Jimmy Bubnick plays for Kamloops in the Western Hockey League. In his second full season he doubled his point total. Going into the draft Red Line Report had him ranked as a 2nd round pick, but he went unselected until the Thrashers took him in the 6th round.
When I first watched Bubnick I was concerned about his skating. He is not quick by NHL standards and should problably attend a power skating camp each summer or spend some time with Kenny McCudden the Thrashers skating consultant.
While Bubnick is not a flashy skater or stickhandler he has terrific eye-hand coordination. All he did was score goals in the 4 on 4 scrimmages. He has both a quick release and a fairly hard shot. That shot is good enough for the NHL--the question for Bubnick is whether he bring his skating up to NHL standards over the next few years.
Jimmy Bubnick Interview at Prospects Camp
BWA: Tell me about your two full season in junior hockey leading up to the NHL Draft? I noticed that you doubled your point total in your 2nd season.
JB: Well that first season you're just getting your feet wet in the league. Things don't always go your way and you have to just battle through that. The second season I thought things went a lot better. There is still room for improvement but overall I was pleased with it.
BWA: Did your role change significantly that second season?
JB: Yes. 16 year olds are not expected to log big minutes in the regular season and playoffs. It definitely changed in my 2nd year. A more ice time in all situations, power play, four on four, overtime and even some penalty kill.
BWA: I noticed that your team made the playoffs the last two seasons but were knocked off in the first round. Did you have a pretty successful season as team.
JB: It was fairly successful. We are still a young team and we still have some work to do in Kamloops. I think we're going to have a good team next year and make a good playoff push.
BWA: I noticed that your plus/minus was MUCH improved in your 2nd season. Was that because the team was better?
JB: Sure the team was better. I also put more goals in the net which never hurts your plus/minus either. We had a much tighter systems last year.
BWA: O read that their is new ownership of the franchise and there has been some turnover at the coaching position while you're been there. Do you feel a bit more confident heading into next season and have a better idea of how you will used?
JB: Yes, now we have a set system. Things are not so lenient and people are not switching roles so much. Guys are feeling more secure and that shows in the on ice performance.
BWA: Out of shooting, passing and skating which would you consider your strongest attribute?
JB: Shooting. I have a pretty good shot and a quick release. My best skill for sure.
BWA: What's the area you most need to work on take that next step forward?
JB: Probably the first two strides--my acceleration.
BWA: I read that both of your brothers also played in the WHL?
JB: Yes, they both played so they kind of paved the way for myself. They both had positive things to say about their experience.
BWA: Speaking of the WHL, do you have any big rivalries with anyone else in the room here at Prospect Camp.
JB: Not so much. Our big rivalries are with Price George and _____ and a little with Vancouver. I'm sure we have had some good games.
BWA: Looking back on last year was there any particular game that stood out as being a personal highlight for you?
JB: Probably the Prospects Game. It is a big game and I'll remember that for a lifetime.
BWA: Do you ever drop the gloves?
JB: I had four fights, but I don't look for fights. If the situation arrives I can stand my ground.
BWA: On draft day some people thought you might go a little higher than were you did go, were you disappointed about how long it took.
JB: I'm not looking at that having any effect on what happens after the draft. I'm not going to let it hamper my development. A lot of guys don't get drafted so I'm not going to get too worked up over it.
BWA: Any hobbies or interests away from the rink?
JB: Well in the summer I do a lot of golfing. Spend time at the lake in the summer. I enjoy fishing. It's important to enjoy life off the rink and I have some hobbies that I enjoy.
BWA: A few years ago they asked Thrasher players what they would have done if they were not pro hockey players. Ilya Kovalchuk said he might be a taxi driver if I remember correctly. How about Jimmy Bubnick?
JB: I'd say personal trainer. I enjoy working out at the gym so I think that would be right up my alley.
BWA: Is there anyone in the NHL that you might use as a model for you style of game.
JB: I'd say Ryan Kesler. He's gritty and willing to go in and win those battles in the corner.