October 5, 2017

Draisaitl, Lucic, Maroon, McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins go head-to-head

(Edmonton, AB) – Following a 3-0 Oilers victory on Opening Night, the momentum continues today as the third season of Hockey Helps Kids officially launched at D.S. MacKenzie School with the help of 600 junior high students. Hockey Helps Kids, an exciting philanthropic initiative which made its debut in 2015-16, returns as a key program for the Edmonton Oilers 2017-18 National Hockey League (NHL) season.

Hockey Helps Kids is a fun and innovative charity competition which brings together local schools, charities and the Edmonton Oilers to raise awareness and funds for a variety of local non-profit organizations.

For its third year, the program has expanded to include five local schools – D.S. MacKenzie, Dr. Donald Massey, Dan Knott, Mary Butterworth and Westmount Junior High School – teamed up with five Oilers players to serve as team captains – Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon, Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid. The teams will ultimately compete for the Hockey Helps Kids Charity Cup and help make a difference in our community.

The teams for the 2017-18 season are:

  • Team Leon Draisaitl – D.S. MacKenzie School
  • Team Patrick Maroon – Dr. Donald Massey School
  • Team Milan Lucic – Dan Knott School
  • Team Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Mary Butterworth School
  • Team Connor McDavid – Westmount Junior High School

Hockey Helps Kids, co-founded by Chloe and Harrison Katz, children of Edmonton Oilers Chairman Daryl Katz and his wife Renee, is funded by the Katz family and administered by the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF), who helps connect the Katz children with five local Edmonton schools and five Oilers players to serve as team captains for each school to learn about community service.

A Hockey Helps Kids panel, which included Chloe and Harrison Katz, past participants from Father Michael Troy and Highlands School, and Hockey Helps Kids Educational Consultant Sandra Woitas, helped select the participating schools and are thrilled to welcome five new Edmonton junior high schools to this year’s program.

This past 2016-17 season, Hockey Helps Kids experienced significant growth and momentum in the Edmonton community. In its second year, a total of 89,808 votes were cast within the one-month voting window for the Hockey Helps Kids Charity Cup, which more than doubled its inaugural results and garnered invaluable attention to the local charities and students’ dedication to the program.

Father Michael Troy School, captained by Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, was victorious with the most votes, winning the 2nd annual Hockey Helps Kids Charity Cup and earning $25,000 for Sport Central, a local non-profit that provides affordable sports equipment for families and children with the desire to be involved in minor sports across Edmonton, Central and Northern Alberta.

The third season of Hockey Helps Kids will once again provide junior high school students in Grades 7 to 9 the opportunity to learn about the importance of being active and positive members of their community. Hockey Helps Kids will again look to complement each schools’ leadership curriculum, encouraging students to grow alongside the program while raising awareness and funds for local charities and learning the importance of making your community a better place for others.

Having players learn more about the charitable causes and social issues alongside the students created a more intimate and interactive learning environment. Each school’s team captain discussed fundraising ideas, helped make decisions and supported their team’s objectives, and this collaboration will continue this season.

More details on the program, including this year’s charitable causes will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on Hockey Helps Kids, please visit, download the Oilers Mobile App or check out Hockey Helps Kids on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.