Sudbury toddler an internet sensation after crib video of him practising hockey goes viral

A lot of people predict that in about 15 years, a video of Eli Graveline of Sudbury, Ont., will re-surface when he's drafted to the NHL.

TSN, NBC have shared the video now seen millions of times — and hockey fans are predicting great things

Eli, now 3, often goes to sleep with a hockey stick in his hand says mom Julianne Foisy Graveline. 'My hope is that he doesn't lose his passion,' she said. (Submitted by Julianne Foisy Graveline)

A lot of people predict that in about 15 years, a video of Eli Graveline of Sudbury, Ont., will re-surface when he's drafted to the NHL. 

The three-year-old is meeting with internet viral stardom thanks to some footage taken of him last year by his baby monitor. 

Julianne Foisy Graveline said she put Eli down to sleep for the night back in January 2017. When she checked the monitor that night to make sure he was settled, she saw her then-two-year-old son standing in his crib in the dark, mini-stick in hand, practising his deking skills with a roll of hockey tape. 

Sudbury, Ont. tot Eli Graveline goes viral in hockey crib video

5 years ago
Duration 0:32
Hockey fans around the world are predicting great things for Eli Graveline, 3, of Sudbury, Ont., after his baby monitor captured him practising his impressive deking skills in his crib.

"He didn't want to let go," said Graveline of how the stick and tape ended up in Eli's crib. "He'll still go to bed with a hockey stick every now and then." 

Graveline keeps an Instagram account for Eli to look at when he's older, and it was there that she posted the now famous video, which has been shared by TSN and NBC. 

One Facebook user posted on TSN's Facebook page, "Start training him now. He will become the greatest hockey player of all time."

'I don't know where he got this from'

Eli's hockey "obsession" remains something of a curiosity in his family: Graveline and her husband aren't exactly hockey-crazed. 

They didn't think they even wanted their child to be involved in organized sports, preferring instead other kinds of active family time over scheduled practices and games. 

For that matter Graveline said, the family doesn't watch much hockey on television, and Eli is still too young to really understand what hockey teams are all about. 

"I don't know where he got this from, other than just being a northerner, I guess!"

Seeing his seemingly innate passion, Eli's parents have now "surrendered to the idea." They've enrolled him in skating lessons twice a week and have told him he can play on a hockey team soon.

"He knows he's just too young," said Graveline. "He says, 'Soon, when I'm bigger, I'll play hockey.'"

As for not wanting to be "hockey parents" she continued, "we didn't know the joy of seeing your kid love something so much. I'll give up all my weekends to see him play."

Sports fans the world over — millions of them — have been watching little Eli play hockey in his crib, and there are high hopes that his obvious love for the game continues, and takes him all the way to the pros.


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