Hockey is for everyone, and Tyson Hinds knows that.
Last April, the Gatineau, Que., native was made aware of a story about Koby
Francis and Anthony Allain-Samaké, two U15 AAA hockey players who were
victims of racism.
“I heard about their story from one of my former coaches, who coached me
when I was younger,” says Hinds. “He texted me and asked if there was
anything I could do for them because they were really not feeling well.”
So Hinds, who is wearing the Maple Leaf at the 2023 IIHF World Junior
Championship in Halifax, contacted the two players to motivate them to
continue their hockey journey.
For the 19-year-old, he would not allow discrimination to end the careers
of these hockey players.
“I told them that some people might try to put them down along the way, but
no matter what happens, you have to keep your head up and work hard. These
two kids have a bright future.”
Thanks to this intervention, Koby and Anthony are still on the ice, and
still in contact with Hinds.
In addition to their frequent exchanges, the three were able to meet during
a visit by Hinds to Gatineau when his junior team, the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke
Phoenix, played the Olympiques.
After the game, a photo was taken at centre ice with all the BIPOC players
from both teams.
“It’s about sending a message,” says Hinds, who had two assists on the
night. “It’s to say that hockey is for everyone. It goes beyond just the
black players: there were also Israel Mianscum and Colin Ratt, two
Indigenous players, in the picture. We wanted to send a message to all
hockey stakeholders and participants.
Despite such unfortunate incidents that continue to occur, the four-year
QMJHL veteran believes that attitudes are gradually changing and that his
sport is becoming more inclusive.
“A lot of things are done every year to try to improve the situation and
stop racism in the sport,” says Hinds, who had 28 points in 27 games with
Sherbrooke before departing for Team Canada selection camp. “I think the
professional and junior leagues are putting a lot of emphasis on that. It’s
possible to get suspended now, something that wasn’t done before. We just
have to stay on the right track and keep pushing things so that all forms
of discrimination eventually disappear.”
Meanwhile, Koby and Anthony will be able to follow Hinds’ journey at the
After competing with Canada White at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey
Challenge, he is representing Canada on the international stage for the
second time in his young career.
“It’s amazing. Wearing that jersey and representing your country is
something different,” says the Anaheim Ducks’ third-round pick (76th
overall) in 2021. “It’s every young hockey player’s dream to be able to do
that. I’m so happy to have this opportunity.”
With Olen Zellweger and Ethan Del Mastro back from the team that won gold
last summer in Edmonton, and Los Angeles Kings’ defenceman Brandt Clarke a
virtual lock to make the final roster, Hinds was ready to play whatever
role he was given if it meant earning one of the final four spots on the
“I knew I was a bit of an underdog, so my goal was just to make the team,”
he says. “The more games I play, the better I get. I’m just trying to keep
playing well and getting better every game.”
He started the pre-tournament schedule last week in the role of seventh
After only one exhibition game, Canadian head coach Dennis Williams
promoted him to the second pairing alongside Clarke.
“Brandt brings a good offensive touch, while I am reliable defensively,”
Hinds says. “It’s fun to play with him. He’s already experienced, having
played a few games in the NHL earlier this season. It’s really amazing; I
couldn’t ask for a better defensive partner.”
There’s a long way to go, but Hinds is happy with his progress so far.
“I played well defensively [in the first few games]; I didn’t leave much to
the opposing forwards,” he concludes. “I was making good first passes, just
trying to keep it simple while bringing an element of toughness. That’s the
style of play the coaches expect from me.”
The goal is back-to-back gold medals for Team Canada. But gold or not,
Hinds already has a big win to his name – inspiring players like Koby
Francis and Anthony Allain-Samaké to persevere and pursue their hockey