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Devils Q&A with Travis Zajac

Devils' center working toward a successful 2008-09 season

Wednesday, 09.17.2008 / 4:10 PM / News
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Devils Q&A with Travis Zajac

Zajac collected 14 goals and 20 assists for 34 points in 82 games during the 2007-08 campaign.

newjerseydevils.com – Summer for Travis Zajac means returning to his native Winnipeg for some fishing and country music. Entering his third season as a Devil, the 6-2, 200-lb. center heads home to Manitoba every offseason before coming back to New Jersey for the start of training camp.

View Travis Zajac highlights
For the final Devils Q&A feature of the 2008 offseason, newjerseydevils.com turned to Zajac, who is back in the Garden State and ready to open camp next week.


How did you spend your offseason?  Did you go anywhere special?

Sara
Livingston, N.J.

Zajac: Most of my offseason was spent in Winnipeg. I went away on weekends, traveling up north to do some fishing for walleye and just relax. We'd catch some and cook it up afterwards, and I think walleye's the best fish to eat.


Were you a fan of the Winnipeg Jets? Who were your favorite players?

Jen
Westwood, N.J.

TZ:
I was a big fan of the Jets and it was sad to see them move. When I went to games the guys I watched most were Thomas Steen and Teemu Selanne, also Keith Tkachuk. Those guys were a big part of the Jets at the time, and they were fun to watch.


What's your favorite type of music and artist? What was your best concert experience?

Jess
New York City

TZ: My favorite type of music is country, and I'd say my favorite artist is Dierks Bentley. I've seen him in concert at Dauphin Countryfest in Dauphin, Manitoba, and he's a great entertainer.


What is the one album, song, or artist you can't live without?

Tamara
Livingston, N.J.

TZ:
I'd say my favorite song or artist to listen to before a game is Nickelback. That gets me pumped up to play.  A good song of theirs would be "Someone That You're With."


How do you stay in shape during the offseason?

Bill
Newark, N.J.

TZ:
I take a couple of weeks off after the season, then start training with weights, cardio and plyometrics.


You have a craving for some chow.  Do you go for chicken wings, pizza, or a cheesesteak?  Where would you go for that?

Joe
Stockton, N.J.

TZ:
I'd say pizza, and my favorite place is Forte's [in Caldwell]. The pizza here in New Jersey is absolutely better than it is back home.


I'm curious to know how you came to the decision to go the NCAA route rather then playing junior hockey – especially being a kid from western Canada where the Western Hockey League is a more common hockey goal.

Russ
Santa Cruz, Calif.

TZ:
It had a lot to do with me being a late-bloomer. Physically I wasn't ready to play in the WHL and playing Junior A for an extra year let me grow into my body a little and become a better player. That said, going the NCAA route meant you could play hockey and get a scholarship at the same time, and it seemed like a win-win situation. It turned out to be a great stepping stone for me.


Do you stay in close contact with some of your former teammates from the University of North Dakota?

Amanda
Chester, Md.

TZ:
Absolutely. Some of my better friends played for UND, guys like Rylan Kaip who's now with Atlanta and Drew Stafford with Buffalo. Playing alongside those guys, I definitely made some friends for life.


How did you adjust going straight from college to the NHL?

Benji
Bergen County, N.J.

TZ:
  I think it was fairly smooth for me. College helped me become more of a complete player, and at North Dakota we kind of played the same style that the Devils play. It was about being reliable defensively and still being able to make plays on offense.


Were you always a top scorer when you played high school hockey?

Brian
Clifton, N.J.

TZ:
I'd say I was up there in scoring, but that wasn't always my goal. I was focused on making the players around me better.


Do you have any pets, if so what are their names?

John
Manville, N.J.


TZ:
I have one pet back home in Winnipeg, our family dog. His name's Samson, and he's a Golden Retriever. He's a great dog.

Offseason acquisition Brian Rolston has a Newfoundland with the same name.


If you where stranded on a deserted island what five things would you bring?

Jason
Edmonton

TZ:
An Xbox, a television, my girlfriend, an iPod and my cellphone.


What is your all-time favorite memory as a Devil?

Bob
Winnipeg

TZ:
I'd have to say opening night at Prudential Center. The first game we played here was something special. It was a great atmosphere and a great step for this team. To be in this rink and our new home with our great fans was tremendous.  


Zajac celebrates a goal with Parise (l.).
You and Zach Parise seem to work with each other really well on the ice and seem very close. Are you close outside of the game too?

Mike
Hainesport, N.J.

TZ:
He's one of my better friends on the Devils. He's someone I get along with; we're around the same age and we hang out together. He's a great player and a great role model for me.



What parts of your game have you been working on improving this year?

William
Hamilton, N.J.

TZ:
Definitely worked on getting bigger and stronger. Also, getting quicker – I think you can always work on your skating as a hockey player. You can never be too fast. I think that's one of the things I've focused on: getting more powerful as a skater.


Going into your third NHL season, what kind of personal goals have you set for yourself for this upcoming season?

Rasid
Höör, Sweden

TZ:
I want to start off with a lot of confidence, make some plays offensively and just have a great season. Teamwise, we're looking to improve each year. Last year was disappointing, so this year we're working to make the playoffs and go from there. Hopefully, we go deep into the playoffs.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51

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