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    Jeremy Swayman

    Jew Score:
    11

    I4

    O3

    K4
    November 24, 1998 —

    In 1999, Scott Gomez of the New Jersey Devils became an NHL first. No, he was not the first-ever Hispanic player, as was widely reported at the time. He was the first-ever NHLer born in Alaska.

    Alaska! Isn't all of it covered by ice? Shouldn't the only professions it produces be polar bear hunters, ice fishermen, and, yes, hockey players?

    And yet, from the NHL's formation in 1917 all the way to the turn of the century, not a single Alaskan made the big leagues. Two and a half decades after Gomez's pioneering entry, the total has ballooned to 14.

    Which brings us to current Bruins all-star goaltender Jeremy Swayman, who was long rumored Jewish and has recently shared the details of his bar mitzvah. Does this make Swayman the first Alaska-born NHL Jew?

    We'd have to say yes on this one, even though we amazingly have already profiled two of other 13: Brandon Dubinsky and Nate Thompson. The former is just Jewy-sounding, the latter is a convert after marriage. So while Thompson is an Alaskan Jew, he is not exactly an Alaskan-born Jew, giving Swayman the pioneering crown. How is that for semantics?

    Interestingly, Alaska's Canadian neighbor, Yukon, has even fewer NHLers: three. Not a single Jew among them, of course.

    Verdict: Jew.

    April 10, 2024

    See Also

    Brandon Dubinsky

    Devon Levi

    Cory Schneider

    Nate Thompson

    Marty Turco
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2024.