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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Joe Gatenby Profiile

Leading up to the bantam draft, we'll take a look at a few of the top players eligable for the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.  The interviews are taken from the newsletter and we will perhaps post a couple more prior to the draft.  All interviews can be seen in the newsletter which is released every two weeks.

All season long, Joe Gatenby has been one of the better draft eligable defenceman in western Canada.  Joe is part of a defensive core at POE which could contain as many as 5 top two round picks in the up coming bantam draft.  However, it looks as though Joe has perhaps vaulted ahead of the pack with a combination of above average skating, a tremendous first pass, leadership and fantastic work ethic both on and off the ice.  Joe was awarded the top defenceman at the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds tournament and was also named to the all-star team at the John Reid Memorial Tournament.  WEHP is of the opinion that Joe should be a top 10 overall selection in the bantam draft.  Time will tell if a certain WHL team will jump up and take him there or not with several other defenceman rising late this season.

Joe Gatenby                  
5’11 148 Defense
11-12 stats:  41GP 16-31-47 22PIM

First off, talk a bit about where you played your minor hockey and list some of your favourite personal and team highlights from those years?
I grew up playing my minor hockey in Calgary. One of my favourite personal memories from minor hockey is playing and being a captain on Team Brick Alberta as a 10 year-old. That was a great experience and I made some friendships with kids on that team who are still elite players today. One of my favourite team memories was when I played with the Calgary Jr. Dinos in the spring of 2008. That season we won the Alberta Champions Cup and the Burnaby Challenge Cup. That was a really fun year because it was probably the first time that I was on a really tight-knit team and the coaching was great. Our head coach was Josh Dixon, who is now an assistant coach for the Regina Pats. To have those experiences at a young age was incredible. 

What was the decision based on, in leaving Calgary last year to come and play with a program such as POE?
When I was younger, my brother Danny and I used to go to the Edge of Excellence skating camps in the summer. We heard about Pursuit from there and I wanted to attend the academy from a young age. We liked the positive atmosphere that POE offered to become a better player and person and to have the amount of training at POE all worked into your day is outstanding. It has been a big sacrifice for my family, and I am very thankful that they are giving me the opportunity to do it.

How do you feel playing with a hockey academy has helped you enhance your game, what advantages do you believe you have in playing at POE?
POE gives you the opportunity to improve your game every day. The amount of training is tremendous and having all of the development scheduled into your day makes it much easier than trying to do all of it yourself around regular minor hockey and school conditions. My coaching this year has also been excellent.

You are a very good skater and see the ice well. What other strengths in your game will help you moving forward? Conversely what weaknesses do you feel you need to work on?
I would say some of my other strengths are my compete level and work-ethic. I also try to be a leader and a team guy on and off the ice. As for weaknesses, I think that I need to keep working on all areas of my game and to continue working off the ice to keep getting faster and stronger. 

What have been some of your personal and team highlights so far this season? 
Winning the Top Defenseman award in Medicine Hat was a huge honour. As for team highlights, we haven’t won a tournament yet, but in Medicine Hat I thought that we were playing some of our best hockey, and beat some good teams up-until the semi-finals against BWC. 

With so many scouts attending the tournaments your team plays in, is it hard to block that out and just play hockey?
Not as much anymore. I had the opportunity to play for POE AAA last year and to play in many of the major tournaments which I think has been an advantage. I try to enjoy the bigger stage. 

Lastly, who amongst your team-mates or opposition impress you the most on a personal and team level?
We have a great group of guys on my team and I have had the opportunity to play against many high-end players so narrowing the list would be pretty tough and I wouldn’t want to offend anybody by not mentioning them.


Anonymous said...

As a parent of an OHA player, I've had the opportunity to watch this young man's game a few times this season. I was impressed with him at the beginning of the season, and would agree that he is now without a doubt the best all around D-man on the POE squad. I especially like that he competes hard between the whistles - and let's his play do the talking. Worth ethic, class, skill. Pretty good recipe for success. Good luck to Joe moving forward.

Anonymous said...

I agree with with 9:16am, I have been to all POE's tournaments. Along with Ethan Bear they have the best 1 -2 defense in the west and I have been involved in hockey for many years.

keep up the work ethic Joe and you will go along way.

Anonymous said...

Being from POE,I would wonder how so many top d man would interact with each other .From the very begining,(after they peed in thier corners)they competed very hard against each other with total respect.None more than Joe Gatenby.I believe having them all here has made them all better,no question.The very thing I enjoy about being in academy life.Best of luck to all the boys from all over in future.its been fun watching!