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Interview with 35th overall selection, Barrie Colts, Alex Fotinos

This week's entry is a bit late, but I did not want to steal the spotlight of Bradley Karp who submitted his first article to In The O... this week. and it is a beauty about Daniel Altshuller and the Belleville Bulls. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out here. But now... our regularly scheduled program.

This week's OHL Prospect Spotlight is on a Barrie Colt Goaltender Prospect. In fact he helped his team win the OHL Showcase Cup earlier this year. He is young Alex Fotinos. And as he comes into the league with a bit of a pedigree, he potentially enters the Colts organization as a target. And I call him a target because with all the potential bodies in the crease... this year could get messy. But as you will read, Alex is a very focused player who will be able to handle this type of 'problem' and will come out a better goalie in the process. Now normally I discuss with Thayne a bit about the player before getting to the interview. This week I am going straight into the interview. Here is Barrie Colts Goaltender prospect, Alex Fotinos.

First of all Alex, thanks for taking time out of lifting weights and protein shakes and other summer off season things you crazy kids do. Let's start in the middle of your journey thus far as it relates to the OHL. 35th overall by the Barrie Colts. You were just a few picks short of being a 1st round selection. In your mind, what is the difference between a 1st and 2nd rounder in the OHL Priority Draft?

Thank you Brandon for the interview and believe me, the breaks from training are greatly appreciated.  Personally, the difference between being picked 37th overall in the second round, compared to maybe 10th overall in the first round I think all depended on what team needed my abilities.  It might not have been that I wasn’t good enough to be selected in the first round but that there was not a team looking for what I have to offer as their first selection. I would have to say though, for me, there was no team I would rather to have been picked by than the Barrie Colts.

What was the initial reaction to finding out that you were selected by the Barrie colts?

Ecstatic.  The organization, for the most part, is a winning organization with terrific fan support, which I love. Also, to be taught by two former “NHLers”, the head coach being Dale Hawerchuk and the goalie coach Dan Cloutier, is really something that most “OHLers” don’t get to experience – unless you play for the Colts. As well, I will learn so much by having Dan as a goalie coach and being taught by someone who has been through the OHL and the NHL.

            No matter how you put it. 35th overall out of 300 is very impressive and definitely says something about your game and abilities. So let's break your game down now. What 'style' of play does Alex Fotinos use and what is your absolute strength?

Well, I try and stay in position and as technically sound as often as possible.  I think that my strength would be my technique.  That being said, there’s nothing I won’t do to stop a puck.  Battling and fighting for every rebound I would say is also an important part in my game. I really admire Tim Thomas from that perspective. He’s a goalie who will do his best to stay in position, but at the end of the day, do whatever it takes to stop the puck.

From time to time I do a little research and this time I spoke with a former Toronto Marlboros teammate of yours, Mr. 5th overall, Jordan Subban. I basically asked what he loves to hate about ya and he said 'I loved playing with Alex. He communicated really well with our team especially our defense. It made my job a lot easier having a goalie that could communicate with me while I was coming back to retrieve the puck.' So basically you yell a lot. Where did you pick up the yelling and was it easy for your teammates to put up with it?

Subby’s a great teammate and it’ll be tough seeing him go end to end against me and having to stop him.  Plus, I had to keep up with his yelling in the dressing room by yelling on the ice.  I try to communicate with my players as much as possible for a couple of reasons.  First, as Jordan said, letting them know where the pressure is and what is going on behind them when their head is turned is beneficial for the whole team.  Also, I find, when I am yelling and communicating that I am more focused and into the game.  Even when the play is at the other end, if I am yelling and aware of what is happening it keeps me focused all the time.

Now heading back to the past and The Toronto marlboros, the 2011 OHL Showcase Cup Champions! Has a nice ring to it doesn't it. I'm sure you have told the story of the finals many times now. But if you wouldn't mind indulging the audience in another recap of how the Marlboros were able to become champions and of course... Comment on why you were the star of the show lol.

I couldn’t say I myself was the star of the show.  As a team, the Marlboros were too tough to handle.  I don’t think I have ever played with a group of guys that connected as well as we did.  Also, through our tremendous coaching staff led by Ken Strong we didn’t play for ourselves but for each other and I just don’t think there was any other team in North America that wanted to win like we did.

In talking about the teams and the super stars like Jordan, Nicholas. Bryson and the like. It is very easy to get forget the amazing depth you guys had. Who from that team does not get as much credit as they deserve and that includes yourself.

I agree, those three superstars overshadowed most guys on our team.  However, everyone on our team worked their tail off and did what they were told.  Very few people I know play with as much passion as Peterborough’s draft pick Cody Thompson. Night in and out, he would be battling and driving hard to the net.  A similar player is Sudbury’s draft pick Michael Sands.  Another workhorse and great guy who battles hard and will definitely go far.  Although those were just two I could say something about every player on my team.

Barrie Colt rookie camp has taken place and I have gotten mixed reviews. Some have said you stood out. Others say Alex who? Which one was that. How pleased were you and how pleased were the colts with your performance during the weekend?

I felt good about my rookie camp. Though, I think it was a little difficult to showcase my talents in a two-hour scrimmage.  I’ve been training hard and look forward to making my name for myself come training camp.

What would you have done different in the camp?
Can’t say I would have done anything differently. I think I did well.

As I said at the beginning the off season is the time for crazy diets and gym time and of course. Cottage and tanning. What are you doing right now in terms of gym and diet and does it ever get easier?

Nope can’t say it gets any easier, only harder from here on out.  First year that I had to pass on the family vacation.  I’ve been training with my trainer at the gym five times a week and have been on ice three times a week. As well as some weekly on ice camps, it has been a busy summer!

Being drafted by a young team like the colts. Your OHL Future could be sooner than later. It is a young team that seem to have made 2 of their goalies expendable, either Windsor or Chartrand will remain, have you put any type of thought into how all that can work out and you could be a 16 year old back up?

No, I can’t focus on the other components that are apart of the game.  I have just been focusing on improving my game and the rest will fall into place accordingly.

Alex, let's end on a more upbeat note. is how Colts nation can follow you now and throughout the season. Whether it is with the Barrie colts or a Jr. A team. There are a lot of OHLers who use twitter as a way to communicate with the fans. Others rarely use. And some just have a blast. Where do you fall in those type of twitter user categories?

I think it is important to interact with the fans and being apart of the Barrie community.  As long as tweeting doesn’t effect how I play, then I’ll be updating it often.

Can we expect some typical OHL type tweets about JS, #Driveat5 and @Tswift or are you gonna bring something new to the Twitter Table?

I think after this long Marlie season with a lot of locker room tunes, unless TSwift comes out with a new hit, I will hopefully be bringing out something new to the table.  Maybe some of that good ole’ country music!

Thank you very much to Alex Fotinos for donating his time for this interview. Remember you can follow him on twitter at (@alexfotinos1). I am sure he will appreciate the follows and also be happy to answer any Questions you may have. Don't forget to follow In The O... for more on OHL prospects and other news around the OHL. Website is and follow ITO on twitter @intheoradio

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