The Penticton Western News caught up with Penticton Vees forward Scott Conway on the phone from his home just outside of Orlando, Fla.
WN–You went to the Anaheim Ducks prospects camp, what was that like?
SC– That was my first camp so it was definitely an experience. I’ve heard a lot of things about camps recently, the last couple years. There are different types of camps. I think this is probably one of the better ones I’ve been hearing about. We get down with hockey and a work out. It was really good because I met a lot of guys I’ve never seen before. Getting connections like that can go a long way too.
WN–What were some of the things you learned or stuck in your mind during the camp?
SC-Most importantly I think the coaches do a good job of trying to work on the little stuff. Most of the time coaches work on the big stuff, like the plays. These guys taught individual stuff. More of like when you’re on a cycle come off the wall instead of staying on the boards.
WN– How good were the other players there?
SC-They were pretty good. There were a lot of college guys, which I was pretty surprised about. I thought the college guys were probably the better guys at the camp other than a couple of their AHL guys, maybe a couple of first rounders. The college guys were a lot more prepared than the junior guys. They are in the gym a lot more than most of the OHL and WHL players. I definitely think it’s the right way to go.
WN–Did you see the tweet the Anaheim Ducks posted about your last name and the reference to the Mighty Ducks Charlie Conway?
SC-I laughed pretty hard about that one. I sent that to my dad too. He thought it was pretty funny. I got a couple of tweets to me saying it would sell a lot more jerseys.
WN– Have you seen the movies?
SC-Oh yeah. I love them. Conway is pretty good. I have a lot to live up to.
WN– Do you already know what number that you are going to wear with the Vees?
SC– I think I said No. 10. 96 wasn’t a choice. (he laughs). My dad was 10 when he was playing. Ever since I played for Indiana, my number has been different. I have been nine growing up. My birthday is on April 9. I think I’m sticking with 10 for a long time.
WN– Tell me about the relationship with your dad?
SC-Pretty close. Being around hockey with him, when I was overseas in England, he was my coach growing up. We had a backyard, it was a cobbled backyard. We have a net back there. [I would] work on my hands, Work on my shot. Sometimes we would top the net with a couple of tennis balls. I would try to score on him when I was eight or nine. It was pretty fun.
WN–What’s kinds of things does he teach you?
SC-The game these days is, if you want to be a point guy or a scorer or a play maker, the game is going to shooting. He used to shoot the puck five or six times a game. You can have one or two goals, maybe sometimes three. Just getting the chances I guess. The more shots you have, the better a chance you have of winning the game.
WN–This season you play with the Vees, why did you decide to join them?
SC– My original thought was going to the USHL. In America all the talk is about the USHL. Patrick Newell reached out to me, a former Vee, and he said it’s a great place to come and play. I guess coach Freddy was wanting me to go there. He came out for a visit. I fell in love with the surroundings, the area. Nice people. Great facility. The coach is well known.
WN–What excites you about coming to the BCHL?
SC-It’s different. I haven’t really heard much about the BCHL being from America and talking about the USHL. It definitely excites me not knowing what there is there. It’s definitely going to be a new experience.
WN–What was the experience like of playing college hockey?
SC-It was definitely an adjustment. The very first day I got there, I couldn’t do anything because I had to do all the testing for medical. We skated. Every single day I was in the gym running or something like that with the trainers there. The game is definitely different. A lot of the people there are a lot faster. To be honest, in my experience, I wouldn’t say it’s too much faster than the USHL. Probably just the positioning and stuff like that. With being in college you already have your spot. The coach isn’t going to risk his job for not playing you. If you make one mistake, you’re sitting the next game. In juniors you got a little lee way.
WN–Is it disappointing to have to come back and play a year of junior?
SC– Yeah, it does suck that I got dismissed from Penn State (editor’s note: Conway was released for violating teams rules). In a way, you just have to have the right mind set. This happens to a lot of people. Their mind set is all right, I’m just going to commit to somewhere else next year. I’m going to take another step forward. Just because I downplayed in leagues, I wouldn’t count on that as a step back at all. Im still getting the exposure. This year I will be playing with two first rounders projected, even more exposure. I just can’t take a break and take my foot off the pedal. I just got to keep going and working hard. Eventually that will pay off.
WN–The way things ended with Penn State, what did you learn from the experience?
SC-Just keep your nose clean. People I think, think that I did such bad things. Really, I didn’t. It was a lot of stuff blown out of proportion. A lot of misunderstanding, which led to this. I just think that the staff and stuff could have done a better job trying to keep me. At the end of the day, it was all the stuff happening with their football program and stuff. It’s hard. It’s understandable. I definitely just have to be careful with your surroundings because these days, the hockey players, not just hockey players, but all the athletes, are under a big microscope. Especially at a big school like that, you’re like the stars around campus. You’re walking down the sidewalk and everyone is pointing at you and saying, ‘Oh my God, this is so and so.’ That’s really what happens there. You just have to be careful because you also become targets.
WN–Is what happened something you want to keep to yourself?
WN– Do you think about the possibility of putting up some big numbers in the BCHL?
SC-Yeah. I mean everyone has their goals, right. In the USHL I had my goals. College I had my goals. I didn’t quite meet them in college. I’m definitely going to exceed my goals for this year.
WN– Care to share them with me?
SC– (He laughs.) Well my goal is … 100 points. To try to keep it under 30 penalty minutes. That’s going to be tough. I play with a little bit of an edge. We’ll see if I stay out of the box.
WN–What kids of stuff are you doing for training to get yourself ready?
SC-It’s hard to skate down here. There is ice every day for an hour and 45 minutes to two hours. It’s kind of like a drop-in and a lot of college guys go out there. We just play games of scrimmage. I’ve been doing a lot in the gym. Also have a personal trainer.
WN–What kinds of things do you like to do for fun?
SC-I’m very athletic. All athletics. I just like canoeing, socializing. I’m just like an average guy.
WN–I understand you have lived in England for a bit. Did you know there is an English-born player (Sam Jones) on the team?
SC– Yeah, I heard. I don’t quite know about him.
WN–Is that kind of a neat little connection to have on the team?
SC-Yeah, very. It’s not very often you play with an English-born player over here. Most of them stay over there.
WN–What kind of music are you into?
SC-Everything really. We kind of live on a small ranch. We have a couple of horses down here. I’m big into country I guess. I don’t mind some rock here and there. Some pop.
WN–Who would you say is your favourite player?
SC-Probably Sidney Crosby. Being from England it was pretty hard to get the NHL channels. Every time I got the NHL network the Penguins would always be on. I have always been a huge Penguins fan.
WN–What do you think of Connor McDavid?
SC-I have only heard of him. I have only seen a couple clips of him. Amazing player. I think he is going to do great things. I played with (Buffalo Sabres top pick Jack) Eichel. His speed is absolutely amazing. Just his power. I remember one … we were in his zone on the half boards. He had the puck and was trying to get away from me. Trying to get down the ice, he spun off me then ended up taking off. I ended up chasing after him, back checking and next thing you know, he’s at the top of the circle and I’m in between the blue line and the red line and I’m not a slow skater either. He’s definitely got some speed.