Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings handles the puck during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 10, 2008. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)
What is the secret to taking out a player with a clean check?
Stephen Hrabec, Holden, Alta.
Hitting is all about timing, more than anything. Strength plays into it, but most of the time you can take out a bigger player if you time it right.
What are some ways to get stronger in the summer, especially for shooting?
Adam Pancoast, Thief River Falls, Minn.
Shoot a lot and use real pucks in your driveway, not tennis balls. I started working out at a gym when I was 15, too.
Since you led the league in hits this year, who did you pattern your game after?
Nicholas Duplessis, White River, Ont.
I didn’t really pattern my game after anyone when I was coming up, but the guy people talked about was Adam Deadmarsh, a pretty good player to be compared to.
What did you practise most as a young player?
Brandon Kawashima, Los Angeles
Definitely shooting. It’s the most fun and it’s the easiest thing to do if you’re not on the ice. Ice wasn’t always available when I was growing up, but everyone has a net and a stick.
Do you have any tips on being a great defensive forward?
Misel GooGoo, Whycocomagh, N.S.
Defense is all about being in the right position and trusting your instincts.
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