DALLAS – The player with the movie star name heard it called in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Defenseman Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors was taken with the 34th overall pick of the draft Saturday at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.
Named after action movie star Jett Li, Woo became the second player of Chinese descent to be drafted by an NHL team. Defenseman Andong Song became the first Chinese-born player drafted when the New York Islanders took him in the sixth round in 2015.
“It’s cool,” Woo said. “To have my heritage with me in this process is something that’s really cool to me. And to grow up so involved in my heritage my family is something really special.”
Woo, a 17-year-old from Winnipeg, was ranked the 28th-best North American skater, down from 20th at mid-term. He tallied 9 goals and 16 assists and 2 goals and 1 assist in 14 WHL playoff games. He also contributed a goal and an assist for Team Canada at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation U18 World Junior Championship.
“Yeah, it was difficult, and I’m not afraid to say that,” Woo said of the abdominal and shoulder injuries that plagued him last season “To go into playoffs and play my best there was something I was pretty proud of. It was such a great team and organization and city behind me. It wasn’t such a tough transition to go back on the ice with them behind me.”
Woo also said he had a strong family behind him. His father, Larry Woo, played for Victoria Cougars and Swift Current Broncos in the WHL and then for the University of Manitoba.
“The whole family, they dedicated so much and sacrificed so much for me and my brother and my sisters as well,” Woo said. “So, to have him and my mom always on my side and take those long road trips. You drive me to the rink or back. To go through the process and, you know, make me come here.”
In Woo, the Canucks are getting a hard-hitting right-hand defenseman.
“I like to make sure that the defensive side of the puck is taken care of,” he said, “Whether that be…winning puck battles, playing hard for the puck, you know, being physically in the right moments, or being able to have a different angle on the puck. All of those things…I put first and then my offense will come after that.”
Erica L. Ayala contributed to this report. Follow her @elindsay08.
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