Though the senior defenseman hasn’t scored a goal this season, the Mavs’ captain is one of the top point-producers among NCHC blueliners with 12 assists, one short of the career-high 13 he had last year. In 131 career games in a Mav sweater, Young has 10 goals and 48 assists with a plus-7 rating.
Q: Your hometown is listed as Calgary, but your hometown is actually Chestermere (Alberta). What was life like growing up there?
A: Chestermere is about 10 minutes east of Calgary, and I actually grew up on a farm maybe 10 minutes east of Chestermere. There’s a small-town feeling. It’s not like a Nebraska small town, but there were about 10,000 people there and it might be 15,000 now. We all grew up together and were in the same school system our whole lives. There were probably about 300 people in my class.
Q: What did you have on your farm and what kinds of responsibilities did you have growing up?
A: We had wheat, barley, 100 head of cattle, chickens and pigs — a large mixture of things. It was my uncle’s farm and my brother and I helped out with all the chores, and my dad did a lot, too. Whatever needed done. It seemed like we were always baling. My grandpa lived there, and my uncle was just off the land, maybe two or three minutes away. My parents have just moved into Calgary now.
Q: Did you like farm life?
A: Definitely. If I had the chance, that’s what I’d do. You can do your own thing. You have a lot of freedom and don’t have to deal with anything in the city.
Q: What are your earliest hockey memories?
A: I don’t remember a whole lot about getting started. I just remember my dad would take us down to a slough we had on the farm. He taught us all to skate there and I remember skating around and shooting around. That’s where it all started.
Q: Did you play any other sports growing up?
A: I played basically everything. I played football until my mom got scared and wanted me to just stick with hockey. I played volleyball and soccer, too. We actually played a lot of paintball. That was a pretty big deal. I was on kind of a recreational team in the city. Probably 10 to 15 kids from my class played. Eventually my family got into it, too.
Q: Did you have any hockey heroes growing up?
A: Not really. I liked watching (Joe) Sakic. I just liked the way he could shoot the puck without making it look fancy.
Q: Growing up near Calgary, were you a Flames fan?
A: I didn’t really have a team. Calgary was the easiest to follow, but they were never really good when we were growing up, so it wasn’t the easiest to watch them. We cheered for them when we could and when they went on their Cup run we cheered for them. But usually it wasn’t a big deal if they won or lost.
Q: How did you wind up at UNO?
A: UNO scouted me at a showcase and I played well and scored a couple of goals and they kept following me. It seems like every time they came to see me I scored a couple goals. UNO (when Mike Kemp was coaching) was the biggest recruiter I had, and the way Kemper talked about the team and the school … that was my first visit and I loved it. I didn’t bother thinking about any other options. This was where I wanted to go.