Behind the Mic: Lalli’s Broadcasting Journey Begins

Written By Nor Pac Sports Network

Several nights a week, you can hear a voice demonstrating knowledge, passion, and love for hockey while describing the action on the ice through a play-by-play broadcast. With each shot, pass, hit, and save, Jagraj Lalli makes you feel like you are in the arena as he brings you the action over a stream. Lalli grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and first fell in love with hockey at an early age after his uncle sat him down to watch a Canucks National Hockey League (NHL) game on TV in 2011. He describes that moment as one that got him hooked on the sport, shortly after he started playing drop-in floor hockey as a child.

Lalli’s Broadcasting Journey Begins

Not long after discovering and falling in love with the game, Lalli found his passion for broadcasting. He vividly remembers pretending to broadcast hockey games as he watched them on TV.

After graduating high school, he took a big step towards working as a broadcaster when he enrolled in the Broadcasting and Online Journalism program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Since then, Lalli has been able to hone and develop his craft working as a broadcaster for several teams and leagues in the Lower Mainland like the Junior Prospects Hockey League (JPHL), the Valley West Giants in the BC Elite Hockey League (BCEHL), and as a broadcast host along with Steve Erickson and Ian Wilson for the Delta Ice Hawks and Richmond Sockeyes in the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL).

Lalli is thankful to Erickson who has been a great mentor and helped him become became a part of the working media landscape by taking him all over the city to various sporting events such as the Vancouver Giants and Vancouver Warriors.

In addition to hockey, he has recently begun calling games for the Langley Events Centre, including the BC Boys Basketball Provincials.

Will Kump, the General Manager for the Richmon Sockeyes, has been excited to have Lalli on their broadcasts.

“He is hard working and has improved our game day experience. He helps out with colour but most games provides pre game updates, in game intermission and time out interviews with players and what ever else he can think of,” Kump said.

Lalli’s Broadcasting Style and Influence

Lalli would describe himself as a passionate and engaging broadcaster who works hard to keep the audience entertained while providing insightful analysis.

“I balance passion and impartiality, ensuring all viewers feel included and informed throughout the game. I hope to keep the audience engaged through humor, quotes, or in-depth commentary from start to finish,” Lalli said.

Several broadcasters have significantly impacted his career, including John Shorthouse, Doc Emrick, Harnarayan Singh, Mike Breen, and Kevin Harlan.

“Each of these individuals has inspired me with their unique styles, iconic calls, and dedication to their craft,” explained Lalli. “From Shorthouse’s voice on Canucks’ broadcasts to Harnarayan Singh’s groundbreaking work on Hockey Night Punjabi, these broadcasters have shaped my aspirations and fueled my passion for play-by-play announcing,” he continued.

Bringing Hockey to Diverse Communities in BC

Lalli’s goal as a broadcaster is noble: to have more people interested in hockey, particularly within communities that are underrepresented in the broadcasting world.

“Lalli covering the action during a Canucks’ NHL game”

“As someone from a Punjabi background, I hope to be a role model for aspiring broadcasters who may not see many individuals who look like them in the industry. I was inspired by people like Randip Janda and Harnarayan Singh,” he stated.

Lalli’s Work with Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition

Lalli has also realized his dream by working for for Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition, a show he grew up watching as their social media coordinator. In his role, he oversees all aspects of the social media presence, working closely with the production team to engage with their audience and share the excitement of hockey in Punjabi. The opportunity came about when he reached out to the show producer and expressed my interest in an interview for school with Randip Janda, the current host. From there, the job was offered, discussions began, and he was thrilled to join the team.

“Lalli hard at work with Hockey Night Punjabi’s Social Media Team”

Helping Grow the Game

Lalli has been excited to see how hockey has grown across diverse communities in BC. He attributes much of that growth to initiatives like Hockey Night Punjabi and the increasing representation of diverse sports players.

“The arrival of players like Arshdeep Bains to the Vancouver Canucks has inspired many individuals of Punjabi descent to take an interest in hockey, having a sense of inclusion and community within the sport,” he said. “Through outreach efforts and increased visibility, hockey in BC is becoming more accessible and welcoming to individuals from all backgrounds.”

Jagraj Lalli epitomizes passion, dedication, and representation in sports broadcasting. From his humble beginnings in floor hockey to his current role as a dynamic play-by-play announcer, Lalli’s journey reflects a deep love for hockey and a commitment to inclusivity in broadcasting. Through his engaging commentary, he immerses audiences in action and works to expand hockey’s reach, especially in underrepresented communities. Inspired by broadcasting icons, Lalli aspires to pave the way for diverse broadcasters, leaving a lasting impact on the sport and those he inspires.

Follow Lalli’s Journey