Taking Liberties With… Johnny Walker
Position: Forward, Arizona State University (NCAA D-I)
Arizona Youth Teams: DYHA Firebirds, Arizona Hockey Union/Polar Bears, Jr. Coyotes
Junior Teams: Minot Minotauros (NAHL), Topeka Roadrunners (NAHL), Chicago Steel (USHL)
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Johnny Walker: Mini hockey tournaments in the hotels.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving Arizona?
JW: Coming back home to play college hockey.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
JW: My family. Without their constant support on the ice and in the classroom, I would not be where I am right now. Especially my mom (Amy Livanavage). I’ve always been a momma’s boy.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
JW: Enjoy every second of the experience. It’s a privilege to play the greatest sport in the world. You will be surrounded by teammates who will be lifelong friends and it goes by so quick. Love the game and it will love you back.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
JW: Mini hockey. Since I can remember, all I wanted to do was play hockey, but if I had to pick another sport, I would say golf. I love golfing, similar swing and no better place than Arizona to play.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
JW: How much time do you have? From what I eat, to the way I tape my stick and get dressed is more times than not a superstition. Most common one is getting dressed right to left except for my under gear, hockey socks and pants.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
JW: Depending if we have a game-day skate or not, I will run through the drills we do for the skate. After that, I will come back to my place and try to relax before the game. Not overthinking and staying loose is the most important thing for me. Maybe mix in a quick nap, too.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here back home in Arizona?
JW: I am not too picky on favorite meals. I would say if I am not cooking, my go-to would be Chipotle.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
JW: My laptop for any schoolwork I still need to finish up is probably the only extra that I pack for road trips, other than my headphones.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
JW: I had a couple. My first favorite was Dominik Hasek. I loved everything about him. Followed him from team to team and wanted to be a goalie until my first game trying it. Got lit up for about 15.
Photo/Noah Lau/Sun Devil Athletics
– Compiled by Matt Mackinder
(Nov. 5, 2019)