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Q & A with A.J. Jenks

2015-16 Sher-wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week Q&A
A.J. Jenks – November 9-15

ECHL: Last year you split your season between the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL and the Toledo Walleye in the ECHL, your current team. The Walleye had a record setting turn-around season and won the Brabham Cup. What was it like to be a part of such a successful squad in Toledo? What does it mean to be back in front of the same fans this season?
A.J. Jenks: It was a fantastic experience being a part of the special season we had last year in Toledo. We set so many franchise records, won our division and also the Brabham Cup. We came up short of our ultimate goal, but the entire process was amazing and something I won’t soon forget. The success we enjoyed as a team last year has us ecstatic to try to better our success this season, and the incredible fan support we are so fortunate to have in Toledo is another huge reason we are looking forward to continued team success this season.

ECHL: What’s the vibe in the Walleye locker room and what do you want the fans to know about your (team) goals for the season?
AJ: There are many ways to describe our locker room vibe. We are a very tight knit group that is eager and hungry. Our team works hard and we pride ourselves on being relentless and extremely detailed. It makes it a very fun and exciting team to be a part of. As far as our team goals, our fans should know that we take a lot of pride in our efforts and that we want to always be progressing and getting better, working towards being a championship caliber team.

ECHL: In the past week, you had four goals and three assists in three games. To what do you credit such strong performances?
AJ: It’s really tough for me to point out any real specific things to credit a strong weekend production-wise. Our coaching staff works tirelessly to prepare us for every game, and has provided our team with so many useful resources that help us be our best every day. It makes our jobs much easier. We also have such a talented and hungry team, and every time you’re on the ice you have a chance to produce. It worked well for me this week but my personal success is more of a testament to our team than it is to me.

ECHL: What are your interests/passions outside of hockey?
AJ: I have many passions in life outside of hockey. My main passions are the outdoors and spending time with family. Family, friends, hunting, fishing and my bloodhounds keep me happy away from the rink.

ECHL: Looking back on your career to this point, what has been your proudest ‘hockey moment’ so far?
AJ: Without a doubt, the highlight of my hockey career was winning the gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships. Beating Canada on their turf, after they won I think 6 golds in a row, was surreal. Something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.