Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Junior hockey player who died at training camp remembered as gentle, hardworking

Acadie-Bathurst Titan's Jordan Boyd is shown in a 2013 training camp portrait released by the QMJHL on Monday Aug. 12, 2013. The 16-year-old died Monday in Bathurst, N.B. after he collapsed during tryouts.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, QMJHL - Daniel Doucet

A junior hockey player who died suddenly at a training camp this week was a large but gentle boy who had recently started to show academic promise, his former principal said Tuesday.

Paul Kitchen, head of school at Rothesay Netherwood in New Brunswick, said staff and students have been hit hard by the death of Jordan Boyd.

The 16-year-old boy died Monday after collapsing during a skating drill at tryouts for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Story continues below advertisement

Kitchen said the 270-student private school in Rothesay is reaching out to offer support to Boyd's parents, who had been thrilled by their son's academic progress.

"Jordan is a fine, fine young man who worked hard at his academics, who worked hard at his relationship with others," Kitchen said in an interview.

"He was ... this gentle, gentle large boy with this smile on his face."

The league said a physical therapist provided CPR after Boyd fell on the ice, lost consciousness and stopped breathing at a rink in Bathurst, N.B. Results from an autopsy are expected later this week.

Kitchen said Boyd's hockey skills blossomed during the 2012-13 academic year when his team won silver at the World Sport School Championships in Calgary.

He recalled he'd often meet the Grade 10 student hurrying between the dormitory and the rink for additional ice time, where the young man honed his skating and scoring skills.

Boyd was improving his grades and coming to understand the importance of academic excellence, said Kitchen.

Story continues below advertisement

He said the death of the six-foot, 176-pound youth has left staff and students struggling to understand how a person who appeared so physically strong would suddenly collapse.

"He's been taken from us and it doesn't make sense to any of us," he said.

Photi Sotiropoulos, a spokesman for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, said it's too early to speculate on what lessons — if any — can be learned from the death.

He said the league will examine the autopsy results carefully and consider if improvements to medical evaluations can be made.

Sotiropoulos noted there has been one prior, similar death in 1978, when 17-year-old Daniel Richard of the Quebec Remparts collapsed and died during a practice after suffering a heart attack.

A media report at the time said the team's medical doctor said Richard suffered from a rare congenital condition that can bring about the shrinking of an artery from the heart. The doctor said the death could have occurred at any time in the youth's life.

Story continues below advertisement

Kitchen said he hopes the cause of Boyd's death is established soon.

"Anything we can ever do to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening for one other family is crucial."

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.