“For a smaller guy at 5’7” you can expect some big plays,” Coach Jerome Bechard has said of center Jonathan Turk. “He’s certainly not what you’d expect.”
Tough under pressure, Jonathan doesn’t let anything that a player might face in his first pro year affect his game. He uses the crowd to feed off of for momentum if he needs to. Nothing complex, Turk is an easy going guy. He’s soft-spoken, confident, and a little shy too – quick with a smile but genuinely nice.
Incidentally, it’s Jonathan that has the lone goal scored here by the home team against an opponent. Expect big things from Jonathan, and rest of the Snakes this year. Read further and you’ll see why Turk’s a little rookie with a big game…
The Sin Bin: So Jonathan, this is your first pro season right?
Jonathan Turk: Yes, it is. (What you can’t see is the huge smile on his face)
TSB: So, the famed question…why play hockey?
JT: I don’t know. Growing up in Canada, having ice always available to you…just being able to get out there. That’s what everyone does when they are little. So I just kinda stuck with it.
TSB: What is a game day ritual, or prep like for you, before the game?
JT: My big thing is to eat as much food as I can, and then sleep for as long as I can.
TSB: Anything specific, carb load, or just whatever?
JT: Usually just pasta and chicken. At school it was whatever the team gave us. But, that’s what I’ve been going with since I’ve been here.
TSB: So nothing strict like some of your teammates?
JT: Not really, I want to sleep as long as possible and eat around the same time and make sure that it’s digested in time.
TSB: Pre-game prep when you get into the rink. Do you do anything specific?
JT: I tape my sticks, sit there, kinda hang out. After coach comes in and talks, I’ll go warm up, loosen my body. I try and keep it pretty light, don’t want to get stuck on anything. Don’t think too much about it.
TSB: Any butterflies? Wait, let’s talk about your first game. How was that?
JT: First game was pretty cool. Didn’t really know what to expect. But, really, no. I was definitely nervous in our first exhibition game because I really didn’t know what to expect.
TSB: So, you’re a few games in, how is it for you now?
JT: I feel comfortable out there, I feel good.
TSB: Anything that goes through your mind during a game? Specifically what to correct for next shift etc?
JT: If I make a mistake, just know what to fix. Or just flush it and don’t do it again. If I’m doing something good, just talk to my linemates and say that’s what we are going to keep working on, getting it done.
TSB: Are you a big presence in the locker room?
JT: I’d say probably not, I’m kinda in the background just kinda observing. Generally, I’m just a quiet person in the background.
TSB: What makes you a great centerman?
JT: I feel like I am pretty reliable defensively. Just being that low forward, helping back with the defense. That’s what I really focused on at school, and got a lot better at it. So, I think that is my main attribute.
TSB: If you could compare your style of play after any NHL player, who would it be?
JT: I always used to say Mike Fisher (Nashville Predators). He was just a good rule player. He works really hard, can score when he gets the opportunities. He’s willing to do the work.
TSB: More of a grinder?
JT: A little bit yeah.
TSB: What’s a typical day off for you? What do you like to do on your day off?
JT: I haven’t had that many days off here, but at school when we had the opportunity it was just kinda hanging out with people. At school, getting away from school work, getting away from the rink completely. Go out maybe grab a bite to eat with a bunch of guys.
TSB: Coming to Columbus, did you know their record last year?
JT: Not really. I knew that they were at the bottom of the league. And I had looked into it a little and saw that was an off year. They had normally been one of the top teams.
TSB: Did that bother you?
JT: Not really. Know that it gave me an opportunity to help the team out and I know that they were going to be hungry, that they don’t want that to happen again. So, there will be fire under everyone’s ass.
TSB: Yes. Indeed!
TSB: What hobbies do you have?
JT: I guess my biggest hobby to playing tennis. I like playing tennis with friends and family whenever I have the opportunity. That’s a big one.
TSB: If you weren’t playing hockey, what would you be doing?
JT: If I wasn’t playing hockey from the very beginning, I would be playing squash. So, that’s what I’d be going. If I wasn’t playing hockey this year, I guess I’d have a job in finance and accounting.
TSB: Is that what you went to school for then? Finance and Accounting?
JT: Yeah. That’s what I’d be doing, I guess.
TSB: Best chirp during the game?
JT: I don’t know if that’s a good one to ask me. I don’t really say much. Especially now that it’s my first year, and I’m not wearing a cage anymore, I kinda keep my mouth shut.
TSB: If you could play for an NHL team, who would it be, and why?
JT: I would want to play on the Anaheim Ducks. Just growing up they were my favorite team. I love Teemu Selänne, he’s made his mark there. That would be my team, if I could.
TSB: So, on the crazy question list, you selected Teleportation as your super power. Isn’t traveling half the fun?
JT: I don’t know. It was the mixture between…moving at light speed, or you could just skip the whole moving part and just get there.
TSB: Why is your spirit animal a turkey?
JT: It just went along with the name. So, I didn’t really know what to put for a spirit animal.
TSB: So, the boys call you Turkey?
TSB: What would you want people to know about Jonathan Turk?
JT: Hmm. Just that I’m a down to earth kind of person. Easy to get along with and talk to. I don’t go over the top with anything, but willing to just be there and hang out.
TSB: What’s one thing that you look forward to with the boys this season?
JT: I think just surpassing the win total from last year would be a big benchmark from the beginning. But just to keep winning and get our opportunity to go far in the playoffs. What I’ve seen from the teams that we’ve played against so far, I feel like we are better, or are at par with most of them. So I feel like we have a good opportunity here.
A little rapid fire that I like to do with the boys:
Favorite candy: Skittles
Favorite vehicle: BMW
Favorite Restaurant: Chipotle’
If you are out with the boys, what are you drinking: Bud Light
Favorite sport besides hockey: Tennis
What music do you listen to: Country
Favorite meal: Chicken and Rice
Snapchat or Instagram: I like looking at both, but don’t use either, so…Snapchat
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter
XBox or Playstation: I haven’t had either, so, we’ll say XBox
TSB: Is there anything else that you’d personally like to add? About your style of play, about being here in Columbus…?
JT: I feel like after reading this, anyone should have a good idea about what I’m all about. But I don’t know. Columbus has been great to me so far. You can’t beat the weather, it’s amazing here. I’m enjoying it so far.
The Crazy Questionnaire and Jonathan’s answers:
Using only ONE word; how would your teammates describe you? Quiet
If you were an MMA fighter, what would your walkout song be? Eye of the Tiger
Name one thing on your Bucket List. Travel to Europe
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Teleportation
What is your go-to pizza topping? Pierogi pizza
What would your spirit animal be? Turkey
What is your nickname? Turkey
If your teammate lost a bet and had to sing karaoke, what song would you make him sing? Devil Went Down to Georgia
What is your favorite hockey team/Player? Anaheim Ducks/Teemu Selanne
If you could meet anyone famous, who would it be? Roger Federer