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Sunday, August 21, 2011

POE- Jordan Kawaguchi Q & A

Likely 1st round prospect Jordan Kawaguchi
 Entering the 2011-2012 season, it is thought that Jordan Kawaguchi has a very good shot at going in the first round and quite possibly in the top 10 picks.  The cousin of WHL former 6th overall bantam selection Devin Setoguchi, Jordan will look to mirror his cousins success which has led Devin to the NHL.

Starting back in your minor hockey days. Where did you play growing up and what were some of your favorite personal and team highlights?

I grew up playing minor hockey in Abbotsford. Some highlights that I remember are winning the league banner in my first year of atom playing A1. Another highlight was my 2nd year of Peewee when we played in the Regina Tournament and I scored 4 goals to put us into the finals. I came within a few points of winning the same MVP trophy that my cousin Devin Setoguchi had won at the same Peewee tournament. My latest highlight would be the Abbotsford win over Burnaby Winter Club in last year's Provincials, where I scored 2 goals, it felt good to be able to contribute to my team.

You split last season between the Abbotsford A2 and Abbotsford A1 teams, having success and both levels. How would you describe your rookie bantam season?
Not making the A1 team in my first year of Bantam was a big eye opener. It taught me that you can't take things for granted, you need work for everything you want. But playing A2 gave me a lot of confidence and experience in playing in every game situation. I think this allowed me to have success when I was called up to the A1 team.

Talk a little bit about playing for such a good summer hockey program with the Vancouver Selects Blue and how you feel this will help you moving forward this coming season?
The Vancouver Selects program is a top notch organization. I was lucky enough to be part of a great 1997 team that played all across the country against high level teams that played different styles of hockey. The coaching of Brad Bowen, Steve Potomak, John Craighead, and Cliff Ronning have given me a lot of tools to work with.

You have decided to leave Abbotsford and head to the Pursuit of Excellence hockey academy. What was the reason for leaving and joining POE and how do you feel this will benefit you moving forward?
Leaving Abbotsford was a hard decision to make, especially leaving a good program like the Fraser/Yale Hockey Academy. But when I was introduced to the Pursuit of Excellence, I liked their training program and felt that it would give me a jump start to my strength and conditioning. I feel sad that I'm leaving Abbotsford, but I feel as though I need a fresh start to my game.

You are the cousin of former WHL first round selection and star WHL Setoguchi who also plays in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild. How close are you guys and does he give you any pointers?
Yes, Devin Setoguchi is my cousin, I try to see him every time he comes to town when he plays the Canucks.Every summer my brothers and I go to his hockey camp in Alberta. He has been a very big role model for me.

Explain some of the weaknesses in your game that you would like to work on this coming season to be a high bantam selection? On the other hand, what are the strengths that set you apart from most players?
One of the biggest reasons for going to POE is the off ice training program. I want to get bigger and stronger. My favorite player in the NHL (besides Setoguchi) is Pavel Datsyuk. I try to model my game after him - great vision on the ice, an outstanding playmaker that can score goals.

What future hockey goals do you have set out for yourself and now do you hope to obtain these goals?
My biggest goal is to play in the NHL. Making some tough decisions such as going to POE and working hard, I feel will help me get to the next level which is the WHL Bantam Draft.

Finally, which players in your age group most impress you in overall hockey skill and character?
This question is hard to answer, since there are a lot of great players, each bringing something different to a team. Matthew Barzal, Noah Juulsen, Adam Musil, Darien Craighead, Matthew Bradley, Tyler Soy, Daniel Woolfenden, Tanner Browne, Justin Szeto, etc. ....all of these top notch players, I've been lucky enough to share the ice with.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jordan

How many did you score in the Provincial Championship Final against BWC?

BWC 6 Abby 3

Anonymous said...

I love these interviews. Unless you are at least 5'10 at draft time or have the potential to grow to at least that (AKA some height available from either parent) your chances to go first round or get drated at all greatly diminishes, especially if you are not incredibly speedy and shifty. Dream big!

Anonymous said...

Kawaguch and mcdonald should be sick

Anonymous said...

Jordan is one of the most talente playes in the 97 age group, unlike morrison at OHA Jordan will go to areas on theice and or for what he gets, he is tough on the puck and unselfish, much more of a Barzel type player, sees the ice well and uses his teamates