While 2016-17 may not have been the most memorable year for the Detroit Red Wings, one of the team’s defensive prospects, Jordan Sambrook, of the Erie Otters, relished in a personal-best season. Fresh off of winning the Ontario Hockey League Championship and making a run to the final game of the Memorial Cup tournament with the electrifying Otters, Jordan was gracious enough to take some time and answer a few questions for WIIM as he continues his journey towards Hockeytown.
WIIM: First off, I want to congratulate you on winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup with the Otters. I was born and raised in Erie, PA, and I'm thrilled to have an Otter in the Red Wings' organization!
Jordan Sambrook: Thanks for reaching out to me and the kind words for winning the OHL Championship. I've really enjoyed my time in Erie and been fortunate to have great teams, coaching and support from the fans.
WIIM: You put up 13 more regular season points in your second year with the Otters, what do you attribute that to?
JS: I've been fortunate to play with good teammates. With this being my second year with the Erie Otters, I've had more opportunities and my play has developed with the additional ice time.
WIIM: Last summer you said you wanted to work on your speed & strength, how have you accomplished that?
JS: I've worked on my conditioning throughout the year - both on and off ice. Once the hockey season ended, I've been participating in dryland training every day.
WIIM: Do you have any pregame rituals/superstitions?
JS: My pregame meal always consists of chicken, rice and vegetables. I'm usually at the rink early to tape my sticks, play 2 touch and always tie my left skate before the right!
WIIM: If you could partner with any NHL defenseman, past or present, who would it be?
JS: Definitely Nick Lidstrom. He was consistent for so many years - 7 Norris Trophies, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy, 4 Stanley Cups and a leader on and off the ice. I always liked the way he played.
WIIM: Which Red Wings' player are you most looking forward to playing with? Any special reason?
JS: There is not one in particular. Just to have the opportunity to put on the Red Wings jersey would be very special. I was glad to see other current Ontario Hockey League players Givani Smith and Filip Hronek get an opportunity to play some games for the Griffins.
WIIM: With the Red Wings' Development Camp just around the corner, do you feel more prepared heading into your second year? What was your first camp experience like?
JS: I definitely feel more prepared heading into my second year at camp. Last year was an amazing experience, I learned an endless amount of things on and off the ice that I took back to Erie and applied to my game this past year. Traverse City is an amazing host for the camp, and I am very excited to go back up there this year.
WIIM: Is there anything you'd like to say to Detroit fans watching your journey to the NHL?
JS: What a season the Griffins had - Calder Cup Champions! To play for the Griffins and one day, the Red Wings would be a dream come true.
I’d like to thank Jordan and the rest of the Sambrook family for their willingness to help me conduct this interview. We all look forward to watching Jordan’s development!