Less than a month after being drafted by the Boston Bruins Jiri Jakes tells Peter Baptista of Hockey’s Future that he was surprised that he fell to the 5th round and would like a contract from Boston after this season.
PB: Were you surprised you slipped to the 5th round after being ranked 43rd among North American Skaters?
JJ: Quite surprised and nervous. I expected about 3rd, maybe 2nd but I was quite surprised but I can live with that.
PB:Had you spoken to the Bruins prior to the draft?
JJ: Not at all. No interview.
PB:Who did you have interviews with?
JJ: About 15, Columbus, Nashville, Chicago, Washington, Rangers. Can’t remember the rest.
PB:What is the biggest adjustment you had to make this year being your first year playing in North America?
JJ: Rink is smaller so have to play faster and be a little bit tougher. Have to move the puck a little bit quicker. Go to net a lot more.
PB:What is the strongest aspect of your game?
JJ: Make a good play. Make some good hits and score some goals
PB:What is the weakest aspect of your game?
JJ: I would think skating. I have to work on my skating.
PB:Will you be attending the Bruins training camp this year?
JJ: Yes I will.
PB:Describe your style.
JJ: I think I can play physical type of hockey but I am skilled. In Czech I used my skills more but last year I had to be tougher.
PB:Have you spoken with Mike O’Connell or anybody affiliated with the Bruins since the draft?
JJ: Not really. They gave me a training program and they told me they’d let me know when to report for camp.
PB:In your opinion, when do you think you can become a full-time NHLer?
JJ: Hopefully 2003 season.
PB:The Bruins let 3 major junior prospects leave the system this past June by not signing them. 2 of them, Kyle Wanvig and Martin Grenier were considered potential NHLers. Does the inability to sign major junior players like yourself worry you at all?
JJ: Not worried at all. I would like to come to terms with them after this year and play on farm team and then try to make NHL team.
PB:Any workout plans for the summer?
JJ: Bruins gave me a training program. I was training with my Czech Junior hockey team. A lot of running, biking, working out in gym. I am training a lot. 6-8 hours per day.
Full Name: Jiri Jakes
Current Residence: Praha
Favorite NHL team growing up: NY Rangers
Favorite NHL player: Eric Lindros (Past) or Mike Modano (Present)
Most memorable hockey moment:Playing in prospects game
Stick used: Bauer
Advice to kids w/NHL dreams: Work hard and it will come.
I would like to thank Rich Evans who is Jiri’s agent for helping get this interview done.