Rare Punjabi roots: Surrey rookie Jujhar Khaira jumps to NHL with Oilers

For Edmonton Oilers, he's played mostly on the team’s fourth line in five games

Surrey's Jujhar Khaira

When Surrey’s Jujhar Khaira recently suited up for the Edmonton Oilers, he became just the third player with Punjabi roots to play in the NHL.

Khaira, 21, a first-generation Canadian, was selected by the Oilers in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Prior to his call-up, Khaira had been playing for the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers’ AHL affiliate. The left-shooting centre’s first NHL game was on Nov. 28 in Pittsburgh against the star-studded Penguins.

Robin Bawa and Manny Malhotra, both of whom played for the Vancouver Canucks during their careers, are the only other NHL players of Punjabi descent, according to Surrey-based broadcaster Bhupinder Hundal, who works the Punjabi-language hockey games on CBC.

Khaira seems to be taking it all in stride.

“It’s obviously cool hearing the stat and all that, but at the end of the day, I feel like everybody is on the same spectrum,” Khaira told the National Post.

“You want to make it regardless of race. I put enough pressure on myself as it is.”

For the Oilers, the six-foot-three, 214-pounder has played mostly on the team’s fourth line, but has at times found himself skating with top-gunners Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl.

As of Wednesday, Khaira has netted one assist in the five games he’s played in the NHL.

His brother Sahvan, 17, plays for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

 

Just Posted

Surrey goalie gets a shot with NHL Boston Bruins on China trip

On tryout contract, Derek Dun practiced with team ahead of pre-season game

SFU unveils new lab at Surrey Memorial

Combination of MRI, MEG allows for ‘best possible windows’ intro brain function

Comic Strippers to return to Surrey’s Bell for third time

Improv-comedy show is ‘semi-dressed and completely unscripted’

UPDATE: Surrey firefighters trying to determine what caused Bridgeview propane blaze

Firefighters fought blaze at Pacific Propane Container Recycling

Expansion White Rock Whalers earn first win

New junior ‘B’ hockey team earns victory over Surrey Knights on weekend

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Drop-in to a Cloverdale Library Philosophers Café

First cafe of the fall is Tuesday, Sept. 18

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Tornado reported near B.C. lake

Environment Canada investigates, says a ‘possible’ tornado took place in Mission, by Hayward Lake

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Man convicted of manslaughter in 2016 belt-strangling death in Abbotsford

Shayne McGenn found guilty in apartment killing of David Delaney

Most Read