Over the last couple days, I had an amazing opportunity to interview the Buffalo Sabres top prospect, and American Hockey League Affiliate Portland Pirates starting goaltender, Jhonas Enroth. Enroth played for Sodertalje Junior team, and represented team Sweden in the World Junior Hockey Championships before being drafted in the second round, 46th overall, by the Buffalo Sabres in 2006.
Here is the interview.
MARC- After being drafted out of Sweden by Buffalo back in the 2006 draft, have you noticed any change in the game play or speed from playing for Södertälje’s junior team, and now playing in the National and American Hockey Leagues?
JHONAS- Yeah, the biggest difference is the speed of the game. It is much higher in North America because of the smaller ice.
MARC- You're one of the smallest goalies in the league. What skills do you use to cancel out the disadvantage of your 5"10 build?
JHONAS- I'm trying to be a step before the shooter, I always try to be ready for a shot, doesn't matter where he is on the ice. And if he passes I always try to know where he is going to pass.
MARC- Last year, we saw Semyon Varlamov for the Capitals go in for the playoffs and play great, regardless of being inexperienced. Do you feel you're ready at any given time to be a starting goalie in the NHL?
JHONAS- I think I'm ready, I had better stats this year in the AHL than a lot of other goalies that played in the AHL and have been playing well in the NHL.
MARC- Ryan Miller is a great starting goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres and is on the United States Olympic team. Is there anything he has taught you through your time being on the ice with him?
JHONAS- I learn so much just to watch him, he is a great guy and is probably (one of the ) top three goalies in the NHL. And the way he prepare for games is very thoughtful.
MARC- On game day, what foods and drinks do you like to have?
JHONAS- I would like to have some rice and chicken before games.
MARC- Is there anything you would recommend not to consume?
JHONAS- I don't like the way junk food makes me feel, so I stay away from that kind of food before games.
MARC- Do you have anything special you do, like rituals, on game day?
JHONAS- Yeah, I have some rituals. Its just small things like put on right skate first and stuff like that, but its more a reflex I think.
MARC- What types of music or what bands do you listen to to get you pumped up for a big game?
JHONAS- I listen to all kind of music, it's a mix of everything almost.
MARC- You wear number "1", is there anything about that number that's special to you?
JHONAS- I have been wearing number 1 for four years now. And I like it, it's very classic. The trainer just gave me number one when I turned pro four years ago in Sweden and I haven't change my number since then.
Once again I'd like to thank Jhonas Enroth for taking time to answer these questions, and wish him luck for the upcoming hockey season!