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Jonathan Roy Trades In His Goal Stick For Guitar

Jonathan Roy Trades In His Goal Stick For Guitar
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Jonathan Roy plays a live studio session in Vancouver, British Columbia in preparation for the release of his new single “Daniella Denmark.”

For Jonathan Roy, son of hall-of-famer Patrick Roy, the end of his junior career seemed devastating at the time, but if his hockey-playing days hadn’t ended when they did, he could have completely missed his true calling.

Roy spent parts of four seasons in the QMJHL first with Victoriaville, then later with the Quebec Remparts where he played directly under his father’s watch. While he was never an extremely highly touted goaltending prospect (drafted in the third round of the QMJHL draft in 2005), Roy did make strides in his second full season – improving his save percentage from .872 to .897, and lead the Remparts on a surprise playoff run.

It was a thrill for him to get to play for his dad, but he admits that it wasn’t always fun, and their personalities would occasionally get in the way.

“He is [intense]. Our whole family is. We’re very passionate people,” Jonathan Roy said in an interview.

“He was tough on other guys on the team, but on me, it was even worse. But we lived some amazing moments. I had a really good time playing junior hockey with my dad as the coach.”

Once it was clear that a path in hockey was not going to happen for Jonathan, his dad sat him down and tried to convince him to go back to school to further his education. Instead, he chose to pursue a career in music – perhaps an even more difficult career path than playing professional hockey.

Jonathan, now 26 years old, is devoting all of his time to learning his new craft as a singer-songwriter. If there’s any example of his dedication, it’s the fact that he did not officially learn to play the guitar until he turned 23. He now writes all of his music on the guitar he affectionately calls “Daniella.” He is also releasing a new single this year, and is making stops all over Canada to play in front of live audiences.

While it’s certainly out of the ordinary, Jonathan Roy isn’t the first goaltender to display exceptional guitar-playing skills. Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers is well known for his ability to shred since appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Ryan Miller, Sean Burke, Jose Theodore, and Mike Smith have also shown their love of playing guitar on a number of occasions.

InGoal actually ran a story in 2010 about a possible cross-task facilitation between goaltending and guitar playing skills. In the study, it shows that both skills can be improved by practicing one or the other. Jonathan Roy agrees, but for other reasons.

“They say musicians can be weird, right? So are goalies! I’m a little weird. I could see there being a connection.”

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Jonathan Roy (left) with his musical mentor and producer Corey Hart. (Image via Corey Hart)

Roy says that he still loves hockey and roots for his father’s Colorado Avalanche, but his focus is completely on music. He is working alongside famous Canadian musician Corey Hart, who has been guiding him along the quest to begin producing his own music.

The fruit of their labour is coming in the form of a new single titled “Daniella Denmark” that is set to be released through Warner Music Canada on October 2nd.

In the meantime, Roy is travelling across Canada on a media tour in an attempt to create an identity outside of the hockey world. When asked if he was sick of always being asked questions about his father, he was firm with his answer.

“No, because it made me who I am today. It’s a part of me. A lot of doors have been opened because of the association with my father, but that just inspires me to make a bigger name for myself.”

As he finally closes the book on his hockey career, Jonathan insists that he has no regrets.

“I had a great career, I’m very happy with it,” he said with a large grin.

“Not a lot of people get to play junior hockey. I got a chance to play against people like Claude Giroux and Sidney Crosby. I’m very fortunate for that. Especially playing for my Dad, and with my little brother as well. It was a really special time.”

Here’s a video clip of Jonathan Roy playing one of his favourite songs to cover, Bill Withers’ “No More Sunshine” from the Z953 studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, where InGoal was able to catch up with him.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.

2 Comments

  1. Suzanne Witt

    Jonathan, your music is lovely. You are very talented. In music, as your father was in goal. Special guys. Wishing you the best.

  2. janice

    We just saw Jonation in Gravenhurst opening for Matthew Good. He was fantastic! I can’t believe having now seen him he has only been playing guitar for a few years! The musicians he had with him were great also. I would recommend giving him a listen!!