TI Web Guy: Michael or Mike?
TI Web Guy: Have you been following the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs? Who do you like in the end?
MB: I've been catching as many games as I can, whether it's at home or at the rink. Without the Blackhawks in the playoffs, I'm rooting for the Rangers.
TI Web Guy: You've had an interesting past couple of weeks since the season ended. What have you been up to?
MB: Most of my free time is spent on schoolwork, conditioning and lifting. After that I usually spend time with friends and family.
TI Web Guy: Describe the process of actually being "drafted". When did it start and how did you feel when it was all said and done.
MB: The week before the futures draft was ridiculous...there was a lot of interest by various teams in the USHL. The combine was the weekend before the draft, so it was nerve-wracking because if I did poorly, I was concerned that interest would fade. Luckily, for me, the combine went well. My family and I went to the downtown studio that was broadcasting the USHL futures draft on May 1st. We were watching the live draft on a laptop in the studio, and I was so nervous. I was there to give an interview on being drafted, but I had no idea who was going to draft me or in what round. It was a complete surprise to be drafted by Fargo. But that's an incredible team - the coaching, the talent they have now and the training facility are amazing. Can't wait for tryouts.
TI Web Guy: Without tipping "your hat"...have you decided to leave the area and join the team that drafted you? What alterations to your life would that entail?
MB: Being drafted by Fargo Force is an incredible opportunity and I plan on doing whatever it takes to make the team. Actually making the team would be a bittersweet thing because I would have to leave my friends and family here in Illinois in order to live in North Dakota. Having to take on more responsibility for myself in school and hockey will definitely be an adjustment, but it will be a year of growth no matter what.
TI Web Guy: You have spent a lot of time travelling to and from rinks over the years. What kept you busy while you were in the car? Homework or movies or sleep?
MB: During the drives which on a good day of traffic were 1 hr and 10 minutes each way, I spent most of my time doing homework, eating dinner and sleeping.
TI Web Guy: Your sister Ashley, played a lot of trip A hockey. How's she doing these days? Does she miss playing?
MB: Ashley is focused on school and her future - she wants to be an editor of a magazine in New York someday. When she misses hockey, she supports me and my brother by coming to our games and cheering us on.
TI Web Guy: Describe the differences between hockey friends and that life, to life and friends you enjoy while being in high school.
MB: The main difference between hockey friends and school friends is that hockey friends understand the time, commitment, and sacrifice that it takes in order to compete at this level of hockey. Hockey is a sport that requires long hours of practice and travel which really creates a strong team bond. The people that I have played hockey with and against are people that I will have life-long friendships with.
TI Web Guy: This past season was your fourth playing for Team Illinois, separated by a couple of seasons dressed in red & black. What was it like returning to TI and what were the highlights of this past season.
MB: Returning to TI after a couple years playing for the Chicago Mission was a great experience. TI recently spent a lot of money on their new locker rooms which are close to what you'll find at the USHL or college levels, and the coaches were great last year. We even had a seasoned veteran and former TI player, Eddie Olczyk, assist on the ice and on the bench - that was great. It was really cool to reunite with players I have previously played with a couple years back.
TI Web Guy: No waffling...who's been there for you 24/7 when it comes to your life in hockey...Mom or Dad? If you could say anything to either of them, what would that be?
MB: My parents have both been there for me throughout my hockey career but my mom has been a huge supporter of my well-being. She keeps me healthy with proper meals even in the car, protein and fruit smoothies and also spends countless hours driving me to practice every day. I am very thankful my dad is successful in the business world to support the expenses hockey incurs. Certainly, I couldn't be where I am today without them.
BEST RINK YOU EVER PLAYED IN:
Notre Dame in South Bend
MOST MEMORABLE GOAL:
1st goal ever in mighty mites
STICK OF CHOICE:
Bauer Total One
ALL-TIME BEST TEAMMATE:
That's a tough one...last season Dave Hass, and at Mission I'd have to say Trey Jones
"I ALWAYS HATE TRAVELING TO...":
Toronto - just because it's such a long drive.
CELL PHONE OF CHOICE:
TWITTER OR FACEBOOK:
REEBOK OR NIKE:
CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA:
Chocolate or Coffee ice-cream
WILL FERRELL OR STEVE CARREL:
Will all the way
GOING TO THE SHOW OR RENTING A DVD:
EARLY UP OR STAY UP LATE:
Staying up late - but only when I don't have a game the next day.
TI Web Guy: Should the Vancouver Canucks NOT draft you three or four years from now...what is your "reality check"? What will you be doing with yourself and what might make you happy for the balance of your life?
MB: The Vancouver Canucks SHOULD draft me in a couple of years (or the Chicago Blackhawks) because I have always wanted to play in the NHL and with a lot of hard work I believe I can reach that goal someday. To achieve happiness in my life I want to become a professional hockey player. I knew that's what I wanted to do since I was a kid and just LOVE the game. If I make it to the NHL, I will be able to die happy - but not too soon because I want a LONG career!