NHL Project | The apple often falls near the tree


Does being born into an athlete family improve your chances of being drafted into the National Hockey League?

Posted at 7:45 am

If I ask myself the question is why among the top 100 prospects of the next draft there are many, many, many children of sportsmen. Almost thirty. The closer to the top, the higher the ratio.


Joel Kjellberg and David Spacek’s fathers played for the Canadian. That of Vinzenz Rohrer, on the ATP circuit. Adam Ingram’s father was one of Canada’s top golfers and Denton Mateychuk’s mother won a half marathon.

This trend is also very strong among Quebec’s hopes. Noah Warren’s parents, from Gatineau Olympiques, both excelled in swimming. His father, Claude, was a coach at the University of Laval and the University of Montreal. His mother, Magalie Boutin, as an athlete. “He still holds regional records in Saguenay,” she says proudly. She competed in the national championships and almost made it to the Canadian team. ”

Maveric Lamoureux, of the Voltigeurs de Drummondville, also comes from a family of athletes. “My father played in the QMJHL, with the Granby Bisons, then in the senior, with the Laval Chiefs. My mother was a gymnast. After his athletic career he has coached girls nationwide. Sport has always had an important place at home. ”

Nathan Gaucher, of Quebec Remparts?

“My father played in the junior majors, and is still in hockey, as deputy general manager of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. My brother plays hockey. My mother and sister have always been athletic. He showed me the way when I was young. ”

As for the parents of Frédéric Brunet, of Rimouski Oceanic, they met at the Nagano Olympics in 1998. Michel Brunet was an figure skater. Brigitte Gauthier, physiotherapist of the Canadian freestyle ski team. Frédéric’s uncle, Dominick Gauthier, was also in Japan, as an athlete, in mogul skiing.

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Should we be surprised by this phenomenon?

” Not really. ”

To speak is Pierre Allard, assistant coach of Monaco Red Bulls. Before moving to Germany last year, he was director of sports science and performance for the Canadiens. He participated in evaluation drafts of prospects during the reigns of Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins.

“In our interviews we wanted to know the player’s family history. We wanted to know if there was a history of great athletes in his family. “

I’m sure every team asks this question, because there is a link between genes and whether or not you play in the NHL.

Pierre Allard, assistant manager of the Red Bulls of Monaco and former director of sport and performance science for the Canadiens

Several scientific studies, most notably those by Claude Bouchard and Louis Pérusse, have shown the importance of heredity in elite athletes. Genes have a strong impact on height. On muscle mass. On the resistance to physical exertion. Along the length of the trunk, arms and legs.

“Having parents from the world of sports helps,” explains Pierre Allard. These young people usually have good genes. Among Finns, for example, we often see children of cross-country skiers or endurance athletes. Also many children of hockey players, such as Jesperi Kotkaniemi. ”

“It is certain that genetic background matters a lot,” adds Jean Lemoyne, professor in the department of physical activity sciences at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières.

“But there are other factors besides genes. Parents with an athletic background have a better understanding of the elite sports environment. They know what their baby is waiting for. They know the best development programs. Mr. Lemoyne also points out the high salaries of former NHL players, which allow them to hire more ice hours and hire the best private coaches.

Also, most top athletes pay attention to their weight. To their body. To their food. They are perfectionists. One study has shown that children often try to reproduce this character trait.

That said, even an athlete parent can be negative. There are parents who will want to hold on to levels they haven’t reached and can push young people into an unhealthy process.

Jean Lemoyne, professor in the department of physical activity sciences at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières

And what value do NHL clubs place on family baggage?

“A certain importance, confirms Pierre Allard. But it is difficult to quantify. I know that in other sports, particularly basketball, this data is fed into algorithms, which helps recruiters make better decisions. But we’re not in the NHL yet. The players come from different leagues and it is very, very difficult to evaluate all the elements. ”

For the record, I told you who has already completed 12And to the European swimming championships?

Juraj Slafkovsky’s mother …

Parents athletes, children of hockey


Logan Cooley

Owen Beck: David, father, footballer

Frederic Brunet: Michel, father, figure skater; Dominick Gauthier, uncle, freestyle skier

Logan Cooley: Tom and John Mooney, uncles, hockey players (NCAA)

Jorian Donovan: Shean, father, hockey player (NHL)

Samuel Eklund: Per-Erik, father, hockey player (NHL)

Josh Filmon: Greg, father, basketball player

Nathan Gaucher: Yannick, father, hockey player (LHJMQ)

Marc-André Gaudet: Denis, father, hockey player (OHL)

Cutter Gauthier: Sean, father, hockey player (NHL)

Conor Geekie: Craig, father, hockey player (WHL)

Alessio Gendron: Martin, father, hockey player (NHL)

David Goyette: Michel, father, amateur boxer

Francesco Iasenza: Giovanni, father, hockey player (LHJMQ)

Hugo and Mattias Havelid: Niclas, father, hockey player (NHL)

Hunter height: Steve, father, hockey player (OHL)

Marek Hejduk: Milan, father, hockey player (NHL)

Adam Ingram: Derek, father, golfer

Marco Kasper: Peter, father, hockey player (JO)

Joel Kjellberg: Patric, father, hockey player (NHL)

Kevin Korchinsky: Larry, father, hockey player (WHL)

Brad Lambert: Ross, father, hockey player (AHL); Lane, uncle, hockey player (NHL)

Maveric Lamoureux: Patrick, father, hockey player (LHJMQ)

Mats Lindgren: Mats, father, hockey player (NHL)

Denton Mateychuk: Keela, mother, runner

Rutger McGroarty: Jim, father, hockey player (ECHL)

Liam Ohgren: Andreas, father, professional hockey player

Vinzenz Rohrer: Stefan, father, professional tennis player

Reid Schäfer: Jeremy, father, hockey player (WHL)

Juraj Slafkovsky: Gabriela, mother, swimmer

Jimmy Snuggerud: Dave, father, hockey player (NHL)

David Spacek: Jaroslav, father, hockey player (NHL)

James Stefan: Patrik, father, hockey player (NHL)

Adam Sykora: Roman, father, hockey player (NHL)

Antonino Verreault: Serge Brunet, grandfather, hockey player (LHJMQ)

Noah Warren: Magalie Boutin, mother, swimmer


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