Jonathan Toews stands tall with confidence, but despite being named captain at the wee age of twenty and having five years of experience at the helm, he is soft spoken in person. Although he speaks so quietly and you might almost think he is shy, he does understand the depth of his talent. Captain Serious not only serves as an example for his team, but for the entire NHL.
RK: As the winner of the Selke Trophy last year, how did you become the player you are today, who can be so dangerous on the ice when it comes to scoring, yet you can get back to help out the team to limit your opponent’s chances to score?
JT: I have always worked on my offensive ability, and I pride myself in being able to score goals. The competitive edge in me takes over, and it has helped me be a strong defensive player. I want to be a guy that can be relied upon to kill penalties, win big draws, and be on the ice late in the game when the team is protecting the lead. Those types of situations are ones I like to be in, and having pride in every detail is what, perhaps, has earned me that reputation.
RK: Some players are considered niche players and are good at one particular aspect of the game. There are the guys who only takes face-offs, or the guys who are known for body-checking or shot-blocking, others are said to have sick stick-handling skills and can put the puck in the net. Yet others are wise leaders in the locker room. You, however, fall in this unique category they call “versatile.” You mentioned how much you pride yourself in every detail; HOW exactly did you hone all of these skills?
JT: I wouldn’t say it was I who did it all. In the past, my coaches have always stressed being a complete player and playing two-way hockey. If some days, things aren’t going well for you offensively, you tend to focus more on that and forget about the rest. However for me, and what makes me a good player is playing well on all parts of the rink and when that’s happening, I tend to get those offensive chances more often. That’s what I focus on, which is what keeps me motivated.
RK: Who are some other players in the NHL that you would consider “versatile?”
JT: Hmmm…there are a lot of them! Last year, I was honored to go up against Pavel Datsyuk and Patrice Bergeron for the Selke Trophy. They are always amazing and tough to play against, whenever we have a chance to play against Detroit and Boston.