Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blueland Guest Goalie: Jonas Hiller

When I first saw the 2009-10 season schedule for the Thrashers, I was thrilled with some of the teams that were coming to town, teams we don't see much of. The Anaheim Ducks was one of those teams. Although I was deeply disappointed to not get to see Teemu Selane (he was injured) I was super jacked up to see George Parros, Jiggy and Bobby Ryan. I was also excited to see goalie, Jonas Hiller.

Jonas Hiller was born on February 12, 1982, in Felben-Wellhausen, Switzerland. Jonas is fluent in English, German and French. He began his professional career at the age of 19 when he played the 2001-02 season with HC Davos of the Nationalliga. In his very first season, he helped lead the team to the Swiss Championships.

Jonas played the 2002-03 season for Davos as well, playing in 42 fame. In 2003 Jonas remained in the Nationalliga, but played for Lausanne. That season he helped lead his team to the Spengler Cup, the an annual ice hockey tournament held in Davos. It was first held in 1923, and is often cited as the oldest invitational ice hockey tournament in the world. The event is hosted by Swiss team HC Davos and played each year in Davos, Switzerland, between Christmas and New Year's Day.

For the 2004-05 season, Jonas returned to Davos. Jonas remained there for 3 seasons, having much success. He lead the team to Switzerland's championship in 2005 and 2007. He also helped lead Davos to the Spengler Cup again in 2004 and 2006. In 2005 He was voted the best goalie in the Swiss League.

Undrafted, Jonas was signed by the Anaheim Ducks as a free agent on May 25, 2007. On September 30, 2007, thanks to J.S. Giguere still needing some time due to an off season hernia surgery, Jonas made his NHL debut. Jonas lead the Ducks to a 4-1 victory over their rivals the L.A. Kings in an exhibition game held in London, England.

Ducks GM at the time, Brian Burke, felt Jonas was ready to be full time back up to Giguere and released Ilya Bryzgalov (who was picked up by Phoenix). Hiller played 23 games his first NHL season and had a record a 2.06 (GAA) and .926 SV%.

The 2008-09 season saw Jonas start as the Ducks back up once again. After a season of strong play, they named him as their starting goalie for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. On April 14, Jonas made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks. He earned a 2-0 shutout victory, stopping all 35 shots and became the first goaltender to record a shutout in his playoff debut since Andrew Raycroft in 2004

The 2009-10 season saw Hiller being the Ducks go-to goalie once again as he was named the starter. In his third NHL season with Anaheim, he posted a 30-23-6 record with two shutouts, a 2.73 GAA and .918 SV% in 59 games and set career highs in wins, appearances, minutes, saves and shots against.

Aside from having an NHL starting gig, 2010 was big for Jonas on the international level. Jonas led the Swiss ice hockey team in the Olympics in Vancouver. He played in five contests with Switzerland at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, going 2-2-1 with a 2.47 GAA and a .918 SV%. His 146 saves for the tournament ranked third among all goaltenders!

Enough numbers and stats, let's hear some fun stuff! Jonas loves to cook Swiss food, his favorite being fondue. He is a car nut and spends his summers fixing cars with his friends at a local body shop in his hometown. Speaking of Davos, he usually spends his off season there and resides in New Port Beach during the hockey season. He enjoys playing tennis, beach volleyball and sailing on his family’s boat in Switzerland during the offseason. He is a fan of rock music, his favorites being Nickelback and Metallica.


ATLANTA HOCKEY PICTURES July 19, 2010 at 7:43 AM  

:-) you started the guest goalie segment off with my second favorite team. i am a huge jiggy fan and it was kinda hard to see him go but hiller is great and i think will lead them to great things. great segment! that was a great birthday gift from randy!

Michelle July 19, 2010 at 8:22 AM  

I really like Hiller! This is a great entry, V.


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