MONTREAL - Jordan Weal picked up some tricks of the hockey trade from watching current and former NHLers.
Earlier this summer, we spoke with the 27-year-old forward to learn more about his top influences.
Growing up, my idol was Joe Sakic. He's from Vancouver. He had one of the best one-timers in the League. He was a real threat to the opposing team every time he entered the offensive zone. I followed him really closely when I was younger. I also enjoyed watching the Avalanche because they had a lot of good players, including Sakic and Peter Forsberg.
Pavel Datsyuk is a player I watched a lot. I always wanted to imitate him, both offensively and defensively. He accomplished so many special things, but I think he went a bit under the radar. I don't think he got all the credit he deserved. The things he was able to do night after night, season after season, were incredible. He never thought about himself and his stats. You learn to love hockey just by watching him play. Over the last 10 years, he was definitely a player that inspired me because he could do everything on the ice.
When I was growing up, Sidney Crosby was just starting out in the NHL. He was an exciting young player to watch. He was very dynamic. I'd say the majority of Canadian kids wanted to play like him and tried to imitate some of his moves on the ice.