Willie Eldon O’Ree, CM 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,[NB 1] and has stated publicly that he had met Jackie Robinson when he was younger.  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 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.”