Taking Liberties With… Anthony Duclair
Position: Left Wing, Arizona Coyotes
Acquired: From New York Rangers on March 1, 2015, with John Moore, second-round draft choice in 2015 and first-round draft choice in 2016 in exchange for Keith Yandle, Chris Summers and a fourth-round draft choice in 2016
Hometown: Pointe-Claire, Quebec
Last Amateur Team: Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Anthony Duclair: Lots of memories. Probably, it’s the Quebec Pee Wee tournament, and we played for the first time in front of fans in Colisee de Quebec. I think there was 12,000 people, and we’re in the Montreal Canadiens jersey. I was definitely a special feeling. We didn’t do too well in the tournament, but just the experience was special.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
AD: Definitely scoring my first goal. You definitely remember that. It was back in New York, in Madison Square Garden against the Minnesota Wild. The goalie was Darcy Kuemper. Pretty good goalie, and it was cool to get that one at home. For the people who watched the game, it was a pretty important goal at the time. Getting that first one was pretty cool. You think back to your parents and friends that had supported you. The first goal is a pretty cool feeling.
AZR: Who had the biggest influence on you, on and off the ice?
AD: Definitely it was my father. He supported me throughout my career since I started skating. He’s been pushing me all along and I wouldn’t be here without him. Support from your parents is huge, and he’s supporting me even though I made it to the NHL.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
AD: Yes, Markus Naslund really stood out to me. Obviously, I was a Montreal Canadiens fan, so Saku Koivu was there for I think 11 years, and was an idol of mine. He was a player I looked up to for sure.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
AD: Just have fun with it. When you’re a young player, it’s tough to get adjusted to the level, skill and speed of the game. As a young player coming into the league, you want to make sure you work hard and make sure you’re on task. And make sure you ask questions.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
AD: I played soccer growing up until I was around 11 or 12. I was playing competitive soccer and liked it very much. Then with hockey, I got a little serious, and hockey took over my life. Soccer was definitely a big sport for me.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
AD: No, no superstitions. I have a normal routine and I like to do the same thing. I’ll wake up, go the rink, have a good skate and go back home, take a nap, and get ready for the game.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
AD: Wake up, go the rink, have some breakfast. You have your morning skate and then you have your pre-game meal, go back home take a nap. I try and eat again, a little snack before I get out there, and tape my sticks when I get to the rink, and then get ready for meetings.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
AD: I pack light as I can. I’ll just bring one or two suits, depending how long we’re on the road. You need to bring the toiletries. Sometimes, I’ll forgot here and there, and it’s a good thing to have a great roommate like Max (Domi) to back me up.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
AD: Been to a couple spots, like Mastro’s Steakhouse in Scottsdale, a good steak there, or Dominick’s Steakhouse in Scottsdale is also pretty good. I live right by a local bistro and that’s where I get my pre-game meals. Maggiano’s is pretty good as well. There are a lot of great restaurants here in Phoenix. I haven’t visited them all, but hopefully I will soon.
— Compiled by Mark Brown