During the 2016-17 season Andrusiak played for two different teams, first for the Prince Albert Raiders then finished his season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. During his time with T-Birds he played 52 games and registered 5 goals and 4 assists for a total of 9 points. Zack sat down with us to talk about the 2016-17 season as a Thunderbird and how he is getting ready for next season.
Seattle Thunderbirds: Thanks for joining us Zack. First off, how’s your summer been?
Zack Andrusiak: Thanks for having me. My summer has been great so far, been really enjoying having time to be at home with family and friends.
ST: Tell me what it was like becoming a WHL Champion?
ZA: It was an amazing experience, being able to win a Championship at any level is special and like they say it really is hard to describe all the different emotions you feel after you win.
ST: What is your best memory from the T-Birds playoff run last season?
ZA: There is so many different ones that I could pick for this and the obvious answer is when True scored the winner but I think to say that one would be too easy. So I’m going to say when Keegan scored on the power play with a few minutes left in Game 6 to tie it up. We had come back from being down 3-1 and when he scored that in my mind we had won the game just seeing Regina after that goal they looked defeated.
ST: What did you learn last season that will help you with the upcoming season?
ZA: I think the biggest thing I learned was that consistency is key. In such a long season there is going to be some ups and downs but you just have to do your best to prepare to be the best you can be all the time.
ST: What sort of training are doing this off-season to prepare for 2017-18?
ZA: I have a very good group of guys to workout with and skate with that really helps me push myself and get the best out of myself.
ST: Do you have anything else planned for the summer before training camp?
ZA: As of now I have pretty much completed all of my trips for the summer. I went to Saskatchewan for a football game and to visit family there and I actually had come down to Seattle for some baseball games as well.
ST: Coming from a Canadian team and atmosphere what were some of the biggest differences you’ve noticed now being here?
ZA: When I was younger I actually first started in the league playing in Tri Cities for the Americans so with them I had played a few times in Seattle and the other places in the US division so I had a feel with how things are down here so I was really excited to be able to play in Seattle. The fans are so big for us we’re able to feed off their energy and excitement and it makes us tough to beat at home we definitely get an advantage from them. But I would say the biggest difference is the fans in the Seattle are bit more rowdy and loud compared to how they are in Canada.
ST: Is there anything you hoping to improve on during the off-season?
ZA: Skating is the name of the game so that’s what I work on the most because you can always be a faster and more efficient skater.
ST: What are you most looking forward to in this upcoming season?
ZA: Being the defending champion we’re going to get every teams best every night and that’s going to really push us to be ready so I’m looking forward to lots of good hockey games this year.
ST: Is there an NHL player that really inspire you?
ZA: There is plenty of different guys that I look up to but the biggest is probably Sidney Crosby, he’s the best player in the game and just the way he carries himself, his work ethic, and his leadership it’s very easy to want to strive to be like him.
ST: Who is the one teammate that can make anyone laugh?
ZA: I would have to say Elijah Brown. He’s just a really funny guy and he’s always happy and always has a smile on his face.
ST: That’s all the time we have for today, thanks for chatting with us Zack!
ZA: Thank you for having me!
Seattle Thunderbirds Media & Public Relations Intern Malea Baumgartner conducted Q&A interview with Zack Andrusiak. The team will be posting Q&A’s during the off-season with returning T-Birds players.