Shalom Life | April 20, 2014

Interviews with 'Top Jews In Sports'- Zach Hyman

Our sports feature concludes with Toronto's own Zach Hyman

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: September 13th, 2011 in Culture » Society » Interviews

Interviews with 'Top Jews In Sports'- Zach Hyman

After the success of both our Top Jewish Artists and Top Jewish Models series, we have decided to bring you “Top Jews In Sports”. Over the next couple weeks, a new sports figure will be featured each day.

Since the previous format of asking all participants the same questions was so popular, we have decided to carry that over to this feature as well. Enjoy.

Day 11- Zach Hyman

Zach Hyman, 19, is a 2010 fifth round draft pick of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers. He has played for the Hamilton Red Wings of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League for the past three years, serving as their captain. In 2010, Hyman scored 75 points in 49 games for the Red Wings and followed up his draft year success with an explosive season in 2011. In 43 games, he scored 42 goals and 102 points to cap off a stellar junior hockey career. Hyman also graduated from Toronto’s well-known Jewish high school, TanenbaumCHAT in 2010 as an honour roll student. This coming season, Hyman will attend the University of Michigan and will play for the school’s highly successful hockey team, the Michigan Wolverines.

Shalom Life had a chance to talk to Hyman and discuss his biggest achievements, off-ice talents and his future.

Sammy Hudes (SH): Was there a moment when you realized this would be a career instead of a hobby or passion?

Zach Hyman (ZH): Yes, I guess it was back in grade 9 when I first committed to Princeton. When I committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey, I realized that hockey was going to actually get me into school and then I could take it from there. But then when I switched from Princeton to Michigan and I started winning a lot of awards and then when I got drafted also, I knew that I had a career in it.

SH: In your weak moments, what food item do you allow yourself to pig out on?

ZH: Maybe a little bit of ice cream. My favourite flavour is chocolate.

SH: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

ZH: Just hanging out with friends. I enjoy writing also and I’ve actually written a children’s book. Really, just writing, hanging out with friends and relaxing.

SH:Rapid fire. First thing that comes to mind. What your favorite movie?

ZH: There’s so many. For hockey movies, I guess Youngblood. I like a lot of others as well, such as Step Brothers

SH: Band?

ZH: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

SH: Book?

ZH: Hockey Hero, by Zach Hyman

SH: TV Show?

ZH:Lost, when it was on, but I like Entourage also.

SH: Gadget?

ZH: Xbox

SH: Was there ever a moment when you wanted to switch careers? If so, what career would you have chosen?

ZH: No, I never thought of switching from hockey. It was always going to be hockey.

SH: What do you regard as your biggest achievement?

ZH: Getting drafted was a huge achievement for me. It was amazing getting drafted into this great organization (the Florida Panthers).

SH: You have unlimited funds to plan your dream vacation. Tell me about it. Who would you bring?

ZH: I haven’t been to Israel, so I guess I’d go to Israel with my family and just visit there.

SH: Share something about yourself that we may not know.

ZH: I’ve written two children’s books. My first one came out this year in the fall. It’s called Hockey Hero and it’s a hockey book for children. The whole series is about kids believing in themselves and achieving their dreams. The second one coming out is a baseball book. It’s based on the same theme but it’s a lot different. There will be a bunch more out after as well. In grade 7, I actually wrote my first book, the hockey one for a short story competition. It did really well and I won the competition. My teacher said that I had a lot of potential with short stories so I kept on working on it. It finally got published and illustrated and came out this year. I’ve always liked writing, so after the competition I kept writing, and I guess it happened from there. The baseball one will be published and illustrated as well.

SH: What's your biggest fear?

ZH: I don’t know what my biggest fear is off the top of my head. In terms of pet peeves, I hate being late to games.

SH: Can you provide a piece of advice for anyone considering entering the world of sports?

ZH: Just stick with it because there are going to be a lot of ups and downs in your career no matter what sport you take on. There are going to be points for your highs and points for your lows but you just got to believe in yourself and have confidence in yourself. You can do anything if you believe because confidence is a big thing. You can achieve all of your dreams if you just believe in yourself and play hard. Always work hard 100 per cent of the time that you do it. Go all out and if you do that, you’ll have a great career.

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