Drew MacFarlane: For some it might be hard to recall, but do you remember the first time you got to put on skates, or the first time stepping out on the ice to play?
Nick Granger: I actually do remember the first time I ever played in a game. I was a mite and my dad forgot to take off my skate guards so I stepped onto the ice and fell right on my butt. I kept trying to skate with no success. It was probably the most embarrassing moment for me playing hockey so thankfully I got that out of the way pretty quickly.
DM: Growing up, did you have a favorite place to play, or a favorite team that you played on, be it high school or travel?
NG: I didn’t worry about what teams I played on growing up; the only thing that mattered to me was how I progressed as a hockey player. I think my favorite place to play was my very own driveway. It was at home with roller blades on everyday, after school, and on the weekends where I learned to hone my skills. I always felt comfortable at my own house, so I owe a lot of skill work to what I did at home.
DM: At what point when you were applying to colleges did you finally set your mind on coming to Tallahassee for Florida State?
NG: It actually took me awhile to decide on a school I wanted to go to. I was indifferent on what I was going to major in, so I really couldn’t choose a school according to that. It wasn’t until I toured my final two schools that I realized that Florida State was a better fit for me to continue my education.
DM: What was it like, moving 8-hours away from West Palm Beach and coming to Tallahassee as a freshman and having to embrace an entirely new city?
NG: -It was definitely weird the first week I was here because it all seems so overwhelming when you get dropped into a new place for the first time, but once I got my normal routine going the transition wasn’t that difficult at all. It was easy for me to figure out where everything was in the city, so it was nice not looking like a total freshman with my nose in the map all the time.
DM: You and I know that this team doesn’t get the most publicity, but do you remember exactly how you heard about the hockey team?
NG: When I was deciding on schools I made sure to look up the hockey teams that each school had. Just by doing a bit of research I saw that FSU had an ice hockey team, but for me, my education is more important and I would’ve chose FSU just for the education, but once I saw we had a hockey team I knew the choice was clear.
DM: A lot of times meeting new people and introductions can be painfully awkward. Can you remember the first person you talked to or made conversation with during the weekend of tryouts?
NG: -Tryouts were a bit of a blur for me unfortunately because they went by so quickly, but I do remember sitting next to Anthony Bartos before the first tryout of the year. I just remember asking him where he was from and I was surprised to learn that we had out-of-state players trying out for the team, being that he was from New Jersey. He’s a quiet person in general so it quickly became awkward because I had no idea what else to talk about with him.
DM: Now, it’s rarely seen that a freshman comes in and takes a team by storm, something both you and Charles Bonani did. What was it like playing power play, penalty kill, even strength, all only a few weeks after joining the team with more than a few vets?
NG: Being a big part of the team is always something I experienced growing up, so playing the special teams and getting big minutes was nothing new to me when I came to Florida State. I’m a competitor and I like making a difference, so I felt right at home when I was on the ice a lot trying to win us games this past season.
DM: You and Charles both ended the season with 11 points in 17 games, any coincidence? Or just some good ole line mate voodoo?
NG: -I would first like to say that I do not trust those stats because I’m positive that I finished with more than 11 points and definitely more than my linemate Charles [laughs], but if those stats hold true it’s no surprise to me. Hockey’s a team game and you need chemistry to be successful. I’ve been playing with Charles since I was 9 years old, so it’s no wonder that we work together so well as we understand each other’s tendencies.
DM: Rumor has it you played defense in high school, but you made the forward group out of camp, then shifted back midway through the year. What caused the shakeup?
NG: Like I said earlier, I enjoy making a difference in a game. We were in a pretty bad slump and we needed a major shake up to get us outta the funk, so I thought it would be better if I played the position I was always used to playing. It served pretty well because we played pretty well during games when I was playing defense.
DM: When you come back in the fall you’ll be a sophomore and going into your second year with the team. If you had to name one thing you’re looking forward to next season, what would it be?
NG: Definitely the Savannah Classic. We came so close to winning the tournament last year and I’m dying to get back there to beat [UF] and bring back the Thrasher Cup to where it rightfully belongs.
DM: Alright, enough with the hard questions. Let’s do some rapid fire Q’s, just some one or two-word answers. Ready?
NG: I’m always ready. Let’s do it
DM: Last movie you watched?
NG: Ex Machina
DM: Any pets?
NG: Two little dachshunds named Rufus and Gunner
DM: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
NG: I play classical piano
DM: Take out your phone and press shuffle in your music. What’s the first song that comes up?
NG: Touch the Sky by Kanye West
DM: If you were in a movie, who would be the actor that played you?
NG: An awkward Steve Carell