VANCOUVER (Diya TV) — Arshdeep Bains, a forward born in Surrey, B.C., has etched his name in NHL history as the latest player of South Asian heritage to make his debut in the league. Stepping onto the ice for his hometown team, the Vancouver Canucks, Bains’ journey from the Abbotsford Canucks of the AHL to the NHL has been marked by dedication and hard work.

Bains joins a select group of Punjabi players of Indian descent who have made their mark in the NHL, including Robin Bawa, Manny Malhotra, and Jujhar Khaira. His debut represents a significant milestone for both him and the Desi community, highlighting the growing diversity within the sport.

The 23-year-old forward, who grew up watching the Canucks play, was called up from the Abbotsford Canucks, where he showcased his talent with an impressive season, tallying nine goals and 39 points in 42 games. Despite the Canucks’ 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in his debut game, Bains displayed promising skill, registering two shots on goal and contributing to the team’s effort.

Before his NHL debut, Bains took part in a time-honored tradition, skating a solo rookie lap during warmups, a moment that encapsulated the realization of a lifelong dream. Speaking about his journey, Bains expressed gratitude for the opportunity to represent his hometown team at the highest level of professional hockey.

“For my whole life, I’ve tried to put my foot in the door at every level I’ve been to, and it’s no different here. It’s been a heck of a journey,” said Bains.

Bains’s ascent to the NHL was not without challenges. Undrafted by both the WHL and NHL, he persevered, eventually catching the attention of the Canucks, who signed him to an entry-level contract in 2022. His story of resilience serves as inspiration for aspiring hockey players, particularly within the South Asian community.

As Bains embarks on this new chapter in his career, hockey enthusiasts and analysts alike celebrate his achievement, recognizing the significance of his presence in the NHL. While his role on the Canucks may evolve over time, Bains’s debut symbolizes a triumph of determination and a testament to the diverse talent shaping the future of hockey.

“It’s been nine years since Jujhar Khaira made his NHL debut,” remarked Gurpreet Sian, an analyst for Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi. “It’s a huge accomplishment for the community.”