This interview started when I was talking to Groenheyde about being CHL goaltender of the week and continued from there to get into his career. Hope you enjoy it. I will post the Vause interview sometime shortly as well.
Friday night is your last chance to see Groenheyde, Brad Hoban and Taylor Vause in WHL action at the Credit Union iPlex.
Jon Groenheyde Retrospective Interview (Download)
The above video is why Jon Groenheyde was calling some guys out this season. The man can throw!
It’s obviously a little bit different for Groenheyde to say goodbye to his time in Swift Current than it would be for guys like Hoban and Vause who have spent their whole careers here. The Broncos are Groenheyde’s third team. However, he has also played nearly 40% of his career games here. Mark Lamb was the first coach to 100% give Groenheyde the ball for a full season. After some early inconsistency with Swift Current, Groenheyde settled down and has since had a terrific 2012. His save percentage since January 1rst comes in at around the 0.914% mark and has him up over the 0.900% for the first time in his career.
The road to get to this point had some adversity Jon always overcame. He talks in the interview about all the teams that passed on him before Kamloops gave him a chance. A win and only allowing 2 goals against Tri-City was quite a way for him to make his WHL debut. He started a career with the Blazers that seemed to be progressing nicely. He went from 20 games as a rookie to 31 as a sophomore while raising his save percentage by 23 points.
Things took a turn for the worse early in his 19-year-old season as he went 1-5 with an 0.873 save percentage. The Blazers didn’t give him time to rebound and felt the need to shake things up. They sent Groenheyde to Edmonton for Cam Lanigan. It was deal that really worked out for the White Rock product. He jumped into a big role with an emerging Oil Kings club and was a significant help in pushing the team into the playoffs for the first time.
Groenheyde also got credit from Oil Kings GM Bob Green for being an important presence in their locker room and being a part of Laurent Brossoit’s development. However, Brossoit’s improvement meant Edmonton was able to hand him the reins this season and needed to find a place for the 20-year-old Groenheyde to play. When Steffen Soberg went back to Norway the Broncos became a perfect landing spot and everything came together for the Jordan Peddle deal. It certainly seems to have worked out for both teams.
Groenheyde’s highest game total before this season was 42. He gets up to 62 this season with a couple of more games to go. All that playing time his agreed with him as he has the best numbers of his career and has earned his only two WHL shut outs as a Bronco. He won his only CHL goalie of the week award with Swift Current as well.
Groenheyde is a fierce competitor who won’t guys take advantage of him in his “kitchen.” He battles every game and has been vital for the Broncos on and off the ice. He is also a very athletic netminder who has made some of the most spectacular saves I’ve seen all season. It’s too bad we don’t have better cameras at the Credit Union iPlex yet as otherwise he would have been all over the plays of the week lately.
I hope he gets a chance to continue his career one way or another.
Best of luck to Jon as he gets set for the two final games of his WHL career. There are over 2000 tickets sold for Fan Appreciation Night already and it should be a blast. A big part of that will be saluting guys like Groenheyde for all their hard work over extended WHL careers.