“I get chills when I meet a former Canadian” -Jonathan Drouin

“I get chills when I meet a former Canadian” -Jonathan Drouin

UPGRADE DAY

Jonathan Drouin, who will wear his lucky number, 27, for the first time with the Canadiens, wanted to remind Michel Bergeron that he was born at the Sainte-Agathe Hospital, but that he lived in Huberdeau, a hidden treasure in the Laurentians near Tremblant.

Since February 17, he and his wife, Marie-Laurence, have been proud parents of a wonderful young boy, Jacob.

In September 2017, Jonathan pledged to make a personal donation of half a million to the Fondation du Center hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, or $50,000 annually, for ten years.

Your parents sacrificed their summer vacation for you.

I will always be grateful to my parents, Serge and Brigitte, who sacrificed their summer vacations to allow me to participate in various peewee and bantam hockey tournaments. They insisted that my brother, Maxime, and I have fun outside so as not to spend our time in front of video games.

You liked to practice summer sports in Huberdeau.

I cycled through the streets of Huberdeau to go to my sports activities, namely tennis, volleyball, softball and ball hockey.

You played tennis regularly.

After my lessons at school, we would eat at the snack bar in Huberdeau and then go play tennis for hours. In the winter, it was at the outdoor rink, practicing my favorite sport, hockey.

You still shiver when you meet a former Canadian.

< p> Former Canadian players allowed me to know the history of my youth team. I've read a lot of books about their careers, so they're hockey players I know.

Why did the CH become the favorite team of your youth?< /p>

I was barely 6 years old when my grandfather gave me an autographed photo of Guy Lafleur. When I had the chance to meet him and chat with Guy Lafleur, I was so happy, because he was my first idol.

Tell us about the first Canadian game you played in. assisted.

My dad had two tickets to the game. My eyes were wide open, as I couldn't help but stare at the retired jerseys hanging from the roof of the Bell Center. The music as the Canadiens players entered the ice was dynamic.

Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev were your favorite players.

I don't I didn't miss Canadian matches on television, because I wanted to see my favorite players, Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev, at work.

Which coach influenced your career at Huberdeau?

Without a doubt Benoit Beauchamp, who helped me so much to progress in hockey. His patience allowed me to realize my dream of playing in the NHL.

You worked at the white rock mine.

When I was 11, I worked for my father one summer. The following year, he decided that excelling in hockey and improving my studies were more important to me than working at the mine.

You participated in several hockey tournaments.

Thanks to the generosity of my parents, I participated in pee-wee and bantam tournaments in Boston, Toronto and Edmonton.

You told me that Hockey Quebec had helped you a lot.

I was part of the Quebec team at the Canada Games in Halifax, which allowed recruiters to Halifax to see me in action before they select me in the QMJHL draft.

Your move to Pierrefonds was difficult.

J played under Jon Goyens, who taught me so much about matching my skills to a game system. We spent a lot of time watching videos of the Detroit Red Wings.

You lived with your mother.

We moved to Pierrefonds and for the first time, I was away from my father. Luckily, he could attend our games.

Your parents took the 15 hour bus ride to see you play hockey.

At the junior level, I played in Halifax. My parents took the bus, and often the 15-hour trip was in terrible conditions, in a snowstorm, but they never complained.

How was your relationship with Nathan MacKinnon in Halifax?

Great. We shared so many beautiful moments. We were in the same class at school and when we weren't playing, we found things to do together.

You still play at the rink with young people.< /p>

Our residence in Montreal, with my son and my spouse, is near an outdoor skating rink. When the weather permits, I play with young people at the local ice rink. Sometimes even street hockey. At first, they were impressed to play with an NHL guy, however, today, they enjoy it.

Martin St-Louis and Sidney Crosby impressed you.< /strong>

Both, but not in the same way. The simplicity with which Martin welcomed me into the locker room is incredible. And on the rink with his legendary yellow stick in his hands, he came to see me to find out how my training camp was going.

As for Sidney Crosby?

I dreamed of being on an ice rink to play against him. I thought, “Wake up, because he won't let you win the face-off.” A few years later, after I asked Kris Letang, he showed up in our locker room with an autographed hockey for a young cancer patient.

Your spouse and son are important to you .

Jacob was born in February and I must admit that I never thought that a child could make me so happy. The smile of my spouse Marie-Laurence is always present to welcome me. She is a woman who always finds a way to encourage me in difficult times.

“I get chills when I meet a former Canadian” -Jonathan Drouin