2016 NCAA Frozen Four: Surprising journey leads Jonzzon to captaincy of Quinnipiac squad

By DJ Powers
Soren Jonzzon - Quinnipiac University

Photo: Quinnipiac University forward and team captain Soren Jonzzon has had his most productive season, posting 10 goals and 20 points in 41 games so far in 2015-16 (courtesy of John Crouch/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Quinnipiac University senior Soren Jonzzon’s rise to become the Bobcats’ captain is truly a story about perseverance. The Mountain View, CA native played in just four games during his freshman campaign three years ago. Today, he serves as Quinnipiac’s team captain, an honor that he doesn’t take lightly.

“I was fortunate to be voted as team captain this season,” Jonzzon said. “It’s a huge honor for me and I take a lot of pride in it. These guys make it easy for me because they pretty much lead themselves. I don’t have to say much.”

Jonzzon was a freshman when Quinnipiac made their first-ever Frozen Four appearance in 2013. Now a senior, Jonzzon fully understands what is at stake and what needs to be done.

“I think in our freshman year, we were just happy to be in the Frozen Four because we were the underdog and just came out of nowhere,” said Jonzzon. “This year, we’re pretty business-like. As seniors, we want to enjoy the moment but we also are emphasizing that we’re here to win. I think we’ve learned what to focus on and paying attention to the details that will allow us to be successful.”

When Jonzzon was voted as the Bobcats captain prior to the start of the season, he wasn’t handed the captaincy. He earned it through hard work.

“It’s definitely been a journey for me. In my freshman year, I only played four games,” Jonzzon said. “But I began to work really hard with Coach (Brijesh) Patel, our strength coach. We didn’t just work on me getting stronger physically, but mentally as well. In my sophomore year, I began to play more games, something like 26 games, and then in my junior year I played in all but one game. I had a large run for the team and guys were looking to me to be a leader that year.”

Jonzzon’s journey to get to Quinnipiac included several stops along the way with California-based youth teams, including the San Jose Junior Sharks, the Santa Clara Blackhawks, and the California Cougars. From there, Jonzzon would go on to play for the St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL before moving on to several USHL teams, including the Youngstown Phantoms. Despite an exhaustive route to get to college hockey’s Division I level, Jonzzon never waivered. It is a testament to his sheer determination and passion for the game.

So what sort of advice would he give to an aspiring fellow California-based player that wants to get to where he is now?

“The first thing I would tell them is to listen to everybody because you never know if that person could be a connection to junior hockey or help you get somewhere,” Jonzzon said. “That’s something that I was fortunate enough to take advantage of. The biggest thing I would say to them is to just have fun. If you’re not having a lot of fun with it, you’re not going to have a lot of success.”

Follow DJ Powers on Twitter via @DJPowersHF