Catching up with former Wildcat Justin Florek

Ray Bressette

Former NMU Wildcat captain Justin Florek is moving to the next stage of his professional career, as Florek signed with the NHL New York Islanders this past offseason. Florek, who played for NMU from 2008-12, has spent the last four seasons in the Boston Bruins organization, seeing time on the NHL level as well as playing with their AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins.
North Wind editor-in-chief Ray Bressette caught up with Florek to discuss his time since graduating from
You’ve spent the last four seasons with the Boston Bruins organization, the team that drafted you. How do you look back at your time with Providence and Boston, and what are your overall feelings about the team with them in your rear view mirror?

My time in Boston was a great experience. Although I wish I would have had more opportunities to play in the NHL, I think the chances I did have I made the most out of. Scoring my first NHL goal in LA and in the playoffs against the Red Wings were definitely memories I will never forget.
I am thankful for my time in Boston/Providence and it is where my wife Kylie and I started our family and our daughter was born.

Can you talk a little bit about your new organization, and what you’re looking forward to most playing with them?

As much as we enjoyed Boston, I want the opportunity to play in the NHL again, and I feel like the NY Islanders are a great fit for me. They are a great young team, and I feel like my style of play will fit well into their third and fourth lines when the opportunity presents itself.

How have you adapted to the professional level? Do you maintain contacts with people from your time at NMU?

Getting used to the professional lifestyle after college was a bit of a change, but I feel the people in my life made the transition easier. The coaching staff here at NMU prepared me very well and I am very grateful to have played here. I still stay in contact will all the current coaches here at NMU and even a few I had that have moved on.

Why do you choose to come back to Marquette every year?

Marquette was an amazing place for me to grow up and it played a major role in me coming to NMU. My wife and I grew up here and it is the reason we come back here in the offseason. The summers are amazing and the community is great.