The Jackson twins — Ty and Dylan — have already had a few experiences that might make other players at Maple Leafs development camp jealous.
This summer they are skating with Auston Matthews. And they will play on NHL ice this season.
The Jacksons grew up in Oakville and attended Northeastern University for the past two years, but recently moved to Arizona State University, which is now also home to the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.
“We just had a tour of it last week,” Ty Jackson said of the new arena, which will hold 5,000 people. “It’s almost done. It looks really good.
Their regular summer skating schedule in Arizona has included a few sessions with Matthews, which will resume after development camp at the Ford Performance Center. The twins are among the unsigned players in the 44-man camp that includes 14 draft picks and a handful of Marlies and Growlers.
“He was sitting next to us in the room, actually,” Ty said of Hart and Rocket Richard Trophy winner Matthews. “He’s something special to watch live and be on the ice with him. It was pretty awesome.
Arizona skateboarding has been mostly for college players, with a handful of professionals.
“For a guy of (Matthew’s) caliber, he seemed really down to earth, which is great to see,” Dylan said. “He chatted with pretty much everyone. It was good to get him out.
They are not identical twins. Dylan is right-handed and two inches taller; Ty is left-handed. Dylan is a right winger; Ty plays center. But they share the same passion for the sport, and they finish each other’s sentences.
“We always played together on one line,” Ty said.
So, is one the scorer and the other the playmaker? Ty: “We kind of flip-flopped. It all depends on who is leaving. We both try to move the puck and play well with each other.
They both said “and” at the same time, before Dylan added, “Whoever scores, scores”.
“Dylan probably scores a little more and I try to make more plays, and I have to play in the defensive zone a little more than him,” Ty said. “I guess I would be a bit more of a point guard, but we just try to share the puck a lot. »
They are both undersized – Dylan at five-foot-10 and 160 pounds, Ty five-foot-eight and 160 – and considered late bloomers at 20.
“In my minor-midget year, I was probably 110 pounds, but not even five-foot-one,” Ty said. “That was part of the reason we decided to go to college, being undersized. It gives us that extra time to develop.
Their father, Paul, was a career minor leaguer and won the Bill Levins MVP trophy with the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey League.
And they have a big secret, which came to light when they talked about growing up in Oakville – damaging walls and floors (and each other) in fairly heavy games of mini-sticks between periods while watching games. of the Leafs.
“We used to go at it, against each other,” Ty said, Dylan laughing shyly. “One of us was playing goalie and the other was going out, and we were doing it during intermission. Our parents are losing their minds. We were just making a lot of noise. Definitely damaged the walls, chipped the floors and probably hurt each other.
“And obviously road hockey,” Dylan said.
Ty turned to Dylan, “Should we tell him the fun fact?”
Dylan: “You shouldn’t have mentioned that.”
Ty: “OK, I can’t tell you the fun fact.”
Dylan: “I’ll tell you the fun fact confidentially.”
Sources say they never revealed the fun fact, but they will if they ever achieve their dream and play for the Leafs.
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