Forging his own path
by Chris JUREWICZ|29 APR 2024
Jordan Forget has Canadian and Swiss roots but his heart is with Switzerland and he's trying to help his team qualify for the quarterfinals at the U18 Worlds.
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation / Chris Tanouye
Dominic Forget is somewhat of a legend in the city of Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the QMJHL’s Cataractes.

In three seasons with the hockey team from 1998 to 2001, Dominic posted season point totals of 81, 116, and 141. He sits fourth on Shawinigan’s all-time scoring list.

This past season in the QMJHL, Shawinigan hockey fans got a glimpse of the next Forget hoping to make his own mark. Jordan, Dominic’s oldest son, played 61 games for the Cataractes and, while he hasn’t yet posted numbers similar to his father, you can bet the hard-nosed, hard-working style that Jordan plays is going to endear him to Cataractes fans.

“I got drafted by Victoriaville so it wasn’t supposed to be like that. I got traded to Shawinigan one year later and I didn’t realize at first how special it would be,” says Jordan Forget, who was taken 38th overall by Victoriaville in the 2022 QMJHL Draft and is focused this week on helping Switzerland at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

It’s very special, especially for (my dad) because he came to watch my games and that brought back some good memories. He just told me to enjoy every moment because the junior career goes by so fast. That’s what I’m doing.

“Sometimes I go out of the rink and people just say ‘yeah, I remember watching your dad and now I’m watching you playing for Shawinigan’. It makes me smile. It’s special.”

Says Dominic: “When Jordan got traded to the Cataractes of Shawinigan, so many feelings and emotions came back to me, from pride, gratefulness and joy. I like to remember Shawinigan like a school to get to the professional level. I had the chance to see him play live, meet the coaching staff and I could see the wonderful support they have been giving and pushing the player in the right direction.”

Many elite hockey players who grow a bit older and see their own sons reaching the sports high levels will often tell you they want their kids to blaze their own trail. That is certainly the case with Dominic, who is extremely proud of seeing his son play for his country at the U18 Worlds.

“I’m a big believer that success must come from within yourself so I'm trying to let Jordan write his own story and have his own identity,” says Dominic. “I see Jordan with multiple hats he can wear, from a strong technical player, an offensive, speedy, energy guy, and – most importantly – a very good teammate.”

Dominic is a native of Sainte-Julie, Quebec and, following his tremendous junior hockey career, he played in the American Hockey League and ECHL before making the move to the European pro ranks. He spent parts of two seasons in Italy, France and Sweden and, in 2006-07, started a pro career in Switzerland that amazingly has continued to this day.

Dominic, who recently turned 43, played last season with EHC Winterthur of the Swiss League, the second tier of the main pro leagues in the country. He has played for several teams in the Swiss League, including eight seasons with Hockey Club La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Early on in his Swiss pro hockey life, Dominic traveled back to his native Canada in the off seasons.

“When the season was over, we would go back to Canada,” says Jordan. “He had a house there and had to prepare it for summer. I was doing half of my school in Switzerland and half the year of school in Canada until I was 10 or 11 years old. Then we bought a house in Switzerland. It was a really nice experience to live in both countries and to see the different countries.”

Jordan is a dual Canadian-Swiss citizen and could have pursued playing internationally for Canada. But, they say home is where the heart is and, for Jordan, that place is Switzerland. It will be special for both Jordan and Dominic today as the Swiss take on Canada at U18 Worlds.

“To be honest, I thought about this (playing for Canada),” he says. “But I think I have lived more in Switzerland so my choice was to play with the Swiss. Even though I was born in Canada, I grew up in Switzerland.”

Forget’s top hockey memory to date is helping the Swiss win gold at the 2023 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival, where Jordan had a goal and five assists in four games for the champs. Jordan also represented Switzerland at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he had four points in four games as the Swiss finished sixth.

He and the Swiss have their eyes set on a berth in the quarter-finals this week at the U18 Worlds and will need to finish among the top four teams in Group B.

Forget already has a goal in the tournament, that coming during Switzerland’s 5-2 win over Kazakhstan. He models his game after Florida Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk and hopes his style will leas the Swiss into the quarters and potentially beyond that.

“I’m a power forward, I always have energy,” says Forget. “I like to finish my check; where there is paint is where I like the most hockey. I like when we’re winning, when we’re scoring goals.”

And as his career progresses and Jordan continues to work towards his ultimate goal of playing professionally, you know he’s going to have dad in his corner all the way.

“He’s like every father. When bad moments happen, he’s there to keep you on the right path,” says Jordan. “He just wants me to live my own experience and have my own story. That’s what my dad does.”