Friday, May 19, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Since the Vegas Golden Knights joined the community last year, they have hosted numerous clinics in an attempt to expand the youth hockey scene in Southern Nevada.
This weekend they’ll take it one step further, giving a free hockey stick to every child who attends their event Saturday at Paradise Park or Sunday at Desert Breeze Park.
If the Vegas Golden Knights have it their way in the coming years, neighborhood streets and parking lots across the valley will be astir with miniature hockey players. Many NHL players grew up learning to play hockey on a frozen pond or local rink. Here in Las Vegas, asphalt and pavement will have to suffice.
“It’s a lofty goal we’ve set for ourselves, but years from now we want players in the NHL that grew up playing hockey in Las Vegas,” said Nehme Abouzeid, the Golden Knights’ chief marketing officer.
Children ages 5-15 can attend the events on a first-come, first-serve basis to learn the fundamentals of shooting, stick handling and passing from members of the Golden Knights’ operations staff. There will be four sessions per day, beginning at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
“It’s very important to us that we plant a seed in the community,” Abouzeid said. “A neighborhood of kids gets a free lesson from staff members of a pro hockey team, and hopefully they take it back to their neighborhood and decide to play street hockey.”
For those who can’t make this weekend’s events, the Golden Knights also have four sessions June 3 at Anthem Hills Park in Henderson.
Paradise Park is located at 4775 South McLeod Drive near Tropicana Avenue; Desert Breeze Park is at 8275 Spring Mountain Road near Durango Drive.
Parents can pre-register here.