Here in Canada, we get kids started on hockey early.
And sometimes, they start themselves on it early.
Three-year-old Eli Graveline is one such example. An old baby monitor video of him — captured last year when he was two — is making its rounds on social media after his mom, Julianne Foisy Graveline shared it on an Instagram page she made for her son to look at when he grew up.
The charming video shows Eli up in his crib, with a tiny stick in hand, deftly training with a roll of hockey tape in the dark.
Why were the stick and tape in his crib to begin with?
"He didn't want to let go," Foisy Graveline told CBC News. "He'll still go to bed with a hockey stick every now and then."
The Sudbury, Ont. mom allowed the stick to be taken to bed as a bargaining chip to get her son to go to sleep, she told Global News.
The video has been shared by TSN, NBC and many other outlets, with commenters cooing over the adorable tot.
Eli's skills have definitely improved since the January 2017 video. Another clip posted to Instagram on Sunday shows him handling a puck with ease before giggling and launching it at his mom.
The caption on another older video, which shows him trying out skates for the first time, says he's been going to ice skating practice for nine months and can zoom around the rink with ease.
And sometimes he just gets tired.
Foisy Graveline isn't sure where here son got his love for the sport. She and her husband wouldn't describe themselves as hockey fanatics by any means. They don't watch it at home very often and didn't think they would sign him up for any organized sports before his interest blossomed.
"I don't know where he got this from, other than just being a northerner, I guess!" she told CBC News.
He picked up his first stick while visiting his grandparents, Foisy Graveline told Global News. After noticing his intense interest, his parents finally bought him a stick to have at home.
"Now we're at the point we kind of just have to surrender to the fact we will be at the arena every weekend, we will be travelling and we will definitely be, 'hockey parents,'" she told Global News.
Eli's next steps are to start actually playing hockey with a league and team once he's a little bit older. Since he's already fairly skilled with a stick and puck, unlike many beginner players, his mom is looking into putting him a year or two up so that he can be challenged.
"We're trying to balance pushing him too much versus putting in a group of kids where he won't feel challenged. He definitely likes being challenged," Foisy Graveline said.
We see an NHL draft in his future.
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