Taking Liberties With… Blake Weyrick
Position: Goaltender, Janesville Jets (NAHL)
Committed: Canisius College (Atlantic Hockey)
Youth programs: Channel Islands Riptide, Anaheim Jr. Ducks, L.A. Selects
California Rubber: You committed in early March to play your college hockey at Canisius – what did you like about the program?
Blake Weyrick: I really love the coaching staff. They were very personable, and I developed some great relationships during the recruiting process. I really like the direction that they’re taking the program. I think there’s a great opportunity for me to develop as a player and receive a great education. I think it’s a great place to try to win a championship and work toward becoming a professional hockey player.
CR: How do you think playing at Canisius will help you improve and prepare for your ultimate goal of a career in the NHL?
BW: Playing at that level, the competition is very good. Especially for goaltenders, playing college hockey really helps develop you and prepare you for the transition to the pro game. I think the experience of playing at a high level day in and day out is really going to help me improve.
CR: You’ve played some very high-level hockey, first with Shattuck St. Mary’s, then with the U.S. national U17 and U18 teams, in the USHL, and now the NAHL. Who have you learned the most from along the way?
BW: I’d definitely say that Larry Clemens, who is the goalie coach in Janesville, has been huge for me. He’s really helped me a ton with my game, and working with him has helped me make significant strides and personal gains, so I have to thank him a lot. Also, the goalie coaches with the national team, Kevin Reiter and Mike Ayers, were both unbelievable. I think just getting to work with a lot of great coaches, going back to Shattuck St. Mary’s, has really helped me develop.
CR: Has there been one stop along the way that you feel has been the most significant in your development as a player?
BW: I’d probably say coming to Janesville this season has been the biggest thing in my development. We have a great group of guys in the locker room, and this is an amazing opportunity to show what I’m capable of and prove my abilities. Just in this season alone, I think I’ve matured a lot, and the mental side of the game has become very important for me.
CR: What do you feel is the best attribute as a hockey player, and what are you working on to improve?
BW: I think my strongest point now is that I really love to compete and enjoy the game, and that helps keep me motivated to work hard all the time on my game and get in the weight room. I never get tired of playing hockey. Some of the things I’m trying to work on right now are playing the puck and my rebound control. That’s something I’m constantly working on, as well as the fundamentals. Focusing on the fundamentals is something I do every day, and I think that’s something I’ll be doing for as long as I play hockey.
CR: Are there certain players that you have modeled your game after as you’ve grown up in hockey, or that you look up to as goalies?
BW: I was born and raised a Kings fan, so I’ve always watched and admired Jonathan Quick. I’m a huge fan of Carey Price, too – I love to watch him play. Seeing a lot of the NHL’s Western Conference goalies growing up influenced me – Antti Niemi, Corey Crawford and others. I love seeing different goalies with different styles.
CR: How often do you get home to California, and what do you miss about it when you’re gone?
BW: I usually get back for Christmas and the summers. I think I miss the people – just being away from my family and people that I’ve grown up with.
Photo/Gametime Sports Photos
— Compiled by Greg Ball