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He’s not your grandfather’s Bobby Orr, but version 2.0 of Bobby Orr is now one more step in the pursuit of his own dream of playing in the National Hockey League.


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Given Orr’s legendary name, it came as no surprise Sunday when hockey experts and fans made much of Robert “Bobby” Orr’s selection by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fifth round (136th in total) of the 2021 NHL Draft.

This 17 year old Bobby Orr is from Beaconsfield, Quebec, not Parry Sound. Have.

His father, John Orr, says he is a distant relative of the former Bruins superstar, but noted that his son was named after his father Robert, not the famous Boston No.4.

While the family tree has yet to be fleshed out, John Orr, co-owner of Ye Old Orchard Pub in Montreal, is aware that he looks suspiciously like the Bruins defenseman. His sandy blonde hair and facial features could probably get him through security at Fenway Park if he walked in next to Phil Esposito.


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“People tell me I’m more like his son (Darren),” John Orr said with a laugh, adding that he never intended to place an undue burden on his son by naming him as a after a Canadian icon.

For Americans, the equivalent might be naming your son Mickey Mantle, then handing him a tarmac baseball bat with expectations and pushing him over a Little League diamond.

Young Bobby Orr, still a teenager, wore the mantle of name recognition without a hint of resentment. In fact, he enjoyed the notoriety and even wore Orr’s famous number 4 jersey as a young player in the West Island.

“I like having my name,” he said. “He’s obviously one of the best-known names in hockey. Growing up was something special, but obviously it wasn’t as bad as it is today.


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“When I was traded from the Saint John Sea Dogs to the Halifax Mooseheads last year, my name started going viral. From there I got a bit used to it now. It’s like that.”

Orr is now carving his own reputation as a solid two-way forward in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In his rookie season with the Mooseheads, he scored 15 goals and 17 assists in a shortened 41-game pandemic season. His 32 points led all QMHJL rookies and increased his value in the draft. The NHL Central Scouting ranked him 76th among North American skaters.

In the fifth round of the draft, just three picks after the Columbus Blue Jackets reached out to James Malatesta of Kirkland, a member of the Quebec Remparts under Patrick Roy, the moment of validation for Orr came when he heard his name called by the Canes. Orr and Malatesta were once midget AAA teammates with the local Lac St. Louis Lions.


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For this year’s “virtual” NHL pandemic draft, Bobby was seated at home surrounded by family, including grandparents, friends and former coach Kirk Mullin.

“It was a very emotional moment when I heard my name called,” Orr said. “I was so proud and honored, but it hasn’t really come off yet. Every day it sinks deeper and deeper.

More than two dozen NHL teams interviewed Orr, including the Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens.

Given the splash his name often makes on social media, Orr can only presume the tidal wave of reaction that would have taken place had the Bruins drafted him.

“Because of the name, it probably would’ve been a lot of pressure on me,” he said. “But if I had been drafted anywhere in the NHL I would have been so proud and honored.




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