Recently I was able to obstruct New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac long enough to ask him a few questions about life off the ice as an NHL player. Zajac is a 22-year-old center from Winnipeg, Manitoba, in his second full season with New Jersey after they selected him in the first round (20th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Zajac played two seasons at the University of North Dakota (2004-2006) and following the completion of his sophomore season, he joined the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany for two games. After the summer of ‘06 he made the team out of training camp, then scored his first NHL goal in his second game (October 7, 2006 in Dallas) and he wound up playing in 80 of New Jersey’s 82 games that season as a rookie. Currently, in 128 NHL games, he has scored 68 points (28g-40a) and has been a constant on the Devils’ second scoring line, mostly alongside his best friend and fellow UND alum Zach Parise. Since the calendar has turned to 2008, Zajac has picked up his scoring pace and has 11 points (6g-5a) in his last 10 games, including points in four straight games. So who is Travis Zajac off the ice? Read on:
Dan Rice: Who’s been the best roommate that you’ve had so far?
Travis Zajac: I’ve only had a couple, but I’d have to say Zach Parise, who’s my roommate now. (Smiling) He’s my favorite roommate just because he’s easy to beat in cribbage.
DR: Favorite NHL city that you’ve played in?
DR: What kind of music is on your iPod these days?
TZ: A lot of country — Dirk Spantley and George Strait are two of my favorite country singers.
DR: What has been your best hockey memory so far?
TZ: I’d have to say going to the Frozen Four (while at the University of North Dakota in his freshman and sophomore seasons) in college was pretty amazing.
DR: Favorite TV Show?
DR: Nice. It stinks that it’s not on right now because of the writer’s strike in Hollywood.
TZ: I know it’s killing me.
DR: Favorite Movie?
TZ: Pool Hall Junkies
DR: Who would you say is the biggest prankster on the team?
TZ: John Madden, without a doubt.
DR: Any superstitions?
TZ: Not really, I have more of a routine. I like to get a couple of games of cribbage in before each (hockey) game.
DR: Best friend in the NHL?
TZ: Zach Parise
DR: Favorite team outside of hockey?
TZ: I’d have to say I’m a New England Patriots fan now, watching them the last couple of years, that’d be my favorite team to watch.
I hope everyone enjoyed learning more about Travis Zajac and if there is a player you’d like to read about in a future column or have a question you want asked, let me know:
Dan Rice covers the New Jersey Devils & NHL for NYCSportsnetwork.com & contributes to MaxHockey.com as well as IslesNation.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.