1-On-1 with Conor Geekie, Matty Villalta, Steven Kampfer and Josh Doan

We caught up with Tucson Roadrunners Forwards Conor Geekie and Josh Doan, Goalie Matt Villalta, and Captain Steven Kampfer as the season ended. For more from these players and Roster Rapid Fire with Head Coach Steve Potvin and a special appearance in the car from Curtis Douglas, download this week’s podcast below.

Listen to “Rapid Fire With Potsy And A Special Guest” on Spreaker.


You just got your first two professional games in the form of two high stakes playoff games. What did you think of it all?

I think it was a lot of fun. Obviously, we’re bummed out, you want it to go on longer, kind of get more experience and obviously get used to the guys a little more, but they welcomed me with open arms and I can’t thank them enough. I think there is a big summer ahead here, so we’re just looking to take advantage of the time off.

Quite the season for you, two different WHL teams, an AHL stint. What areas are you going to work on this summer to be ready for the next season?

I think it’s going to be a lot of strength-based training. Getting a little bigger, a little stronger, obviously working on the speed set of things, stuff like that, and obviously your cliche on-ice stuff. I think it’s going to be a big year in the gym again, and hopefully I’m done growing into my body and I can put on some weight and put on some muscle.


It was a big year for you, thrusted into that starting role, an all-star appearance and most wins and most starts in team history. What did you think?

I think to start off on the first note, it’s a tough way to go out and obviously we do have a great group here in Tucson, all the guys, the coaching staff, the whole organization. It’s top notch, and they put a lot of work in this year to work for where we got to, and just unfortunately it didn’t go how we planned it. All we can do is get back to work and make sure we’re getting better this summer; stronger; mentally, physically and we’re going to be ready for our next opportunity. I touched based on the year personally, I’m very thankful and grateful for the opportunity the Coyotes and the Roadrunners gave me, and for the coaching staff and all the boys and everyone to trust me, and just allow me to be myself and to do my thing was unbelievable. It’s by far the most fun I’ve ever had in my five years pro now and it was just a great group. Obviously, there was a lot of team success in the regular season. Usually when there’s a lot of team success, personal goals are going to be met, and I’m just lucky to be a small part of the successes we had in the regular season. I can’t be more thankful for the opportunity here in Arizona.


What was your message to the young guys on the team this season?

I think they’re all bright young players. I think we showed that throughout the course of the year, and the amount of call-ups that we had, and guys playing games and guys playing the first games and going up and playing meaningful minutes up there for the Coyotes. So the message is “it’s a day by day process.” It’s making sure that when push comes to shove, that you’re ready for every moment. I think those guys have relished the opportunity down here and up there. To go up there and play and make themselves full-time NHL players. So I think it’s a good learning curve for everybody. It’s a good learning curve for the guys that are trying to figure it out right now. They’re at the point in careers where guys are figuring out things. Where they’re at in terms of contracts and stuff, or where their next spot’s going to be. But I think what everybody can take away from this year is; how hard they worked, and how they matured as players and as people. Everybody on this team has, you know, got a special place in my heart.

Every offseason is always room to grow and get better. What’s your goal for the off-season?

First and foremost, just get healthy. I think, like you said, there were a lot of injuries this year. It’s just taking care of the body, but I think it’s getting back, getting healthy, spending some time with family that you kind of missed out on this year. So making sure that you’re kind of tuning back into that now but, it’s getting better for another year. It’s getting ready for the next opportunity and making sure that when the time comes, you’re ready for it.


Last season you came late after college and played 14 regular season games and into the playoffs, what’s going to change between this summer and last summer?

I think this one might even be bigger than last year. Obviously, it’s one of those things where I had a step to prove I could play pro hockey, and now there’s a little bit of belief that I can play at the NHL level every given night. That’s gonna be the focal point; preparing myself and preparing my body to play 82 games at the highest level. It’s one of those things where I have the right people in my corner to help me and guide me through the summer and a lot of people that I trust that I train with. It’ll be a fun summer and one that I’m looking forward to.