WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets defenceman and Ottawa native Grant Clitsome says Wednesday's shootings in Ottawa hit close to home.

"My friends and family working downtown and being in the lockdown, scary stuff," he said Thursday.

He had trouble getting through to anyone in the area during the lockdown, but kept trying.

"I did get hold of my dad and they were in complete lockdown, elevators, stairwells were all locked down. They were just told to stay in their office."

Off the ice, Clitsome and childhood friend Nicolas Mann are preparing to launch a website called to help educate and encourage Canadian young people to vote.

Clitsome says it's hard to say what something like this will do.

"I think anything of this magnitude will definitely make an impact and it will be interesting to see how we respond," he said.

"I know I've been down there lots of times. I pretty much drive by the Parliament buildings every day. They have community yoga out there and all kinds of activities and peaceful demonstrations . . .

"It's really a gathering place for a lot of Canadians and I hope it stays that way."