Minority players in the National Hockey League remain a relative rarity.
But the effort to increase diversity in the sport at the youth level has never been more robust than it is now. The results can be seen in neighborhoods in places like Philadelphia and Detroit where basketball, baseball and football are still the top choices for many.
While just 5 percent of the 778 NHL players are minorities, that number is 70 percent within Snider Hockey, a program that provides free equipment, ice time and academic support for more than 3,000 youths in the Philadelphia area. Ice Hockey in Harlem, Detroit Ice Dreams and other organizations are also trying to bring the sport to people who never thought it was for them.
The NHL says it has spent $100 million along with the players’ union since 2015 to grow diversity in the sport.