When Sho Takai decided that he wanted to play hockey, the idea didn’t immediately find favour with his father.
It’s not surprising, given that Takai was born in Japan and emigrated to Canada at four months of age. Suffice to say that ice hockey was not a part of the Takai family background.
“My dad was a big soccer player and fan and wasn’t really all that excited about hockey. But my parents had put me in skating lessons at home in Coquitlam and after the lessons there was a sort of pick-up hockey game that would happen, and that’s where I fell in love with the game,” said Takai.
Takai was eight years old at the time and his interest in hockey was enough to convince his parents to allow him to register for the local leagues.
By the time he was 15 years old, Takai was moved to midget hockey and the following year he went to Vancouver to play with the Major Midget League (MML).
His chance at Junior B came as he was attending a spring camp in Salmon Arm in 2016 when Grizzlies coach, Ryan Parent, saw him in action and soon after called him with an offer to play for Revelstoke in the Junior B league.
“It’s great here. The guys are really good and the community is great. They’re all very supportive of the team and the players,” said Takai.
His hopes for the future mirror those of many of his teammates as he hopes to move up to Junior A next year and then vie for a NCAA scholarship for hockey.
“Who knows? There’s nothing that says I couldn’t play professionally somewhere. If not the NHL then somewhere else,” said Takai.
“I love the game and playing professionally would be amazing.”