It is hard to believe that Kabir Gill is just 14 years old. The young ice hockey star,who was drafted by Seattle earlier this year, is 6 feet 2 inches weighing 205 pounds. Out of a total of 250 players, Gill was the only player of Punjabi origin to be drafted.
Gill started skating at the age of three and hockey came when he was five. He began his journey as a hockey player as part of the Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association (CMHA). After playing for the CMHA for three years, Gill spent the last six years playing AAA (the highest caliber of minor hockey)under some great coaches to finish his minor hockey career.
His day usually starts at 6 am and ends at 11 pm and comprises of training on and off ice, school, homework, healthy eating, and spending a few hours with his family. “It's not easy trying to be an elite athlete. Everything is very structured. To play at this level you really need to sacrifice a lot of time and energy,” says Gill.
The promising hockey player has come a long way with his game. He was one of eight kids to ever win back to back Western Canadian Championship with the North Shore Winter Club (NSWC). Gill had a great year with his personal statistics this year in NSWC putting up 23 goals and 52 assists for 75 points as a defence man. Having just finished his season at the NSWC, the young athlete has already made it to the Major Midget League with Valley West Hawks as a first year.
For Gill, hockey is his life and he dreams of playing in the National Hockey League (NHL). “My goal is to play in the Western Hockey League (WHL) when I am 16 or 17, and then on to the NHL,” he says. Despite being so young, he is very confident of the career path he wants to take. “I know it is every kid’s dream to play in the NHL and it’s not that easy, but you never know,” he adds.
At the same time, he is well aware of the importance of school and is confident of managing a balance between both. Gill currently attends Elgin Park Secondary School in White Rock. Family has been a huge support system for Gill – not only financially but also mentally. “My dad takes out a lot of time; he picks me up from school and drives me every day to North Shore. Even my grandparents come to watch my games. My mother makes sure that I am always prepared – be it my meals, school work or other daily activities.”
Gill was picked 103rd overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds in this year’s Bantam Draft and is training in Saskatoon with an agency for his upcoming hockey camp. He has been training five to six days a week since the past few months getting ready for his first upcoming WHL camp. He is looking forward to a big championship tournament in December for a Major Midget Hockey tournament.
Although he has only been ice hockey for a few years, Gill understands injuries to be one of the biggest obstacles that players have to face. “In November I hurt my back so I missed a big part of the end of the season. It was tough knowing that your rankings would drop, but then I realized that I’m just 14 and it’s just Bantam Hockey,” he says.
Whenever he is not busy with hockey and school, Gill spends time with his friends playing ping pong or go-karting as he is usually fond of socializing. “I am just happy about what I’ve done so far, I haven’t really accomplished great things but I’m hoping for great things,” says Gill summing up.