Birbraer wore #21 with the Israeli National Team
December 15, 1980 |
Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakh SSR, USSR
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
Albany River Rats
San Antonio Rampage
|NHL Draft||67th overall, 2000
New Jersey Devils
Maxim Birbraer (Hebrew: מקס בירבראייר; born December 15, 1980) is a Kazakhstan born Israeli professional ice hockey forward who is currently playing for the Swindon Wildcats in the English Premier Ice Hockey League (EPIHL). Birbraer is Jewish and has played for the Israel national ice hockey team.
Birbraer was born in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, where he lived until the age of 14, and is Jewish. His family lived under a non-Jewish sounding surname in those years due to severe local anti-Semitism, and he wasn't told that he was Jewish until his parents decided to move to Israel. Although he had played schoolboy hockey in Russia he assumed that he would have to give up the ice when he was 14 and his family immigrated to Israel, until he discovered an indoor rink in Tel Aviv where he played in a junior league. He had lived in Israel for only 8 months when his coach, Paul Rosen, persuaded him to try out for a Canadian league with the result that he spent 2 years playing Tier 2 hockey in Ontario; where Rosen was his legal guardian. He then joined the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League.
He was the only Israeli national ever to be drafted by a NHL team when he was drafted 67th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils. Despite this, he never played in the NHL, instead spending three seasons with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany River Rats. In 2006, Birbraer signed with the Cardiff Devils of the Elite Ice Hockey League, and played with the team for 7 years. Birbraer signed with the Telford Tigers in 2014.
- "Professional Hockey Review: 2010–11; European Hockey League". Jewish Sports Review. 8 (87): 8–9. September–October 2011.
- Kalchman, Lois (5 May 2000). "Max Birbraer's strange journey ; Overlooked player now seen as top prospect for NHL". Toronto Star. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
- Fishler, Stan (2 April 2002). "Max Birbraer: Rising Hockey Star, Aspiring Bar Mitzvah Boy". The Forward. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
- Maloney, Tom (21 June 2000). "An unlikely rise to attention for Israeli talent: Max Birbraer's road to NHL draft: bizarre, made-for-TV story". National Post (Canada). Retrieved 25 May 2017.
- Shoalts, David (13 December 2003). "Player refuses to yield to obstacles". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
- "My incredible Journey: Cardiff Devils rising star Max Birbraer served time in jail and the Israeli Army before he was 20, but ice hockey got him through it all". South Wales Echo. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
- Phillips, Terry (25 August 2007). "Imports set to provide Devils with a boost". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
- Oakes, Michael (12 August 2014). "Max Birbraer eyes a Grand Slam with Telford". Daily Star (London). Retrieved 25 May 2017.
- Phillips, Terry (3 December 2009). "Birbraer's double as Devils take a thriller". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 25 May 2017.