Kyrou uses his brother as a role model to achieve his goal of playing in the NHL

DALLAS– Christian Kyrou has the perfect role model for what he hopes will be a quick path to the NHL – his older brother, the St. Louis Blues forward Jordan Kyrou.

Christian, an 18-year-old defenseman chosen by the Dallas Stars in the second round (50th overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft, hopes watching and learning from what Jordan has been through can help him on his way.

“I train with him every day and skate with him every day, so I know what it’s like to be around professional and elite hockey players,” Christian said. “I feel like it helps me. If I can surround myself with professional players, I can go pro faster.”

Christian, 18, was fourth among Ontario Hockey League defensemen with 60 points (18 goals, 42 assists) in 68 games with Erie last season. He was voted the Western Conference’s most underrated player in the OHL Coaches’ Poll at the end of the season.

“He’s super attacking, super smart,” Jordan told the Blues website. “I think he thinks the game a lot better than me, really. He’s got a good shot, scored a lot of goals this year. He knows how to find his guys and he can score.”

One of the key aspects of Christian’s development will be setting realistic expectations, similar to how the Blues slowly brought in Jordan.

St. Louis selected him in the second round (35th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, but he didn’t become an NHL regular until the 2020-21 season. Then last season, his fourth with the Blues, he had 75 career NHL points (27 goals, 48 ​​assists) in 74 games last season, and the 24-year-old made the All-Star Game of the NHL for the first time. time.

“The big thing you need to know is that everyone is different,” said Neil Graham, Texas coach of the American Hockey League who worked with Christian at the Stars’ development camp in July. “But having the family member, having loved ones who’ve been there, there’s usually a pretty good dialogue that can probably help you on not just the good days, but the days when you feel stuck, the days when you you feel like you’re having a down moment.

“Generally, it will get you out of those tough days faster with this network that has already done it.”

Christian will attend the Stars’ training camp, which opens on September 21. While there, he hopes to learn what Stars veterans love about forwards. Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelsky and defender Miro Heiskanen do on and off the ice to prepare for NHL play. He hopes to bring that training camp experience back to Erie to improve on and off the ice.

“He’s a good skater, he’s agile, he can move really well,” Graham said. “Now I think it’s going to be pretty fun to watch him evolve over the next couple of seasons.”

Christian is excited to make the trip, hoping to eventually reach the same destination as his brother.

“For me right now, I know what it takes to play in the NHL and what I need to develop,” he said. “I feel like once I develop those things, I’ll be ready for the NHL. Everyone has their own process, their own career. So no matter how long it takes for me to be ready , we’ll go from there.”

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