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20 questions with Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira


In our latest series of 20 questions, I go 1-on-1 with Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira:

1. Favorite NHL team growing up and why?

Vancouver, where I grew up. I was a big Todd Bertuzzi fan.

2. Favorite NHL player growing up and why?

Bertuzzi, because he's just the man in Vancouver. He was that West Coast Express line, and he did everything.

3. What was your welcome to the NHL moment?

I think it was just my first game, I was in warmups and I forgot about warming up because I was looking at the other side and was watching Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin warming up. That was just like, 'Wow.'

4. Favorite road city in the NHL and why?

Vegas is up there. There's so much to do as an adult and the weather is usually pretty good. It's not too hot, not too cold.

5. Favorite road arena in the NHL and why?

I like playing in Montreal. They're passionate fans.

6. Favorite all-time teammate and why?

Dang, good question. I've got a bunch. We had a good group in Edmonton. I think me and Drake Caggiula, we spent a lot of time together and were on the same page.

7. Why do you wear No. 16?

It was my first number ever playing hockey, so I went back to that. My favorite number is 11 but I've been through various teams and I never really got it, so I moved on to 7, but both 7 and 11 are retired in Edmonton, so I just took over 16.

8. Favorite activity to unwind from hockey?

Probably just going for walks, just getting outside and getting away from TV's and all that.

9. What's your stick flex number?

95. I feel like it's a sweet spot. I can probably go down a little bit but I think 95 just battling and stuff, it helps.

10. What's your pregame ritual? (Or what's one thing you have to do on a game day?)

Oh man. It's a long list, you go through the day and it's kind of the same. The one thing I have to do is nap.

11. Best hockey prank you've witnessed

The best one I think was, one of the guys, it was after a rookie party and he kind of gave it to one of the vets a little too hard, so the next day, he grabbed all his clothes, put them in sock tape and chucked it in the shower for the whole practice. That sucked for whoever it was.

12. Hardest player you've had to defend and why

I mean, I think it's Connor McDavid. Playing against him, no matter if it was practice in Edmonton or in games now, just his speed, skill, everything, he just makes a move and he can make you look pretty stupid.

13. Hardest goalie to score one

Andrei Vasilevskiy is pretty good. He's a big goalie. And then Marc-Andre Fleury, he was pretty good in practice and in games.

14. Build your 3-on-3 overtime lineup 

Am I in it? If you want to be, sure! I'll take it, I'll put myself in it. *Laughs.* I think McDavid and then for the D-man, I'll go Cale Makar.

15. Favorite TV show (or movie) and why

Curb Your Enthusiasm, that's up there. And The Office.

16. Favorite vacation spot in the summer

Hawaii. I've only been once, but I loved it and I want to go back there.

17. Favorite sport outside of hockey?

Basketball, for sure. I don't really have a favorite team, I just like watching college ball and stuff when I get a chance. But growing up, obviously like every other kid, I was probably a LeBron fan.

18. What's your golf handicap and which 3 teammates would you want in a foursome?

I don't think I've ever counted it, so that kind of tells you where my game's at. *Laughs*

Oh, are we doing best score? I actually hadn't thought about that, maybe best score but also from an entertainment standpoint. I'll go strictly off entertainment. I'll go MacKenzie Entwistle, Max Domi and maybe Andreas Athanasiou.

19. Favorite non-hockey athlete ever?

I would say ... wow, that's a good one. Um, I should know this ... I'm trying to think of all the sports ... I'd have to go, honestly growing up, probably Derrick Rose in his prime. He was crazy.

20. If you weren't a hockey player, what would you be?

I've thought about that so much. I don't know, hopefully I'd figure it out in school. I did a year, I need three more years to figure it out. I have no idea. *Laughs*

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