By Jordan Little
as told to Mike Griffith, Californian Staff Writer
The Bakersfield Californian
Editors note: Bakersfield defenseman Jordan Little was one of 4,000 original hopefuls who tried out for the CBC (Canada’s national network) hockey-based reality show “Bell Making the Cut”. From that, the field was cut to 68 players for the television episodes. Eventually 18 finalists were selected and from those, the top six picks received tryout offers from NHL teams based in Canada. Little was the No. 1 pick which landed him a tryout with the Edmonton Oilers.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – It was an amazing feeling and just an amazing experience to go through something like that with some really good guys I got to meet. I got to meet (NHL coaching veterans) Scotty Bowman and Mike Keenan, which is certainly an honor in itself. Just to be in a group of guys like that and to even go as far to be recognized out of a group like that was a real honor and real awesome feeling.
Truthfully, everything was just icing on the cake. I didn’t even apply to the show itself. A family friend called me the night before the tryouts in Winnipeg (Little’s hometown) and really encouraged me to go out. I really didn’t know what it was about to be honest with you. This old family friend kept saying ‘you gotta do it’ … I showed up the next day at the rink and asked if I could still try out. They said they had an open spot and I could go on the ice in a half an hour.
There are four rinks at this arena in Winnipeg and I don’t know how many hundreds of guys were there. It was so cool to see guys you grew up playing hockey with and against. That day was worth the money itself, just getting to hang out with the boys again and seeing old friends.
The Final 18 went to the final show then the top six were picked in a draft sequence with Edmonton picking first. (Being selected by Edmonton) was totally unexpected. I certainly didn’t expect to be in the top six, never mind No. 1. It was pretty cool.
(Oilers camp) didn’t go as well as I wanted. I got injured in rookie camp. I wasn’t really walking for a few days, a lower back injury, and so I spent almost a month doing rehab.
It wasn’t what I wanted but you play hockey, you’re going to get injured. That’s part of the deal. I’m OK with that.
I just want to have a good year and get an invite back next year and show what I can do. There were some perks to go along with it. A new car, a Bell digital camcorder, a Bell Express View satellite package and 15 minutes of fame, I guess.
Out of the whole situation that came with it, I got to do lots of volunteer work with minor hockey programs there in my local area of Winnipeg.
I would have done it anyway, but they wouldn’t have been calling up Jordan Little who played for the Manitoba (University) Bisons.
But once this happened people were calling asking if I’d come out to practice and help out with their teams.
That was certainly a reward in itself, to be asked to do things like that. It was definitely one of the perks of the whole experience.
For more on the show, visit MakingTheCut.ca.