Over the past several years I’ve developed an appreciation for watching live NHL Hockey games with my friends. The action is fast passed and it’s loud and colorful every time the home team scores a goal. I also love meeting random ultra fans, decked out in their team swag and happy to share interesting tidbits of Hockey history and trivia. On my last trip to see the NJ Devils play the Florida Panthers, I learned that the NHL has several top rated Jewish hockey players.
Veteran left-winger Jason Zucker of the Pittsburgh Penguins is the longest-tenured Jewish NHL player currently in the league. “Judaism is all-in or nothing, in my opinion,” said Zucker, who has a Hebrew message tattooed on his left arm. “I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s just the way the Jewish religion works. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
Quinn, Jack and Luke Hughes are a trio of Jewish hockey-playing brothers that made history as the first American family to have three siblings all drafted into the NHL in the first round. The NJ Devils scored Jack Hughes along with his younger brother Luke Hughes as fourth overall draft pick, while Quinn Hughes was nabbed by the Vancouver Canucks. Jack also made history as the first Jewish hockey player to be picked first overall draft pick in the NHL.
Adam Fox of the NY Rangers was recipient of the James Norris Memorial Trophy for the league’s best defenseman and a 7-year, $66.5 million contract. He grew up rooting for the Rangers in Long Island. “There are a lot of Jewish residents on Long Island, so it’s cool for me to represent that community,” Fox said. “And, you know, there are not many Jewish athletes. So to be one of the few and have people who come from where I come from look up to me… I think it’s definitely pretty special.”
Zach Hyman plays for the Edmonton Oilers and the number on his jersey has special significance. In a recent interview Hyman explained; “I’m Jewish and in Judaism 18 is a lucky number; it’s chai which means ‘life’ in Hebrew”. As a youth he attended the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto and in 2013 he won a Gold Medal representing Canada at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. “For me, being Jewish is more than just a religion. Obviously, there’s a really big communal aspect to it,” he said.
Josh Ho-Sang of the New York Islanders finds his roots in many cultures. His mother Ericka is a Chilean Jew with roots in Russia, Germany, and Spain. His father, Wayne, is a Jamaican Christian whose heritage can be traced to Hong Kong. Ho-Sang was raised celebrating all of the cultural traditions in his household including Judaism, and has embraced his role as a model for the many groups he represents.
The 2022-2023 NHL hockey season is just around the corner and FloridaRegionFJMC.org is working behind the scenes with both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers to organize TWO epic Guys Night Out Men’s Club and Brotherhood group Hockey experiences.
SAVE THE DATE for two FloridaRegionFJMC.org Hockey Nights to Remember:
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets at Amalie Arena in Tampa
Thursday December 15, 2022 at 7pm
Florida Panthers vs. New Jersey Devils at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise
Wednesday December 21, 2022 at 7pm
These words of Hockey and Fun and Brotherhood and Guys Night Out are brought to you by the Florida Region of the FJMC. We serve the needs of Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods across the State of Florida from the Panhandle to Miami. If you are not yet affiliated with the Federation, then today is the day to join us. Get to know more about the Florida Region of FJMC and our growing statewide network of dynamic Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods on our website www.FloridaRegionFJMC.org and please visit and LIKE our Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/FloridaRegionFJMC.