Quotes have been edited for clarity and brevity.
What was your biggest influence for getting into hockey?
I’d say my biggest influence was my dad. I never really played any other sports — it was just hockey.
There were a couple of other schools in the mix, but BU has a track record of bringing guys and putting them in a good position to play pro hockey in the NHL, and that’s my ultimate goal.
Who was your favorite player growing up?
What is your favorite hockey memory?
A more recent one was the Men’s World Championship. It was really cool going to Finland and getting a taste of playing against older guys.
You were fortunate to have a great first year, but why should fans be excited for this season?
Everyone who saw us last year knew we had a good team, but we’re even more excited this year. We got a little bit better, we know what it takes to get to where we were, and we’re going to hopefully do everything over again — just a little bit better.
Looking at the upcoming season, what are your goals for yourself and the team?
We want to win a Beanpot, Hockey East regular season, Hockey East playoffs, and then obviously go to the national championship and take care of business. For myself, I just want to be a leader for the team and help in any way I can to achieve our team goals.
You were named one of four assistant captains this season. What does that mean to you?
I was definitely surprised. It means a lot for my teammates and coaches to have trust in me to be a part of the leadership group. Letters aside, we have lots of leaders in our locker room, and we’re going to have a special year and special group.
A ton of exciting matchups this season, but which one are you most looking forward to?
Obviously any game at TD Garden is going to be a good game. Whether it’s the Beanpot or Hockey East playoffs, those games are always ones to look forward to.
Your friend Logan Cooley got some heat for going back on his decision to stay at the University of Minnesota for his sophomore year. A lot of people thought you might also sign an NHL contract after last season. What went into your decision to return this year?
For myself, it’s getting that taste of winning with this team. To get so close to winning a national championship and not being able to do it stinks. I definitely want another crack at that. Personally, I want to get bigger and stronger, but everyone’s path is different. For Cools, I don’t think he needed another year. He’s an amazing player and a really good friend of mine.
You had a busy offseason — traveling to the IIHF Men’s World Championship, Montreal Canadiens Development Camp, and Biosteel NHL Camp. Did you find any time to relax?
Right after the season I took a little break, and then it was right to Men’s Worlds. Just taking little breaks at a time, but not having breaks is always a good thing.
Who was the coolest person you met at Biosteel?
Probably Sidney Crosby and Cale Makar — two really good players and they’re great guys, too.
What did you focus on this offseason, and how do you feel entering this season?
Obviously getting bigger, faster, stronger — all those. Just knowing what it takes to play a full college season and getting ready in any way I can.
Who on the team do you see working hard but does not get the recognition for it?
There’s a couple of guys. I’m gonna say a guy like Nick Zabaneh, Devin Kaplan, my brother. Those are three guys who I think put in the work but kind of fly under the radar, and they’re a really big part of our team.
Who is hitting the 10-goal mark first this season, you or Quinn?
It’s probably going to be Quinn. Really gifted shot, and yeah, he can get 10.
What is something that nobody knows about Quinn?
He’s pretty funny. He doesn’t seem like a funny guy, but he actually is pretty funny. Don’t tell him that.
Who has been the toughest player to face in Hockey East?
A couple of guys I didn’t like playing against were Trevor Kuntar and Nikita Nesterenko from Boston College. Kuntar’s hard to play against. He gave me a tough time. Both of those guys got up in my grill, but they’re good players.
How do you spend an off day, and do you have any Boston food recommendations?
I don’t do too much on off days. Just kind of try to recover, but one restaurant that I found out about last year from Luke Tuch is Grill 23. Pretty nice restaurant. Really good.
If you could have dinner with one celebrity, who would it be?
Probably Michael Jordan. He’s awesome.
Besides playing in the NHL, what would your dream job be?
I mean it has to be with hockey, so hockey coach, GM, any of that. That would be cool.
And then lastly, how far is this team going this season?
We’re going all the way this year. Obviously the work starts now, but that’s always the goal.