VANCOUVER -- For Vancouver Canucks center Jordan Schroeder, playing in the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic will bring his young career full circle. The Minnesota native credits pond hockey for sparking his passion for the game and helping him get to the NHL.
Schroeder said he was "4 or 5" years old when he began playing on a pond in his neighbor's backyard in Lakeville, a suburb south of Minneapolis. Eighteen years later Schroeder is looking forward to playing outside again, but Sunday (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS) it will be in front of 55,000 fans against the Ottawa Senators at BC Place.
The stage may be a lot bigger now, but Schroder doesn't think he would have reached it if not for that small pond that ignited his passion for the sport, and the countless hours spent refining his skating and skills on it and other outdoor rinks around Minnesota.