Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Ethan Bear will be entering his first season with the team in 2013-14. He appeared in one game during the 2012-13 season. Bear took time away from his summer to sit down with the Thunderbirds and answer some questions about the coming season.
Seattle Thunderbirds: How has your summer been so far?
Ethan Bear: My summer has been going well. I have been training on and off the ice, and hanging out at the lake with family enjoying some time off before the seasons starts.
ST: You played your first WHL game on March 15 against the Winterhawks. What was that like?
EB: It was amazing and fun; especially to play Portland in front of 10,000 fans was a great experience for me. I was very nervous and anxious to see where I was at, and wasn’t too sure if I was going to do well or not.
ST: You were with the team during the first round of the playoffs against Kelowna. What was that experience like?
EB: Being with the team for the first couple playoff games was very exciting. It gave me a chance to see the way players prepared for the game and how the atmosphere of the game was more intense then a regular league game.
ST: How will the experience of already making your WHL debut and being with the team for the playoffs last year help you in the 2013-14 season?
EB: It showed me how serious I must be and how hard I have to work to make the team. It also showed how dedicated a player I have to be and make sure my body is 100 percent and be ready to go at all times.
ST: For those T-Birds fans that have not seen you play before, how would you describe your style of play? Are you more of a stay-at-home defenseman? Or do you like to jump up into the play?
EB: I think of myself as a stay at home defenseman. I may sometimes jump up in the play, but not too often. It all depends on how the game is going.
ST: Have you been doing any summer training? If so what does that consist of? How often are you on the ice?
EB: Yes I have been doing all types of training, mostly working on strength. I have been on the ice mostly 4-5 times a week in the past 4 weeks and will continue that trend until I head to camp.
ST: How do you think your season went last year with the Yorkton Harvest?
EB: I thought I did really well and accomplished the goals I made for myself at the start of the season. My coach had a big part in my development, and I’m just hoping what I learned will help this season.
ST: You played in and were selected as an All-Star in the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup in early November last year. What was the tournament like for you? Did it give you confidence that you can play at the WHL level?
EB: The tournament gave me the opportunity to play against some of the best 97 born players. It was fun because there were a lot of my friends at the tournament. I really enjoyed it and would do it all over again if I could. The tournament gave me confidence and a way of measurement that I can play in the WHL because every player there was the same age as me and the some of the best from their provinces.
ST: What are your goals as you enter your first season with the T-Birds?
EB: My main focus is on earning my spot on the team first. Then from there gradually move up and improve my game throughout the year. So then I can have confidence going to my NHL draft year.
ST: What have you been doing in your free time this summer?
EB: I have been spending time at the lake, either fishing or just hanging out, with friends and family enjoying it before the season starts.
ST: Thanks for taking the time and we will see you at training camp!
EB: No problem. Thank you.
Seattle Thunderbirds Public & Media Relations Interns Elise Rooney, Dan Brown and Erin Saunders conducted the Q & A with Ethan. The team will be posting Q&A’s during the off-season with returning T-Birds players.