RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Jordan Martinook, formerly of the Leduc Oil Kings.
Growing up in Saskatchewan, Jordan started his hockey journey by playing on the outdoor rink in his backyard, beginning at the age of three. Originally, he wasn’t a big fan of the game until he turned five, when he started to love playing. Besides ice hockey, Jordan played football, lacrosse, in-line hockey, and soccer, which he believes benefited his hockey skills in different ways. Even now during the offseason, he plays tennis and pickle ball to stay fresh and work on his coordination.
Working his way through the Leduc Minor Hockey and Leduc Junior Athletic Club systems, Jordan played one season of U15 AAA, one season of U16 AAA, and one season of U18 AAA before moving on to play for the Drayton Valley Thunder when he was 17. For his 18- and 19-year-old seasons, he moved on to play with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.
In 2012, Jordan turned pro by joining the Portland Pirates, the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes. He got his first taste of NHL action in 2014-15 when he played eight games with the Coyotes, before becoming a full-time player in 2015-16. After three seasons in Arizona, Jordan moved on to the Carolina Hurricanes, where is about to enter his fifth season with the team.
“My favourite thing about hockey is that I get to live out my dream that I had as a five-year-old kid. I play hockey for a living and not many people get to say that,” said Jordan. “The game has also allowed me to give back to the communities I’ve played in, and I have been able to do lots of charity work that helps out kids along the way.”
Jordan credits the support of his family as the biggest influence in his career. They have been there for him through his entire journey, sacrificing a lot of time for him to get where is now, and he is forever grateful for that.
Learning essential skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and hard work, are a few of the key things that Jordan believes minor hockey taught him. His advice to younger players is to just have fun and don’t let it take over your life.
“You should be excited to show up to the rink everyday, and every time you step on the ice try to focus on getting better at one thing.”