The 6’2” power forward was originally drafted 61st overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2007. After two seasons with the Kings he came over to the Flyers as part of trade that sent former Flyer captain Mike Richards to LA. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, Simmonds immediately established himself as a top six forward. Some people say that Simmonds is the “proto-typical Flyer” with his ability to score those “greasy” goals, hit, and fight. In his first year with the Flyers, Simmonds registered a career-high 28 goals. Now in his third year with the Flyers, Simmonds is enjoying the best season of his young NHL career.
* WHAT IT IS LIKE PLAYING FOR CRAIG BERUBE, AS OPPOSED TO PETER LAVIOTLETTE?
I think that we changed our system up a little bit. Our forecheck changed I think and its allowed to play from above the puck a little bit more. We are getting back into our zone, and the forwards are getting back more to help the D. It’s been awesome for us; as a result I have just been creating more offensive opportunities by playing defense.
* WHO WAS YOUR IDOL GROWING UP?
Growing up my first favorite hockey player was Sergei Fedorov. That was when I was really young. When I got older I started to emulate Jarome Iginla. I loved the way he played the game. I think he is definitely one of the players I try to model my game after. He is a hard-nosed, physically guy. He doesn’t take any stuff from anybody and definitely wants to put the puck in the net. He has been a great player in this league, future Hall of Famer.
* I NOTICED THAT YOU PLAYED WITH HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS HERE AT THE WELLS FARGO CENTER NOT TOO LONG AGO. HOW WAS THAT?
It was pretty cool. I remember growing up me and my cousin we would always stay up probably until four in the morning when we were young on the weekends. Sometimes we’d be lucky to catch a Harlem Globetrotter game. They would come on around 2, 2:30 in the morning and we’d watch it. To get an opportunity to play with those guys was awesome.
* WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORT OUTSIDE OF HOCKEY
Basketball, I played it growing up.
* DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TEAM?
Not really. Obviously I’m from Toronto so I’m going to say the Raptors, but they haven’t been the greatest for the last little bit, but there doing a great job this year.
* WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO DURING THE OFFSEASON, APART FROM TRAINING FOR THE NEXT SEASON?
I’m just relaxing. Obviously being away from my family it’s nice to be home in the summer time and see my parents and nieces and nephews. Take a little bit of time for myself sometimes.
* HOW WOULD YOU GRADE YOUR PERFORMANCE SO FAR THIS SEASON?
I think I’ve played pretty well. I have been more consistent this year then I have over the past two. I can’t really rank myself. There is always room to improve not matter what you’re doing. I’m definitely going to continue to try and improve every game as we go along here.