WILLIE O’REE, 1ST NHL PLAYER

Willie Eldon O’ReeCM ONB (born October 15, 1935) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, best known for being the first black player in the National Hockey League. O’Ree played as a winger for the Boston Bruins. O’Ree is referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of ice hockey” for breaking the black colour barrier in the sport,[1][NB 1] and has stated publicly that he had met Jackie Robinson when he was younger. [2][3] He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2018.

Also in 2018, the NHL instituted the annual Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award[4] in his honour, to “recognize the individual who has worked to make a positive impact on his or her community, culture or society to make people better through hockey.”