It looks like Ethan Bear has a very bright future in hockey. Growing up on the Ochapowace First Nation in Whitewood, Sask., he’s also proud of where he comes from and is a role model for Indigenous kids.
When Bear was 14, he left his home to go to the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, B.C. and says he has always received a lot of support from his family. As he turned 18, he was drafted 124th overall for the Edmonton Oilers and is now attending the team’s prospect camp.
He’s an excellent defenceman and has represented Canada at international hockey matches for the under-18 team.
“Growing up we had a rink right on the reserve, so after school my buddies and I would also go there. It was always open, at any time. The rink manager also kept it open for us. I give credit to them for making me who I am,” Bear told reporters after hearing his name called at the NHL draft.
Bear’s biggest role model is his older brother, who played hockey for the University of Manitoba, but also admires Montreal Canadiens’ goalie Carey Price and Jordin Tootoo, who plays for the New Jersey Devils.
“I’m proud of who I am and where I come from and I get lots of support,” he said. “It’s really special. I really love my heritage “
What do you admire about Ethan Bear? Who else in sports serves as a role model for you?