Over fifty years ago, Willie O’Ree broke the color barrier in professional hockey and was the first black hockey player to ever skate in the NHL.
Today, O’Ree is still an influential presence in the NHL. He has served as the league’s director of youth development for the past 15 years and also is an ambassador for NHL diversity. O’Ree is one of the primary faces behind the NHL’s “Hockey Is for Everyone” campaign, which is set to launch in February.
The “Hockey Is for Everyone” campaign is committed to giving children of all backgrounds an opportunity to play and enjoy hockey.
O’Ree was on hand before the Bruins-Panthers game for the ceremonial puck drop. To see the entire ceremony, check out the video above.