Getting to Know Nolan Yonkman

Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 1:00 PM / News
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Getting to Know Nolan Yonkman
Nolan Yonkman was signed to a one-year contract by the Ducks in July, and the veteran is battling with several other defenseman for a coveted roster spot. \r\n\r\nThe 32-year-old has appeared in 601 American Hockey League games over a 12-year period, including 74 NHL games over the course of his career. No stranger to new teams and new surroundings, Yonkman entered Ducks camp with the same determination and mindset since being drafted by Washington in the second round (37th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
Nolan Yonkman was signed to a one-year contract by the Ducks in July, and the veteran is battling with several other defenseman for a coveted roster spot.

The 32-year-old has appeared in 601 American Hockey League games over a 12-year period, including 74 NHL games over the course of his career. No stranger to new teams and new surroundings, Yonkman entered Ducks camp with the same determination and mindset since being drafted by Washington in the second round (37th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

AnaheimDucks.com sat down with the big, bruising defenseman to talk about his experience at Ducks training camp.

How has camp and preseason gone so far?
It’s been going well. I’ve got four games and I’m keeping my game simple. I’m just trying to give them what they’re looking for.

How have you approached training camp this time around?
It’s always a fresh start when you come to a new team, and the different systems and the different ways of looking at things. You approach every training camp and you want to give it your all. You want to make a good first impression. Hopefully, I’ve been doing that here with the Ducks. You’re always working on things in the summer. You work on your weaknesses. And for a big guy, you want to always stay fast with today’s game. So you work on things like that, and hopefully it pays off.

Bruce called you a real “meat and potatoes” kind of guy. Is that how you’ve found success over the years?
I think so. That’s been my whole career. I do things hard and you have to be able to play hard without taking penalties. In today’s game, that’s very key for bigger players. If that’s meat and potatoes, I’ll fill that role no problem.

You have history with all three coaches (Boudreau, Brad Lauer, and Bob Woods). Does it feel like you’ve come full circle?
I had Woody and Bruce for six games in Hershey the one year when I played for the Capitals in ‘05-06. I saw a little stint with them, and that’s kind of where I first met them. After I left Washington, I moved to Nashville’s organization where Brad Lauer coached me in Milwaukee. I got to know all three. You’re right. It’s funny how the hockey world turns around on its stuff.

Have you given any words of wisdom to some of the younger guys here? Shea Theodore (Ducks’ 2013 first-round pick) said you’re a guy he’s looked up to during camp.
I know we got to play a few games together. And if I can help him out, that only makes our game a lot easier. Essentially, you want them to do well. Even though you’re competing, you’re still partners out there. You want to play the game the right way. Seeing those guys develop and do well is all part of it. I guess me being in the American league, it’s part of our role, too, for developing the young guys.

You showed off your offensive prowess when you ripped a slap shot into the back of the net during the September 16 game against the Coyotes at Honda Center. Can we expect more shorthanded goals from you in the future?
You never know. In four-on-four, I hit the post the other night. So, I guess I’ve been having a few bounces more than usual, and that’s good. Maybe it’s Reebok’s new sticks.

You’re a veteran guy who’s spent 12 years in the American Hockey League. Are you still having fun here?
I am. Great bunch of guys. I got to know the coaches already, so that’s company to a comfortable environment. You try to come to camp and approach it with every day in mind, and wanting to be here every day. That’s what way I’ve been looking at it. Essentially, taking it one day at a time. It’s kind of cliché, but building off of that and making good impressions and doing the right things.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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