On Friday, the Capitals signed prospect Shane Gersich to a two-year entry-level contract. Gersich immediately joined the team in Montreal for dinner on Friday night, and participated in Saturday’s morning skate.
Following morning skate, Gersich spoke to the media about his decision to leave the University of North Dakota early and turn pro.
“You give it a little bit of thought and you weigh your options,” Gersich said. “But at the end of the day, I wanted to be a pro hockey player. That was my dream when I went to North Dakota. So, I thought I’d take that opportunity.”
The full transcription follows below.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 24, 2018
On deciding to join the Capitals.
Shane Gersich: “Obviously, it’s been really exciting. I had a decision to make there after the year and got it done pretty quick. I’m excited to be here.”
What went into the decision to turn pro.
Shane Gersich: “I think, for me, getting the chance to come right up here was a big part of it. I thought if I got to do that, then it would be a great opportunity.”
Did he think about staying at North Dakota to get his degree?
Shane Gersich: “You give it a little bit of thought and you weigh your options. But at the end of the day, I wanted to be a pro hockey player. That was my dream when I went to North Dakota. So, I thought I’d take that opportunity.”
What he is hoping to get out of this experience.
Shane Gersich: “I think you just try to integrate yourself in the group. Get comfortable with the guys and learn the systems, and just always be ready to go. You never know when you’re going to get in.”
Was it surreal going from campus to skating with Alex Ovechkin?
Shane Gersich: “It was crazy. It’s a dream come true, that’s for sure. I know it was just morning skate, but it was really cool. I’m excited to get things going.”
On getting morning skates over practices due to the schedule.
Shane Gersich: “It’s not practice or games, but it’s nice to just get out there and put that jersey on for the first time. The guys have been great on the off days, with hanging out and stuff.”
What his first exposure to the NHL has been like.
Shane Gersich: “You don’t go to training camp when you’re in college. It’s kind of my first taste of what it’s like to be with the big group. The guys have been really great so far. I went out to dinner with a few of them last night. [TJ] Oshie, in particular, with his North Dakota roots, he’s been great.”
On whether TJ Oshie give him any advice.
Shane Gersich: “No, he’s just been there, been talking, just normal. Nothing too crazy, just being a good friend.”
Is he thinking about his first NHL game?
Shane Gersich: “Obviously you think about it, but you just take it day by day and go from there.”
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