Yesterday we talked about Wisconsin's latest blue chip recruit Morgan Zulinick committing for the 2012 season. Today we were fortunate enough to talk with the young man about his visit, as well as an aray of other topics. Enjoy.
Chuck Schwartz: Let’s cut right to the chase, you’ve committed to the University of Wisconsin. How long have you been in touch with them and what about Wisconsin made you want to commit to play hockey there?
Morgan Zulinick: The first time I heard from Wisconsin was during one of my league games in Kelowna. One of the recruiters from Wisconsin gave my coach a business card for me to call. I am too young for them to contact me, so he gave my coach his card. My dad later on called them and kept in touch. The second time they saw me was during a Jr. B tournament. This time they offered me the scholarship and we planned to take a trip down. The fact that Wisconsin was a big ten school, and in a great location made my decision easy. The campus was beautiful and I couldn't believe the arena. The second I stepped into the Kohl Center was when I knew I wanted to play there.
Chuck Schwartz: What other NCAA schools were you considering?
Morgan Zulinick: North Dakota and Colorado were really the only other schools I had in mind.
Chuck Schwartz: You’ve been drafted by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL. Are you still considering going to the dub or are you focused on playing in the NCAA?
Morgan Zulinick: As for right now, I am focused on the NCAA route. I am also young and need some more time to develop. My future with the Oil Kings is not over; it is just delayed right now. I am more focused on school and would like an education.
Chuck Schwartz: I’m assuming you will be playing in the BCHL next season. What franchise will you be playing with?
Morgan Zulinick: I will be playing with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. I committed to them mid way through last season.
Chuck Schwartz: When you see elite players coming out of the BCHL like Kyle Turris, Ben Street, Derek Lee, and Mark Zengerle going to a school like Wisconsin, does that have an effect on a Canadian player like yourself considering going the NCAA route?
Morgan Zulinick: Knowing that other players from the BCHL makes me feel more comfortable about coming to Wisconsin. If a team was full of just American players, it is sometimes hard for a Canadian born player to fit in.
Chuck Schwartz: You’ve got two seasons of junior hockey before you come to Wisconsin, what do you need to improve to be ready to contribute as a freshman in such an intense league as the WCHA?
Morgan Zulinick: I need to continue to become stronger and faster. Off- Ice training is so critical nowadays with hockey. I know that if I continue my routines, by the time I’m 18, I will be ready to play.
Chuck Schwartz: ISS compared your game to Joe Thorntons before the WHL Draft. Do you feel that is a fair assessment and how would you describe your game?
Morgan Zulinick: I don’t think I play like Joe Thornton any more. That would have been a few years ago. I am a smaller faster type of player than a Joe Thornton. My game is based around making plays. I would probably consider myself as a play maker.
Editors Note: I can't thank Morgan enough for taking time out of his busy schedule to do this interview with us. Should be fun following this young man in Salmon Arm the next two seasons.
Photo Credit: Freeze Frame Photography