Baptiste: From unlikely hockey background to Buffalo

Even though his parents grew up with no idea what hockey was, Ottawa’s Nick Baptiste credits them for being “instrumental in my success.”

Baptiste: From unlikely hockey background to Buffalo

NEWARK, New Jersey — Even though his parents grew up with no idea what hockey was, Ottawa’s Nick Baptiste credits them for being “instrumental in my success.”

Baptiste, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound right winger from Ottawa, who has spent the past two seasons with the Sudbury Wolves, immediately thanked his parents, Ralph Baptiste and Michele Emond. Their background isn’t exactly typical of those who have a hockey prospect for a son.

“They weren’t big in hockey and my Dad, coming from Haiti, well, he wasn’t really a big (hockey player),” said Baptiste. “It’s overwhelming for them, but I’m just so excited to have such a great family.”

Ralph Baptiste came to Ottawa from Haiti when he was 10 years old. When Nick expressed an interest in skating on the local rink, he didn’t think much of it. In a Citizen article three years ago, Baptiste told the Citizen’s Andrew Duffy that he didn’t think his original investment of $2.99 to buy Nick a pair of skates at the Salvation Army would go anywhere.

Instead, Baptiste developed into a star for the Tier II junior Ottawa Senators before being drafted by the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.

And now, he’s a Buffalo Sabres draft pick.

Baptiste likens himself to Philadephia’s Wayne Simmonds and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks, “somebody who can play both ends of the ice.”

Tags: , ,

What do you think? Leave a comment