Physical size helps in hockey, but many of the skills it requires — acceleration, balance, a low centre of gravity — can be daunting for bigger people. That's why, in a sense, Sudbury, Ont., peewee hockey player Ethan Lavallee, who at 12 years old is already a towering 6-foot-5 and 192 pounds, is actually an underdog. He's attempting to make it in a sport despite being overly blessed by genetics.
Size is no predictor of NHL success. Lavallee, whom the Toronto Star reports is already three inches taller than his father, plays for the Nickel City Sons peewee AAA team. Being more than a foot taller than most of his adolescent puck-chasing peers makes Ethan a target of opponents and fans.