Hockey Players That Don't Look Like Hockey Players
It's lunchtime on a Friday in your bustling downtown city. You work in a wildly populated metropolitan area and decide to take a spontaneous afternoon trip to your local coffee shop for a quick caffeine fix. As you disregard jaywalking laws and hustle across the street, you see a decently built man pass you by. He looks familiar. He's got a sharp suit on, a toque to match, AirPods in, and a coffee in hand. You get a whiff of his cologne which you can envision being called "Teakwood Graphite Musk".
And then it hits you. He's a hockey player. You've seen him on TV this past spring - except when you saw him, he was sweaty, in his gear, and his beard was definitely longer. He plays for your local team and there was some buzz on Twitter about the team winning the Stanley--something. You don't care for hockey and you know that crossing paths with that mystery player was probably a big deal, but it's too late to go back and ask for a photo or an autograph - besides, you don't even know their name or if your hunch was correct.
You chalk it up as a missed opportunity, go on with your day, and then later find out that he was the MVP of the league and a contender for something called the "Bart Ross Trophy" or something peculiar like that. Your co-workers are mad at you for not getting an autograph because the team's social media posted a photo of them walking to the arena in that exact outfit. Oh well. Not a big deal. You'll get them next time.
With that being said, we want to delve into some players that don't actually look like hockey players. The players that if you saw on the street, you'd walk right past them without a second thought. Put yourself in the shoes of a mild-mannered sports fan that doesn't follow the game and wouldn't recognize the league's most well-known players even if his or her life depended on it as we dive into a list of players that don't actually look like hockey players.
1. Chris Kreider
We'll start this off with the Rangers' Chris Kreider. I truly think he does look like a hockey player, but in this photoshoot that he did for this Bloomberg article, he looks like one of the unnamed villains that chase down Jason Bourne or James Bond in a high-speed chase that features a motorcycle, hand-to-hand combat, and a bunch of explosions. The photoshoot has a thoughtful and artistically dark theme to it, but that just adds to the narrative that he does look like someone who is chasing down the good guy in an action thriller that inevitably ends up on Netflix once it wraps up in theatres.
2. Casey Mittelstadt & Co.
These guys are walking through FiDi in Patagonia vests. They're interns at Goldman Sachs, have robust portfolios, and work alongside other highly-trained, prospective analysts that look to outperform index benchmarks through rigorous fundamental analysis. It's definitely not Casey Mittelstadt, Nico Hischier, Gabriel Vilardi, and Nolan Patrick although this image does make them all look like they belong in the financial sector interning at an accounting firm. They honestly look like they were at a company outing at a hockey game, but Mittelstadt looks especially young in this photo, so it's only right the Sabres cast him as their version of Kevin McAllister from Home Alone.
3. Johnny Gaudreau
Okay, this one was sort of a toss-up because I truly think Johnny Gaudreau looks like a hockey player, but this image does not do him justice. Regardless of whether you determine "looking young" as a good thing or a bad thing, it's no question that Gaudreau looks younger than he does older. We did notice that there is a recurring trend of players that "look" younger that ended up on this list, but the sample size is too small to officially denounce younger-looking players as professional hockey players.
Regardless, the Fountain of Youth is bountiful for the Flames' superstar forward. He's 26 years old, looks 21 years old, and is one of the most dominant players in the league. His nickname is "Johnny Hockey" which is by far the most honorable nickname ever because the sport he plays is literally in his name. You can't get more on-brand than that.
However, it is also important to note that he could star in a reboot of Wizards of Waverly Place next to Selena Gomez or play an integral role in Disney's new show, "The Suite Life of John and Brodie" - featuring Johnny Gaudreau and TJ Brodie (taking place in Calgary). Seriously - you could've replaced that Expansion Draft backdrop with the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards logo and I would've been none the wiser.
4. Joe Thornton
This one is a bit of an outlier not because he's old, but because people in the hockey realm truly know and understand the importance of a good beard. Hockey beards are the staple of playoff hockey, but to the average fan, it is an indicator of someone who frequents breweries and loves the outdoors. Joe Thornton is the king of playoff beards, but to the middle-of-the-pack sports fan, he could simply be someone who finds joy in directing people in the Yosemite Village, loves road trips in his Subaru to Yellowstone National Park, and trying the new nitro triple-hopped IPA at his local microbrewery. Don't get me wrong, the beard is glorious and I hate knocking it because of the flak I'll get from actual fans, but remember - you had to put yourself in the shoes of someone who wouldn't know who Joe Thornton was and analyze it from where their mind would go if they saw him on the street.
5. Phil Kessel
Phil the Thrill is truly a thrill to watch on the ice. He's got unbelievable talent and a wicked wrister that would make any netminder shake. However, in this little snippet of his Under Armour ad, he also looks like he'd get a Victory Royale in Fortnite 100% of the time and dominate as Bangalore in Apex Legends. He looks like he's about to link up as "FaZe Kessel" and participate in the 2020 Call of Duty tourneys and take home one of the most prized trophies in all of e-sports. With that being said, I think it's just seeing athletes outside of their equipment that allows us to realize that these athletes love comfortable leisurewear and remind us that they're just "one of us"... just with a few million dollars under their belt.
6. Jay Bouwmeester
Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues on winning the 2019 Stanley Cup. Congratulations to everyone involved - from the coaches to the training staff to the technical production team that was involved in filming, editing, and producing the game footage and highlights for the end-of-season Blu-Ray DVD. A special thank you to the head of that technical team - Jay Bouwmeester. This photo (and it's dark backdrop) does make Jay look like he's waiting to speak at the next Apple conference next to Apple' s CEO Tim Cook, but the glasses definitely contribute to a very tech-savvy look he's got going on. If I saw him on the Google HQ campus in Mountain View, I'd think "he works for the Google Cloud division", not "that's 2019 Stanley Cup champion Jay Bouwmeester".
7. Henrik Lundqvist
The King. And he's our king too. He has his own fashion line already (so this one actually is somewhat true), but Henrik Lundqvist could've never faced a puck in his entire life and still would've made the same amount of money that he did in his entire career by starting his own #InMyCalvins campaign. Whether it be Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Levi's Jeans or Calvin Klein, Henrik Lundqvist would've fit right in with the lineup of models that pose in front of the camera for those brands. With the right amount of scruff and the perfect hair (it's cheap), the King could've ruled the fashion world.
8. Semyon Der-Arguchintsev
Cue the music. Okay - most of you guys might not know who this is, but this is Semyon Der-Arguchintsev. He's from Moscow Russia, he's 18 years old (turning 19 in a couple of weeks - happy early birthday Semyon), and he played for the Peterborough Petes in the OHL, got drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs 76th overall last year, and now plays for the Newfoundland Growlers in the ECHL. He also looks like he's part of the cast of the Netflix original series (now in its third season) - Stranger Things. Alongside the popular cast of Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, David Harbour, and Winona Ryder, Semyon looks like he's going to play Finn Wolfhard's role of Mike in a spinoff "Stranger Things: Fast Forwarded" in which the characters are in college and dealing with the Demogorgons.