NHLPA starts program to mentor youth

JENNY YUEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:22 PM ET

TORONTO - Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere says it would have helped to have health and hockey tips from his heroes on the ice while he was growing up.

And now thanks to a new mentorship program, kids playing hockey today can have those advantages.

The National Hockey League Players’ Association announced, Monday, the Allstate All-Canadians program — a mentorship website where young players can get information from NHL stars on nutrition, hockey skills, fitness and life and mental skills.

“If I would’ve had the chance to meet some NHL hockey players while growing up in Montreal, on and off the ice, all these little things, I would’ve been impressed enough to listen to them,” said Giguere at the Mastercard Centre where the program was announced.

The website can be accessed at www.allstate.all-canadians.com.

As part of the mentorship program, retired NHLer Gary Roberts is running a “Next Generation” hockey camp next August at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

“We will bring on-ice and off-ice instruction elements together to help these players build a strong foundation based on proper training, good nutrition and a love for the game,” Roberts said.

The camp gives 40 of the best bantam-aged played in the country an opportunity to play and be coached by six NHL players who will serve as ambassadors: Jordan Eberle, Eric Staal, Mike Cammalleri, John Tavares, Shea Weber and Giguere.

“I think it’s important and I’m in the position to help a lot of kids,” Giguere said. “Hockey’s given me a lot and if I can give back to the youth, it’s terrific. The most important thing is the kids grow up a good person – maybe not necessarily become the greatest NHL hockey player – just that they have fun.”

Jill Eisenhauer, 14, who plays on the Toronto Leaside Wildcats said the website will help her with tips on what to eat — something she can find confusing without some guidance.

“You can’t perform at your best without energy,” she said. “It’s a good reference and you can see how the NHL players have gotten where they are because of it. It’s good to know what they eat before and after a game.”


Videos

Photos