By: Nicole Havens and Liam O’Brien
Redshirt sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik spent his past semester with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League, and now returns to the Boston University men’s hockey team pumped up and ready to start the 2017-18 season. The Daily Free Press caught up with the goaltender to talk about his pregame rituals, who the best dancer on the team is and what his favorite thing is about fall.
- What was the best part of your summer? The best part of my summer was that I had a bunch of my friends from prep school to my lake house for a weekend. We all got to hang out and had a really good time together so it was great to see everybody.
- What’s your favorite place to eat around campus? I like going to Garlic ‘n Lemons in Allston. It’s kind of a spot a bunch of the guys go to on Thursday nights before the game so it’s kind of our tradition.
- Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions? I like to juggle. I like to read a little bit just to kind of calm the mind down, but other than that I just try to have fun and just get ready to have a good time with the guys.
- Which game are you looking forward to most this year? I’m just looking forward to all of them. I’m just excited to start and see what happens. I think it’s going to be great for the guys to start playing real hockey together and I think it’s just going to be a really, really exciting year.
- You spent the past semester with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League, what was that experience like? It was great. I went down to Texas just so I could get just a little more playing time because I wasn’t really getting much time here and we actually had an unbelievable season down there. We won the league [championship] and I kind of did a good job of putting myself in that much better position coming back now. I’m in a much better situation now than I was previously so I had a really awesome time in Texas.
- Let’s say you’re stuck on a desert island and you can only bring one of your teammates. Do you know who’d you bring? Probably [freshman forward] Hank Crone. Just a good guy. Keep me calm out there. Hang out. Have a good time together.
- What song or songs get you pumped up before a game? We’re not really allowed to listen to rap before games so it’s basically all techno. I’m hoping our new euro [Finnish freshman defenseman] Kasper [Kotkansalo] can bring some good house music for the boys before the game. That should be fun.
- If you could switch places with anybody for a day, who would it be? Let’s go Leonardo DiCaprio for a day. He’s a pretty cool dude. See what he does in the day of the life of Leo would be pretty cool.
- What would you say is a common misconception about goaltenders? Some people like to say that maybe we’re a little bit weird, but I think we’re just fun guys and intelligent people as well. I think maybe sometimes people interpret that as being a little odd, but no I think we’re just good guys.
- Is there anybody in particular that you look up to in the hockey world? I really like Scott Darling, who’s a goalie who’s going to play for the Carolina Hurricanes this year. He’s got a pretty amazing story about how he got kicked off of the hockey team at [University of Maine] and kind of worked his way up the minors.
- What advice would you give to your freshman self? To my freshman self I would just say, “Just have fun.” Kind of trust the process and don’t ever be complacent with anything, just keep working and try to just have fun on the ice everyday and everything will take care of itself.
- Aside from hockey, what’s your favorite sport? I play a lot of golf in the summer with my brother. I also love to go fishing. Me and [junior forward] Jordan Greenway did a little fishing this summer, had a pretty good time, but I go fishing up in New Hampshire with my brother and just play a bunch of golf. I like tennis as well.
- What is your favorite practice drill? I like any of the in zone games like we’ll put two nets on one side of the ice and do a little like three-on-three mini competition. That’s pretty fun just compete with the guys so I like that one.
- What is the BU locker room like before a game? It’s pretty exciting. Honestly, we have the music on, the guys are messing around. I mean getting focused, but everyone’s just really excited and ready to compete and try to make our families and our school proud.
- What is the best thing about playing for Coach Quinn? I’d say the best thing [about] playing for Coach Quinn is that he treats you like an adult and he gives you the chance to prove that you can be an adult and kind of handle yourself. Also like just playing at BU in general, you have every opportunity in the world to get better and it’s up to you to kind of take advantage of that.
- Who’s the best dancer on the team? [Laughs] The freshmen are coming in pretty hot this year with the dance moves. I gotta go with [freshman forward] Jake Wit[kowski] by far. Well I mean Crone’s pretty good, but it’s going to be Wit. Wit’s got some pretty good moves. So definitely Jake Wit.
- If your life was like a movie, do you have a specific actor who would play you? I like Matthew McConaughey. He’s kind of a dork, but he’s still a pretty cool dude and he’s played in some pretty good films. Mark Wahlberg, I like him as well.
- What was your favorite memory of playing youth hockey? I guess when I was really young. I’m from Andover, Massachusetts and there was this big tournament called the Heseltine Tournament in honor of this kid Scott Heseltine who died in a [car] crash. Basically it’s just like a tournament to honor him and a bunch of towns in the local area come. There’s literally thousands of people going to watch these little kids play hockey and we won it a couple years in a row, which was pretty cool.
- What made you first want to play hockey? My older brothers both played hockey. So I had two older brothers, one is 25 and his name’s Ben and the other’s 23 and his name’s Daniel. Daniel’s a goalie and Ben was a forward, but I just liked playing goalie.
- What is your favorite thing about fall? My favorite thing about fall is that all the guys are back at school together and the season’s right around the corner.
Some responses have been shortened for clarity.