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Q and A with Winona's Devon Grossell

By Tim Kolehmainen, 01/13/09, 11:47AM CST


The senior All-Stater is about to break the school's career assist record

by Tim Kolehmainen, Editor
The Breakdown

When Winona leading scorer Joey Nadeau graduated this spring, opponents of the Winhawks likely breathed a sigh of relief.  They figured they no longer had to contend with Winona’s all-time leading scorer. 

Not so fast.  A current Winhawk is on the verge of breaking Nadeau’s career assists record a dozen games after he set it at 52. After tallying an assist and three goals in a 7-2 rout of Mankato East last week, senior forward Devon Grossell is just one assist shy of the record. With a game against Austin Tuesday night, the mark might not stand much longer.

Grossell, a 5-9/165 forward, has pushed his career totals to 35 goals, 51 assists and 86 points. Last year, Grossell earned All-State honorable mention by the AP. His coach, Fran McDevitt, called Grossell a “good skater who sees the ice well, He handles the puck well and enjoys setting up open teammates.”

Grossell (7-14-21), Aaron Theis (12-13-25) and Jay Moran (11-13-24) have powered the Winhawks on offense this winter, helping the team to a 5-6-0 record through 11 games.

The Breakdown recently talked with Grossell via email about his hockey career and the Winhawks.

Breakdown: How did you get started playing hockey?  Do you have older siblings/parents who have also played?  And what is your favorite moment playing hockey?

Grossell: I started playing after watching my brother play hockey.  Watching him and his friends play is what gave me the interest in the game.  My favorite hockey moment would be scoring my first varsity goal.

Breakdown: What kind of training do you do for hockey, both in- and off-season?

Grossell: Spend time in the weight room.  Doing dryland, shooting and stickhandling as well as playing football in the fall and baseball during the spring and summer.

Breakdown: Give me a short scouting report on yourself as a player. What are your strengths?

Grossell: I would consider myself a hard worker who has good vision of the rink, quick feet and good hands.  I like setting up teammates and allowing them to score easy goals.

Breakdown: This is the cliche question, but what player did you grow up following for perhaps style of play?

Grossell: Of course we all grew up wanting to be like (Wayne) Gretzky.  However, another player that I have tried to pattern my game after is Paul Kariya.  I have always liked how he was able to use his size to his advantage and be such a great playmaker.  

Breakdown: What's the best part of playing high school hockey and why?

Grossell: Playing in Minnesota gives me the opportunity to play against great players every game.  Night in and night out the competition is great.  Minnesota High School Hockey is the best high school hockey there is.

Breakdown: Tell me about the outlook for your team this year.  Why will you have a good season?

Grossell: We have worked really hard to prepare for the year.  We also return a lot of skilled players who are ready to have big years.

Breakdown: Tell me a little about the hockey environment in Winona...it's not a traditional power, but what is it like playing for the Winhawks?

Grossell: It’s great growing up with and playing with the same bunch of guys all through high school.  We play a lot of the same teams through the years so you really get to know players form the other teams.  Also we have a great atmosphere at the games.  The students come out and make a lot of noise.  It’s great.