer: After one season with Springfield you went back to major midgets to play for Victory Honda. What went into that decision to drop down a level?
T.J. Friedmann: I thought a year at midget major with coach Burke would be a great thing for my development. He’s done a great job with moving kids on and has a great track record with putting together competitive teams.
Jonathan Singer: Tell us about your overall recruiting experience. What factors went on deciding on Quinnipiac?
T.J. Friedmann: The recruiting process can be a little long, but Quinnipiac has always been a school I’ve been interested in. When they came to me with an offer I was very excited. When I toured the Quinnipiac campus, I quickly recognized the facilities were top notch, and the campus is the perfect size I was looking for.
Jonathan Singer: Tell us about some of your strengths as a player? After watching a few clips I can tell a strong wrist shot is one of them.
T.J. Friedmann: I think my biggest strength as a player would be that I am a strong two way center that can create offense but I also do a good job of staying responsible defensively.
Jonathan Singer: What are some of the areas of your game you want to improve upon for the rest of this season and next year in juniors before arriving at Quinnipiac?
T.J. Friedmann: I think I could get my first three steps a little quicker, overall making me a more explosive skater. Also, being 6’2, I think if I could put on a little more weight that would make me more of a threat on offense and help me knock guys off pucks defensively.
Jonathan Singer: Did the Quinnipiac coaching staff talk about what type of role they envision for you as a player?
T.J. Friedmann: I don’t know exactly where I’ll fit in on the depth chart, but I do know they want to keep me as a center when I come in.
Jonathan Singer: How has the coaching staff at Victoria helped mold you as a player the past two seasons?
T.J. Friedmann: The coaches here in Victoria do a great job developing kids into Division 1 and pro players. They utilize video for teaching points and we do a lot of drills to emulate game play in practice which in turn helps us prepare for many game situations.
Jonathan Singer: Is there any player you try to model your game after?
T.J. Friedmann: Being a center I try to model my game after Jonathan Toews. He’s a good two way center that can produce points and is a great leader.
Jonathan Singer: Tell us the type of person that the Quinnipiac University community is going to get in you?
T.J. Friedmann: I try to get involved with the community as much as possible to give back. Here in Victoria, we do a lot of visits to elementary schools to talk to kids about the importance of staying active, and I try to do as many of those as possible.
Jonathan Singer: What are some of the things you enjoy off the ice?
T.J. Friedmann: My favorite off ice activity would probably be hiking. Being from St. Louis, there’s not many places to do it, but up in Victoria that is something I like to do.
You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.