Taking Liberties With… Arizona Coyotes forward Taylor Hall
Position: Forward, Arizona Coyotes
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Acquired: Traded from New Jersey Devils on Dec. 16, 2019, with forward Blake Speers in exchange for defenseman Kevin Bahl, forwards Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr, a conditional first-round pick in 2020, and a conditional third-round pick in 2021
NHL Draft: Selected in the first round (first overall) by Edmonton Oilers in 2010 NHL Draft
Last Amateur Team: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Taylor Hall: That would be backyard hockey. My dad would build a rink for me in the backyard. From November until March, I was able to play as much as I wanted. That’s where you grow your love for the game – playing in the backyard.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
TH: I guess getting drafted (No. 1 overall by Edmonton in the 2010 NHL Draft). That’s probably the best thing that happened so far in helping achieve the dream of getting drafted. Now, 10 years later, I’m still playing and really enjoying it.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influence on you, on and off the ice?
TH: Definitely my parents. I know that’s a cliché answer, but they did a lot for me. My dad is still someone who I talk to before and after every game. I’m an only child, so it’s a great relationship I have with them and to be able to share this journey with them has been awesome.
AZR: What is the best piece of advice you have for a young hockey player?
TH: Play lots of sports, and just don’t focus on one sport. Become an overall athlete and develop a love for sports and what it teaches you. I think it’s best to be an athlete and play as many sports as you can.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
TH: I love watching football. I never played but I do love watching football. I also like playing golf.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
TH: I like to have pasta and salmon with a Spanish salad before every game. Sometimes, you get into a rhythm and you’re playing the same songs going to the rink, but I try not to have too many superstitions and not rely on many things.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
TH: It depends if we have a skate in the morning. I prefer not to skate in the morning and just to save it for game time. Get here about two hours or so before a game and start warming up. Have a coffee and get ready to go.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
TH: I’m in Scottsdale and there are so many good places to eat. Ocean 44 and Café Monarch are two places that I enjoy.
AZR: What are some of the essentials you take on a road trip?
TH: I’ll take my iPad, headphones, sleep mask, iPhone charger. Yeah, that’s about it.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
TH: My favorite growing up was Jarome Iginla. He was always someone I looked up to and had a chance to play against him in my first NHL game. That was my “Welcome to the NHL” moment when I saw him on the other bench. Always thought he was good person to look up to, learn from his attitude and the way he played the game.
— Compiled by Mark Brown
(March 5, 2020)