International Ice Hockey Federation

Woo hoo!

Woo hoo!

The Golden Jett takes root at U18

Published 14.04.2017 15:21 GMT+2 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Woo hoo!
POPRAD, SLOVAKIA - APRIL 13: Canada's Jett Woo #8 winds up to take a shot on team Latvia during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Andrea Cardin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
He doesn’t know the full story behind his name, but Canada’s Jett Woo is a name you’re not likely to forget any time soon

“My dad picked my name,” he said with a chuckle after his side defeated Latvia, 4-1, yesterday. “I don’t know how he got the name. I know he’s a fan of Jet Li, but I don’t know if that’s why I got the name. I like my name, though.”

Born in Winnipeg, he already has a modern nickname with a nod to the past—The Golden Jett. He’s not blond, and he doesn’t (yet) shoot like Bobby Hull), but this Jett has two t’s and is hoping to make the NHL. So far, he’s done everything right.

“I was like every other kid in Winnipeg,” he said. “I probably started skating at five or six and started playing when I was seven. I started on the backyard of my house and a community rink. At first, I didn’t really love it, but I grew into it pretty quickly.”

A defenceman, Woo is a good skater and puckhandler, which is why the Moose Jaw Warriors drafted him 4th overall in the WHL’s bantam draft two years ago. He got his first taste of major junior at the end of the 2015-16 season after his Winnipeg Wild AAA team were eliminated from the playoffs. 

This year, he has been a regular with the Warriors, playing 65 games in the regular season and seven in the playoffs before the Warriors were eliminated by Swift Current in game seven, making Woo available for the U18 here in Slovakia.

“Honestly, every team I make I seem to have a different role,” he offered. “With this team, I’m trying to buy in and do what the coaches need me to do. Whether it’s penalty killing or being that third defenceman or sixth, I’m just trying to compete and give it my all. Every player on the team is being asked to do something he may not have done with his club team. I’m no different.”

Well, he is a bit different in that he’s the youngest player on the team. He won’t be 17 until late July.

“We’ve got a great team and a lot of skill,” he enthused. “I think this year is our year, and I believe it when I say it. The guys in the dressing room, the chemistry, we have the potential to go far.”

Although Woo was assigned number 8 here, 4 is his preference in honour of one Robert Gordon Orr. 

“I’ve always worn the number 4 for Bobby Orr,” Woo smiled. “I went to his camp in Winnipeg when I was a kid, and I got to meet him. I always watched highlights from when he played. Same for Nicklas Lidstrom. But my favourite player now is Shea Weber, so I’m trying to be like him and upgrade my game in every way.”

For now, Woo is trying to fit in, trying to move the puck when he can while committing to defence. He also speaks highly of a younger brother who might get a nickname like “Woo Two” or “Woo, Too” in due course.

“My brother’s getting really good, so maybe he’ll be better than me one day. He’s ten.”


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