“Hey, remember...?” is a lighthearted look back at some of the lesser-known former Bruins we’ve seen pass through these parts in recent years. They might not have been stars and might not be the first guys you’d think of as “former Bruins,” but they’ve all got unique stories.
Who? Jon Rohloff
When did he play here? 1994-1997
What were his stats? 150 GP, 7G, 25A, 32PTS
What happened after the Bruins? He bounced around the AHL and IHL for a few years before hanging up his skates in 2001.
Jon Rohloff’s stint with the Bruins wasn’t terribly long, but his impact on the sport could be pretty long-lasting (more on that later).
Rohloff was selected by the Bruins in the 9th round of the 1988 NHL Draft, the 186th overall pick; that draft also saw the Bruins select Steve Heinze and Joe Juneau (Joey!).
With 32 points in his NHL career, Rohloff was the second-highest scorer of that round of the draft. Rob Gaudreau of Cranston, Rhode Island, beat him out by a bit.
Anyways, back to Rohloff. After he was drafted, he went on to play his college hockey for Minnesota-Duluth, where he carved out a decent little college career and was a near-PPG guy in his senior season. He also racked up nearly 90 penalty minutes in just 36 games, so you could say he was INVOLVED in every game.
He made the jump to the pros after that senior season, skating in 55 games for the Providence Bruins. Teammates on that Providence group included Sergei Zholtok, Dmitri Kvartalnov and Jozef Stumpel.
The rugged defenseman scored 35 points in those 55 games, enough to catch the eye of the parent club. He made the jump to the NHL in the 1994-1995 season, playing in 34 games with the Bruins and recording three goals and eight assists.
Rohloff would have his best NHL stint in the following season, appearing in 79 games for the Bruins while recording a goal, 12 assists and 59 penalty minutes.
He earned a few of those penalty minutes in this scrap with Brad May:
Why yes, that IS a Pooh bear third jersey!
Rohloff also got a nice honor that season a few weeks before that fight: he represented the Bruins in the Hardest Shot Competition at the NHL All-Star Game, which was held at the FleetCenter in Boston.
Notorious shooter Al Iafrate was injured at the time, so Rohloff stepped in. He competed against guys like Chris Chelios, Peter Bondra and Scott Stevens. The competition was eventually won by Dave Manson of the (original) Winnipeg Jets.
Rohloff’s NHL career peaked in 1996; after that season, he bounced between the AHL and NHL in the following year, spent all of 1997-1998 in the AHL and then spent the rest of his career in the AHL and IHL.
Fun fact: after Providence, he played for the Kentucky Thoroughblades (amazing team name, eh?); this was just a season after the Thoroughblades’ roster featured a guy named Zdeno Chara.
Unfortunately, playing a hard-nosed game and getting into fights like the tussle above with Brad May led to long-term issues for Rohloff. Four years ago, he sued the NHL, accusing the NHL of turning a blind eye to concussions and their effects over the course of his career.
Rohloff also appeared in a clip discussing the acclaimed documentary The Last Gladiators, which followed the career of Boston-native Chris Nilan.
Rohloff is currently working in sales in the Minnesota area. Hopefully he’s feeling healthy; his suit was one of many that led to the NHL finally (kind of) confronting the concussion issue.
For that, today’s NHLers owe him a debt of gratitude.
Thanks to DreamOfJanney for the suggestion. Have a player you’d like to see here? Let us know in the comments!