Keanu Reeves has become one of the most well-known actors over the last 25 years, for his work in films like Speed, the Matrix Trilogy, and the John Wick films. He’s even starred in some sports movies, including The Replacements and Hardball, which portray football and baseball, respectively.
Neither of those sports is Reeves’ favorite, though, as the 55-year-old actor has a strong affinity for hockey. He likes the sport so much that he played hockey throughout his childhood, even growing up to play goalie for his school’s hockey team.
Playing hockey in Canada
Reeves’ family moved to Canada when he was young, and he spent much of his childhood living in the Yorkville neighborhood of Toronto. While living in Toronto, the youngster picked up street hockey as an activity to participate in while not in school.
He also started playing ice hockey, spending most of his time in games between the pipes as a goalie. Reeves was so good at hockey that he continued to play goalie when he attended school at Toronto’s De La Salle College, a high school with a strong hockey tradition dating back to the 1950s.
His ability to block shots and prevent opponents earned Reeves the nickname “The Wall,” and he also won team MVP honors while at De La Salle.
Keanu Reeves, professional hockey player?
Reeves was such a good hockey player that there was some thought that he could turn pro in the sport if he wanted to. When he was in school, Reeves appeared to be on track to attempt a major junior career in hockey, earning a tryout with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires.
But Reeves would suffer an injury that would sidetrack his playing career and end any thought he had of playing hockey professionally. Soon after suffering the injury, Reeves took an unexpected trip to New York City to visit his former stepfather. That trip helped him step off onto another career track that has worked out pretty well for Reeves.
Keanu Reeves, the actor
After suffering his injury, Reeves left De La Salle and started attending Avondale Secondary Alternative School, which allowed him to pursue an acting career while getting his education. He began to focus more on his acting and eventually dropped out of Avondale, and has never earned his high school diploma.
Reeves’ hockey background helped him land at least one acting gig early in his career, when he appeared in the 1986 film Youngblood. The movie starred Rob Lowe as a teenage farmhand from rural New York who dreamed of playing in the NHL; Reeves played the goalie for the Mustangs, the Canadian squad that Lowe’s character Dean Youngblood played for.
Reeves’ acting career really took off following his performance in 1994’s Speed, which helped launch his character as one of the top actors in Hollywood.
Does Reeves regret not being a hockey pro?
In an interview with The Hockey News, Reeves said he “loved hockey” but “never wanted it to become too serious.” He says he never dreamed of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, because, he says, that career “wasn’t me.”
Reeves also reminisced about playing practicing for his Youngblood role with former NHL players Peter Zezel and Steve Thomas, who had minor roles in the film. Reeves says of the hockey pros “those guys kicked my ass,” continuing that he “really wanted to hold off Thomas” who scored four times in 10 penalty shots against Reeves, who wanted to hold him to two successful shots. And choosing the acting path has worked out well for Reeves, who has an estimated net worth of $360 million.