New Jersey Devils forward Jordin Tootoo is in Yellowknife this weekend.
Though born in Churchill, Manitoba, Tootoo was raised in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut where he learned to skate and play hockey. Some of his younger years were spent in the NWT capital where he took part in different tournaments.
The former fourth-round NHL draft pick will be in Yellowknife for a number of events this weekend, including the Canadian North Midnight Sun Classic Golf Tournament at the Yellowknife Golf Club.
“I don’t think a lot of golfers are able to golf through the night and battle the mosquitoes,” Tootoo told Moose FM. “That’s always a battle every time you get on the course.
“Golfing on sand and carrying your own little pad of grass around with you and swinging away is quite the experience.
Tootoo, the first person of Inuk descent to play in the NHL, will also attend a fish fry at Somba K’e Civic Plaza on Saturday to celebrate Aboriginal Day.
He’ll also be signing copies of his new book, All The Way: My Life On Ice at the event. The novel chronicles his rise to fame and his struggles with alcohol after losing his brother.
“Being from the North myself, anytime I can give back to cities and communities is always first and foremost on my mind.
“A lot of people in the North go through similar stories that I talk about [in my book]. If I could help one person with them reading my book I’d be happy with that.
“There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. The process takes a little while – things don’t just happen overnight.
“My sobriety has been a daily battle for nearly four and a half years but I think anytime you’re up for a challenge it builds character.”
Tootoo appeared in 68 games for the Devils last season, registering 10 goals and five assists. In May, he signed a second one-year contract with the club worth $825,000.