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T.J. Napanga 140 MPH Slapshot

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04-04-2011, 05:35 PM
  #1
Marvelous Manked
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T.J. Napanga 140 MPH Slapshot

I saw this in the paper, and wanted to see some reactions.

http://www.barrhavenindependent.on.ca/

http://www.barrhavenindependent.on.ca/page1.pdf


Apparently the scouts said that they think that his shot may be harder on the ice, which I highly doubt.

It's still amazing that he can shoot that fast, on the ice or not.

Personally, I would be worried about his speed, you can't pick up skating and play in the central that quickly...

EDIT: I forgot to mention he is 7'2" and 275 lbs.

Quote:
Junior A prospect has slapshot clocked at 140 mph Courtesy of the Barrhaven Independent, Nepean, ON

LUGANVILLE, VUANATU – T. J. Napanga sits by the water and dreams of playing hockey in the NHL. He picks up a rock with his big left hand and skips it along the still waters.

The sun is setting over his hometown of Luganville, but he knows that in the land of where his future is, daylight is just about to break.

“I can’t wait to get to Nepean,” he said of his upcoming move to the Ottawa suburb. “I have never seen snow. I have never seen real ice. I wonder what snow tastes like.”

To say that Napanga is not unlike any other kid with a dream would be a stretch. He has been considered the best athlete to ever come from the Republic of Vuanatu. He turned 17 in March, but at 7’2” and 275 pounds, he is built like a professional athlete in his prime. He turned down the opportunity to tour with the national rugby team of Vuanatu this year, and he has given up playing cricket.

He is about to embark on a trailblazing – albeit unlikely – career as a hockey player. T.J. will be billoting with a family in the Ottawa area this summer, and he will spend most of June, July and August at the Steve Yzerman Arena in Nepean working on his skating as he gets ready to play for Yzerman’s former Junior A team, the Nepean Raiders, next year.

Napanga’s father was a three-time Olympian from Papua New Guinea who competed as a power lifter for Australia. His mother is American, having grown up in Salt Lake. And NHL players coming from unusual players is nothing new. Olaf Kolzig was born in South Africa, former Montreal Canadiens defenceman Rick Chartraw was from Venezuela, and current Hab Scott Gomez has a father from Mexico and a mother from Colombia.

After the Napangas married, they settled in Vuanatu, where T.J.’s father, Paul, is a ship builder. His uncles, from his mother’s side, played professional hockey in Tacoma, Washington in the West Coast Hockey League.

“They were the ones that introduced him to hockey,” she said. “They were always bringing equipment and sticks and goalie pads and everything. Paul would put on the pads and play in net, but once T.J. was about 13, he could fire the little orange ball about 100 miles per hour. Paul wanted no part of that, and T.J. permanently wrecked our garage door.”

The family car, an old Ford Taurus wagon, sits pock marked in the driveway, as it has absorbed slapshot after slapshot. Scouts who have seen Napanga play in roller hockey tournaments in Australia say that he is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. He is said to have the hardest slapshot ever in roller hockey. He has been clocked at 140 mph. On ice, some scouts say his shot may be even harder.

“I love to shoot the puck,” said Napanga. “Sometimes I will shoot the puck until my hands bleed. I will do sets of bench presses and curls, and then shoot the puck more. We’re always having to order new sticks on eBay. My parents were very happy when composite sticks became available.”

Although it was his uncles that gave him his first taste of hockey, it wasn’t until Napanga met some missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Ottawa, that he really became interested in the sport.

“I loved rugby,” he said, modestly omitting the fact that his coach lied about his age when he was 14 so that he could play on the national team. “I scored a try against the New Zealand All Blacks, and that was pretty cool. But when I met the Mormons from Canada and they got me hooked on hockey, it just took over as my passion.”

Mormons from the Ottawa and Nepean areas have been visiting Vuanatu for years as missionaries. A family from Barrhaven ended up renting a flat from Paul Napango, and they ended up spending a lot of time with T.J. while he was growing up.

“The first year we were there, we had our parents send down some old roller blades and gloves and things,” said Mike Jenkins of Nepean, who met T.J. when he was just nine years old. “He came out one day and saw us playing street hockey for fun, so we taught him how to play and let us play with him. One of the guys with us was a pretty good player who had played Junior B for the Stittsville Royals. We went back a few times and we would always bring him stuff. At Christmas, we pitched in and sent him some roller blades that were size 19. I can’t tell you hard it was to find those.”

Within two years, T.J. Napanga was an exceptional rollerblader. The fact that he was such a naturally gifted athlete helped, and he worked hard.

“He is a driven kid,” said his father, Paul. “He decided one day that he wanted to play hockey. Of course, we don’t have ice, but rollerblading is like ice skating. He skated day and night until it became natural to him.”

Jenkins and a friend were sitting at Tim Hortons when Pat Domenico, a scout for the Nepean Raiders, overheard them talking about a kid with a 140 mph slapshot.

“I was listening, and when they saw I was staring at them, I just said ‘no way’. You guys must be seeing things,” said Domenico. “They just looked at each other and smiled and kept talking. So they told me the story.”

The Raiders were so impressed that they sent one of their former players who lives in Australia to a roller hockey tournament to check it out.

The reports used words like “phenomenal”, “freak of nature”, and “unlike anything I have ever seen.” Domenico said the exact words were, “His slapshot is like nothing you could ever imagine. He was even breaking pucks in the warm up.”

Although the Raiders coaching staff is drooling over the prospects of having a giant with a 140 mph slapshot quarterbacking the power play, there is the issue of skating.

“I’ve never skated on ice before,” said Napanga. “I’m looking forward to it. I am a size 21 now but I can squeeze into a 19 or 20 if I have to. I heard the Raiders are working with a rep from Nike or Bauer or someone like that to get me my own ice skates. After I have them, I will just spend as long as I can on the ice and become good at skating.”

Napanga is planning to enroll in Grade 12 classes in the elite athlete program at John McCrae Secondary School next year. He is not ruling out giving high school football a try, and he has also inquired about playing for the Barrhaven Scottish.

The Raiders may not be too keen to let him venture outside of hockey.

“He’s a surefire NHL first round draft pick,” said one Raiders scout. “I think if I was a goalie in the Central Hockey League Tier 1 Jr. A right now, I’d be a bit nervous. This kid’s shot is like nothing I have ever seen.”

*T.J. Napanga is a roller hockey player with a slapshot clocked at 140 mph. He will be spending the summer at the Nepean Sportsplex learning to skate before the Nepean Raiders Junior A season next year.


Last edited by Marvelous Manked: 04-04-2011 at 05:41 PM.
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Old
04-04-2011, 05:36 PM
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CanadianHockey
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I'm not inclined to believe this... the record was just set at 110 MPH. How's he 30MPH over the world record?

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04-04-2011, 05:37 PM
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Yelnats Puc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianHockey View Post
How's he 30MPH over the world record?
Being 7'2" 275 will help.

Still, seems like a ridiculous claim.

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04-04-2011, 05:39 PM
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Is this for real?

"T. J. Napanga sits by the water and dreams of playing hockey in the NHL. He picks up a rock with his big left hand and skips it along the still waters.

The sun is setting over his hometown of Luganville, but he knows that in the land of where his future is, daylight is just about to break."


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04-04-2011, 05:39 PM
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Marvelous Manked
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yelnats Puc View Post
Being 7'2" 275 will help.

Still, seems like a ridiculous claim.
That was my reaction. There's no way. NO WAY!!! The guy has never seen snow in his life!!!

But what a great ticket seller for the Nepean Raiders.

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04-04-2011, 05:40 PM
  #6
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Topanga?

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04-04-2011, 05:43 PM
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Marvelous Manked
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Seems like a hockey hotbed....


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04-04-2011, 05:43 PM
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Jared Cowen 2010
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Big kid, could be an inforcer if anything.

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04-04-2011, 05:43 PM
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HappyDude
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T. J. Napanga > Kuba

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04-04-2011, 05:50 PM
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The Illusive Man
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Printed April 1st? Must just be a coincidence

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04-04-2011, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goro Majima View Post
Printed April 1st? Must just be a coincidence
Oh Jeez, If this is prank I'm going to go crazy.

Why? Because I fell for the Bob Cole prank too. Could it be? Could it be?

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04-04-2011, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Cowen 2010 View Post
Big kid, could be an inforcer if anything.
Combo of enforcer and informant?

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04-04-2011, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goro Majima View Post
Printed April 1st? Must just be a coincidence
Good catch. Google search reveals nothing except this article.

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04-04-2011, 05:57 PM
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LMAO. This has to be an April Fools joke.

There was a pretty good one going around like this last year for a high school kid last year playing football.

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04-04-2011, 06:04 PM
  #15
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LMAO. This has to be an April Fools joke.

There was a pretty good one going around like this last year for a high school kid last year playing football.
Oh no. I can't believe I got fooled again!

Lock er up??

It just doesn't make sense.

Sorry for wasting your time everyone

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04-04-2011, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CanadianHockey View Post
I'm not inclined to believe this... the record was just set at 110 MPH. How's he 30MPH over the world record?
Bobby Hull 118MPH.. well known fact .. still funny tho http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Hull

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04-04-2011, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stassino View Post
Bobby Hull 118MPH.. well known fact http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Hull


No, it's a well-known myth. You quoted Wikipedia. Look at the citation for the 118 MPH slapper claim. The article says his slap shot was 96MPH, with a wrister at 105MPH. Even that's hardly believable, 105MPH wrister? Chara's slapper is only that fast.

HF has discussed it before:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=869975

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04-04-2011, 06:13 PM
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No, it's a well-known myth. You quoted Wikipedia. Look at the citation for the 118 MPH slapper claim. The article says his slap shot was 96MPH, with a wrister at 105MPH.
You think it's a myth.. It was recorded and played on television back in the day lol.from my understanding..I think it was done for a university studying human kinetics.. anyways.. It's pretty common knowledge in hockey circles.. whether it's true or not it's been accepted..

This however was a joke I'm sure..

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04-04-2011, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stassino View Post
You think it's a myth.. It was recorded and played on television back in the day lol.from my understanding..I think it was done for a university studying human kinetics.. anyways.. It's pretty common knowledge in hockey circles.. whether it's true or not it's been accepted..

This however was a joke I'm sure..
Fair enough, I can't actually disprove it. I believe it's a little ridiculous to think that in 20 years, the closest anybody's shot has come to that is 105MPH, let alone that over 10 players had slappers that exceeded the modern record (see the link I edited in to the HF thread).

The article is a joke though, agreed on that.

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04-04-2011, 06:26 PM
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I play rugby for the Barrhaven Scottish, I need to know if this is real.

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04-04-2011, 06:27 PM
  #21
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7'2", my first thought was why isn't this guy going to an American University to play Basketball, there are thousands of them that would take a guy that big. My second thought was this is ********, he has never skated on ice but is a very good on roller blades, that just sounds nuts. It did make me laugh though ...

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04-04-2011, 06:31 PM
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CanadianHockey
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Kadrillionaire:

He's in grade 12, has never skated, and is quoted as "a surefire NHL first round draft pick"
His dad Paul is a 3 time Aussie Olympic gold medalist in powerlifting... but has 0 search hits aside from this article.

So, yeah... April Fool's.

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04-04-2011, 06:39 PM
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I'll believe it when I see it.

I think this is fake though.

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