Taking Liberties With… Nick Cousins
Position: Forward, Arizona Coyotes
Hometown: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Acquired: Traded from the Philadelphia Flyers with goaltender Merrick Madsen in exchange for forward Brendan Warren and a fifth-round choice in the 2018 NHL Draft on June 16, 2017
NHL Draft: Selected by Philadelphia in the third round (68th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft
Last Amateur Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Nick Cousins: It was getting drafted to the OHL. That’s really the stepping stone of your hockey career. I remember sitting by a computer with my family and then my name was called. It’s something I’ll never forget.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
NC: Obviously, it was my first NHL game. That’s up there as No. 1. A close second was my first NHL goal. The goal was in Philly when I was with the Flyers, and that was against Robin Lehner, who I actually played with in juniors. It’s pretty funny how it works out.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
NC: I know it’s sort of cliché, but it was probably my dad. He’s been there every step of the way.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
NC: Just have fun. It’s all about having fun when you’re growing up and going to the rink with your friends. Have fun and keep working hard. Hopefully, good things will happen.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
NC: I was a big soccer guy, actually. I love playing soccer and played prep soccer all the way through school. Finally, my dad made me choose one. I obviously chose hockey.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
NC: No, I’m pretty easy going.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
NC: Have the morning skate, go home, have a nap, get something to eat and head to the rink for the game. I’ll tape my sticks and go over some video. Just approach each game the same way.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
NC: My favorite restaurant is the Fat Ox down in Old Town Scottsdale. So yeah, it’s probably one of my favorites.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
NC: Cell phone charger – that’s important. Then probably my iPad and a toothbrush and some clothes.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
NC: Yeah, Mats Sundin. I grew up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
– Compiled by Mark Brown
(April 18, 2018)