Taking Liberties With… Evan Weinger
Position: Forward, San Jose Barracuda (AHL)
Hometown: El Segundo
Youth Teams: LA Jr. Kings, LA Selects
Last Amateur Team: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
California Rubber: How nice has it been to start your professional career in California?
Evan Weinger: It’s been really nice. This is actually the first year I’ve lived on my own, so that’s a little different, but I am enjoying the pro hockey lifestyle.
CR: Has there been anything about your transition to pro hockey that has surprised you?
EW: Nothing really. I play a pretty simple game. If anything, the guys in the AHL are bigger, stronger and have better sticks.
CR: Do you have a favorite road destination yet?
EW: Probably San Diego. We don’t really play that many teams. I think this season, we only play 12 of the AHL teams. We don’t really travel all that much.
CR: When you travel by bus, what are the essentials for that trip?
EW: I like to stop by Subway and get a 12-inch sandwich. As long as I have a phone charger and headphones, I’m good. Stockton and Bakersfield are day trips.
CR: Who are some of your biggest hockey influences?
EW: Obviously, my parents. They pushed me to keep playing the sport when I was a kid. My old coaches, Jack Bowkus and Jeff Turcotte, helped me out a lot. They especially helped me with my skills and the mental aspects of the game.
CR: Did you have a favorite team and player growing up?
EW: It was the Kings and Anze Kopitar. I liked watching him play. I train with Dustin Brown in the summer. There’s a lot of players on their team I like to look up to. And of course, Connor McDavid. His speed is unbelievable.
CR: Has Dustin ever given you any pointers?
EW: All of us who train together have a healthy competition. He hasn’t said much other than make sure you have strong knees and shoulders.
CR: Do you have a go-to pregame meal?
EW: I really don’t have one. I just go with what I’m feeling at the time.
CR: Do you like to cook?
EW: My roommates cook, and I clean up.
CR: Are you particular about any of your gear?
EW: Probably my skates. I need to have them nice and sharp every time I go on the ice. I don’t like changing them out because I hate breaking in new ones. I don’t like changing my gloves that much.
CR: Do you have a favorite hockey memory?
EW: Probably the Quebec Pee Wee tournament. All of the activities the team did outside of the games were a blast – all the tobogganing, going to snow parks. Plus playing in Le Colisee at such young age in front of all of those people was pretty memorable. I’m still close friends with many of my LA Hockey teammates from that – Keoni Texeira, Ty Comrie, Ben Baker, Aaron Aragon, Joe Thielen. We all played together since Pee Wees.
CR: If you weren’t playing hockey, what would you do?
EW: I’d probably be in school. I’m starting to pick up golf so maybe I’d try out for a golf team.
CR: If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
EW: I’m really enjoying it up here in the Bay Area. I don’t know if I could do another Manitoba winter. It was way too cold for me.
CR: Have you gotten a taste of the NorCal-SoCal rivalry?
EW: When I do player appearances and people ask where I’m from, I’ll always say L.A. I expect them not to like me, but everyone has been great, and several people have said it’s cool that I’m from California and playing in San Jose.
CR: Do you have a favorite part of Northern California?
EW: When my family comes up, we like to go to San Francisco a lot. I’m happy it doesn’t snow here.
Photo/San Jose Barracuda
– Compiled by Chris Bayee
(Feb. 8, 2019)