When you’re a goal scorer like Jonny Brodzinski – who was remarkably consistent in tallying 22, 21 and 21 goals in his three seasons and 120 games at St. Cloud State – you’re often scoring goals in a variety of ways. There are the greasy goals, the breakaways, a shorthanded goal or two, and simple, hard wristshots from prime scoring areas.
Brodzinski, who signed with the Kings after the conclusion of his junior season at St. Cloud this past spring, also has a decent set of wheels that allows him to shoot off the rush and the awareness and hockey IQ that allow him to find clear spots on the ice.
“There were a few times this year where it has to be quick off your stick and I feel like that’s what separates guys,” the 22-year-old Minnesotan said.
There has been guidance from the club’s development staff, but much of the work he has put into his shot is nearly two decades in the making and relies on the influence of his family. His father, Mike, spent three productive seasons at St. Cloud, and his brother Michael (a 20-year-old San Jose draft pick) will be a junior at the University of Minnesota this fall, while another brother, Easton, 19, has committed to play for St. Cloud.
“As soon as I came here with the development crew, they shoot heavy pucks,” he said. “That’s obviously a big factor, but having three younger brothers and my dad coaching every single one of our teams growing up was also a huge factor. Skating four hours a day with my brothers, going to my practices and then my three brothers’ I’d just line up pucks on the opposite end and they’d be working on something, just shooting every, single day. So that was something big that my dad harped on too, just as a young kid he always said ‘You can develop speed and stuff like that, but your shot is something that you’ll always have.’”
Jonny Brodzinski, on when he was able to return to skating after his ankle injury:
It was kind of rough right away. I was out in Manchester for a while and then I got sent home with Lintu and Z. But finally after about 10 weeks I could start running and doing stuff like that. A tough process, but everyone who helped out did an amazing job.
Brodzinski, on how he feels in his first pro training camp:
It’s exciting. It’s something I always dreamed about as a kid. I’m just excited for the opportunity and I’m going to give it my all.
Brodzinski, on the choice to forgo his senior season at St. Cloud State:
Yeah, it was definitely the toughest decision of my life. Coming from a family that went to St. Cloud – my dad was an All-American for two years – so it’s extremely difficult decision, coach is one of my best buddies. It was a tough decision, but I knew it was the right one for me.
Brodzinski, on fellow Huskies Kevin Gravel and Nic Dowd easing his transition:
Exactly, especially the first couple development camps with Dowd and Gravs already going through it, so that was nice to make it a little bit more comfortable and kind of just get right into the swing of things.
Brodzinski, on his expectations for his first professional season at Ontario:
I have huge expectations. Obviously coming from the team last year, they won it all. So I don’t think we’re expecting anything less than that right now. That’s what we’re working for right now and I’m just excited to get the year started.
Brodzinski, on rehabbing with Manchester late in the 2014-15 season:
They’re an intense team. Obviously they weren’t expecting anything less than wins. If they won, it was excitement in the locker room. If they loss, it was yelling. That’s the type of coaches you have to have though to win championships. So, it’s all positive vibes.