When they were kids: Today’s NHL stars


You ever go on a never-ending YouTube journey until four in the morning? Well you’re about to go on one.

While on a trip to Edmonton with the fine folks at Oilers Nation last week, we visited the West Edmonton Mall. While walking around, we came across an indoor ice rink right in the middle of the mall. I had heard of this place in interviews with Jordan Eberle and Steven Stamkos in the past. I realized that this is where The Brick Tournament is played.

I mentioned that it would be really cool to see footage of guys like Eberle and Stamkos as kids playing novice. Not long after, Avry showed me that not only is there footage – there’s tonnes of it!

Check these gems out!

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Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs – 2004

One thing you’ll notice about these videos is just how far ahead of their peers these future NHL players are. Another is how they actually still have some similar traits. Take this video of Morgan Rielly for example. In the dozen or so games Rielly has played in his NHL career, we’ve seen him cough the puck up on several occasions, hoof it back to recover the puck, and then do something sick like this. Wow.

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs – 1995

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Even as a tike, when Phaneuf winds up for a slap shot, you had better duck. Players, spectators – everbody! And consider this: Morgan Rielly played in this tournament then year after Phaneuf was drafted by the Calgary Flames. This footage of Phaneuf is from 1995. Rielly was only born in March of 1994. Again – wow.

Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers – 2000

Eberle was clutch even back then! The player who clobbered Eberle in the goal celebration is actually current New York Islanders defenceman Travis Hamonic.

 Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning – 2000

Oh, so Stamkos has been making defencemen look like that for a while, apparently. If you look closely, that’s Andrew Cogliano jumping into the pile after Stammer scores.

PK Subban, Montreal Canadiens – 1999

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Ok – seeing Subban in blue and white is weird, is it not?

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks – 1998

Christmas! Forget 10-year-olds. In 1998, Jonathan Toews was showing the kind of patience that’s rare in NHL players in their prime.

Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars – 2002

There are unconfirmed reports that Seguin’s team had to hire a security guard because he stayed up all night partying and pounding back Kool-Aid Jammers.

OK one more…

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Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens destroying Peter Mueller – 1998 

At a level where throwing a bodycheck is a penalty, Max Pacioretty doesn’t care. And what are the odds he would clobber another future NHLer in Peter Mueller?

We could continue on and on with this post, but there are literally dozens of videos onf future NHL stars from their childhood days on this channel. If you want to watch them all, click here for the YouTube Channel VEServicesLtd. There’s Dustin Byfuglien celebrating a goal in a way I swear I’ve seen him do before with the Jets, Jay Bouwmeester, Kyle Turris, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, on and on and on. A lot of these kids have Stanley Cups, now! Hell, Toews has two Cups, World Junior gold, and Olympic gold.

My apologies for your incoming insomnia.

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  • Bertly83

    Very, very cool article. In the Seguin vid the player for the other team that clears the puck out of the crease before the penalty shot had the name Zajac on his jersey. I wonder if that might be NHLer Travis Zajac

      • Oil Fan in Ottawa

        Unlikely. Zajac was drafted in 2004.

        Also I don’t think that’s Andrew Cogliano in the Stamkos video since he is about 3 years older than Stamkos. Novice is usually 2 years from what I remember unless Stamkos is playing above his age? But that was 8 years before his draft year making him 10 therefore a novice player and Cogs would be 13.

  • Trufflepig

    I love that in the Toews video he doesn’t even seem too excited about scoring a goal at that young age. I’m pretty sure you can even make out a scowl on ol captain serious’ face back then.

  • Bloodsweatandoil

    Great job Steve!!! Knowing who they are now, you can see some of the the same nuances they have right now that they employed when they were kids! Especially Phaneuf!

    Back in the early nineties, my wife and I bought tickets for the under 17 worlds here in Red Deer, we got to watch the Sedin’s tear the tournament up. At the time, they were basically unknowns, undrafted of course and owned everybody in every hockey talent possible. Watching young talent like that, you knew they were going to be great in the future!

    Phaneuf, he was a given also for a future star, we had season tickets to the Rebels then, and he was a pleasure to watch every game too! There were so many like him, I sure love the WHL!

    p.s (I am puking in my mouth and feeling bad for giving the Sedin’s credit being an Oiler Fan, but it was in the spirit of the article)

  • Bloodsweatandoil

    Wow, that is just amazing. Having footage of these stars when they are young is a great idea. You can not only tell they are going to be nasty, but also you can still tell they have the exact same style of play as they play in the NHL. Pretty cool id have to say. Morgan Rielly looks massive out there compared to his tea mates, and same with PK Subban