APTN National News
Those who don’t quite follow the National Hockey League may not know the name Ethan Bear, but the 19-year-old from Ochapowace First Nation in Saskatchewan just got signed by the Edmonton Oilers.
Bear, who is currently taking part in the Oilers’ development camp, signed a three-year entry level contract and spoke to APTN National News Monday.
“It’s a very special feeling, even to get drafted, that’s a big step,” he says. “But to actually be a part of the team, to sign a contract, and be a part of this development camp, it’s really exciting.”
Bear got lost in mainstream media coverage largely due to the fact that star forward Connor McDavid was a first overall pick for the Oilers last year. Now, Bear – a fifth-round draft pick in that same draft – is starting to grab some headlines himself.
This past season, the 5’11”, 200 pound defenceman racked up 65 points in 69 games for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.
As a defenceman with strong offensive play, Bear may have something to offer the Oilers’ blueline.
His advice for other Indigenous youth like himself?
“Don’t quit,” he says. “When you do something you love, you’ll have a happy life. Hard work and dedication goes a long way with that.”