We recently caught up with Jeremy Grégoire of the Montreal Canadiens! He was drafted 176th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft! Before that, he played with both Chicoutimi and Baie-Comeau. Just a cool fact, his father Jean-Francois also played professional hockey! You can follow him on Twitter, @JayGreg32. You can also follow me, @HkyBlogger, and “like” us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog
As per usual, we are in bold.
Without further to do, here is our interview with Jeremy Gregoire!
How has your day been?
My day has been good. I left for the United States for a week long vacation. I had a huge month with the combines, the draft ,and my training so I’m glad to see my family for a small break.
What’s a day in the life of Jeremy Gregoire?
I am someone that loves to work out a lot so all week long I am in the gym and my schedule changes depending on the day. Usually, I go to the gym early in the morning for an off-ice training session and go back home after to eat and sleep. After a little dinner, I go back for an on-ice session. It’s like that 5 times a week.
What’s something people don’t know about you?
When I was a kid, I studied in an art school. We had piano and violin lessons every day. So I played these instruments for 6 years and I was getting pretty good at it. I’m still not bad.
Your dad played hockey professionally. What’s one thing you’ve learnt from him that gives you an advantage over other players?
Growing up seeing my dad play hockey made me realize very fast what a professional athlete needed to do to be successful, so when I started to play, I knew I had to work hard and practice to reach my goal. I may have improved a little faster when I was young because of that.
You were in the middle of a slump when you were traded from Chicoutimi Saguenéens to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. What’s it like when you first realize you’ve been traded?
At first, I was happy to have a chance to redeem myself after a bad start in Chicoutimi but leaving my friends in Chicoutimi, where I stayed for a year and a half, was the hardest part.
You played a much more disciplined game after being traded to the Drakkar. What has been the biggest change between Chicoutimi and Baie-Comeau in your opinion?
I think that the difference was in the way I approached the game. In Chicoutimi, I guess I put more pressure on myself, just because it’s my draft year. I was forcing plays and becoming frustrated. In Baie-Comeau, I just played to have fun, like I always did before, and the results were positive.
Would you say being traded was a turning point in the season?
It was definitely a turning point, the fact that I played the same style of hockey as the Drakkar helped me a lot through the second half of the season. It gave me the opportunity of being drafted even with a bad first half.
At the end of the season, how do you prepare for a grueling postseason?
I had meetings with the hockey staff in Baie-Comeau and training to prepare for the Combine. I enjoyed it a lot, now it’s time to relax a bit before the next season.
You represented Canada at the Ivan Hlinka U18, what was that like?
It was a very special event for me. It was my first time with the national team and we won the gold medal. Being part of a great team with the best players of the country was awesome and visiting Europe for the first time was a great experience.
At the Ivan Hlinka, you played mostly in a fourth line role; something you’re not familiar with, how did you adapt?
I liked it a lot actually, it made me discover another role and it made me a more complete player for the future. At the beginning, it was difficult to think only defence and concentrate on winning big face-offs, but after two games, I was playing a solid defensive game.
This is your draft year, if I was a GM, and I asked you why I should draft you, how would you reply?
I think that I’m a good two-way player who brings energy and leadership to a team. I can play the role the coach asks me whether it’s a defensive or offensive one.
Take us back to the draft, what was it like? Where were you and how is it like to be drafted by the Canadiens?
The time I spent in New Jersey was great. The draft is a unique event in a hockey player’s life. I was sitting with my family and the other players waiting for the draft to start and we could feel the crazy atmosphere. The New Jersey Devils fans were great, it was almost like a hockey game, they were so noisy. When I heard my name announced and realize that it was the Montreal Canadiens, I was so happy. Even if I wasn’t a Habs fan growing up, I always used to watch their games on the television and being a French-Canadian drafted by Montreal is a dream that a lot of people in Quebec would have love to realize. I am now proud to be part of the most decorated organization in the NHL.
The next part is more a rapid fire round. Don’t think, just answer.
Favourite team growing up?
I think I was the only Sens fan growing up in the Quebec province.
Favourite sport to watch that’s not hockey?
Golf, on a rainy afternoon!
Watch the movie or read the book?
Both…is that a good answer?
4 hour bus ride, how do you spend the time?
Music and homework is the way to do it.
Who should we interview next?
My Russian buddy in Baie-Comeau, Valentin Zykov
Do you have any advice for aspiring hockey players?
Be passionate for you sport, it’s a great sport that needs hard work and determination.
Thank you for your time.