From coast to coast to coast, there are plenty of talented athletes who are
part of the next generation in the hockey world.
As part of Black History Month, let’s look at some of the young Black
athletes who are making strides at the national and international levels.
Megan Duplantie (Laval, Quebec)
Duplantie began playing hockey when she was four years old. After playing
up to U9 girls’ hockey, she switched to playing with boys with the Laval
Patriotes at U11.With her talent shining in men’s hockey, she received an
offer to go south and play for the Kent School in Connecticut.
Now 17, Duplantie was excited to make the Team Quebec roster for the Canada
Winter Games, but unfortunately an injury will prevent her from taking the
ice in Prince Edward Island.
Evan Elliott (Whitby, Ontario)
A member of the Whitby U16 AAA Wildcats, Elliott will represent Ontario at
the 2023 Canada Winter Games. Through 32 games this season, Elliott has
shown his offensive talents, registering 18 goals and 21 assists.
In Prince Edward Island, Elliott recorded two goals during
preliminary-round play and added an assist in a quarterfinal win over New
Maasilan Etchart (Ottawa, Ontario)
Etchart has worked his way through the Rockland Nationals program, making
his debut this season in the Central Canada Hockey League. As a 15-year-old
defenceman, he has recorded six goals and 12 points in 32 games with the
U18 AAA Nationals this season.
Etchart has played a big role on the Ontario blue line at the 2023 Canada
Winter Games, scoring his first goal of the tournament in the
Jade Iginla (Lake Country, B.C.)
Iginla continues to make her way up the ranks of Canada’s National Women’s
Team. The daughter of Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla,
Jade is showing she is creating a path of her own, helping Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team win gold at the 2022 IIHF
U18 Women’s World Championship.
After missing the preliminary round due to injury at the U18 women’s
worlds, Jade made her Team Canada debut in the quarterfinals. She recorded
a goal and two assists in three games.
The RHA Kelowna alumna is in her first season with Brown University,
leading the team as a freshman with 15 goals and 21 points.
Tij Iginla (Lake Country, B.C.)
Similar to his older sister, Iginla officially made his Team Canada debut
in 2022, suiting up for Canada Red at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Tallying two goals and five assists in seven games, Iginla helped Canada
Red earn a silver medal.
Currently in his rookie season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL,
the 16-year-old centre has scored three goals, adding 11 assists through 39
games. He will be eligible for the 2024 NHL Draft.
Cayden Lindstrom (Chetwynd, B.C.)
After getting a six-game stint in the WHL during the 2021-22 season,
Lindstrom has settled into his role in his rookie season with the Medicine
Sitting seventh in Tigers scoring with 14 goals and 30 points in 45 games,
Lindstrom was a late addition to the Canada White roster at the 2022 World
Under-17 Hockey Challenge. But he didn’t miss a step when the tournament
began, scoring four goals and adding two assists in six games.
Jordan Martin (Abbotsford, B.C.)
Martin wanted to be just like his brother Jayden growing up, so he followed
in his footsteps and began playing hockey when he was three years old.
Jayden played for Yale Hockey Academy before joining the Mission City
Outlaws. Now 16-year-old Jordan is making his mark with Yale in his
This season, the defenceman has registered two goals and 13 points in 25
games with the U18 prep team. The 41st overall pick by the Saskatoon Blades
in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft, Martin has recorded one assist so far with
Team B.C. at the Canada Winter Games.
Harry Nansi (Nepean, Ontario)
Nansi was at a public skate when he was six years old when he saw a hockey
team practice on another rink, and he was inspired to try the game. Now,
the 15-year-old is putting up some noteworthy numbers.
In the 2021-22 season, Nansi tallied 15 goals and 45 points in 25
regular-season games with the Ottawa Myers Automotive U15 AAA team. He is
making waves with the Nepean U18 AAA Raiders this season, registering 21
goals and 47 points over 34 games, and has skated in two games for Team
Ontario at the Canada Winter Games. Nansi says his role model is Anthony
Duclair because “not only is he a person of colour, he is very humble,
hardworking and when he is on the ice, he is relentless.”
Jaeden Nelson (Vaughan, Ontario)
Nelson had a fantastic season last year with the Ottawa Myers Automotive
U15 AAA team. In 14 regular-season appearances, he boasted a 1.19
goals-against average, seven shutouts and a 10-2-2 record. In the playoffs,
he continued to be lights-out with a 5-0 record, one shutout and a 1.20 GAA
over five games.
The Toronto Marlboros goaltender is one of two netminders backstopping Team
Ontario at the 2023 Canada Winter Games. The 15-year-old made 29 saves on
32 shots in an overtime loss to Alberta during the preliminary round, and
allowed two goals on 25 shots in a quarterfinal win over New Brunswick.
Aaron Obobaifo (Calgary, Alberta)
The future is bright for Obobaifo, who suited up for Team Alberta this
month at the Canada Winter Games. Last season, the Calgary native had a
fantastic year with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s U14 AAA team in Minnesota,
recording 44 goals and 91 points in 52 games.
That performance caught the eyes of the Vancouver Giants, who drafted
Obobaifo 19th overall in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft.
Giants head scout Terry Bonner says the 16-year-old is “a strong skater, competitive, has good hands and great
finish around the net.” This season, the forward has 34 goals and 21
assists in 43 games with the U15 AAA team at Shattuck. Obobaifo has
registered one goal and two assists so far at the Canada Winter Games, helping Team Alberta to the quarterfinals.
Cameron Schmidt (Prince George, B.C.)
Schmidt comes to Team B.C. with two WHL games under his belt. The forward
made his WHL debut with Vancouver – who selected him seventh in the 2022
WHL Prospects Draft – on Jan. 6, scoring his first WHL goal to help the
Giants defeat the Tri-City Americans 3-2.
The 16-year-old has 11 goals and 19 points in 12 games with RHA Kelowna
this season. He has two goals and six points so far at the
Canada Winter Games.
Malcolm Spence (Mississauga, Ontario)
After posting 56 points in 28 games in his final season with the
Mississauga Senators, Spence was drafted second overall in the 2022 OHL
Priority Selection. In his first season with the Erie Otters, he’s tallied
12 goals and 16 assists, ranking him in the top-10 in points among rookies
in the OHL.
His talents led to him being selected to represent Canada Black at the 2022
World U17 Hockey Challenge, where he registered an assist in two games on
the international stage before an injury prematurely ended his tournament.
Nathan Watson (Mascouche, Quebec)
Watching the Montreal Canadiens on TV was what inspired Watson to begin
playing hockey at four years old. Eleven years later, the Mascouche, Que.,
native has recorded three assists for his province so far at the Canada
Watson currently attends Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire, where
he was named team MVP this season. Outside of hockey, the 15-year-old was
voted as the all-school leader by the Cardigan community for the 2022-23
Bill Zonnon (Montreal, Quebec)
Zonnon is quickly drawing the attention of the hockey world in the QMJHL.
Drafted sixth overall in the 2022 QMJHL Entry Draft, Zonnon got straight to
work. He recorded points in seven consecutive games, five goals and seven
assists, before being named rookie of the month for September and October.
The 16-year-old has 15 goals and 17 assists this season, ranking him
seventh in points on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and ninth among QMJHL
Suiting up for Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge,
alongside Lindstrom, the left winger played in six games, scoring one goal
and adding two assists.