Growing the Game: The New Jersey Devils’ Commitment to Youth Hockey Development

Photo : Hockey In New Jersey

In the realm of professional sports, the New Jersey Devils aren’t just about scoring goals on the ice; they’re also big on giving back to the community, especially through their partnership with Hockey in New Jersey (HNJ).

Founded in 2003, HNJ is dedicated to making hockey accessible to kids who might not have the means otherwise. Based in Newark at the Ironbound Recreation Center, they provide opportunities for kids from all walks of life to lace up their skates and hit the ice, supported by the Devils and the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone™ initiative.

What makes HNJ special isn’t just them teaching the game itself—it’s their belief that hockey can be a game-changer for these kids. It’s about instilling life skills, boosting academic success, and fostering friendships that can last a lifetime for them.

What really sets HNJ apart is the personal touch from the Devils players themselves. NHL pros take time out of their crazy schedules to hang out with the kids, share some wisdom, and just have fun on the ice. From videos posted to social media, it’s clear that the kids absolutely love it. Whether it’s a practice session or a community event, having Devils players like the Hughes brothers around is a real game-changer.

Speaking of the Hughes brothers, Jack started helping the organization a few years ago, teaming up with Bauer to make sure that every kid got gear. “I went to their rink in Newark, and the relationship built from there,” Jack says. “We brought them to a game, got them jerseys, and they got to meet some people, so I think that was really good.” He’s all about making memories and connections for these kids.

The recent Playing it Forward gala was a standout moment. Jack and Luke Hughes got some well-deserved recognition for their dedication to the cause. After receiving the Playing it Forward Award, HNJ announced the appointment of Jack and Luke Hughes as its official ambassadors for a five-year term.

“Jack and Luke Hughes embody the values of commitment, leadership, and community engagement,” said Jake Reynolds, President of the New Jersey Devils & Prudential Center. “Their passion for hockey and dedication to making a difference in the lives of others make them outstanding ambassadors for Hockey in New Jersey.”

“With their five-year commitment, Jack and Luke will play a pivotal role in expanding the reach of HNJ’s programs to support and inspire socioeconomically disadvantaged youth,” said Keith Veltre, CEO of Hockey in New Jersey.

Moments like these really make you proud to be a hockey fan. Seeing the smiles on those kids’ faces when they’re out there on the ice is what it’s all about, and knowing that the Devils are supporting them warms your heart.

But it’s not just about the events or galas. It’s about the everyday moments, too. It’s about those little interactions between players and kids that might not make the headlines but mean the world to those involved. Whether it’s a high-five after a good play or a word of encouragement when things get tough, those are the moments that really make a difference.

So, hats off to the Devils for keeping the spirit of hockey alive and well in Jersey. Through partnerships like HNJ, they’re not just building a stronger team; they’re building a stronger community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion: Florida Can Go Back-To-Back As Stanley Cup Champions & Here’s Why

As the Florida Panthers spend the summer celebrating their Stanley Cup win, it begs the question: Can they repeat as Cup Champions? I think they can, as their roster is still extremely strong despite losing some pieces to free agency. The core forwards that were up for contract Zito locked up long-term, ensuring little change […]

Read More

Ranking NHL Goal Horns

32) Utah Hockey Club: N/A 31) Colorado Avalanche: 1/10: Sounds generic, not a pleasant sound, I heard this too much in the 2022 Playoffs (it got annoying) Goal Horn Button: 30) San Jose Sharks: 1/10 – Sounds like a boat/foghorn, good goal song though, very unique Goal Horn Button: 29) Washinton Capitals 1/10: Sirens during […]

Read More

Player Profile: Mark Kastelic

Mark Kastelic was born on March 11, 1999, in Phoenix, Arizona. Kastelic comes from a hockey family, as his father, Ed, played 210 career NHL games for the Washington Capitals and Hartford Whalers. His grandfather, Pat Stapleton, and his uncle, Mike Stapleton, each played in the NHL as well. Mark played two seasons for the […]

Read More