One of my favorite things about hockey being an international sport are the names we get treated to every year in the draft. It reminds me of when my mom and I would read the newspaper when I was growing up, reading every single name off the birth announcements, weighing how much we liked the sound of it.
Looking forward to the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, which might be the last meaningful NHL event this year, I wanted to get a feel for this draft class based on their names. (By the way, did you know there are two different Dylan Robinsons playing in the OHL who are draft eligible this year? That’s weird, right?)
Slowly, I started to notice a trend. This draft is chock full of leading male character names. If I wasn’t reading off of Elite Prospects, I would’ve assumed I accidentally opened up a character name generator. I refuse to believe any of these boys are real.
To be perfectly clear: all of these names rule. I want to hear these names read by PA announcers and broadcasters across the country and I hope for all of these boys that it happens for them.
But also, here’s what each of these insanely good names make me think of when I first hear them:
This name was created by an extremely niche name generator that asked for an edgy bad boy hockey player name. He breaks the main character’s heart when she finds out he only asked her out as a joke, but he started to have real feelings once he got to know the real her.
A book about a twenty-something woman who travels abroad to find herself and meets a Scandinavian man who treats her kindly, which freaks her out because emotions are complicated and maybe her boyfriend died or something? Anyway, this Kasper fella is suddenly in her life and disappears just as quickly — like a ghost, get it? — leaving a lasting impression and weirdly just one photo of them together, that she keeps pressed in a book she bought at the airport on the way home.
This player doesn’t exist. Frankly, I just imagine Tyler Pitlick with Jaromir Jagr’s flow.
This guy was one of Rory Gilmore’s boyfriends, probably from when she was at Yale, or introduced through her grandparents. Or a love interest from a teen romcom, like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Something about a hyphenated first name, the swagger of choosing John-Jason over going by JJ just makes you wanna root for the guy, right?
Mysterious French love interest for an original background character that’s obviously self-insert for the 13-year-old who wrote it in Anne Rice fan fiction — before Rice started suing people for writing fan fiction.
This is the name that the Niall Horan character gets when One Direction fan fiction has to change everyone’s names so it can go to publish.
When you wanna write the boy-next-door, but you have to make sure everyone knows he’s Canadian.
Bear Hughes is a Scott McCall type leading character, a teen heartthrob athlete with a heart of gold. The Fictional Bear Hughes is very sweet and genuine and kind and insanely dumb. Bear Hughes said “himbo rights.”
The absolute power this name holds. Ivan Ivan: A name so strong, you have to say it twice. Unfortunately, Western writers are uh, pretty gross about writing Eastern European characters, so I won’t list the litany of stereotypes a character named Ivan Ivan would likely embody. I just needed to point out how good this name is and how happy I am that it exists in the world.
This is the guy from The Vampire Diaries, I know it.
Will any of these names become huge stars, just because they have a super star name? Who can say?
All I know is that my mom always told me to not judge a book by its cover, but every year she would make her Super Bowl prediction based on the team whose uniform she liked better — and she rarely missed.