On July 5th, Abbotsford Canucks General Manager, Ryan Johnson, announced that the club had signed forward Jermaine Loewen to a two-year contract through the end of the 2024-25 AHL season. Loewen, 25, spent the entirety of the 2022-23 season with the Vegas Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate Henderson Silver Knights, leading the team with 84 penalty minutes over 51 games played.

We sat down with the Jamaican born forward to learn more about the newest member of the Abbotsford Canucks.

What can Abbotsford fans expect from you this season?

A physical player, I finish my checks, I bring energy. I’ve been an energy player for the last number of years, and even my time in junior. I’m hoping to translate that, and also a bit of skill and help guys on the third and fourth lines.

Have you always played a physical style of hockey?

I’ve always been known to be a physical player. I have a big body so my presence let’s me protect my teammates and I’m proud to be able to do that when the time is right.

Tell us about your unique path to playing pro hockey.

I’m not sure if many people know my story already, but I grew up in Jamaica until age five in an orphanage. My parents, from Manitoba, went over there for humanitarian aid. They saw me and they wanted to adopt me out of the orphanage. It was 21 months later and I moved to Arborg, Manitoba, that’s where my family is from. I lived there for a few years and started playing shinny hockey, as well as pond hockey back home. Then I had a friend one day tell me that I should try hockey. At that time I had only been in Canada for a couple of years, but I asked my parents if I could play hockey. It was foreign to me, then they told me I could play for one year.

I fell in love with the game. It all just seemed like something I wanted to accomplish and become the first Jamaican born player to be drafted into the NHL. It was a goal that I had set when I was 12 years old, and then I started playing hockey in Arborg and I progressed fairly well. The first year was pretty rough, I didn’t really know the game coming from Jamaica. I really had to progress my game as fast as I could, and then I got drafted by the Kamloops Blazers (WHL) where I played for five years. I was there for about 300 games, and captained them in my last year.

How has your work ethic driven you to success in your career?

Coming into hockey, I didn’t know what that journey was going to be like. I had a moment, an awakening, thinking it would be really cool to be the first Jamaican born player to get drafted (into the NHL) and to work as hard as I can. I feel like I thrive being the underdog, and my mind set is that “I’m not an underdog, I’m an overcomer”. First year in junior, I didn’t have any points and it was pretty rough. 16 years old, moved 2000 kilometers away from home, it was difficult. That was an up and down season for me, mostly down. I thought that this may not be the path for me, I went home and felt upset about my performances and my game because prior to that I had pretty good production.

To have that moment, things then started to snowball for me in my later years, and then everything came together when I got drafted as an 19 year old. That’s just the up and down path I’ve been on. For me, resiliency is a big word and I like to tell younger kids that.

How have your leadership qualities translated to the AHL?

I learned a lot being a leader, I’ve had to with the help of my trainer and my agent. I always take room to become better and take criticism and say “how can I grow from that?”. That’s the kind of mindset you need to have as a leader. Seeing some of the leaders in Abbotsford, and obviously playing with Quinn (Schmiemann), I know what he brings, what other guys bring, and I’ve got to just be myself. Don’t need to do too much, just live my life and my habits will present themselves on the ice.

You wrote a children’s book a few years ago, can you tell us about that experience?

I wrote a children’s book almost three years ago. It was during Covid and the Black Lives Matter movement. There was a lot of racial tension in the United States. Seeing all of the stuff on the news, my agent approached me and said “why don’t we do a book so you can share your experiences and have it be tangible.” The book is called Ari’s Awful Day, and Ari is a black lion. Ari has his own issues and problems, and me as well, throughout my career I experienced bullying. This book represents what my life has been like, trying to fit in and overcoming that. I can use that book when my career is done and inspire people. It is a book that I co-authored with Thom Van Dycke, and I’m hoping I can do some more as my life and career goes on.

What do you like to get up to in your spare time?

I’m a bit of a nerd in this way but I love to read. I love self help books and studying/learning all of the time. Reading and sitting by the pool is my hanging out and having a good time, and then I also love to go fishing. Getting those opportunites with friends and I went fishing with my dad back in Manitoba. I’m pretty easy go lucky that way and I just enjoy any time I get to be outdoors.

To watch the full interview with Jermaine on our Youtube channel, please click HERE.