In the realm of the Ontario University Athletics men’s ice hockey, one name has been resonating with both players and fans alike — Nick Wong. A second-year Rotman Commerce student, Wong is a centre forward for the Varsity Blues men’s ice hockey team. 

Emerging as a powerful force on the ice, he has made significant strides in his hockey career throughout his life. 

Journey to the Varsity Blues 

Wong’s love for hockey began at the age of three. “My brothers were playing before me as goalies, and I always wanted to play with them,” Wong said in an interview with The Varsity. His brothers had a big influence on him as he entered the world of hockey, but former Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin was also a big inspiration. 

Wong started playing hockey competitively in Guelph. He played there for about six years before moving to the Mississauga Senators in the Greater Toronto Hockey League — where he stayed until the Oshawa Generals drafted him into the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). After a couple of seasons in Oshawa, he was traded to the Kingston Frontenacs, though Wong played his final year in the OHL with the Saginaw Spirit. Wong described his past experiences with the teams in the OHL as a “big help in getting to where I am today” and praised his former teammates on their level of professionalism. 

It was in December 2021, during his last year in Saginaw, when Varsity Blues head coach Ryan Medel invited Wong to join the Varsity Blues men’s hockey team.

“Coach Ryan Medel gave me a call and said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in coming?’ [And] I said, ‘Yeah, of course,’” Wong said. “He showed me some of the facilities, and I just fell in love with it right away. [After that] it was a pretty easy decision to make.”


Excellence on the ice

Wong has served the Blues well this season, becoming an integral part of the team’s offense with his skill and vision. As of January 21, Wong has scored 10 goals and assisted in 18 goals. 

His strong performance is a testament to his prowess, tenacity, and commendable work ethic. Despite grappling with injuries last year, he has rebounded with resilience. Spending time with the team’s strength coach during the summer, Wong elevated his fitness levels and pushed himself further. 

“There was a noticeable difference in him coming back, just in terms of his speed and his strength, compared to his first year,” Medel said in an interview with The Varsity. “He is the first one on [the ice] every day at practice, and he is the last one off.”

Cole Purboo, the men’s ice hockey team captain and Wong’s teammate, complimented Wong’s scoring touch and hockey IQ. “He really eats, sleeps, and breathes hockey,” said Purboo in an interview with The Varsity. 

Wong and Purboo have had undeniable chemistry on the ice this season. COURTESY OF SEYRAN MAMMADOV CC VARSITY BLUES MEDIA

Teamwork, friendship, and support

Nevertheless, Wong credits his success to the collaborative efforts of his team. “[With] everyone being on the same page, they make it easy to make chances,” said Wong. “We push each other in practice to become a little bit better every day.”

For Wong, the most rewarding aspect of hockey transcends the game itself; it lies in the camaraderie and care among teammates throughout their shared journey. “You have an extended family here… so I think we’ve made some lifelong connections for the rest of our lives,” Wong said. 

Yet, he considers his greatest supporters to be his family — his parents, who come out to almost all of his games, and his siblings. “Even in the summer, I played a lot of hockey with my brother. He came out and stopped some pucks for us actually, it’s pretty funny,” said Wong. 

Wong is surrounded with support from his teammates and family. COURTESY OF SEYRAN MAMMADOV CC VARSITY BLUES MEDIA

Off the ice

Beyond the rink, Wong enjoys weightlifting, spikeball, playing tennis with his mom, and trying out new restaurants with his friends. On campus, he loves studying in the Blue and White Room and grabbing shawarmas from the food truck Food from East. 

He is also part of U of T’s Sustainable Innovation Group, a club that helps small businesses become more sustainable with funding and grants while advocating for sustainability. “I met a person who I did a study with, and she told me it was a good opportunity to be out of your comfort zone and learn something new,” Wong said. “[So,] it’s been cool to apply some of the concepts I’ve learned throughout school in real life.”

Where his future leads 

The team’s goal for this season is to win the national championship, but Wong and the team know that the journey has a lot of steps. As Medel describes, Wong and the men’s hockey team will take this journey slowly, focusing on enhancing their game by taking it piece by piece. 

When asked about playing hockey after graduation, Wong said, “I’m a ‘take it as it comes’ kind of guy,” but he expressed that he would love to continue playing hockey after graduation. 

He encouraged aspiring Varsity Blue athletes to keep working hard, as nothing compares to the value of hard work. Surely, wherever Wong goes, he will bring his passion, talent, and diligence with him.