Standing 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman Shea Theodore definitely doesn't have any trouble getting on any amusement park rides. He does, however, look vertically challenged next to his defensive teammates such as 6-foot-6 Jared Hauf and 6-foot-7 Taylor Green.
"It's great playing with guys with that size," says the 17-year-old Theodore. "I'm not sure if they make me look small, but I definitely don't look big next to them."
Playing alongside towering blueliners has been to Theodore's benefit. His lanky linemates have opened up space and garnered some attention away from him.
"They make my job a bit easier," says Theodore. "Guys like The Twin Towers (Hauf and Green) are very big and physical. So they can throw bodies around and make big hits to pop out loose pucks. I think it gives me a bit more time to make offensive plays."
Theodore is poised for a breakout sophomore season in the Western Hockey League. He has already potted as many goals, four, in 16 games this year as he did in his entire 69-game season last year. He has added eight helpers to boot, putting him close to the top 10 in defenceman scoring.
"I didn't go into the season with a point that total I'd like to reach," says Theodore. "I decided I'm just going to play my game and take it one game at a time. I know the points will come as long as I keep on working hard."
The Aldergrove, B.C., native has received great praise as a top defenceman of the 2013 draft class. He was ranked as an A-list player by NHL's Central Scouting Service's preliminary rakings. To the delight of Theodore, he also elicited a comparison to Washington Capitals star Mike Green from Tyler Boldt, the WHL's manager of player development and recruitment.
"I look up to Green," says Theodore. "He's a player I try to play like. He's such an extremely talented offensive defenceman. It's great to be compared to someone like hm. But I think it is very generous. I have a lot of work to do."
Two years ago, Theodore never imagined he would be drawing the comparisons and posting the impressive stats he has been this year. He wasn't even sure whether he would make the Thunderbirds or play a second year of major midget hockey at 16.
"I didn't know for sure whether I'd make Seattle," says Theodore. "I kind of had a hunch, but I knew there was a chance I wouldn't crack their squad. It is great how things have played out."
1. How would you describe yourself as a player?
"I'm an offensive defenceman. I move the puck and try to make things happen. I'm also good in my own end. I try to smoothly transition the puck out of my own end."
2. What part of your game do you feel you need to work on the most?
"I think there is room to grow in every area. I want to continue to work on my defensive game. I want to be a player that is very good offensively, but defensively as well. It is important to make an impact at both ends of the ice."
3. A fellow B.C. native Mathew Barzal, who was the No. 1 pick of 2012 bantam draft, is expected to join the Thunderbirds next year. Did you know Barzal prior to Seattle drafting him?
"Now that he's a T-Bird, I talk to him quite a bit. Before the last bantam draft, I definitely knew of him. I knew he played for the Burnaby Winter Club and was a very good player. I also talked to him here and there. I'm excited for him to join the team next year."
4. Who's your favourite NHL team?
"I like the Vancouver Canucks. I grew up watching them in B.C. I used to go to like two games a year. It was always fun to see the best hockey players in the world."
5. What is your favourite movie or television show?
"My favourite movie is Warrior. It is full of action and excitement. I like those types of movies."
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen.