The Jewish Sport Report: This Jewish hockey star was a top NHL draft pick

L-R: Iuli, Zeev, Ben, Shai and Miriam Buium after a Denver hockey game. (Courtesy of Miriam Buium)

by Jacob Gurvis

(JTA) — Hello! Our lead story this week is about Zeev Buium who was selected by the Minnesota Wild in 12th spot of Round 1 in last night’s NHL Entry Draft. Buium is coming off a NCAA national title with Denver.

But first, we need to talk about Zach Hyman. Again.

The Edmonton Oilers fell just short in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals against the Florida Panthers, who won Game 7 on Monday after taking a 3-0 series lead before the Oilers came back to tie the series 3-3. That brought an end to what is likely the greatest season by any Jewish goal-scorer in NHL history.

After a 54-goal regular season, Hyman led the league with 16 postseason goals. Add in his six postseason assists and 23 in the regular season, and Hyman tallied 99 points across 105 total games.

Bravo. 👏

A star in the making

It’s been a year of tragedy and triumph for Zeev Buium.

The 18-year-old star defenseman, whose parents and extended family are Israeli, made his NCAA DI debut on the evening of Oct. 7, hours after news broke of Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel.

Buium and his brother Shai, both of whom played for the University of Denver, called their mother, who began to fill them in. She told them one key detail that gave them enough comfort to take the ice that night.

“We knew the major details, but the biggest thing was she said she’s pretty sure all our family is safe and healthy,” Buium told me. “So that was the biggest thing for us, making sure that the people we love are safe.”

From there, the season couldn’t have gone much better. Denver won the national championship in April, with each Buium brother assisting on one of the Pioneers’ goals in a 2-0 win over Boston College.

Now, Buium has given his family another reason to celebrate: He was picked 12 in Round 1 of the NHL Entry Draft in Las Vegas by the Minnesota Wild. The Wild traded pick No. 13 and a 2025 third-round pick to the Flyers to move up and select Buium.

“I think the biggest thing for me is seeing our family come over from Israel to Vegas to be with me and be with the rest of my family,” Buium said. “I couldn’t thank them enough for having made all the sacrifices they’ve made, what they’ve gone through to make a sacrifice to come to the States and be with me.”

Read my profile of the rising hockey star right here.

Halftime report

THE BEST DEFENSE. Vancouver Canucks captain Quinn Hughes won the NHL’s Norris Trophy, given to the league’s best defender. Hughes, the first Canuck to win the award, led all NHL defensemen with 92 regular-season points (75 assists and 17 goals). Fellow Jewish star Adam Fox made history when he won the same award in 2021.

AV-SEE YA. The Washington Wizards traded Israeli forward Deni Avdija to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Avdija, who signed a four-year, $55 million contract extension last fall, is coming off a breakout year in which he averaged 14.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 50.6% overall and 37.6% on three-pointers.

A JEWISH SHIVER IN SAN JOSE. In other Jewish trade news, the Detroit Red Wings sent defenseman Jake Walman to the San Jose Sharks, where he will join fellow Jewish player Luke Kunin and the team’s new Jewish head coach, Ryan Warsofsky. Walman tallied 12 goals and nine assists in 63 games for Detroit last season.

BOB KRAFT GIVES A DONATION… New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced a $1 million donation this week to Yeshiva University, where he will fund a program at the New York City school to support transfer students. Kraft had pulled his support from his alma mater, Columbia University, in April over the NYC campus’ handling of its pro-Palestinian protests.

…AND GETS KUDOS. Baltimore Orioles owner David Rubenstein was asked at an event this week which sports team owner he most admires. His answer? Bob Kraft. Rubenstein lauded the Pats owner’s success on the field and his work combating antisemitism through his foundation.

A.I. MICHAELS. NBC announced plans to use an AI-generated version of legendary broadcaster Al Michaels’ voice during the Paris Olympics this summer. Michaels, who is, of course, still alive and well, famously called the “Miracle on Ice” game at the 1980 Olympics. Does A.I. Al believe in miracles? I guess we’ll find out.

DOCTOR’S NOTES. A few MLB injury updates to round out our Halftime Report… Orioles pitcher Dean Kremer made another minor-league rehab start on Thursday and could return soon. Colorado Rockies reliever Jake Bird, who just returned from a monthlong stint on the injured list, is back on the IL with a right groin strain. New York Yankees reliever Scott Effross is continuing to progress in his comeback from Tommy John and back surgeries; the righty joined the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate this week.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend (all times ET)


Max Fried took the mound for the Atlanta Braves Saturday at 4:10 p.m. against Rowdy Tellez and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Harrison Bader — who has homered in two straight games — and the red-hot New York Mets host Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros for a three-game series this weekend, while Joc Pederson and the Arizona Diamondbacks host Zack Gelof and the Oakland Athletics in their own three-game set. Spencer Horwitz, who has been excellent since his call-up, and the Toronto Blue Jays are in the midst of a four-game matchup against the New York Yankees that began earlier in the week.


Matt Turner and the USMNT play Uruguay Monday at 9 p.m. in the Copa América group stage. In the MLS, Daniel Edelman and the New York Red Bulls host Steve Birnbaum and D.C. United Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Israeli striker Tai Baribo and the Philadelphia Union face Montreal at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, while DeAndre Yedlin and F.C. Cincinnati play F.C. Dallas at 8:30 p.m.


Daniel Berger, David Lipsky, Ben Silverman and Max Greyseman are all competing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit this weekend.


Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll will look to move up in the Formula One standings this Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Austrian Grand prix.

Queen Andrews

Last and certainly not least, all eyes have been on ESPN star Malika Andrews, who, just days after leading ABC’s NBA Finals coverage, helmed ESPN’s NBA Draft coverage this week. “I feel so much pressure to show up, especially as a woman in a male dominated industry as my most perfect self,” Andrews told People Magazine.

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