There is Delta representation at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, but don’t look for him in Canadian colours.
Thanks to his family heritage, Ladner blueliner Jason Fram is eligible to play for the host Chinese men’s hockey team that will open round-robin play on Feb. 10 against the United States.
Fram is among 11 Canadians on the 25-player roster that also includes seven more from the United States and another from Russia as the host country attempts to be competitive in its first ever appearance in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament. The team’s captain is Coquitlam native Brandon Yip.
The group has actually been playing together for a significant time as members of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Kunlun Red Star. The COVID-19 pandemic moved Red Star out of its home arena in Beijing to Moscow where the team has been based for the past 24 months.
Fram, 26, took his hockey career overseas in 2019 after decorated runs at the junior and university levels.
He played five seasons for the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs, captaining the team in his final years two of junior eligibility. He was named to the WHL Second All-Star Team in the 2015/16 season and a year earlier had a career season with 62 points in 70 games.
Fram then moved onto the University of Alberta in Edmonton where he enjoyed three more standout seasons, twice being named U Sports Defenceman of the Year.
He came through South Delta Minor Hockey and spent a season with the Greater Vancouver Canadians.
The majority of Team China players have Chinese backgrounds, but there are others like Jake Chelios — son of Hall of Famer Chris Chelios — who has played the last three seasons with Kunlun and is permitted to suit up at the Olympics after meeting International Ice Hockey Federation residency requirements.
"We're as close as you can get because we have to be," said the 30-year-old Chicago native. "The amount of lockdowns and quarantines we've had to go through … and just trouble getting families over because of visas, we're always together.
"It's probably one of the friendliest and closest teams I've ever been on."
-With files from Canadian Press