A Haitian Hockey Star?


Above: Anthony Duclair

By the Caribbean Journal staff

It’s just been a few weeks of preseason, but the New York Rangers may have a future star on their hands: Anthony Duclair.

The 5’11” Canadian winger has the speed, skill and energy to be a force in the NHL this season, even at just 19 years old.

And last season, he put up mind-boggling numbers for the Quebec Ramparts in junior hockey: 50 goals and 49 assists in just 59 games.

And that success has continued in the preseason, with four points in just two games against the Flyers and Blackhawks.

But he also has something else: Haitian heritage.

Both of Duclair’s parents come from Haiti, meaning Duclair could be the NHL’s first Haitian star.

While Haitian athletes have excelled in a variety of sports, particularly the National Football League, the history of Haitian-heritage hockey players is rather scant.

The one NHL player actually born in Haiti was Claude Vilgrain, who played parts of five seasons and 89 games in the NHL, with most of the games for the New Jersey Devils.

There are several other current players of Haitian heritage, in fact: Montreal Canadiens defenceman Francois Bouillon’s father is Haitian; Dallas Stars defenceman Maxime Fortunus is also of Haitian heritage.

Duclair would also join a growing fraternity of NHL players of Caribbean heritage, none more famous than current Montreal Canadiens star PK Subban, a son of Jamaican and Montserratian parents.