Many of you read my first Q&A session with Aaron earlier in the season. I got another chance to sit down and talk with St. Louis Blues prospects Aaron Palushaj and he was kind enough to grant me a short question and answer session. I tried to give a mixed array of questions to give a little wider variety of questions. My questions will be in bold while Aaron’s answers will be in italics.
After my first Q&A session with you, you had just signed your first professional contract to play in Peoria. What was that experience like for you? Playing at a professional level?
The experience was incredible! After losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament, it allowed me to play in four regular season games with Peoria and in those games, I played in many roles. I ended up four games in the playoffs which was great. It really gave me a sense of the pro-game and it showed me what I need to work on in order to be a dominant player at that level and later on down the road. Everything was in a professional manner; meetings, meals, practices and rest/down time.You realize how much you need to prepare for everything practice and every game. It was also great to get some good quality time with some of the guys I will be seeing in training camp this September.
What do you think you need to improve on most to be ready to play in the NHL and how do you plan on going about working on that?
I have to get stronger. My core strength is there, I just need to add muscle to my legs and upperbody. I am in St. Louis for most of the summer and I’m working out with Nelson (Ayotte). He’s doing a great job and I am not worried about being raedy in September as for strength wise.
Has your limited time in Peoria shown that you need to make any adjustments to the way you think the game, and if so, in what way?
No, I don’t think I have to make any adjustments in the way I think the game. I think that’s one of my better traits as a player and it’s a lot different from college so it’s just getting to know the system and catching on to what the coach is doing with the team.
What do you do to mentally prepare for a period, game and season?
I like visually preparing my self for games in periods. Go over plays in me head and think of plays I could have made better or maybe shouldn’t have tried to do. For a season, the preparation just comes natural. Just go out every practice and get better every time you hit the ice and success in a season will come.
What type of line mates’ compliment your game the best, and why?
I’m a pretty easy player to play with so it doesn’t really matter. Someone who sees the ice offensively like me is a line mate I would prefer to play with. Someone with a good shot because I Can get them the puck from the corners or off the rush. I like having the puck in my possession and controlling and making the play.
The Blues website list you at 5’11; 187. Is that your actual size?
My actual size is 5’11.5 and 184 lbs.
Many fans; including myself; have a hard time pronouncing your last name. We’ve heard PUH-LOO-SHA and PUH-LOO-SHY. What is the correct pronunciation of your last name?
It’s actually PUH-LU-SHY.
If you had to point to one person who has helped you the most in your development as a hockey player, who would it be and what has that person done for you?
I’d probably have to say my parents, with all the support and help that way. But if it had to be a coach, I think it would be my midget minor coach. He was really dedicated to making me a better player.
The Blues have a strong rivalry with the Red Wings; with you being a Michigan boy, and possibly a fan of the winged wheel, would you still be able to give 100% against them in a game?
Without question would I be able to give 110% against detroit. I am a competitor; I give 100% in everything I do.
I want to give a special thanks to Aaron Palushaj for taking the time out of his life to answer a few Blues fans questions.
I hope you all enjoyed this interview and I hope to have more for you soon.