Recently Quinnipiac dipped back into the midget level pool for a commit when it landed 2003 born defensemen Jonah Copre of the Chicago Mission. A fellow teammate of current Quinnipiac commit Jack Silich, Copre is fairly new to playing the position of defense. The BobcatsHockeyBlog recently caught up with Jonah to discuss his recruitment with Quinnipiac, his development as a player and life off the ice as well. Thanks to Jonah for taking the time out of his schedule for this Q&A.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are your emotions like after knowing that you have committed to playing NCAA Hockey at Quinnipiac University?
Jonah Copre: Thank you! It’s obviously very exciting and good to know that my hard work for the past eight years or so has paid off. I’m extremely happy for myself and I am thankful to coach Riga for giving me the offer. I’m also thankful to my parents knowing their sacrifices have led to this point! The verbal commitment also gives me even more motivation to keep working hard in order to uphold my commitment and hopefully sign a National Letter of Intent. It's definitely humbling that I have received a commitment to one of the best hockey schools in the entire country and also an unbelievable school in terms of academics.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall recruiting process with Quinnipiac?
Jonah Copre: It happened all so quickly during nationals this year. A side note was that I hadn’t spoken to Quinnipiac during the season, until nationals. I was introduced to coach Riga by another Quinnipiac commit, Jack Silich, after the first game of nationals, and then I spoke to him and he had mentioned he’d been interested in my game. After our third game, coach talked to me and my parents for a while, and then I got the offer from Quinnipiac. The whole process occurred very quickly but it was very exciting nonetheless.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Was there any other Division I interest in you from other schools and if so which ones ?
Jonah Copre: The only other school that I had been in official contact with was the University of New Hampshire, and I had visited that campus in early February. My coaches had mentioned that there were three other Division I schools that had shown interest in me, but didn’t mention the names of them.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What separated Quinnipiac from the University of New Hampshire and what was the ultimate reason you committed to Quinnipiac over them?
Jonah Copre: Just the opportunity to play for one of the top hockey schools in the nation that has some of the best facilities, coaches, and trainers in Division I hockey is what made me want to commit to Quinnipiac. The academics was another big reason. While UNH is a great school nonetheless, the chance to play for a Top 10 school at Quinnipiac was undeniable.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: How much did having Jack Silich committed to Quinnipiac make it easier for you to also commit to the program as well knowing that someone that you are playing with currently is also committed there?
Jonah Copre: Having Jack committed there did play a part in my commitment to Quinnipiac, and knowing that he and I have a possibility to play together in the future is great. But mainly the school itself and the hockey program is what drove me to verbally commit to Quinnipiac.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: I’ve read that you recently converted to defense in the last year or so. Tell us about how that transition took place and what was one of the main reasons for moving back on the blue line?
Jonah Copre: My transition to defense happened later in the season of last year. My coach put me back on defense after I returned from an injury. We had an uneven amount of forwards and only had 5 defensemen, so my coach chose me to play on defense. He said he moved me to defense because of my skating ability and vision, and at first I was reluctant and didn’t know what to think of it, but now I know it was the best thing for me.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall game as a player. What are some of your strengths?
Jonah Copre: I think of myself as a modern, smooth skating, puck moving defenseman. I’m able to quarterback a power play and I think my vision is a big strength of mine. Two other areas that are a large part of my game are edge-work and speed. Also having an active stick and quick footwork on defense helps me defend.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us some of the areas of your game that you consider a weakness and that you want to improve upon?
Jonah Copre: Well being a smaller defenseman, I want to work on getting stronger and being more physical. I also need to learn the position even better which is something I want to do along with having better gap control and working on getting in lanes to block shots and passes.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What are your plans for the 2019-2020 in terms of development? Are you planning on continuing at the midget level with Chicago Mission or are their plans for you to go the junior route?
Jonah Copre: I think staying at the Mission is what I plan to do for the upcoming season especially since we’re going to have a team that will be able to contend for a national championship. I believe that I can contribute a lot and help lead the team to success.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: The NCAA on April 19th approved legislation to halt the commitments of younger players that will take effect May 1st. Obviously this doesn’t affect you as you will be grandfathered in but do you see this as a positive development as now young players can avoid all the recruiting distractions at a young age and just focus on hockey development. Personally I believe the young recruiting was getting out of hand.
Jonah Copre: I think I see the new rule as something that will have positive effect on the game. Kids won’t be so worried about rushing to commitments and then that benefits the teams they play for, since the players can now focus on the team even more. Yes it’s great that so many players care about achieving commitments, but they’re also kids and shouldn’t be stressed about being the first to commit.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Who would you say had been your biggest influence in your life that has helped you achieve a Division I commitment?
Jonah Copre: I would have to say my parents have had the biggest influence in my life, because they’ve helped me through everything in life. They’ve kept me humble but also have helped me believe in myself, and without them I don’t think I’d be where I am now.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Is their a player in the game today that you model your game after?
Jonah Copre: I don’t think there’s a single individual player that I model my game after, but I like to say that I skate similar to Matt Barzal and have the vision of Erik Karlsson.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What type of person is the Quinnipiac community getting with you on and off the ice?
Jonah Copre: On the ice, I think I’m a leader by example and sometimes vocally, and I push myself and my teammates in practice to be intense. Off the ice I like to think of myself as an articulate and intelligent student of both hockey and academics. My work ethic is something I take pride in as well.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What does Jonah Copre like to do when you are not playing hockey?
Jonah Copre: I like watching hockey along with playing a lot of tennis and some golf as well. I like hanging with both school friends and hockey teammates. I work out and run often during the week.
You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.