Many readers are sure to recognize Johann Kroll (right) from his time spent on the blueline with the Washington Capitals’ affiliates the Hershey Bears and the South Carolina Stingrays. What many people might not realize is that in addition to a resume which includes being a three-time Scholar-Athlete with the Ohio State Buckeyes, winning the ECHL’s 2009 Kelly Cup championship and being named an All Star, and winning the 2010 Calder Cup championship with the Bears, he’s also an accomplished musician, having written and recorded his own album “Chasing Dreams.”
Kroll started playing the guitar in the fourth grade, but mentions in his bio it wasn’t until his first year out of high school when he was playing for the Sioux City Musketeers that he had “extensive amounts of free time” and he “realized his ability of songwriting.” After accepting a scholarship to attend Ohio State University, he met other musicians on the team, including JB Bittner, Tyson Strachan, and John Dingle and formed the quartet “Shorthanded,” a coverband that played shows after wins. Although the line-up morphed as players moved on, Kroll started writing his own material, and released his first solo album in August of 2008.
The music is influenced by his favorite musicians, the Grateful Dead and Jack Johnson, and tells tales of the “simplistic joys and hardships of life.” The best part? It’s actually quite good, more on the Bernie Williams side of the athlete/musician spectrum than John Cena and Carl Lewis attempts‘ wound up. And while there is no word currently on a follow up to his first CD, you can still catch Yogi playing every chance he gets: