Trevor Hendrikx - Midterm Interview
In only his first year playing in the Elite, it's fair to say Trevor Hendrikx has already made a big impression. The Russel, Ontario native joined the Devils from the Allen Americans in the CHL where he won back to back championships and was voted amongst the best body checkers in the league. Bringing his hard hitting style to the Elite has been a big test for the boards and plexi across the country as Hendo attempts to put opposing players through them. We caught up with Trevor to see how his season is going.
What was your first reaction when you rolled up outside the tent for the first time ?
When I first pulled up the the "tent" I realized really quick that it was, in fact, just that. A tent. So obviously there was a bit of shock there, but after playing my first game I fell in love with the atmosphere. It is such an awesome place to play even though it may not be a state of the art arena.
Now you've had the pleasure of visiting all the rinks in the league, which opponents rink is the best to play at and which is the worst in your opinion?
After playing in all the arenas now I think my favourite would be Nottingham. They always have a great crowd and the atmosphere is always good. My least favourite would have to be Edinburgh. There wasn't much atmosphere and the boards there are made of cement so they aren't very forgiving.
What's been the highlight for the season so far for you as a Devil?
There has been many great moments this season. A few of my favourites have been when we won 10-0 when we retired Stoney's jersey, Our owners doing a lap with us and high fiving the fans, winning two big games against Belfast at home to name a few. I think the biggest highlight is yet to come as we are really focused on winning a Championship and to me that will be the ultimate highlight.
You're one of, if not the best blue line hitters we've seen in the Elite league era...
a) can you describe the technical aspects involved in making those kind of hits and;
b) can you explain what effect a big hit can have on both teams...and how it can influence a game.
c) Has Kevin Westgarth done something terrible to you? He always seems to be on the receiving end when we play Belfast, much to our fans joy! Do you look out certain players to lay a slap down on.
Hitting has always been a part of my game that I take a lot of pride in. It isn't an easy job but I enjoy every second of it. It definitely requires a lot of timing and technique which is something I have put a lot of time and practice into. A big hit can really influence the game and turn the energy and momentum in our favour, especially when we are playing at home and can really intimidate and set the tone for the game. I wouldn't say I target anyone in specific. Anyone who comes down my side with their head down is fair game for me. I do like to target the other teams top skilled players as they usually don't like the physical play and by hitting them I can get them off of their game. I have had a few good hits against Westgarth. I don't think he expected to be hit and have caught him with his head down a few times. The bigger they are the harder they fall right?
The team has adapted well between the small ice at the BBT and the big ice on the road.....what kind of changes do you need to make a a group of defenceman to be a success on the two different surfaces?
Playing on the different sized ice surface is a challenge for everyone but even more so for a defenceman especially in my case. It is much easier to be physical in our rink because the surface is much smaller and there isn't anywhere to hide. On the bigger ice you have to be aware of where you are and have to be careful to not get pulled outside the dots as there is a lot more room for the forwards to manoeuvre.
What additional responsibilities do you take adopt, on the ice, in the locker room and off the ice as an alternate captain?
It's always an honor when your selected to be in a leadership position on any team, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. I try to conduct myself the same way whether I have a letter or not. I try to be a leader on and off the ice. In doing so other players will look to you to lead by example. Especially when the going gets tough. We are lucky to have such a great group of guys in our room that everyone is a leader in their own way and we all stick together like a family which is a big reason for our success this season.
In junior you played alongside the likes of current NHLers Jordan Staal, Patrick Kaleta and Steve Downie, ranking among them in points (around a point/game) How are you enjoying the defence first role you have with the Devils?
I have enjoyed my role here with the devils this season. I have always been someone who will do whatever it takes to win. I personally don't care much for individual stats. All I really care about is winning and winning a championship. I have played on teams where I have been a power play guy and had a lot of points earlier on in my career and I have also been on teams where I have been asked to be a more defensive shut down type of defenceman. All roles are fine with me as long as we win. That's all I care about.
Now you've had a chance to play in the BBT when it's absolutely packed and noisy as hell (pun intended), where does the BBT rank?
In all honesty the BBT has been my most favourite arena I have ever played in. It may sound shocking considering the arena isn't quite state of the art, but the atmosphere is second to none. We definitely have the best fans in the league and there is no better feeling than stepping on that ice for a home game and it's so loud you can barely hear yourself think. It gives us a huge advantage against our opponents as we feed of that energy.
Now you've been playing here for a while, how would you say the EIHL compares to the previous leagues you've played in?
I have been pleasantly surprised with the calibre of play in this league. It is definitely much higher than I expected. Any team can win on any given night and that has made for some great rivalries this season
What do you feel the league could do to improve itself.
One thing that I have found frustrating, which I'm sure everyone has at times, has been the officiating. I know it isn't an easy job, but I think it would make the league a lot better if it was more consistent.
How are you finding living in Cardiff? Everyone knows it's the best city in the league, but have you had a chance to have a proper look around here yet?
I have absolutely loved my time here in Cardiff. It is an amazing city and the people here are amazing. I have had some time to do some exploring. I went and saw Stonehenge and spent Christmas in London so I am getting to see as much of the sights as I can. It's nice that everything is fairly close so it makes it fairly easy to see the sights.
Anything else you'd like to add to the fans
I would like to thank the fans for everything they do for us. Without them I wouldn't have a job so I am always grateful for them. Our fans are definitely the most loyal, passionate, fans I have ever encountered, and we as players appreciate them and the atmosphere they create for us every time we step on the ice!
finally some questions from Menna, aged 11,
"how did you get so tall" and " how do you play so good"
How did I get so tall? Well I would have to thank my mom Jane, and my father Tony for blessing me with the "tall" gene and I guess I will have to give them credit for playing so well too as well as the fans for always cheering us on!
A big thanks to Trevor for taking the time to answer our questions.
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