Tomas Jurco is one of hockey’s viral video sensations. The AHL Grand Rapid Griffins forward, aDetroit Red Wings prospect, has been called “unbelievable” and a “magician” in those YouTube clips that feature his sensational offensive skills.
If he wasn’t also called “electrifying” before, he is now.
Here’s Jurco in an incredible, must-see video produced by the Griffins, skating in a darkened arena with glowing luminescent wire wrapped around his body – scored with “17 Ghosts II” by Nine Inch Nails.
It’s pretty much the closest we’ve ever come to the marriage of TRON and hockey.
How did this eerie, hypnotic clip come about?
Ryan Gajewski, video coordinator for the Griffins, said the inspiration came from other athletic activities.
The Griffins had been thinking about long exposure images inside a darkened arena, with LED lights on a puck for example. The shots would be wide so the lights would trail behind the puck.
(Yes … an actual glow puck.)
With that already percolating in his noggin, Gajewski one day saw his friend wrap his bike in electric luminescent wire. His immediate thought: “Man, it would be cool to wrap a player in that …”
Along with that idea, he also found a clip featuring a snowboarder using the material to glow in the dark while boarding down a mountainside, showing the potential for the idea to work in motion.
The Griffins – who have tinkered with Go Pro cameras in the past to bring fans into the action during practice and feel like a flying T-shirt – afforded Gajewski and his team creative freedom and financial backing. Each six-foot strand of the wire costs $6, and the team used 17 total to wrap around Jurco.
“We could have used 100 more of them,” said Gajewski.
Jurco was chosen for his trick shot reputation. But there was one problem: He couldn’t perform the same stick magic due to the wire being wrapped around his lumber.
“We had to do it on the blade. We couldn’t use Jurco for his Jurco-ness, as we’ve done in the past,” lamented Gajewski, who also couldn’t illuminate the puck to a desired effect.
Still, the finished product is amazing, adding to Jurco’s already considerable online viral video legend.