Every so often you meet someone who you know is going somewhere and you think to yourself, 'I'll be able to say I knew them on the way up.' I said that about one of my students once. I said it again after meeting James Reimer last weekend.
Reimer is a goaltending prospect for the Maple Leafs. He's quite a good goalie and has a bright future on the ice. But that's not the end of it. He has that special something that will draw people to him, inspire them. The kind of quality you find in a great coach.
Here's the Q&A I did with him for Hockey's Future. If he didn't have to catch a bus, I could have talked to him for an hour.
I'll go on record as saying that in 25 years, Reimer is coaching in the NHL. Most likely a goalie coach, but very possibly more than that. And he'll be an excellent one.
Photo of the back of Reimer's mask, featuring Ramona's Courage and an accompanying bible verse.