WOLFVILLE, N.S. – By John DeCoste – Prior to the fall of 2017, it was rare for the Acadia hockey Axemen to have a player whose father had played in the NHL. The list, including Fred Armstrong (son of long-time Toronto captain George Armstrong), an Axemen player in the early 1980s, has not been a long one.
It’s still a fairly rare occurrence, but for the record, this year’s Axemen roster includes not one, but two ‘second generation’ hockey players, whose dads were both long-time NHLers.
Second-year winger Jack McClelland is the son of Kevin McClelland, who played all of part of 14 seasons with five NHL teams.
The elder McClelland spent most of his career as a valuable role player with the Edmonton Oilers, and ended up part of four Stanley Cup champions as a teammate of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.
Jack McClelland, who was born in Oshawa, ON in 1996, the year after his father retired as a player, grew up in the U.S, largely in Wichita, Kansas where Kevin served as head coach of the CHL Wichita Thunder from 2010-2016.
“I was born in Oshawa, but I didn’t live there long,” says Jack, who moved around a lot as a youth as his father’s lengthy coaching career progressed.
He played most of his junior hockey with the Wichita Thunder Tier 1 Junior A team in the Western States Hockey League. His father was coaching the pro team in Wichita at the time, “so I was never coached by him.”
First-year Axemen defenseman T.J. Fergus is the son of Tom Fergus, who played all or part of 12 NHL seasons, including multiple years in Boston, Toronto and Vancouver.
While he never got his name on the Stanley Cup, Tom Fergus finished his career in 1995 with 235 goals and 581 points in 726 NHL games. He had 28 and 30-goals season with Boston, and scored a season-high 31 goals his first season with Toronto in 1985-1986.
T.J. Fergus, born in Oakville, ON in 1997 – two years after his dad retired as a player following two seasons playing in Switzerland – played his major junior hockey in the OHL, spending three seasons with the Erie Otters and splitting his age-20 season between Hamilton and Barrie.
During his time with Erie, he was a teammate of current NHL superstar Connor McDavid, who “was my captain” during the 2014-2015 season.Read more »