Name: John-Michael Walsh
Birthdate / Junior Age: 1994-04-26 / 18
Birthplace: Sydney, NS
Hometown: Sydney, NS
Drafted by the Screaming Eagles at the 2011 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft in round twelve, 189th overall.
2011-12 – Regular Season – Cape Breton – GP: 10 – G: 0 – A: 1 – PTS: 1 – +/-: +1 – PIM: 2
Current stats as of Sunday, November 11th 2012 – 2012-13 – Regular Season – Cape Breton – GP: 7 – G:0 – A:0 – PTS: 0 – +/-: -4 – PIM: 0
Q & A With John-Michael Walsh
Q1: Tell us about your Minor Hockey career.
A1: I played my minor hockey with the Cape Breton County Islanders from Tots to Bantam. I played triple-A every year. I also played in the Spring Elite League with the Cape Breton Junior Eagles. In my minor hockey career I won many tournaments and came second in provincials in Peewee, which was the closest we came. I went to provincials 4 times in minor hockey.
Q2: You played your Midget hockey with the Cape Breton Tradesmen of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League. Tell us about your time with the Tradesmen and how playing Major Midget helped you in your hockey career.
A2: I had a tough start to my Midget career, I broke my neck the August before the team was picked but I was already told I would be on the team. I then had surgery on September 18th and didn’t return to action until December 12th, which was my first game back and my first game in a tradesmen uniform. It was not easy coming back from an injury like that, it affected my confidence mostly, however I ended up getting drafted in the third round of the Maritime Jr. A League. I returned to the Tradesmen the next year and regained some confidence and went on to get drafted by my hometown team the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The Tradesmen was a good test and helped prepare me for the next level and showed me all kinds of adversities I had to deal with.
Q3: You were drafted by the Screaming Eagles at the 2011 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft in round 12, 189th overall. What were your thoughts on being drafted by your hometown Major Junior club?
A3: I was nervous on draft day as I was hopping to be picked. I was after talking to a few teams but I was really hopping that the Eagles would be the one of the teams to take me. When they did it was a dream come true.
Q4: You played 28 games with the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Pictou County Weeks Crushers. Tell us about your time with the Weeks Crushers and how the MHL experience helped you move to the next level in your hockey career.
A4: The Week’s was a great experience, I was fortunate enough to live with my uncle and aunt up there and experience what it was like to live away from home. Playing with bigger and faster guys definitely showed me what it would take to be at the next level and it helped me a ton in achieving that. I had lots of ice time and that helped me grow as a player. I really think this was a key step in my career.
Q5: You were one of the clubs final cuts at this past training camp. Before being recalled by the team on October 15th, you were playing with the Glace Bay Jr. Miners of the Nova Scotia Junior ‘B’ Hockey League. Tell us about your time with the Miners and your thoughts on being recalled.
A5: My time with the Miners was great. It was a great bunch of guys. Even though it was not the caliber of hockey I wanted, it was my decision to stay home and do my schooling and wait for a call from the Eagles. I was confident in the fact that I would get a call because of my past experiences having played 10 games last year with the club and there is always injuries or what have you, therefor it all worked out for me and now here I am, continuing to work on my game and help the team. It was a different path to get here but i’m here and very happy to be.
Q6: What were some things you worked on during the summer to improve your game?
A6: During the summer I trained with Ryan Szeto at his fitness studio. Going into training I told him I wanted to put on size and become more powerful going into training camp so that’s what we worked on.
Q7: For the people who are not familiar with Cape Breton , tell them a little bit about your hometown of Sydney.
A7: CBRM has a population of just under 100,000. Its a great place to live, people are friendly and supportive of their own. It is one of the top ranked islands in the world. There are many sights to see in Cape Breton and I would invite anyone who has not visited Cape Breton to do so.
Q8: Tell us some interesting facts about your family.
A8: I live with my Mom, Dad and two Brothers, Nick and Joey, I am the middle child. Both my brothers love sports, hunting and anything outdoors. My oldest brother Joey is taking a trade and works at Lynk Electric along with my father who is a Habs fan. Joey played for the Riverview Redmen four years ago. My younger brother Nick is currently in grade 12 at Riverview playing goalie for the Redmen, he also plays Nova Scotia football while playing rugby and basketball for the school. My mother works for the CBRM, she is the director of finance. I worked a summer job at Castle Building Supplies in Sydney.
Q9: Who is the one person you would like to thank for getting you where you are today with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles? Why?
A9: I think there a numerous people I would like to thank for getting me to where I am today. First I would start with my parents. They are the ones who are always supporting me and putting things in perspective when things do not necessarily work out at the beginning. The other person I would like to thank would be a former coach of mine and my teammate Kyle Farrell. The coach is John Hannah Jr. John was one of the greatest coaches I have ever had and respected. John was the one who encouraged me to play defence. John always had the respect of the players, he rarely raised his voice. Players listened to him and he always told you what you were doing right or wrong.
Q10: If hockey does not work out, what are your plans for the future?
A10: If hockey does not work out I am looking at taking courses to become either a physiotherapist or a police officer.