|Janos Hari was born in Budapest Hungary|
but moved to Sweden to focus on hockey.
This week I had an opportunity to chat with Montreal Juniors left winger Janos Hari. Born in Budapest Hungary and growing up in Sweden, Hari talks about the early days in his career, his move to Montreal and his style of play.
Hockey Points: Talk about how you started playing hockey when you were younger, specifically when you were living in Hungary.
Janos Hari: My Dad took me to skate when I was around 5 years old. And that was it. From my first time on skates I just wanted to play hockey.
Hockey Points: Did you skate playing hockey on outdoor hockey rinks similar to many kids in Canada?
Janos Hari: First I actually started skating in a shopping center on a small rink. I had practices there for a while and then, later on I began to practice on outdoor rinks. There weren’t a lot of indoor rinks in Hungary during the time I was growing up.
Hockey Points: At what point did you realize you were a talented player?
Janos Hari: Ohh I don’t know. One year I scored about 20 goals in 15 games or something like that and I think it’s still some kind of record there. So I guess that’s when I knew I wanted to play a lot of hockey.
Hockey Points: You and your family moved to Sweden so you could focus on your hockey development. Talk about how you transitioned from Hungary to Sweden.
Janos Hari: Well my team in Hungary would play in tournaments in other countries. When I was 11 years old we went to a tournament in Sweden and did really good so they (one of the Swedish teams) invited me to a couple of practices. The next year we went back to the same tournament and I led the tournament in scoring by about ten points more than the next guy. One of the Swedish team’s asked if I would be interested to join their team for the following season. Me and my Dad moved there when I was 12 years old and the rest of my family came over the year after.
Hockey Points: Janos, it’s becoming more and more known that your nickname is “rat”. How did you earn this nickname?
Janos Hari: Well it comes from Sweden. My team always called each other stuff for fun and I guess that name always stuck with me because of the style I used to play back then.
Hockey Points: Describe that style.
Janos Hari: I guess I played good and I was able to get in everybody’s face. I was known for talking on the ice to the other team and sometimes playing dirty with spears and stuff like that. I hope to show Montreal more of my style this season.
Hockey Points: If you had to compare your style of game to an NHL player, who would that be?
Janos Hari: Patrick Kane I would say.
Hockey Points: Do you enjoy living in Montreal, how are things going with your billet and what do you do to relax during your down time?
Janos Hari: I like this city and my billet is great. Everything is going very well with my billet and they’re very nice with me. I enjoy playing X-Box.
Hockey Points: What games do you play?
Janos Hari: Call of Duty and NHL.
Hockey Points: Which player do you share the best on-ice chemistry with?
Janos Hari: Well, I haven’t had a chance to play with anybody for more than 3 games straight so it’s hard to tell.
Hockey Points: You’ve played left wing for most of the season. Is that the position you grew up playing?
Janos Hari: I’ve never played left wing before in my whole life. But it’s okay because I’m okay playing any position. Growing up I played mainly center and right wing a bit.
Hockey Points: Considering you’re the 4th youngest regular playing forward on the team, are you content with your production so far (3G, 7A for 10PTS and +5 in 22GP)?
Janos Hari: (Laughs again) Not really actually. It’s been really bad from my view. But I’ll keep trying to do my best and see what happens.
Hockey Points: If you can point out a highlight for your time in Montreal so far, what would that be?
Janos Hari: (Laughs) I think I’m still waiting for this to come. Hopefully this will come in the playoffs.
Hari, an 18 year old, has 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points in 22 games played this season.
Photo Credit: Ron Lemish