In the fast-paced world of professional ice hockey, a group of talented athletes proudly represent their Jewish heritage. These players not only excel on the ice but also serve as a source of inspiration for the Jewish community.
In this article, we’ll delve into the lives and careers of the current Jewish hockey players in the NHL, shedding light on their remarkable journeys.
Table of Contents
Jewish NHL Players List:
|#||Player Name||Associated Team|
|1||Jack Hughes||New Jersey Devils|
|2||Quinn Hughes||Vancouver Canucks|
|3||Adam Fox||New York Rangers|
|4||Zach Hyman||Edmonton Oilers|
|5||Jason Zucker||Arizona Coyotes|
|6||Mark Friedman||Pittsburgh Penguins|
Jack Hughes: A Rising Star for the New Jersey Devils
Jack Hughes, the talented center for the New Jersey Devils, is one of the prominent Jewish players in the NHL. Drafted as the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Devils, Hughes quickly made a name for himself. Not only is he a skilled player, but he also embraces his Jewish identity. Hughes had a bar mitzvah, a significant Jewish rite of passage, and grew up celebrating Jewish traditions and holidays.
Born in Orlando, Florida, Hughes was raised in a culturally diverse household, with his mother being Jewish and his father Catholic. This blend of backgrounds has enriched his perspective and appreciation for both cultures. Hughes’s older brother, Quinn, plays for the Vancouver Canucks, and his younger brother, Luke, is also part of the NHL, representing the New Jersey Devils. Their father, Jim Hughes, has worked as an assistant coach for the Boston Bruins and as the director of player development for the Maple Leafs.
Quinn Hughes: The Canucks’ Defensive Dynamo
Quinn Hughes, the older brother of Jack Hughes, is another exceptional Jewish player in the NHL. Selected by the Vancouver Canucks with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Quinn has carved a niche for himself as a dynamic defenseman. Similar to Jack, Quinn’s family background is a blend of Jewish and Catholic heritage, allowing him to appreciate the diversity of his roots. The Hughes family even observed Passover, a Jewish holiday, in their younger years.
Born in Florida, Quinn initially played as a forward but transitioned to a defenseman at the age of 13, a decision that would ultimately shape his career. He developed his skills through the USA Hockey National Team Development Program and forged strong friendships with fellow prospect Brady Tkachuk.
Adam Fox: A Rising Star for the New York Rangers
Adam Fox, a talented defenseman for the New York Rangers, proudly embraces his Jewish heritage. Drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Fox was raised in the Jewish faith and culture. He participated in Jewish traditions and even had a hockey-themed bar mitzvah during his youth.
In an interview, Fox expressed his pride in representing the Jewish community and acknowledged the rarity of Jewish athletes in professional sports. Born in Jericho, New York, Adam’s success on the ice has earned him recognition, including being a finalist for the Norris Trophy in the 2022-23 season.
Zach Hyman: A Testament to Jewish Upbringing
Zach Hyman, currently playing as the left winger for the Edmonton Oilers, has deep roots in the Jewish community. Before joining the Oilers, Hyman played for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He attended Jewish schools and proudly acknowledged his Jewish upbringing in Toronto. Hyman’s gratitude for his parents and community support in pursuing his passion for hockey reflects the strong values instilled in him.
Jason Zucker: Honoring Jewish Heritage on the Ice
Jason Zucker, a left winger for the Arizona Coyotes, hails from a Jewish family and celebrates Jewish festivals like Hanukkah. Although not particularly religious, Zucker pays tribute to his Jewish heritage with a Hebrew tattoo on his left arm, signifying his pursuit of perfection.
Zucker’s journey in hockey has been impressive, including winning a gold medal while representing Team USA in the 2010 World Juniors. He’s had a successful career in the NHL, with stints at the Minnesota Wild and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Mark Friedman: Carrying the Jewish Legacy in the AHL
Mark Friedman, currently under contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins and playing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL, proudly upholds the Jewish legacy in professional hockey. His family background and early exposure to hockey have shaped his career.
Friedman’s connection to the Jewish community remains strong, and he cherishes celebrating Jewish holidays with his friends and family. His presence in the NHL serves as a source of pride and inspiration for the Jewish community.
In conclusion, these Jewish players in the NHL not only excel in their sport but also serve as cultural ambassadors, showcasing the rich tapestry of diversity in professional hockey. Their commitment to their craft and their heritage is a testament to the power of sports to unite communities and celebrate individuality.