Hockey heroes: NHL rookie hopefuls name their first favorite player

Who did the kids look up to when they were kids? At a photo shoot for Upper Deck this week, we asked a handful of NHL rookie hopefuls to recall their first hockey hero.

(Warning: Reading this might make you feel old.)

Pierre-Luc Dubois, C (drafted third overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2016): “Growing up, I liked Henrik Zetterberg. The first Stanley Cup I remember was 2008 when the Red Wings won so he was kind of my player.”

Matthew Tkachuk, son of former NHL star Keith, said his favorite player was Sidney Crosby. (Getty)Matthew Tkachuk, son of former NHL star Keith, said his favorite player was Sidney Crosby. (Getty)

Matthew Tkachuk, LW (drafted sixth overall by the Calgary Flames in 2016): “Sidney Crosby. What he did at such a young age, I remember he won a Stanley Cup at 19 or 20. I love watching him and (Evgeni) Malkin play together…and I watch (Patrick) Kane and (Jonathan) Toews. I guess David Backes, too, he lived at my house for a year-and-a-half.”

Ivan Provorov, D (drafted seventh overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2015): “I always liked Nick Lidstrom when he played. I thought he was the best two-way defenseman and I always tried to pattern my game after him.”

Lawson Crouse, RW (drafted 11th overall by the Florida Panthers in 2015, traded to the Arizona Coyotes in August 2016): “Growing up I loved Jarome Iginla. And I always wanted the Sidney Crosby rookie card. I love to watch Crosby play, he brings a lot of great things to the game, the way he performs on and off the ice, he’s a great leader and I like to think of myself as a great leader, so just watching how he handles himself on and off the ice is pretty cool.”

Mathew Barzal, C (drafted 16th overall by the New York Islanders in 2015): “I remember I got a signed jersey card, a card with the little jersey thing in the corner that you get, it was a Marc-Andre Fleury rookie card. … Will I score on him one day? I mean, hopefully, but he’s pretty good.”

Senators prospect Thomas Chabot says he liked to watch big shooter Al MacInnis. (Special to Yahoo Sports)Senators prospect Thomas Chabot says he liked to watch big shooter Al MacInnis. (Special to Yahoo Sports)

Thomas Chabot, D (drafted 18th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2015): “When I was really young I always enjoyed watching Al MacInnis. Since then I enjoy watching Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, guys like that.”

Alex Tuch, RW (drafted 18th overall by the Minnesota Wild in 2014): “A mix of couple different guys, I try to go between Rick Nash and David Backes, bigger guys. Corey Perry, too, gritty, highly skilled power forwards. My next-door neighbor growing up was Tim Connolly, our parents lived next door to each other. I’m not really that kind of player, but he was a fun guy to watch and grow up next to.”

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Article source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/hockey-heroes--nhl-rookie-hopefuls-name-their-first-favorite-player-174459438-nhl.html

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