Jordan Samuels-Thomas

On takeaways from the season
The season was great, obviously we really came together in the regular season after a tough start. There’s so many bright spots, but I think probably the fans and the support we got middle to the end of the year with sellouts, and close to. I think it’s exciting, I think it shows guys the passion that the community has for the team and I think it made it really easy for guys to go out and give it their all.

On the special bond between the players and the fans
The weather is beautiful here, it’s a good spot to cool off, but I’m not really sure what it is. I’ve played in a few different cities, and it’s just different here. I think it’s definitely a testament to the front office staff, they do a great job reaching out to the community and the community responds. I think that’s huge. I think when you have a good product that does well, the team was winning this year and I think anyone can get behind a winner.

On his season
I just try to go out there and lead by example. By working hard, I think that any person whether you know hockey or not, you can see hard work, you can see passion, and I try to bring that every night. I think the team did that every night, even into the playoffs. We weren’t at full strength, and we did that. For me, I just want to go out there and work hard. I know a lot of people work hard to get tickets and come to games, and the least you can do is do the same for them. For me, it’s doing it for the guys and appreciating the opportunity you have in front of you.

On finding a home here in San Diego
I definitely did. Obviously on the ice it’s great with the coaching staff and the guys, but getting out in the community and being a part of that it was huge. For me and my wife to come out here, to be accepted by the community in the way that we were and be able to be a part and help out the community, it was huge. Like I said, it’s easy to go out there and sacrifice, whether it’s on ice or off the ice, when you have a good partner in San Diego. San Diego is great with the team and I think the team, same way, was great for San Diego.

On his exit interview with the coaching staff
It was good. The year was good, and I’m sure there were a lot of real positive exit meetings there. Just things to work on. But obviously it was a special year, the team improved upon a great first year, and I think that’s going to be the backbone moving forward. Just keep on improving. It’s only the second year back and I think there’s a lot of success, I think there is another step that can be taken next year, and I think all the guys that will be back here next year will work hard to do that.

On playing in Southern California
Oh, I love the Pacific Division. Playing in Rochester the year before I came out to (California), it’s completely different. It’s a lot easier to come to the rink. You’re smiling all the time with the weather and stuff. Like I said, I love it here in So Cal and in San Diego, and it’s even a step more than what I had the year before. It’s great and it’s easy to come out and work hard especially in a city like this.