The Seattle Thunderbirds invited Samuel Huo to their training camp in the summer of 2017 and the team signed him that same year. Upon signing Huo, T-Birds general manager at the time, Russ Farwell, said “We are excited to sign Sam and get him started with our team. He dominated sessions of our rookie camp and will develop into a very exciting offensive center in our league.” In his rookie season with the T-Birds he played in 67 games, scoring three goals with three assists for six points. In the 2018 WHL Playoffs, Huo played in all five games against Everett. He took some time to answer a few questions for us.
Seattle Thunderbirds: It’s great to talk to you Sam. How’s your summer going?
Samuel Huo: My summer has been great. It’s been nice having some time to spend with my family and friends as well as training for the upcoming season.
ST: How do you feel you performed in your rookie season last year?
SH: I thought I had a good rookie season and improved as it went on but I know there are still a lot of different things that can be improved that I will continue to work on.
ST: What was your mindset last year at Training Camp as you battled for a spot on the roster?
SH: I tried to take things step by step. Starting with trying to have a good camp and signing with the team. I just took the feedback that I got and tried implementing it into my game and trying to improve as camp went on.
ST: What can you take from your rookie season to apply to this coming season?
SH: I think after having some experience and a feel for the league I can use that to build off of to help have a better season. It has helped me with my training during the off season to know what I need to do to be a stronger player this season.
ST: What would you tell the rookies participating in this year’s training camp that are in the same spot as you last year?
SH: I would say to just take the feedback given by the coaches at camp and try using it in the scrimmages and practices to make it as useful as it can be.
ST: At times last year you, Dillon Hamaliuk and Noah Philp were a line. It looked like you three had good on-ice chemistry? What do you attribute that to?
SH: I think we did have good chemistry last year. I thought that we were able to create some good scoring chances as well as having some good time in the other team’s zone. They’re two really good players which made it easy to read off them as well as make plays.
ST: You played both center and wing last year. Do you have a preference?
SH: I don’t have a preference. I thought it was good for me to play both positions to learn different things to make me comfortable in whichever one I play.
ST: What kind of training schedule do you have this summer?
SH: I am currently in the gym five days a week and skating four to five days a week.
ST: Is there anything specific you are trying to work on for this coming season?
SH: I’m working on getting stronger and being more explosive in the gym and trying to improve my shot and puck skills on ice.
ST: Are there any NHL Players that you would try to emulate?
SH: There isn’t a certain NHL player that I try to emulate. I like to watch different players in my position to learn things from them.
ST: Have you set any personal or teams goals for this coming season?
SH: My personal goals for this season are to be good on both ends of the ice and to help contribute more offensively. As for team goals, I’d say to have a good consistent regular season and to put ourselves in a good positions for a deep playoff run.
ST: You and several of your teammates (Hamaliuk, Lee, Williams) are in your NHL Draft season this coming year. Is that something you think about or that you can probably talk about with them as the season progresses?
SH: It is something that I’ve thought about a bit and I’m sure it’s something that I could talk about with the other guys as the season progresses but my main focus is to start with having a strong season.
ST: What non-hockey activities are you up to this offseason?
SH: During the off-season I like to go down to the beach with some friends and play some spikeball or just play basketball for fun.
ST: Thank you for your time Sam, enjoy the rest of your summer.
SH: Thank you!
Seattle Thunderbirds Public & Media Relations Intern Alex Dupille conducted the Q&A with Samuel Huo. The team will be posting Q&A’s during the off-season with returning T-Birds players.