Faber draws inspiration from sister, Paige, on rise to the NHL

Brock Faber’s sister, Paige, a star athlete and member of Minnesota Special Hockey, shares her younger brother’s love for the game.

Faber draws inspiration from sister, Paige, on rise to the NHL

Feature photo: therinklive.com

The bond between Brock Faber and his older sister, Paige, transcends a longstanding shared love of hockey.

Brock is skating in his first full NHL season as a defenceman with his hometown Minnesota Wild.

Paige is a star athlete in many sports, including adapted hockey, and has shared a steadfast bond with her brother for as long as the pair can remember.

“For me, it has been very eye-opening to be a big part of her life, something that means a lot to me,” the 21-year-old told NHLPA.com.

“She loves hockey as much as anyone. She has allowed me to have a life where I never take anything for granted. Being compassionate, being kind, being a good person she has taught me all of that. Her love for the game has allowed me to love the game as much as I do.”

Growing up, the siblings spent countless hours sharpening their hockey skills in the basement and skating on the family’s backyard rink during the winter months a prerequisite for helping them both excel in the following years.

Brock is quick to admit that he isn’t the best hockey player in his family, stating that title belongs to Paige who plays with Minnesota Special Hockey.

“She has got that [crown] for sure,” said Brock. “She flat-out loves the game and she has done so well in every sport she has played. It’s fun watching her play and seeing how much she loves it.”  

Their shared love for the game recently brought them together for the greater good.

Partnering with Huxley, the Minnesota-based optical brand, the siblings unveiled the exclusive Faber collection of eyewear for men and women, which features colours and designs paying homage to Brock and Paige’s hockey history.

Five per cent of the proceeds will go to supporting Minnesota Special Hockey and the Hendrickson Foundation an initiative dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families through hockey.

“To be able to do something like this and do this together is fantastic,” said Brock. “It also helps benefit two worthy causes tied to the sport we love, which is important to us both.”

A multi-sport athlete in his own right, Brock excelled in football and on the baseball diamond but would eventually land on hockey as his focal point.

Drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Kings at the 2020 NHL Draft, Brock launched the collegiate side of his career at the University of Minnesota during the 2020-21 season.

His breakout sophomore campaign with the Golden Gophers included recognition as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and landed him on the All-Big Ten First All-Star Team (honours he also received the following season).

In June 2022, Brock was traded from Los Angeles to Minnesota in a deal that saw star forward Kevin Fiala head to the Kings. As Brock recalled, it was hard to figure out who was more excited to play at home himself, parents Jay and Karri, or sisters Paige and Payton.

“It might have been a tie,” said the blueliner, who captained the Golden Gophers in 2022-23 and helped lead them to the NCAA Championship game.

“Los Angeles was great to me, and I am grateful to them. When I got that trade call, I just remember being a little shocked and I know my family was in shock too. But I think they might take the throne as to who was most excited. They were pretty fired up.”

Throughout his hockey journey, whether it was the two-plus years he played for the U.S. National Team, his family has remained a constant source of encouragement.

“I have never taken that support for granted,” said Brock. “Whether it has been here in Minnesota or when I left to play with the U.S. National Team in high school I love my family. I am thankful for them, and I am here playing in the NHL because of them. I have been very fortunate, whether it has been hockey or life in general, to have them on my side.”

Advice and the helpful words he consistently heard from his parents growing up has continued to stick with him.

“When I was a kid and just starting out playing the game, I remember my parents would talk about the importance of being a good teammate and good person. My dad was one of my coaches growing up and he would share that thought, to always put the team ahead of personal accolades. Every step of the way in my hockey career and now, it has always stayed with me, in how I approach the game and my day-to-day life.”

Now a regular in the Minnesota lineup, Brock, who netted his first NHL goal on October 12, has his own personal cheering section at Wild home games a row of familiar faces that played a lead role in helping him realize his hockey dream.

“It is unbelievable that I am here. I think about it all the time, how much my family helped me along the way, and how much Paige inspires me. I truly believe that this is a dream come true for all of us. It is such a blessing, and I don’t take any of it for granted.”