Job: Professional hockey player (defense) for the Milwaukee Admirals [American Hockey League].
Salary: Contracts really differ: There are guys in my league who are getting paid an NHL [National Hockey League] salary, between $500,000 and $800,000. Then there are guys on the bottom end of the minors making $40,000. The majority of my team, if you're not on an NHL contract, you're making between $50,000-$100,000.
Education and sports background: I have a degree in sociology from Quinnipiac University. I graduated from high school in Red Wing, played one year of junior league hockey, then went to college and played college hockey.
Do you remember the first time you ever got on the ice? When I was 2 years old, my mom took me skating on a pond. I remember my hockey skates had two blades on the bottoms. I have two older brothers, so I basically just chased them around. Growing up, every time they played hockey, I would play hockey.
When did you know you wanted to be a professional hockey player? Obviously, as a little kid you always think you want to be a pro athlete and I always wanted to be a pro hockey player. But I didn't think it was realistic until I kind of broke out in my sophomore and junior year of college.
How did you start your career? It's funny: We lost the last game of my college career on a Saturday night. On Monday morning, my agent started getting calls from different NHL teams and by Tuesday I had signed with Toronto. By Friday, I'd left school to go finish the year and play [in Toronto] for a couple weeks.
What's a typical workday like for you? Getting to the rink around 9, being on the ice for probably an hour, hour and a half. There's a gym at the rink, so then I go work out, and my workday is usually done by 12:30 or 12:45. Of course, on game days we play at night.
What do you do in the off-season? We're in the playoffs right now. We could go as late as the end of May if we made it all the way to the championships. In the summer, I live in New Hampshire with my girlfriend; spend a lot of time on the lake and the golf course.
Is there anything about being a hockey player professionally that you don't like? I feel pretty fortunate to get to be able to play sports for a profession. I guess the tough part is that it's a performance-based job. So there are pressures to go out and perform every night. If you don't, you know they can always send you down [to a lower league]. You are replaceable if you're not performing up to the team's expectations.
In 10 years I'll be... I hope I'm still playing hockey!
Any advice for aspiring hockey players? I'm a prime example of a late bloomer. I didn't get drafted, went to a small school, and kept developing and growing, getting better every year. It's never too late. Just because you're not highly touted as a 17- or 18-year old doesn't mean you can't develop later on in college and make it to pro hockey.