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Draft Day Memories with Jonathan Bernier

by Jeremy Zager / Los Angeles Kings Discuss your draft experience in 2006 at Vancouver. Were you nervous? Overwhelmed? Or was it what you thought it would be

Bernier: I was a little bit, but my brother (Marc-Andre) was drafted a few years before me (second round, 60th overall, by Vancouver in 2003) and told me what to expect. I was a little surprised to be drafted by the Kings, but it was exciting for sure. You were one of the highly touted prospects going into the draft. How much attention was on you leading up to draft day?

Bernier: There was some attention, but to be honest I really put pressure on myself. I wanted to be THAT guy and I wanted to get drafted high. I put pressure on myself to be picked early in the draft. How did you feel about being the first goalie drafted that year?

Bernier: It was great, but my focus to be honest was to make it to the NHL. The draft was just getting my foot in the door. I knew there was a lot more. But it was definitely a reward for my hard work. You mentioned you were a little surprised the Kings drafted you. Did you have a clue as to where you were going to get picked and to which team?

Bernier: I wasn’t sure what team, but I knew I was going to get picked in the first round, maybe between the eighth and 15th spot. I knew I wasn’t going that much higher than that. I think for me it was a really good fit to get picked by the Kings. Since 2006 what’s been the biggest adjustment to playing at the professional level?

Bernier: The first thing that comes to mind is living on your own; that’s a big step from playing at the junior level. And playing professionally you get paid to play hockey and you really have to come to the rink every night and perform your best. You had a great season in 2009-10 in Manchester and in your few games here in L.A. What are your expectations going into 2010-11?

Bernier: I would love to make the Kings team obviously. I want to be on that roster and hopefully, if I make it, prove what I can do. I know it’s not going to be easy though. I will be a long grind, but I’m ready for the challenge.

Jonathan Bernier was selected by the Kings in the first round (11th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

He posted a 30-21-6 regular season record with the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) this past season with a 2.03 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and nine shutouts.  Among AHL netminders he ranked: first in save percentage, shutouts and saves (1,707); second in goals-against average and third in wins and minutes (3,424).  Bernier was named AHL Goaltender of the Year, an AHL First-Team All-Star and was the starting goaltender for Team Canada at the 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic.  He was named AHL Player of the Week Jan. 31 and AHL Goaltender of the Month for October. 

Bernier was also 10-6 with a 1.81 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and three shutouts in the playoffs with Manchester, leading the Monarchs to the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals.

In three games with the Kings in 2009-10 Bernier was 3-0-0 with a 1.30 goals-against-average, .957 save percentage and one shutout.  He recorded his first career NHL shutout March 30 at Nashville (Kings won 2-0), becoming the youngest Kings goaltender to record a shutout (21 years, 235 days).

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