As we move forward with our Saints affiliates spotlight, the defensemen continue to shine. Braden Doyle, an affiliate who recently spent a week and a half with the Fighting Saints is our next player of focus. Doyle is an agile defenseman with plus offensive skills. He is currently at Lawrence Academy, a prep school in Groton, Massachusetts. Doyle is a highly touted Saints affiliate and a Boston University commit as well. Note that the interview took place when Doyle was with the Fighting Saints.
How did you get in to playing hockey/what was your earliest hockey memory?
I started when I was four. My dad started late when he was nine so he really wanted to push me to get me going. We’re a pretty big hockey family. My mom was a skier, but my sister plays now and really everyone loves playing. My earliest memory was probably just my mom taking me to skate arounds with no sticks and no pucks. I always like to beat everyone skate past them so that was always a lot of fun.
What’s it like to be a Saints affiliate/what was your reaction to being drafted by Dubuque?
This was definitely the organization I wanted to go to. I have nothing but great things to say about it. I’m here now and it’s been nothing but fun. Everyone here has been great, from the coaching staff to the players and the billet family. It’s just been a really fun experience.
Take us through the last week with the team.
I got here and I already knew the billet family so that was good. I met the players, they all greeted me and as I said they are all really nice. Then jumped on the ice for the first practice and got the legs back because I haven’t skated to this extent in a while. Jumped on the ice for the game the next day and that was tough, but I picked it up and got back in the swing of things so now it feels a lot more natural.
What was the experience at the All American Prospects Game like?
That was amazing. It was probably one of the highlight moments of my career so far. It was fun to play at the XCEL Center in Minnesota in front of all those fans. And then playing against those top players, we just played against the U-18’s and a lot of those guys were on the team. Just the whole experience was great and it was more fun than anything else.
What is your personal goal for the next year?
What I want to focus on now, well I’m watching a lot of video and getting the hockey IQ up. A big part of my game is to develop and get bigger and stronger in the weight room.
Describe your game to people who haven’t seen you play before.
I would start by saying I am an offensive defenseman. And I think my defense has been pretty lockdown as well. I also like to start up the play, like and easy breakout from the zone I love to do that. I also like to join the play and make things happen offensively.
Is it a better feeling for you to score a big goal, or make a game saving defensive play?
That could go both ways there, but if we’re talking overtime in a big game, like a championship I’d rather score the game winning goal.
It’s probably way too early for this, but what’s your Stanley Cup prediction?
I have to say Tampa. I’m a big Boston fan, but I think Tampa has a great team.