Work in Sports
Rookie Jochen Hecht comes on strong in playoffs
Posted: Monday April 24, 2000 08:40 PM
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jaromir Jagr has some unknown company at the top of the NHL playoff scoring list.
St. Louis Blues rookie left wing Jochen Hecht, one of only three German-born players in the league, also has 10 points in the postseason.
"He's had a great series," coach Joel Quenneville said. "His overall game has been very effective and he's been a very big part of our team."
Hecht, 22, began the playoffs on a line centered by Marty Reasoner, and had two goals and an assist in Game 1. He's since moved up to the top line with Pierre Turgeon and had a goal and three assists in the Blues' 6-2 victory.
"When he was with Marty he was producing," Quenneville said. "With Turgeon, he's producing at a higher rate."
Hecht has four goals and six assists. He's surprised himself as well as the Sharks after totaling 34 points in 62 regular-season games.
"That's a big difference," Hecht said. "I hope it keeps going like that."
He wasn't about to compare himself with Jagr, though.
"He's done it for years; I've done it for six games now," Hecht said.
Hecht said German players are a rarity in the NHL because there's a lack of emphasis on the sport. The only others in the league are Marco Sturm of the Sharks and goalie Olaf Kolzig of the Capitals.
Junior hockey programs in his country play at most 40 games, plus teams import many foreign players. They're required to have only five German players, Hecht said.
"So that's what they take, most of them," Hecht said. "Most of the guys do it for fun, and they want to have a real job and play also."
Not Hecht. He's been obsessed with hockey for a long time.
"I didn't have anything else," he said. "Since I was 14, all I did was play hockey. I never knew what to become besides a hockey player."