ONE-ON-ONE WITH: Steven Goertzen
BlueJackets.com: You have moved up through the system rather quickly. What’s the secret to your success?
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen: For me, ever since I was drafted by the Blue Jackets I wanted to come over here and play. Just playing at the different levels and getting better has helped me.
CBJ.com: What were you able to learn this past season with Syracuse that has helped you the most?
O.T. I think it was the pace, playing with seniors again. Plus you get used to the bigger, stronger guys and the better players.
CBJ.com: What differences have you noticed as you have moved through the system?
O.T. Oh, the speed and strength of the players. The players are faster, bigger. Much bigger.
CBJ.com: What is your favorite part about being a defenseman?
O.T. Playing my gritty style. Hitting guys. You can body check and stuff like that, and I think it’s fun.
CBJ.com: What do you feel is the most important aspect of being a defenseman?
O.T. For me, I like being very defensive. I have to be strong and make smart plays.
CBJ.com: What is your pre-game ritual?
O.T. I put on all of my left equipment first. It’s just one of those things that came to me. I have always done it.
CBJ.com: What was it like representing Norway in the 2002 World Junior Championships?
O.T. It was huge for me. I got to meet a lot of people. It’s pretty big. Representing my country, even if it was a small one like Norway, I am proud of it.
CBJ.com: What do you do during the off-season?
O.T. I go back to Norway, hang out for the summer and workout there.
CBJ.com: Who has been the most influential person in your hockey career?
O.T. It has to be the coaches I had in Lillehammer when I went to hockey college before I went to juniors. Those two guys have been important to me.
CBJ.com: How did you get into hockey?
O.T. I played all kinds of sports at first. I played soccer, European handball, but I think it was my friend in kindergarten who got me started on hockey. It was just so fun, so I wanted to try it and I was hooked after that.
CBJ.com: If you weren’t a hockey player, what would you be?
O.T. I don’t know A fireman, probably.