Caribbean Roots Player Makes NHL History

quinton-byfield-nhl
Jamie Hersch of the NHL Network interviews Caribbean roots Quinton Byfield after his selection by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2020 National Hockey League Draft. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Oct. 19, 2020: A Caribbean roots player has become the highest selected Black player in the history of the National Hockey League.

Canadian-born, Jamaican roots player, Quinton Byfield, 18, was the No. 2 pick in 2020 NHL Draft, signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings on Friday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“It means a lot to me, it’s something special,” Byfield said after being drafted. “Being in the record books for anything is definitely super-special, especially [since] my dad and my mom didn’t play hockey or have too much knowledge about that, so kind of just growing the game together. It just shows there’s a lot of opportunity for everyone in the world that you can play every sport and be successful in it.”

Byfield scored 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) in 45 games with Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League last season. He tied for fifth in the OHL in points per game (1.82), led Sudbury in points, assists and plus-minus rating (plus-26) and was second on the team in goals.

He has scored 143 points (61 goals, 82 assists) with a plus-38 rating in 109 games in his two OHL seasons and was the youngest player on Canada’s roster when it won the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.

“Quinton is an exceptional young man and talented player with a very bright future,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said after drafting Byfield. “We’re proud to be adding him to our organization and look forward to the next stages of his development and a promising career in L.A.”