Summer 2024

From an orphanage to the NHL, Dallas Stars rookie was 'meant to be'

Jermaine Loewen made history this year as the first Jamaica-born hockey player to be taken in the NHL Draft.

The 20-year-old winger went 199th overall to the Dallas Stars in June, following up four seasons in the Western Hockey League with a shot at hitting the National Hockey League.

And yet Loewen has been a historic figure to his own family since long before 2018.

As Jeff Miller documented for, the rookie was dropped off by his parents at a Jamaica hospital as a 1-year-old. He landed in an orphanage soon after. And it wasn’t untilĀ Stan and Tara Loewen, of Manitoba, arrived at his children’s home, where 18 other kids lived alongside him, that he found a firm home. At 6 years old, Miller reported, Loewen got his first ice skates as a Christmas present, paving the way for his future career.

As the Loewens tell it, their adoption of Jermaine was not a chance encounter, either. It was a divine setup.

It turns out the Loewens previously helped renovate the same children’s center Jermaine stayed at as part of a Christian mission. And when they finally arrived to consider adoption, Jermaine was at the ready.

“He was wearing his Sunday best,” Stan Loewen said. “He said, ‘I’m going with you.'”

Loewen, it turned out, was the only child there eligible for adoption.

“You can’t just say that’s chance,” Loewen said. “It was meant to be.”

Jermaine, who had a career-best 64 points with his WHL team in 2017-18, joins the Stars after seven years of minor-league hockey. Originally from Mandeville, Jamaica, he will attempt to crack Dallas’ roster to begin his NHL career.

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