March 1, 2018
- Last Updated: March 2, 2018
Jeremy Roenick began playing hockey at the age of four when the parents of a playmate persuaded Roenick's parents to put him in a hockey program so that their child would be with someone he knew. The son of a Mobil Oil district coordinator, Jeremy constantly moved around the Northeastern United States, joining new hockey teams with each stop.
Roenick started his career playing for several years as a squirt and pee wee in Ridgefield, CT. He then moved to Fairfax, Virginia, where he traveled to play for the Bantam level New Jersey Rockets, who had won back to back national championships in 1984-85 and 1985-86.
At age 14 Roenick was required to take a flight from Dulles Airport to Newark, NJ on a weekly basis to make the Rocket’s games. Roenick helped the Rockets to a state championship registering 300 points in only 75 games.
After one year of traveling for hockey the Roenick family would move back to Massachusetts, where Jeremy enrolled at Thayer Academy. Roenick played on the same line as future NHL line-mate Tony Amonte; the two went on to win two League Championships.
Roenick was so impressive during his time at Thayer Academy that he was drafted straight out of high school, going eighth overall in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft to the Chicago Blackhawks. He was also taken to breakfast by Wayne Gretzky in an attempt to convince Roenick to play for the Hull Olympiques, a QMJHL team that Gretzky owned.
Roenick played for the Hull Olympiques (see jersey pictured above) during the 1988-89 season, scoring 70 points in 28 games, before going on to represent the United States at the 1989 World Junior Championship. In his second WJC, Roenick lead the tournament in scoring and was named a Tournament All-Star.
Roenick’s line, which included future NHL players Mike Modano and John LeClair, totaled 41 points the most ever by a Team USA line and sixth most in tournament history. Despite his scoring success, the United States finished the tournament in fifth place. During the tournament Roenick become the all-time leading American scorer totaling 25 points.
Roenick’s record stood for 21 years before being broken by Jordan Schroeder in 2010; however it took Schroeder three tournaments to pass Roenick who set the record in just two events. Following Roenick’s successful WJC performance, the Blackhawks called him up during the 1988-89 season.