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In Owuya's Own Words

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

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Mark Owuya gets the story of the day nod at the opening of the Leafs Prospect Camp.

The personable 23-year has rapped on Sweden’s Got Talent and was inspired to be a goalie by a hockey card. He was born in Stockholm. His mom is Russian. His dad is Nigerian.

You don’t see many rapping Swedish goalies of Nigerian and Russian descent.  You just don’t.

Last year Owuya played 32 games with Djurgardens in the Swedish Elite League and compiled 2.18 goals against average.

The rest we will let him tell in his own words:

His hockey background:
“I was born in Stockholm. I started playing when I was eight or nine years old. I had no hockey in my family but I had some friends who played hockey. My mom didn’t want me to play at first because it’s really expensive. I have to thank her for letting me play.

On playing goal: Why not. You get to play all 60 minutes. It’s interesting. The reason I actually started playing hockey was because I wanted to be a goalie. One of my friends who did not play hockey had this hockey card of Dominik Hasek. He said ‘this is one of the best goalies in the world.’  I said, ‘wow, I want to be like him.’

On imitating the great Hasek:
I realized early on I wouldn’t play like that. It’s not my style but I love the way he competes and keeps competing and works hard. He does what he has to do, stop the puck. That’s what matters.

On his rap career: Music is kind of a hobby. I haven’t done much lately. Some people go fishing. I like music.

On appearing on Sweden’s Got Talent: 
I did a lot of music in theatre arts at school. I loved that. I thought it would be funny to be a part of a TV show. I went there and did my thing and I was there for a couple of episodes.

On why he chose coming to the Leafs as a free agent:
  Francois (goaltending consultant Francois Allaire) is here.  He’s the biggest reason I chose to come here because I worked with him for so many years in Sweden.  He helped me play the way I play today.

His parents: My mom was born in Russia. My dad was born in Uganda. They met in Russia. My father moved to Russia so he could study. I have no idea how they ended up in Sweden.  No idea at all.

On the varied backgrounds of people living in Toronto after life in homogeneous Sweden: Actually I don’t care about the backgrounds, I care about the people.
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