Q & A: Brent Walton

Broncos Illustrated sat down with freshman hockey star Brent Walton on Monday to talk hockey, recruiting and the fans at WMU. Head coach Jim Culhane even answered one of the questions for him.

BI: Could you talk about the transition from the junior level of play to the college level?

BW: Definitely speed is the biggest thing. The first ice time I had out here was an eye opener. I couldn't believe how fast and skilled everyone was. One easy transition is everyone you play with is good. It's easy to play with good players. That's what made the transition easy.

BI: Could you talk about the scoring touch you've had being able to lead the team in points as a freshman?

BW: If you look at the team everybody's got points, anybody could be leading the team right now.

BI: Could you talk about the U of M games comparing Friday night's effort and Saturday night's effort?

BW: Friday night just nobody had any jump, nobody was hitting, nobody was skating, nobody was doing anything. The next night with the crowd roaring, everybody was just pumped and excited to play and it looked like we were having fun playing hockey instead of it looking like it was just a job.

BI: What's your major here in college?

BW: Business, I'm not sure what area I'm gonna enter.

BI: If for some reason hockey doesn't end up in your future, what plans do you have for after college?

BW: It's kind of vague right now; just get into business in some way. Maybe own my own business, or something like that.

BI: Before that happens you would like to play some pro hockey before that?

BW: Yeah, but that's a long way off. I've still got three and a half years left here to win a championship.

BI: Why did you choose WMU?

Jim Culhane: What kind of question is that? C'mon! Pride! The Broncos! (Laughing)

BW: I'd say the biggest thing was when I came for my visit all the guys on the team were really friendly and they seemed like the type of guys I could get along with, along with the coaching staff. They took a real interest in me at a young age.

BI: What other schools recruited you?

BW: I had just turned 17 so really I'd only talked to Northeastern and they were the only team after me the way Western was.

BI: Who from the Western staff was your main contact?

BW: Chris Brooks came and watched me I think 3 or 4 times.

BI: What do you think of the fans here at Western?

BW: They're great. I've never played anywhere near with the excitement that the fans bring to the game. It makes it a lot more fun to play.

BI: How would you say the fans a Lawson compare to the fans at the schools you have had away games with?

BW: Well, it seems our crowd, or at least one side (student section), we seem to have a lot more excitement and a lot more youth than the crowds the other teams have. The other arenas have more of a family atmosphere and here it's more like half and half sort of thing so it's good [here].

BI: What would you say are your personal strengths as a hockey player?

BW: I would think maybe my vision and speed.

BI: What would be weaknesses you would like to work on as you move on moving from freshman to veteran?

BW: I think I have to improve on everything. I'll never be a complete player; I gotta work on everything especially my defensive game.

BI: How good is it to continue being a teammate with Daryl Moore from your junior days to here?

BW: It's good, because me and him were pretty good friends coming in here so it was good to know my roommate it made the transition pretty easy coming in here with somebody. It was good, we were doing it together, we drove down together, we moved in together so it was good.

BI: What do you think of next years recruit Paul Szczechura having such a great scoring touch in the same league you had such a great scoring touch in?

BW: That's great. He's not even on one of the best teams so you don't know what he could be doing if he was on a first place team. He's breaking records as it is. He's doing something fantastic down there.

BI: Is he someone that you knew well at all?

BW: I played against him for one year and Daryl played with for most of a year before Daryl was traded to Elmira. Daryl only told me great things about him.

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