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Woo drafted by Canucks, second-highest pick of Chinese descent

Defenseman calls getting selected No. 37 in NHL Draft 'really special'

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

DALLAS -- Jett Woo was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the second round (No. 37) of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on Saturday, becoming the second-highest pick of Chinese descent in draft history. 

 

[RELATED: Complete NHL Draft Coverage]

 

Video: DRAFT | Woo Emotional Family Meeting After Selection

"I'm still shaking," said Woo, a right-shot defenseman of Moose Jaw in the Western Hockey League. "Like every other person who has gone through this, there's no words to describe it. I didn't really understand and didn't know about everything (regarding my heritage) until the NHL Scouting Combine, really, when people were telling me about being one of the highest of Chinese descent.

"To have all that support in that way and to have my heritage with me in this process is something that's really pulled me into learning more about my heritage and my family and it's something really special."

The highest-drafted player of Chinese descent is Joshua Ho-Sang, chosen in the first round (No. 28) by the New York Islanders in the 2014 NHL Draft. 

Woo, 17, was born and trained in Winnipeg; his father, Larry, is of Chinese descent and his mother, Dolly, is of German ancestry. Woo's grandparents were born in Canton, China and owned a small restaurant chain in Winnipeg called Marigolds. His grandfather has since died.

Woo (6-foot, 200 pounds) had 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 44 games, and had three points (two goals, one assist) in 14 WHL playoff games. He missed six weeks after sustaining a separated shoulder 18 games into the season, then missed another month recovering from a strained oblique muscle and hip pointer.

Video: Jett Woo meets the media after being drafted

Woo confirmed those injuries are behind him.

"I think the biggest part of my game, ever since I was a little kid, is that like to make sure the defensive side of the puck is taken care of whether that be winning battles, playing hard for the puck, being physical in the right moments and being able to have a different angle of the puck," Woo said. "All those things come first, and then my offense comes after that."

Larry Woo, Jett's father, played forward for Victoria and Swift Current in the WHL and then for four seasons for the University of Manitoba. Larry and Dolly named Jett, the oldest of their three children, after Chinese film star Jet Li.

"As the story goes, I think Jet Li was coming to Winnipeg and my grandparents were going to host him as a billet family but Li decided to go into Hollywood instead, which worked out for him," Woo said. "My grandparents loved the name and my parents loved the name, so that's where I believe the name came from."

Jett said he hopes to have an opportunity someday to play an NHL game in China. The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames will play in the 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games Sept. 15-19 in Shenzen and Beijing.

"I've never been to China, so it would be really neat to go there and play a hockey game, for sure," Woo said. "Going to China is something on my bucket list."

Video: DRAFT | Jett Woo's Parents Discuss Their Son

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