Veteran Spotlight: JJ Maros

Giancarlo Nadeau

JJ Maros may have started his PJHL career with the Richmond Sockeyes, but his time with the North Vancouver Wolf Pack will be remembered most.


Unlike many of his teammates throughout his PJHL career, Maros did not grow up playing major midget or academy hockey.  He was a minor hockey guy, and many people had doubts about him. “I worked really hard to make that Sockeyes team. I always tried to put my best effort forward and wasn’t always in the lineup my first or second year, but I always brought the effort and hard work.”


The product of Burnaby, BC, had the chance to play with Ben Ruthven, one of his closest friends on the Sockeyes. “Ben and I have been friends since Kindergarten. We’ve always competed against each other. Whether it was competitive swimming or playing against each other in hockey,” he said. Ruthven and Maros spent their last year of junior hockey on different teams, as Ruthven was with the Steelers. Justin McKnight was another close friend who played with Maros and Ruthven on the Sockeyes. “We all knew each other from elementary and high school, so it was super fun having those two guys there with me,” he added.


JJ Maros made his PJHL debut on September 9, 2021, against the same team he would finish his career with, the North Vancouver Wolf Pack. After a combined 46 regular season and playoff games with the Sockeyes, a trade during the 2022-23 season brought Maros to the North Shore. 


Maros admits that a trade to North Vancouver was bittersweet. “I wasn’t always getting into the lineup in Richmond, but I think it was pretty sad to leave the guys there because I really liked them. Coming here, I think I was given more opportunity to prove myself, and it really paid off,” he claimed. “When you start with a team, you think you will be there your whole career, and you hear guys in the NHL say that too, so getting traded was a little bit of a shock to the system, but I always want to beat them now,” he said.


“My dad’s always watching games, and my mom doesn’t like the physicality as much but tries to come out to every game,” said Maros. Having people watch him play was a great feeling for him.


Maros matured as a player by learning not to take everything so seriously. “You want to be the best during your rookie season, and you think that it’s going to be a breeze and there aren’t a lot of guys in the same position as you. As you play more games, you start to get humble, and it really comes down to who works the hardest and who wants to be here the most,” he said.


Effort and hard work are two words that can describe the 2003-born forward. “The coaches are always talking about effort, and that’s something that I always try to prioritize,” he said. Maros always encourages and tries to push his teammates to be their best. He credits his coaches but also his father, who he claims has ingrained hard work and effort into his mind since he was young.


If you can’t find Maros at the gym, you can find him doing the Grouse Grind. “I just try to stay active,” he said. Maros spent seven weeks last summer in Europe with former teammates and school friends Ben Ruthven and Justin McKnight. 


He doesn’t have any particular memories with the team that he likes thinking of more than others, but he enjoys time with his teammates. “It’s super great being with these guys. They are such great guys, and it’s a lot of fun hanging out with them,” he admits.


Being part of an older team in the PJHL there are a lot of lessons, advice, and wisdom that was in the Wolf Pack locker room this season. JJ hopes he will be remembered for the hard work he gave his team night in and night out. “I just want to be recognized as that player who always worked hard and put his best effort forward. I might not always be putting the puck in the net, but as long as people see that I’m working hard, then I’m happy.


Maros finished his PJHL career with 132 games, 18 goals, 22 assists, and 40 points. His work ethic will never disappoint.