A former semi-professional Canadian ice hockey player, Eric Leduc, has spoken out about his experience playing in Jacksonville’s recreational hockey league. Leduc, who is a recently qualified EMT, left Canada to pursue a career in healthcare. He enjoyed five successful successful seasons in Canada’s lower hockey leagues.
“I moved down to Eric Leduc Florida a few years ago to follow my dream of becoming a qualified EMT,” Leduc says, “I chose Florida because of its stark contrast to the Canadian weather I was used to. Being a hockey player my entire life, I knew that I would miss the sport once I left Montreal, but I had no idea that I would miss it as much as I do. So I signed up for the adult recreation league here at Jacksonville Ice, and its been an amazing experience to be back on the rink.”
The adult recreation league in Jacksonville is hosted by ice sports venue Jacksonville Ice. The league has both a summer and a winter division. Over 5 divisions of players compete throughout the week, many of whom live in Jacksonville but got into the sport while living in northern states or Canada. The venue also hosts a youth league for varying age groups. Experience playing ice hockey is not required to join the league, lessons are available to newcomers.
“It’s great that a hot and sunny city like Jacksonville has so many people interested in ice hockey,” Leduc says, “I’ve been so surprised with standard of play, and I’ve made some of my best friends in Florida through the league. I encourage anyone, experienced or not, to come down and give it a try.”
Leduc began his semi-professional career at 17 years of age. He first played for the Uxbridge Bruins, who had a deep run into the playoffs during his rookie season. He would go on to sign for the Rockland Nationals, and then the Ottawa West Golden Knights. He then returned to the Nationals for multiple seasons before retiring shortly after the 2013/2014 season. Leduc had shown a lot of promise throughout his career, he had been tipped for a career in the NHL of CHL but never managed to secure a professional contract.
“Becoming a professional hockey player had been my primary dream for my entire life,” Leduc says, “It was extremely heartbreaking once I came to the realization that I wasn’t going to receive a professional contract anywhere in North America. For the last year or so of my career I was trying to think of what I would want to be after my sporting career came to an end. I had always had a deep interest in the medical industry and helping others so I decided I would purse training to become an EMT.”
Leduc says becoming an EMT has been the best decision of his life. The opportunity to work directly with patients in primary healthcare makes his career extremely rewarding.