Most of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins‘ hockey life has been spent in Western Canada.
Growing up in Burnaby, B.C., he starred with the Burnaby Winter Club before moving one province over for junior hockey, and playing with WHL Red Deer.
Nugent-Hopkins didn’t have to move very far to begin his professional career. He was taken first overall at the 2011 draft by Edmonton, and has been a prominent fixture in the lineup ever since.
The 24-year-old still has ties to B.C., however. Specifically when it comes to reminiscing about his childhood heroes — fellow Burnaby native Joe Sakic, and North Vancouver’s Paul Karyia.
“Those two guys, obviously, had really great NHL careers,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “Just really great hockey players, and it’s pretty cool to have those two guys as local heroes.”
Nugent-Hopkins and the Oilers are back in action on Saturday, when they look to close out their opening-round playoff series against San Jose. You can catch all the action on NBCSN, beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET.