Interview with Gatineau Olympiques’ Martin Reway
Martin Reway could not have asked for a better campaign than this year with the Gatineau Olympiques. Improvements accross the board, Reway’s offensive production has helped the Olympiques reach the QMJHL post-season. In four less games played, Reway has posted 12 more points than last year’s effort and improved his -1 rating to a +13 this year. Overall he finished the regular season with 20 goals and 62 points in 43 games for the Olympiques.
While they could not close out their season with a victory, dropping a 5-1 decision to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Reway and the Olympiques clinched a playoff berth as the 8th seed and will play Cameron Darcy and the 9th seed Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the first round of the 2014 QMJHL Playoffs.
I requested to speak with the Montreal Canadiens prospect, selected in the fourth round, #116th overall in the 2013 draft. Reway was more than willing to take the time out of his busy schedule leading to tomorrow’s start to the playoffs, granting us an exclusive interview.
Thank you for doing this Martin, we appreciate it.
“OK, no problem!”
You and Gatineau had a very good season, finishing 8th in the standings. Having finished higher than the 13th spot from last season, what was the biggest change for the team?
“I think we had more confidence and we’re all older so we know how to play hard and big games, but the real season for us starts Friday (playoffs).”
On your efforts, you saw improvements at pretty much every facet of the game. Twelve points more in four less games, a +/- rating of 13 to last year’s -1 and you trimmed down your penalty minutes too. What changes did you make to your game to not only improve your offensive numbers, but your two-way play as well?
“I am just trying to play different game at all. I’m not playing for the points but for the team and specially to work on my game.”
You’re headed to the playoffs now to take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. You split the season series with a victory a piece this year, the second being a close 5-4 loss. What’s the biggest obstacle over on the Screaming Eagles squad that your team will have to overcome to take the series?
“Well they have a good team and so do we. It’s gonna be hard till the last whistle. We gotta start strong at home.”
Switching away from the QMJHL now, you had a strong showing at another level. I’m talking about the World Junior Championship Under-20 campaign, where your Slovakian squad were faced with tough competition. Despite the results, you still managed ten points in five games. How big was that for you personally?
“It was another great experience. I had bigger ice time than in Gatineau and the coach knew me pretty well (since i was 16), so he knows that I can make a difference but it was a great tournament for all the players and we enjoyed that!”
With all the games being televised during the tournament, fans of the Montreal Canadiens had their eyes glued on you with every shift you played. Having played in the QMJHL for two seasons now, what does it mean to you to be drafted by the NHL team situated in Quebec?
“It’s like a dream you know. I played last year in the QMJHL and the team from Quebec drafted me so I couldn’t be happier but now I am looking for a next step and that’s the NHL and I really appreciate every email or message from Montreal fans, they are amazing!”
You said the next step you want to take in your development is make the NHL. If you had to evaluate yourself, how far would you consider yourself from becoming an NHL-calibre hockey player?
“Thats hard to say. I really believe in my skills and I think I am not too far but there is still some work to do and I am trying to improve it right now.”
In your opinion, what are some things you think need improvement?
“It’s my all-around game. I mean I just want to be a better player, that means to be great in offense but also in defence, forecheck and backcheck, all these little things that are going to make me a better player.”
Scouting reports have you as a high potential top line guy with very good skating, excellent playmaking skills and a high hockey IQ. You have the tools to make for a great player and you have showcased that at all levels you’ve played in. What would you say is something you could work on to help you reach the next stage, being the NHL?
“I am happy that people or scouts see that and I really hope I am gonna make the NHL soon that’s what I want and wish, and I think I am playing better than last year so I have to keep going and hope it’s gonna be all good one day.”
Since being drafted, have you spoken with management and/or scouting staff about possible goals to meet or some sort of game plan to further your development and draw closer to becoming an NHL’er some time in the future?
“Yeah, right after the camp I spoke to the GM (Marc Bergevin) and all the scouts and they told me to keep working hard and work on my game.”
Up to the level you are at now, who would you say is your biggest inspiration to playing the style of hockey you play? Which player do you mold your game after, if any?
“It’s hard to say. In Slovakia, they said I am like Zigmund Palffy. I like the way he played but I really like Alex Radulov or Claude Giroux.”
On a lighter note, what is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
“At one moment when it was not good in my life and hockey at all, I want to stop playing and do more school.”
In closing, among all our readers, Canadiens fans will be reading very closely. Do you have a special message to offer Habs fans as they continue to watch you progress, heading into the playoffs and going forward?
“Like I said, I am very happy and thankful for all their support to me and I just hope I can make them happy one day if I play for Montreal!”
Thank you for your time Martin and best of luck to you in the post-season.
“No problem, anytime.”
You can follow Martin Reway on twitter (@rewy77) and the Gatineau Olympiques (@LesOlympiques) as well as on their website www.olympiquesdegatineau.ca as they make their way through the QMJHL playoffs, starting tomorrow.
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