SASKATOON — Halifax Mooseheads star Nathan MacKinnon has a message for Jay-Z: Holla at ya boy.
The rap impresario’s entertainment company, Roc Nation, has recently ventured in the sporting world and joined with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) – the agency that represents both MacKinnon and fellow top prospect Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks.
“There’s a partnership between them,” said Jones. “I’ve obviously talked to my agent Pat (Brisson) about that and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Jay-Z and Roc Nation are reportedly very interested to work with Jones, who is ranked No. 1 by the NHL’s central scouting service. Jones, the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, could become the first African-American player selected with the NHL’s top pick. Popeye Jones is the assistant coach of the Brooklyn Nets, the team that until recently had Jay-Z as part owner.
The younger Jones could be the kind of cross-over star the NHL has been dreaming of, and who better to market him to the masses beyond the rink, than the hip-hop mogul?
“We’ll see how that goes,” said Jones. “We might try to set something up [like a meeting] this summer, but I’m not 100 per cent sure.”
But MacKinnon, ranked No.2 for the NHL draft, is a huge fan of hip-hop and says Jay-Z is free to give him a call anytime.
“Tell him (to call),” said MacKinnon, of the self-proclaimed greatest rapper alive. “I’d appreciate that.”
And even if things don’t work out on the marketing front, MacKinnon would love to, at very least, shake the Hova’s hand.
“That would be pretty cool, even just to meet Jay-Z and say that I work with him a little bit,” said MacKinnon after Friday’s morning skate at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. “I’m sure he could at least hook me up with some concert tickets or something. I’ll have to use that to my advantage.”
Both MacKinnon and Jones – who room together every summer at CAA’s elite athlete camp – share the same taste in music. Though, MacKinnon admits he’s been listening to a lot of country music of late thanks to some of his Halifax Mooseheads teammates.
“I listen to a bunch of different stuff,” said MacKinnon. “I’m starting to listen to a lot of country because I’m hangin’ with Brent Andrews and Darcy (Ashley) – they’re a couple of P.E.I. boys – so I like it.”