Accel Goaltending Sunday Q&A #7 with Dylan Myskiw
Q) You made the jump straight from Midget AAA to the Western Hockey League. Tell us a little about the adjustment and how you were able to mentally accept this challenge and perform well while making your transition into Major Junior hockey.
A) Playing midget AAA and going straight to the WHL was definitely a big adjustment. Adjusting to the pace of the game and how the shots were a lot faster. One thing that really helped me adjust to the different talent, was playing on a team where I faced tons of shots every game. Always working hard and having that compete to want to get better in games and practices or in the gym.
Q) Could you dive into your pre game routine a little bit? What are some things you have learned throughout your last 3 years of junior hockey that you wish you could have told your younger self, in terms of preparing for games and practices?
A) My past 3 years with my pre game routines, I’ve learned something new every year. I’ve spent a lot of time working on hand eye drills before games and practices to make sure my eyes are feeling the way I need them to play just like warming up your body. My mental prep before games and during games has been a big change for me this year. That’s one area where I started feeling my success, was not letting my mind wander during games. I say key things when the play isn’t in my end to keep me focused. That’s something I wish I could have learned more when I was younger, because it definitely has helped my game a ton.
Q) You are in your third full year in the WHL this season, and for your first two seasons, you were not getting the majority of your teams starts. Now that you are playing a ton of minutes in Edmonton, looking back, how did you deal with not being the go-to guy every night, and how has it prepared you for your expanded role this season?
A) Not playing much my first 2 years was tough. No one wants to be a backup- but it pushed me every year to want to get better and fight to be a starter. Throughout the 2 years I didn’t get to start, a big thing that helped me prepare to where I am now is never taking a day off. You always have to compete and push yourself in practice or off the ice to get better and treat your practices like it’s a game. Hard work goes a long way and improves you for when you get your opportunity to shine and run with it. Always being a good teammate and having a positive attitude is so big for a goalie.
Q) Your team has playoffs beginning just around the corner. A new challenge for yourself. What is your mind set going into the first round? Will anything differ from the regular season? How will you adjust to the added pressure you may feel?
A) My mind-set going into the playoffs doesn’t change. I am going to play the way I know how to play and do the things I know work. Nothing in my game changes-I just look back at the things I do that give me success and continue to apply them in my game for the playoffs. Nothing changes, just because it’s a bigger stage-I don’t worry about stress, it’s just another game. I stick to my game plan that I know works.
Q) You’ve played the game a long time. You have performed well and are playing at the highest level of junior hockey you could be. If there was one piece of advice you could give our young goalies, what would it be?
A) One piece of advice I would give is just to always work hard. Compete and have the will to want to get better. Work on parts of your game that need improving- there is always room for improvement. The biggest thing I’d say is to have fun and enjoy what you do!