NHL Draft | The apple often falls near the tree.

Does being born into a family of athletes improve the chances of being drafted into the National Hockey League?

Posted at 7:45 am

If I ask the question, it is because among the top 100 prospects in the next draft there are many, many, many sons of athletes. Almost thirty. The closer to the top, the higher the ratio.


In the Canadian played the parents of Joel Kjellberg and David Spacek. 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 applicants. Noah Warren’s parents, from Gatineau Olympiques, both excelled in swimming. His father, Claude, as a coach at Université Laval and Université de Montréal. His mother, Magalie Boutin, as an athlete. “He still holds regional records in Saguenay,” she says proudly. He competed in national championships and almost made it to the Canadian team. »

Maveric Lamoureux of the Drummondville Voltigeurs also comes from a sports family. “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 coached girls nationally. Sport has always had a great place at home. »

Nathan Gaucher, from the walls of Quebec?

“My father played in the junior major, and he’s still in hockey, as the assistant 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, from Rimouski Oceanic, they met at the Nagano Olympics in 1998. Michel Brunet was a figure skater. Brigitte Gauthier, physiotherapist for the Canadian freestyle ski team. Frédéric’s uncle, Dominick Gauthier, was also in Japan, as an athlete, mogul skiing.

* * *

Should this phenomenon surprise us?

” Not really. ”

The man speaking is Pierre Allard, assistant coach of the Munich Red Bulls. Before moving to Germany last year, he was director of sports science and performance for the Canadiens. He participated in prospect draft evaluations 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 elite athletes in his family. »

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

Pierre Allard, assistant coach of the Munich Red Bulls and former director of sports and performance science for the Canadiens

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

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

“It’s true that genetic background counts for a lot,” adds Jean Lemoyne, a 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 athletic backgrounds have a better understanding of the elite sports environment. They know what awaits their son. They know the best development programs. Mr. Lemoyne also points to the high salaries of former NHL players, which allow them to rent more ice hours and hire the best private trainers.

Also, most elite athletes pay attention to their weight. to his body. to your food. They are perfectionists. A study has shown that children often try to reproduce this character trait.

That said, an athlete parent can also be negative. There are parents who will want to hold on to levels they have not reached and may push the youngsters 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 luggage?

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

For the record, did I tell you who has already completed 12me at the European Swimming Championships?

Juraj Slavkovsky’s mother…

Sports parents, hockey children.



Logan Cooley

Owen Beck: David, father, soccer player

Frederick Brunett: 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 Ecklund: 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)

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

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

Alexis 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

Mark Casper: 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)

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

Denton Mateichuk: 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 Schaefer: Jeremy, father, hockey player (WHL)

Juraj Slavkovsky: Gabriela, mother, swimmer

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

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

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

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

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

Noah Warren: Magalie Boutin, mother, swimmer

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