By Eric Coburn ‘18 and Kelley McLellan ‘17
Sports Editor & Associate Sports Editor
Jonathan Lashyn is a member of the Merrimack College Men’s Hockey team. He is a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native who is studying Sports Medicine. This defenseman has scored three goals so far in his career at Merrimack. Last season as a sophomore, Lashyn was one of six players who dressed in all 38 games. He continues to show his consistency on and off the ice. The Beacon sat down with Lashyn to get to know him off the ice.
When did you start playing hockey?
I started playing when I was 9 years old so it has been 14 years now. I played soccer and t-ball. I think I was the only kid in all of Canada to strike out in t-ball. When I first started playing hockey it was love at first sight. I love the smell of the rink.
When did you realize you could play at the next level?
When I was 11 years old, Brent Ashton, who played in the NHL, said he saw something in me and that meant a lot to me. He was a great influence and that’s when I thought I could play for a while and have a lot of fun with.
What impact did being home schooled have on you coming into college?
I was homeschooled from 2nd grade all the way to 12th grade. My mom was the teacher and my dad was the principal. My grandfather was also a biology and geography teacher back in the 70s so that teaching background was always there. My mom has homeschooled me and all of my siblings with me being the oldest. The first day of walking to class in college I was really nervous and there was definitely a shyness from not being used to learning with other students. I was terrified to ask my professor to help. But luckily, Merrimack’s professors and students have really helped me, and the class size being small is very helpful.
Do you have any big superstitions?
I would call them rituals more than superstitions. On game day I always take a nap for 20 or 30 minutes. I eat at the same time and listen to music which is the same four or five songs that I always listen in the same order. It is all kind of a self hypnosis of just letting everything go and being relaxed. To get two or three lifts a week
You’re known to have an incredible work ethic which includes a lot of early morning workouts. How do you maintain that work ethic year round?
When I was a kid I was a paperboy which meant I was up at 4:30 in the morning to deliver papers six days a week so early mornings weren’t new to me. My parents are both incredible workers so I get that from them. I am in the weight room twice a day during the offseason. During the season I always make sure I stretch, usually get two or three a week. My parents are incredible workers. My dad hooked me on the Rocky movies. When you’re the oldest you gotta work around others schedule and put others first. It definitely helps when you have great coaches.
Who is someone that has had the biggest influence on you and why?
Overall, my parents. I have had great coaches that have helped me tremendously. But, your parents are your biggest critics and fans. My dad has always been very supportive and I could trip over the blue line and my mom would still be proud of me. My grandmother watches every game online back home in Canada.
Being from Saskatchewan, how much of the year do you spend on campus?
My freshman year I was on campus for 10 months and past two years I have been on campus 11 months out of the year. There are great people down here that you get to meet. Merrimack has a great little community feel.
What was your first career goal like?
My first goal was pure exuberance shock and excitement. I think my eyes were closed and the shot was going wide but it went off the defenseman’s stick. It was the day before my birthday which made it even more special.
Is there something in your hockey career you wish you had a do over?
My last year of midgets we were up 2-0 in a series and ended up losing in the series 3-2. I think we won the second game 9-4 too. And the team we lost to went on to the National Championship. The second would be in juniors, my team hosted the National Championship for Junior A and lost in the semi-finals.
You’re involved in a lot of different things on campus besides just playing hockey, what are they and why are you a part of so many things?
I am a part of the Campus Ministry team, I play some intramurals and I have been fortunate to help out with Relay For Life which I love doing. My dad made sure that we were always busy as kids and I can’t physically sit still. Plus, I am blessed to have met so many great people and I just want to give back to Merrimack, which has given so much to me.
When you have spare time what do you like to do?
I love napping. I watch TV shows like I Love Lucy, Hogan’s Heroes and The Honeymooners.
What’s your favorite genre of music?
It depends on what mood I am in. Before a game I will listen to Eminem because I love listening to him, it pumps me up. And on a regular bases I will listen to hit music, whether it’s Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Imagine Dragons or whatever is on the radio.
What is a guilty pleasure that you have?
Frozen yogurt. My budget is empty because of it. I just love that and ice cream.
What is one piece of advice you would tell yourself five years ago?
From a hockey standpoint, focus more on on ice skill and try to do more yoga off ice. I would also tell myself don’t be afraid in life or be nervous about what others say. Nothing is the end of world. The final piece of advice would be to spend more time with my family.
You recently just competed in Merrimack’s Best Dance crew, what was that like?
It was a lot of fun. It helped that being on the ice performing in front of people requires the same mentality as dancing in front of people. I am probably not as graceful as I am on the ice. Our teachers were really patient. I have this little voice inside me that says I should try anything no matter what. I like having fun with that. I had to prove to myself that I could do it.
What is your favorite thing about Merrimack College?
I would definitely say the people here is my favorite part about Merrimack College. I have been blessed to meet many great people here.
What’s one thing you want people to know about you after reading this piece?
Basically I like to think of myself as passionate in everything I do but for the most part I am just a normal guy who is quite shy at first but then won’t shut up when you get to know him. Oh and I also have a 45 pound tape ball. Maybe special is a better word than normal.
What do you want to accomplish before you graduate?
I want to win the championship and graduate with my degree. Besides those two things I want to win an intramural softball championship and build another couch fort like I did freshman year in Deegan West.