The Canadiens walked into the 2006 NHL entry Draft with a few players in mind for their first round selection, the problem was they only had the 16th overall pick. Trevor Timmins, a hockey guru in most circles, made his choice. After a “calculated risk” to trade down 4 spots to the 20th overall pick, he drafted the man they wanted in David Fischer.
However, with their next choice, the Habs were surprised that the smooth-skating Ben Maxwell was still there when their first of two second-round selections came around, having ranked him in the first round. Even though it was unexpected, there was no hesitation to add this playmaking center to the organization when it came time to announce the 49th pick of the draft.
Timmins thinks the Canadiens have a steal with Maxwell going to them in the second round “We like his skating upside, he’s a very cerebral player and very intelligent with the puck,” Timmins explained. “He can project to being a top-two center for the team. Anytime you can draft a potential top-two centre after the first round, it is a steal.”
With the high praise from the Habs management and scouts I was very interested to talk with Ben and see what he thinks about his overall development and the recent Canadiens development camp this past July.
HW – Which player was the most difficult to play against at the habs development camp?
Maxwell – That’s tough. There are too many good players in the Canadiens system to pick just one.
HW – Who do you most look forward to having an opportunity to playing with on the Habs?
Maxwell – Players like Koivu and Kovalev are guys I watched growing up. It would be fun to get on the ice with those types of players for sure.
HW – What current NHL player do you pattern your game after or try to play like?
Maxwell – No one in particular, I just try to play my game and be effective. I always loved watching Pavel Bure growing up though.
HW – What goals have you set for yourself in 07/08?
Maxwell – I’m not a huge personal goal setter, I’d just like to have a good year and hopefully earn my first contract with the habs.
HW – In your mind, what’s your biggest asset?
Maxwell – It has to be my skating, it’s a big part of my game.
HW – Were you happy to see the Habs trade for and sign Ryan Russell?
Maxwell – Yeah, he’s a good guy and has alot of skill. Hopefully we’ll end up playing together again down the road.
HW – What’s your greatest hockey memory?
Maxwell – So far, being drafted by the Habs in Vancouver, which is my hometown. I’ll never forget it.
HW – In your opinion, what do you think you need to work on to take your game to the NHL level?
Maxwell – (Laughs) Everything I think, I’ve got lots of work to do.
HW – What is the significance of your jersey number?
Maxwell – I’ve always worn 19 since I can remember. But 37 is starting to grow on me…..sort of. (Laughs)
HW – Were you told to work on any part of your game by the Canadiens staff?
Maxwell –They want me to improve all around, in every aspect.
HW – What is the first expensive thing your going to buy after signing your 1st NHL contract ?
Maxwell – Honestly, I dont really know. I just hope I can sign an NHL contract someday.
HW – How was your camp experience and who did you connect with the most?
Maxwell – Camp was a good time. It seemed like it was a tight group of guys in general, and everyone got along. I couldn’t really pick out one player specifically in such a short time.
Q – How do you like to spend your free time?
Maxwell – I’m down for anything from golfing, to boating, to playing guitar. I’m big on sports, but I also like to relax and hang out with friends.
Q – What is your favorite Music group/singer?
Maxwell – I don’t really have a favorite. Anything that sounds good.
Q – What is your favorite movie?
Maxwell – The Prestige.
Q – What is your favorite food?
Maxwell – Mexican.
Q – What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Maxwell – Not finishing something I started.
Q – What do your teammates tease you about the most?
Maxwell – (Laughs) Anything they can. That’s what junior hockey is about.
Q – Do you have a nickname?
Maxwell – Maxy
Q – Who was your favorite NHL team growing up?
Maxwell – The Habs, of course.
Q – What was your first hockey related christmas present?
Maxwell – I don’t really remember. Probably some street hockey stuff. I first learned to play hockey on the street.
Q – Are you superstitious, or do you have any pregame rituals?
Maxwell – No, I try to stay away from that stuff.
Q – If you didn’t play hockey, what would be your dream job?
Maxwell – Rockstar.
Q – Who is your best friend in hockey?
Maxwell – I don’t want to name just one and leave anyone out, but I’ve made several friends in hockey who are all important to me.