COLUMBUS OH - DECEMBER 01: Kris Russell #10 of the Columbus Blue Jackets scores at 2:01 of the third period against the Nashville Predators at the Nationwide Arena on December 1 2010 in Columbus Ohio. The Predators defeated the Blue Jackets 4-3 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
In our next mock interview, we look at Kris Russell, and what he could bring to the Jackets:
Q) Hi, Kris. Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born on May 2nd, 1987 in Caroline, Alberta. I have an identical twin brother, Ryan, who is now in the Columbus organization. I played my junior hockey for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL from 2003 to 2007. I was drafted by Columbus in the third round of the 2005 draft, 67th overall. I'm a puck-moving blueliner.
Q) Tell us about some intangibles you could bring to the Blue Jackets?
My best asset is my skating. I rely on positioning and speed in the defensive zone to break up plays and get the puck up to the forwards. I can also rush with the puck, using my stickhandling ability to break into the zone. I make good first passes, and I can pinch up into the slot to provide offensive chances.
Q) What areas of your game do you think you can improve on?
I don't have the hardest shot, I tend to be more of a setup man. Given that, I need to get into a position to use my wrister more often. I'm not a physical player, but I could use my body more in the defensive corners. I have the ability to beat defenders with my skating if I have the puck on my stick, I need to do this more often.
Q) Can you give us some examples of your hockey accomplishments.
I was the recipient of the Brad Hornung trophy in 2005 for most sportsmanlike player in the WHL. I won the award again in 2006, along with the Bill Hunter trophy as top WHL defenseman. Also in 2006, I was named the CHL Sportsman of the year. I followed that up in 2007 by being named the top defenseman in Canadian Junior Hockey, along with winning the Bill Hunter trophy and was named top WHL defenseman.
Internationally, I won the gold medal in 2006 and 2007 with Team Canada at the World Juniors, and was a member of Team Canada at the 2010 World Hockey Championship.