Firebirds Majul keeps climbing the ranks
By Matt Mackinder, Rubber Magazine
Hector Majul doesn’t come from your typical hockey background. He didn’t grow up with a homemade rink in his backyard nor did anyone in his family ever play hockey. Heck, he’s not even from the United States or Canada. Majul, born in Mexico City, now lives in Phoenix year-round with a host family while his biological family resides in Mexico.
“There was a rink right next to my house in Mexico,” explained Majul, a forward who played this past season for the Phoenix Firebirds’ 18U AAA squad, members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL). “The hard part was finding a team.”
Enter Boris Dorozhenko. An accomplished hockey instructor, Dorozhenko, now a Valley resident, was teaching the game to Majul in Mexico and brought him to Phoenix as a 14-year-old in an effort to polish his skills. “I talk to my mom and dad every day,” Majul said. “They’re very supportive parents and they always want to be informed about what I’m doing.”
“He’s an amazing kid,” said Dorozhenko. “Very kind, very diplomatic, very organized and well educated. I have the highest opinion of him.”
Majul played two seasons with the Valley of the Sun Hockey Association (Bantam B and 16U AA) before joining the Firebirds’ 16U AA team in 2010-11. This year with Phoenix’s 18U AAA team, he totaled 13 goals for 20 points in 19 PHL regular-season games on his way to being named to the All-PHL Third Team in his division.
“I’ve just always loved the game and I want to see how far I can go, so I just kept working at it and I guess people have noticed me.”
The North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Texas Tornado certainly did. This year’s Robertson Cup champions, which represents the league’s playoff champion and USA Hockey’s Tier II Junior A national champion, offered Majul a tender for the 2012-13 season.
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a players signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team, but can explore other options with teams in other junior leagues.
Majul quickly put pen to paper.
“I had a couple other tender offers, but my head coach with the Firebirds, Todd Collins, said that Texas has a great facility, great coaching and great fans, so I picked the Tornado,” said Majul. “I want to play in the NAHL because they send a lot of guys to Division I colleges and that’s where I want to be one day.”
And to think hockey may not even be Majul’s best sport.
“Very few people know that Hector is actually a world-class soccer player for his age,” said Collins. “He could easily get a scholarship to play college soccer, but his first love is hockey.”
Majul said his speed is his biggest asset on the ice, but knows the NAHL is more than just a fast player’s game. His plan this summer is to spend more time in the weight room in an effort to reach his ultimate goal.
“There’s never been a player born in Mexico play in the NHL,” said Majul. “I want to be the first.”