Taking Liberties With… Pierre-Olivier Joseph
Position: Defenseman, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
Hometown: Chambly, Quebec, Canada
NHL Draft: Selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Pierre-Olivier Joseph: I have so many great memories. Just starting to play hockey is a big one. That was the big part of it. Also, watching my brother (Mathieu) play and competing against him during juniors was pretty much the best moment of my life, hockey wise. The first game I will remember, and we were playing Saint John. In the opening faceoff, it was me and my brother on the ice together and that will always be a special moment you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since playing junior hockey?
POJ: I play really far from home, and so I don’t really see my parents often. Just being far away from home creates a lot of friendships. I’ve been playing with the same two guys for the last three years I was in Charlottetown (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League). Those are close friendships that I will keep forever.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
POJ: Also, again, my brother. Just looking at him and he’s been through everything I’ve been through. He’s been through the NHL Draft (Tampa Bay, fourth round, 2015), the combine, the first years of rookie tournaments, and all that stuff. To watch him on and off the ice is a big part of my process.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
POJ: Through all the competition and the hard work that you will do, remember that it is a sport. Enjoy every time you go on the ice and everything when you’re working out. It’s a game and you want to win, but you need to have some fun.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
POJ: I played so many sports. I played golf, basketball, tennis, soccer. A favorite one? I love playing golf lately. There is a good course over here in Scottsdale I’ve played. I’ll take golf for now.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
POJ: None at all. There are big things people complain about sometimes, but I don’t have one.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
POJ: I try and stay as calm as possible. I don’t try and put too much pressure on myself on the team we’ll play against. Just have a good morning skate and practice, and get back eating, take a nap and go back to the rink. Again, have fun and be ready to compete at the right time.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
POJ: A lot of food. I bring a lot of snacks that I eat in the room after practice. Otherwise, it’s a good time to bond with your teammates and stuff like that. Headphones, for sure. We have a lot of long road trips from Charlottetown and we can even do 22 hours at one time. Yes, headphones are key.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
POJ: I love watching P.K. Subban. His passion for the game, the way he just enjoys the game. He loves to be on the ice and the way he is always smiling is great.
– Compiled by Mark Brown
(Oct. 10, 2018)