Vancouver Province article (Teubert throws it back to Fu Manchu)June 18 2008 at 7:31 AM
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Teubert throws it back to Fu Manchu
Hardrock D-man from White Rock who dislikes Euros ranked 13th overall
Ben Kuzma, The Province
Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Asked to explain his appeal as a projected first-round pick Friday in the NHL entry draft, Colten Teubert of White Rock sounded like a hardrock defenceman from the Fu-Manchu moustache era.
"There are so many offensive defencemen coming out, a player like me is harder to find," said the 18-year-old Regina Pats blueliner, who's ranked 13th overall by TSN. "You don't get rough-and-tough D-men any more and it's an advantage for me.
"I'm not a big, slow guy. I'm physical and I like to get in the forwards' faces and shut them down. And I can throw some offence in there, too."
For proof, flip the calendar back to the Canadian Hockey League's ADT Challenge Series last fall. In a 5-1 loss to the Russians on Nov. 28 at Cranbrook, Teubert ended the game with a thunderous check that sparked a melee.
"I finished my check and the buzzer hadn't gone and the Russian players are a bunch of babies -- they didn't like it," recalled the 6-foot-4, 185-pound blueliner. "They decided to slap us Canadian players and we basically had to beat the crap out of five of their guys on the ice.
"The ref was pretty lucky that I wasn't let loose. I wanted to kill that kid. I don't like European players when I'm playing against them."
Buoyed by Teubert's tenacity, the WHL all-stars rallied the next night in Medicine Hat, Alta., with a 4-1 win to give Canada a 4-2 series record. That effort, coupled with a solid WHL season and gold-medal effort at the under-18 world championship, solidified Teubert's ranking.
"He's big, strong and extremely intense and really tough," said one NHL scout. "He plays for keeps and makes it very difficult for opposing forwards to get comfortable. He makes you pay a price."
Added another NHL scout: "He's such a competitor and so intense. There's nobody better in this draft in that respect."
While some wonder what all the fuss is about -- Teubert can get into trouble when he tries to handle the puck too much -- there's no mistaking that the NHL needs stay-at-home blueliners to be paired with puck handlers.
"Everybody wants to have a physical guy who will create space for his own players," said an NHL scout. "Everybody has to be looking for those kind of guys."
Teubert had 26 points and 135 penalty minutes for the Pats last season.
At the NHL combine in May, there was an obvious curiosity about Teubert. Is he just a hot-head or a real leader? Is he unflappable or undisciplined?
"I had crazy questions because I'm all over the rankings," he recalled of the interview process with several teams. One was: 'What do you like? Hard liquor or beer?' I had to say beer because that's what everybody drinks, but I didn't know.
"Then they said: 'We think you play with a 2x4 [stick] on the ice and what are you thoughts?' I was like: 'Yeah, I play with a 2x4.' A lot of teams try to get under your skin and you've got to go with the flow."
Constantly challenged by older brother Kaid, 20, and younger brother Teran, 16, the foundation for competitiveness was laid at an early age.
"Oh yeah, for sure," chuckled Teubert. "I've kind of been battling with them my whole life. Whether it was street hockey, football or whatever, we always went at it."
Teubert's hockey career shifted to fast forward when he left Earl Marriott after Grade 8 to attend the hockey academy at South Delta. He was then selected first overall by the Pats in the 2005 WHL bantam draft.
"What makes Colten special is he truly has a passion to succeed," said Pats coach Curtis Hunt. "There are two kinds of people -- those who love to win and those who hate to lose. He's one of those hate-to-lose guys and it's a different mentality."
Teubert recently flew to Boston to be interviewed by the Bruins, who pick 16th, and has pre-draft interviews in Ottawa with Toronto and Florida.
Aside from his siblings, Teubert didn't have to look far for motivation. His minor hockey teammate and neighbour is tough winger Colton Gillies. He was selected 16th overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2007 entry draft.
"It's pretty weird," said Teubert. "Same first name, neighbours and we've been best buds since bantam."
And a good bet to be playing the NHL.
© The Vancouver Province 2008
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