Marc McNulty is used to containing opposing forwards.
Now, he’s just trying to contain his excitement as a member of the 2013 NHL Draft class.
The Prince George Cougars defenseman is doing all he can to make sure his focus stays on the task at hand – not the reward that comes in late June in the form of the draft.
“I’m just trying to play at my best every game, knowing there could always be someone watching,” McNulty said.
And if he’s focusing too much on the stands and not on the ice, it wont take long for defense partner Dan Gibb to put his attention back on the sheet.
“I have been fortunate to play with a great veteran D partner,” McNulty said. “I have to give him credit for helping keep things simple, playing my game and not over-thinking anything or trying to do too much.”
That doesn’t happen much for the six-foot-six, 189-pound rearguard who skates incredibly well for a defenseman his size. In fact, the hype and tension that surrounds the NHL Draft isn’t one that has yet to pique the interest of the Medicine Hat, AB product.
“I don’t think I get caught up in it very much,” he said. “Obviously it would be very exciting for me and my family if I was to be drafted, but right now I am just focusing on working hard and playing well.”
And contain his excitement until draft day rolls around next June in New Jersey.
The Cougars have a few drafted players. Have you talked to someone like Colin Jacobs or Troy Bourke about the draft process and what to expect?
Both of those two are great team guys, I haven’t talked to them much about it as of yet, but I know they will both be there for me if I have any questions or concerns.
How does having someone like Alex Forsberg, who is also going through the draft process, help you deal with the stresses?
Me and Alex are really good friends, just two of quite a few draft eligible guys on the team, it is definitely nice to have others going through the same thing.
How important was it to get some WHL games under your belt to help prepare you for this season?
It definitely helped getting those games in last year. I knew what to expect coming into this season, what the league was like, the travel, and what is expected at this level.
You got your first WHL fight under your belt and fought again a few weeks later. Do you feel the need, given your size, to be a physical presence to keep opponents honest?
I think that since I am a big guy, sometimes it is expected to be physical and what not. I just try to be hard to play against.
Outside of your size, what do you feel is the first thing scouts notice about your game? What do you feel goes underrated in your game?
I think it would be my skating. I have put a lot of work into it the last few years and it has come a long way. I would say my hands are underrated. I always try to work on my stick handling.
By the same token, what do you feel you need to improve on to catch more attention?
I think there is always room for improvement in all aspects of my game, right now I would say strength, quick feet and grit are at the top of the list.