NHL Player Inclusion Coalition works with top players during the youth clinic

ZOMERLIN, Nev. — Anson Carter couldn’t tell who was more excited: the top prospects for the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft or the kids who shared the ice with them Wednesday for a youth hockey clinic at City National Arena, the training facility of the Vegas Golden Knights.

“You kind of had to figure out who the young kids are and who the prospects are,” said Carter, a former forward who is currently an analyst for “NHL on TNT.” “… But that’s the competitive nature of these young players. prospects that we have, so I think our league is in good hands.”

Carter was among the members of the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition who were on the ice alongside candidates Macklin Celebrini, Tij Iginla, Zayne Parekh, Artyom Levshunov and Zeev Buium. Together they put about 45 boys and girls, ranging from 5 to 11 years old, to work while giving tips.

“It was awesome,” said Parekh, a defenseman from Saginaw of the Ontario Hockey League. “Just trying to grow the game, especially in a place like Vegas, is pretty special. So in a way we can give back, and hopefully one day those kids will be here.

Parekh’s comments were music to the ears of Carter and the other members of the coalition who were at the clinic, including former NHL players Al Montoya, Anthony Stewart, Mark Fraser and Georges Laraque, and Julie Chu, who competed for the U.S. women’s national team at four Winter Olympics (three silver medals, one bronze).

“The coalition is about growing the game, and it starts at the grassroots level,” Carter said. “We all started at this level as young boys and girls. To see top prospects enter the League and the NHL community, it is important to communicate this to them as well, to help them understand that being an NHL player is a big responsibility.”