Willie O'ree

By grimace
  • learned to skate at age 3

    learned to skate at age 3
  • first time playing playing organized hockey

    first time playing playing organized hockey
  • Joins the OHA

    Joins the OHA
    O'ree joined the Kitchener Canucks of the OHA Junior hockey league
  • O'ree goes blind

    O'ree goes blind
    Willie O'ree was hit with an errant puck during practice resulting in him being 95% blind in his right eye, he would then keep it a secret from both team staff and family in order to continue his career
  • NHL debut

    NHL debut
    on July 18, 1958 the bruins call up O'ree to substitute an injured player making O'ree the first African American to play in the NHL. He received many racist remarks, cheap shots and fights. The Bruins and their fan base were very supportive of him
  • first full NHL season

    first full NHL season
    O'ree proved himself and kept his spot on the roster. He would play a full season as a full time player with the Boston Bruins
  • New Brunswick hall of fame

    New Brunswick hall of fame
    O'ree was inducted into the new brunswick hall of fame in 1984 for being the first black player in the NHL
  • hired by USA hockey

    hired by USA hockey
    well after finishing his playing career in the minor leagues, O'ree would be appointed director of USA hockey diversity program.
  • received Lester Patrick award

    received Lester Patrick award
    The Lester Patrick award is given to the player who has given outstanding service to hockey. O'ree would win this award in 2003 for his contributions to the USA hockey youth diversity program
  • order of Canada award

    order of Canada award
    in 2010, O'ree received the order of Canada award for outstanding service to youth development.