Jonathan Mor, goaltender for the USA National Team Development Program
For most goalies, playing elite level hockey is a dream.
For Jonathan Mor, that dream led him to the USA’s National Team Development Program, the NTDP.
1. When did you start playing goalie and what inspired you to play?
I started playing goal when I was 9 years old. I skated as a forward for one year prior and scored one goal all season and it was in the last game. I knew that it wasn’t going to take me anywhere but I just always loved to skate so I tried playing goalie and I fell in love with it right away.
2. Tell me a little bit about the way you trained when you started to get serious about playing goal.
Well when I first became a goalie I wasn’t very good. I got cut from every single travel team in Chicago until bantam minor year where I made bantam AA. That summer I told my parents that this is the year.
“I need to make a team this year.”
So we found a goalie coach and I worked with him every day that summer. After I made that AA team things started improving fast.
The year after I had an offer to play at Chicago Young Americans bantam Major AAA but turned it down because I didn’t feel I was ready. I played that year at the highland park falcons Bantam Major CSDHl which is basically tier 2 AAA. I played a ton that year and after that I felt completely ready to make the jump.
The next year I played at Chicago Young Americans u16 and that’s where I started getting noticed.
3. What advice do you have for somebody who has aspirations of playing Tier I / II Juniors? Do you have any specific advice?
Just trust the process.
Don’t be afraid to slow things down.
The best advice ever given to me was from my goalie coach Ryan Honick and he said “Jon, slow the train”. I think that if you take your time moving into junior hockey when you’re completely ready for it is definitely the path to go.
“It’s not a race is a marathon.”
4. With other playing options available, what made you choose the NTDP?
The opportunity to represent my country everyday means the world to me.
The training here at NTDP is second to none. I walk out of the rink every day feeling more confident in my game and definitely stronger. There’s not much more you could ask for. It’s a true honor being able to play here.
5. Tell us a little bit about life in the NTDP.
It’s a blast playing here at NTDP. A usual day would include going to school form 7-12 then a goalie session from 1-1:30, full practice from 1:30-3:30, a lift from 4-5 and sometimes a study hall after that. We practice Monday through Thursday and usually play games Friday, Saturday and sometimes Sunday.
7. Are there any tips you have for goalies to maintain their bodies throughout a grueling season?
I would recommend to stretch and roll out A TON. Before and after every single skate/lift. I take ice baths when my legs are feeling it those help a ton.
Hydration is HUGE. You will feel a huge difference once you start watching how much water you drink.
“Honestly, just be cautious don’t overwork yourself and do what your body needs.”
8. What are some of the most important things a young, up and coming goalie can work on?
You can never be a good enough skater.
Before every practice here we do 10-20 minutes of skating and edge work drills. The quicker and stronger you are on your edges the faster you’re able to get on angle and the more saves you’ll be able to make!
We’d like to give a huge thank you to Jonathan Mor for taking the time to do this interview with us, good luck with your career!
If you’d like to read another article about Jonathan Mor, the USNDTP published one, here.