Mix the genes of a rock legend and his supermodel wife, and what do you get? Would you have guessed hockey prospect? Such is the case for 17-year-old Liam Stewart, a rookie playing for the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs. That would be the son of Rod Stewart and his former wife Rachel Hunter (family pictured at right in 2005).
It was actually because of his father that Stewart first encountered hockey. In New York for one of his father’s shows as a child, Stewart attended a Rangers game. That sparked his interest in the sport.
“From then on I told my mom I wanted to do that. The next day I was skating, not playing hockey, just free skating. That’s how it started,” says Stewart.
At 15 years old Stewart made a strong impression at the Chiefs camp, particularly with his fitness test. He won the 1.5 mile run. Now, the 6’1″, 180-pound defensive-minded forward is skating out of his father’s shadow with his play on the ice.
“I’ve always wanted to carve my path,” Stewart said. “I didn’t want to be Rod Stewart’s son who really does nothing. … I wanted to do my own thing, get out of California, meet new people.”
Stewart is not the only son of a music star trying to make it as an athlete. P. Diddy’s son, Justin Combs, is a rising football talent with offers to play cornerback at several top universities. Much like Combs, Stewart is getting recognized for his ability, not his name. The level of play in the WHL makes sure of that.
The WHL is a top junior league that’s produced the likes of Scott Niedermeyer, Joe Sakic and countless other NHL greats. As far as pedigree goes, including both the WHL and the success of his celebrity parents, there is a lot to suggest Stewart just might make it to the big show.
Said general manager Tim Speitz to the Spokesman Review, “No question he can be a good junior. The question is, can he keep taking the steps and be a pro. The commitment he’s shown so far, everything he’s done, he wants to be a player.”
Even with his desire to be his own man, Stewart doesn’t shy away from the people that brought him there. Having graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and competed in Dancing With the Stars, Rachel Hunter has moved to Spokane to support her son in person.
Stewart’s first game with the Chiefs had him killing penalties and doing the dirty work as the third-line center. It sounds unglamorous, but for Stewart, a rookie who wants to be part of the team, this is hockey. This is what he wants to be known for.Google+