Taking Liberties With… Josh Holmstrom
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Position: Forward, Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)/Missouri Mavericks (ECHL)
Hometown: Colorado Springs
Last Amateur Team: University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Hockey East)
Youth Teams: Pikes Peak Tigers, Colorado Thunderbirds, Colorado Rampage
Colorado Rubber: What is your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Josh Holmstrom: My first few times skating at the old Broadmoor Arena before it got torn down. The ice was below the level the stands were on. To get on the ice as a four- or five-year-old, you had to crawl off the ledge and jump down two or three feet. I enjoyed going to the rink and learning to skate and play the game. I fell in love with doing that right off the bat.
CR: What is your favorite memory in the game since leaving Colorado?
JH: I got to play with my older brother, Ben, last season (in Bridgeport). That was the first time we got to play on the same team. That situation was a lot of fun, getting to spend time together. He is a couple years older than me and always was in the next age group up. We trained and skated together during the summers, but to be able to play together last year was a lot of fun. Not a lot of guys get to do that. The first time I was called up was right before Christmas, and my parents were flying out anyway, so they got to see the first game we played together.
CR: Who have been the biggest influences on you on and off the ice?
JH: My family. On the ice, I looked up to my brother because he was older. I saw what he did to be successful. At U15 and U16 my dad (Kevin) was a coach, so I had him pushing me. And my mom (Michelle) was always supporting us and getting us to and from the rinks. I would not be where I am without my family.
CR: What advice would you give young hockey players?
JH: Everybody’s path is different. Some guys make it to junior when they’re 16. I didn’t make it until I was 19. I tell them to continue to work hard and the rest takes care of itself. A lot of it is the attitude they bring to the rink.
CR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
JH: Growing up, I played baseball until I was 14. Now during the summer when I’m not training or skating, I like to play golf.
CR: Are there are any pieces of gear you’re particular about?
JH: As long as nothing’s broken, I’m pretty easy with my gear.
CR: What are essential items to take on a road trip?
JH: Usually my iPad and a pair of headphones. If there’s Wi-Fi on the bus, I can scroll through and look up different things. The headphones allow me to throw some music on if I don’t like the movie that’s playing.
CR: When you’re back in Colorado, do you have a favorite meal or restaurant?
JH: Anytime I’m back, it would be anything my mom cooks. A nice home-cooked meal just brings you back to when you grew up.
CR: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
JH: Joe Sakic. I watched the Avalanche when I was just getting into things, and he led the way on those championship teams. He was fun to watch.
CR: What is the most challenging aspect of playing pro hockey?
JH: It’s not quite as glamorous as it appears. It’s the same as everything else. Work in the morning and prepare yourself every day. Sometimes those bus trips get a little long. I love what I do and I enjoy going to the rink, so I’m fortunate to do what I do.
Photo/Puck Stopper Photography
– Compiled by Chris Bayee