When was the last time you heard of an elite hockey prospect being born in Israel? How about never? That’s about to change: introducing David Levin, star Don Mills right-winger and OHL draft-eligible prospect.
An unlikely upbringing
The story of David Levin is an inspiring one. An Israel-born player with Russian parents, Levin grew up in the town of Netanya, Israel—hours away from the nearest hockey rink. When he was eight years old, he saw his father, Pavel, watching hockey on TV one night. Immediately taken with the game, Levin decided that he wanted to be a hockey player.
Although he rarely had the chance to skate at the Canada Centre rink in Metullah, Levin joined a local inline hockey league, where he was coached by his father. There, he fueled his dream of one day playing in the NHL. As one of the top performers in the league, it was clear to Pavel that his son had the potential to grow into a special hockey player.
To maximize his potential, Pavel pushed his son hard. As a former soccer player, he knew firsthand what kind of dedication it takes to really excel at a sport. Of course, having a son as committed as David made his job easier.
Adjusting to the cold and learning to skate
At age 12, David moved to Canada to live with his aunt and uncle—pursuing his dream of becoming one of the best hockey players in the world. Keeping in touch with his parents through Skype, he began the long process of adjusting to life in Canada; enduring the colder winters, learning the language and starting in a new school system.
Although he was used to playing hockey on dry land, he adjusted to Canadian ice in a surprisingly short amount of time—skating for hours every day to catch up with his peers.
Just over three years later, David Levin is a star right-winger for the Don Mills Flyers Minor Midget AAA team—the same team that featured U20 gold-medal winners Darnell Nurse and Max Domi back in the 2010-11 season.
Back in December, Levin led the Titans Minor Midget Tournament in scoring, racking up seven goals and seven assists in eight games.
The scouting report
At the minor midget level, Levin has some of the best puck skills in the whole country, let alone in Ontario. He is fast, creative, and has some nifty moves—a playing style that has some comparing him to Patrick Kane.
For a player who didn’t even skate regularly until three years ago, Levin’s accomplishments are unreal. And the determination he has shown in adjusting to life in North America suggests that he has the intangibles to fulfill his sky-high potential.
Although his draft-eligibility was in question, the OHL recently completed their assessment—and verified that he qualifies.
Currently the top-ranked Minor Midget team in Ontario, the Flyers will compete in the OHL Cup showcase in March, which in many ways will be Levin’s coming out party as not only a top OHL prospect, but as an NHL hopeful.
It’s a story that many—including myself—will be following for years to come.Back to Top
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