HEROS Ambassadors

Jay Bowmeester, St. Louis Blues HEROS Ambassador since 2010

Jay Bouwmeester

St. Louis Blues
HEROS Ambassador since 2010

Jay Bouwmeester joined HEROS as our first Ambassador in 2010. Born and raised in Edmonton, Jay’s family introduced him to HEROS programming when he was traded to the Calgary Flames in 2009. Ever since, Jay has been an active advocate for HEROS while representing Canada at the Olympics and throughout his time in the NHL.

Not only does Jay bring accolades and awards, but his unassuming character is a welcome addition to our HEROS dressing room. Sitting with the participants, tying skates and talking about their day, Jay has an approachable nature that is meaningful and inspirational to the HEROS participants.

Sven Bärtschi, Vancouver Canucks HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Sven Bärtschi

Vancouver Canucks
HEROS Ambassador since 2014

Sven is a HEROS Ambassador who embodies our notion of “Once a HERO, always a HERO”. Joining us in 2014 while playing for the Flames, Sven has continued his support of the organization since his trade west to the Vancouver Canucks.

“Coming from Switzerland, I know how hockey can make a person feel included and fit in. Sport is a great way to meet friends and what HEROS does is no different. It’s great to see that each kid has their own unique story but when they’re all together, no matter what city it is across Canada, they are all equals, they are all empowered, they are all HEROS.”

Manny Malhotra, HEROS Ambassador since 2014

Manny Malhotra

HEROS Ambassador since 2014

Manny Malhotra joined HEROS in Vancouver during our 2014 Summer Camp at the invitation of HEROS founding board member and NHL skating coach Barb Aidelbaum. His visit was the day after signing with the Montreal Canadiens. Without hesitation, Manny accepted our invitation to become an Ambassador, working with the program in Montreal. Fluent in French, Manny was the first player HEROS was able to bring into the dressing room to tie skates and speak with our Francophone Montreal participants.

Mason Raymond, Calgary Flames, HEROS Ambassador since 2014

Mason Raymond

Calgary Flames
HEROS Ambassador since 2014

Born in Alberta, starting his NHL career in Vancouver and now living in Calgary playing for the Flames, Mason Raymond is a great addition to the HEROS Ambassadors roster. Mason’s path to the NHL includes two years in the NCAA which is a great inspiration for our All Stars who are looking at what is next for them while finishing up high school.

Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild, HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Matt Dumba

Minnesota Wild
HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Matt Dumba, a defenceman from the Minnesota Wild joined the HEROS team of Ambassadors in 2015. Raised in Calgary, overlooking Bowness Matt played at the Edge School, a private school that is working closely with the HEROS Bowness Program, ignited by the Flames. He was 7th overall pick in the a 2012 draft and has played for Red Deer and Portland in the WHL, on the 2014 World Jr. team and has established himself as an NHL regular this season in Minnesota. To top it off, his uncle was a roommate of HEROS Founder, Norm Flynn while playing for Lethbridge in the WHL.

Curtis Lazar, Ottawa Senators, HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Curtis Lazar

Ottawa Senators
HEROS Ambassador since 2015

In his first season with the Ottawa Senators, Curtis Lazar made an impact on and off of the ice in his new Ottawa community. A young man who always has a smile on his face, Curtis has been an active addition to the HEROS program in Vanier, Ottawa.

“Joining HEROS is an exciting experience for me. Hockey is my passion and I love having the chance to share that with the HEROS kids.”

Dany Heatley

HEROS Ambassador since 2013

Being a Calgary native, Heatley is very familiar with the areas of the city HEROS’ programming operates out of and understands the need for a healthy, safe environment for all kids across Canada to have an opportunity to learn, grow and play.

“HEROS is a great organization. It’s fantastic to teach kids about life using the game of hockey. I have been fortunate to grow up in a hockey family and think HEROS gives such a fun opportunity to kids who wouldn’t otherwise get to play. HEROS volunteers are really what make it work; they are there week in and week out making the lives of young people better.”

Freddie Hamilton

Stockton Heat
HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Freddie joins HEROS through a family connection. In the summer of 2015, the Hamilton family (Doug and Lynn along with sons Freddie and Dougie) invited a number of HEROS participants from Toronto to join them in Niagara to participate in a on ice session. Quickly, it was obvious that this was the beginning of a great connection. Freddie, a player for the Colorado Avalanche realizes that using his skill to help young people is a way to use the game he loves to support his community.

Dougie Hamilton

Calgary Flames
HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Like his brother Freddie, Dougie Hamilton joins HEROS after an event with Toronto HEROS in his home town of Niagara, Ontario. In the summer of 2015, the Hamilton family (Doug and Lynn along with sons Freddie and Dougie) invited a number of HEROS participants to join them in Niagara to participate in a on ice session. Quickly, it was obvious that this was the beginning of a great connection, particularly because he had just signed with the Calgary Flames.

Blake Orban

HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Blake first became involved with HEROS as a member of the Vancouver Giants and a graduate of the Odd Squad’s Staying on Side program. In partnership with the Vancouver Police Department WHL players like Blake were educated about the life of young people living in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver and were empowered to go into the community, representing their team and speaking to young people about choices and “staying on side”. Upon being traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings during their Memorial Cup winning season (2013/14), Blake continued his involvement with HEROS. During his final WHL season in 2014/15 Blake won the Oil Kings Humanitarian award in large part for his work with HEROS. Now a CIS Student / Athlete with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, Blake continues his involvement, using his platform to inspire young people on the ice and in the classroom.

Read Blake Orban’s articles HERE.

Joel Ward

San Jose Sharks
University of Lethbridge Pronghorns
HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Joel Ward knows first-hand how hockey can be an inclusive activity for all Canadians. Both of his parents were newcomers to Canada and Joel and his brothers had the opportunity to play hockey and create a social identity through their sport. With an unconventional path to the NHL, Joel has faced the ups and downs in his pursuit of a professional career. Joel’s commitment to the sport and his dreams lead him to NHL tryouts for the Detroit Red Wings, CIS Collegiate Hockey at the University of Prince Edward Island and finally the opportunity to break into the NHL with the Minnesota Wild. Joel has expressed his admiration of fellow HEROS supporter – Willie O’Ree and joins him as a strong role model for young people as an ambassador of the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone program. Every day, Joel plays an active role of inspiring young people of all backgrounds to get involved in the sport.

 

Kaleigh Fratkin

New York Riveters
National Women’s Hockey League
HEROS Ambassador since 2015

Kaleigh Fratkin is a Canadian women’s ice hockey player currently playing with the New York Riveters of the National Women’s Hockey League. Kaleigh began her involvement with HEROS as a high school student volunteering with the program, and continued to volunteer after beginning at Boston University when she would return to Vancouver in the off-season. After her college career she became the first Canadian player to sign a contract in the NWHL. At the NCAA level, she accumulated 66 points with the Boston University Terriers women’s ice hockey program. With Canada’s U22/Development Team, she earned a gold medal at the 2015 Nations Cup in Germany. Kaleigh continues to work  diligently to increase inclusivity in the game of hockey, and particularly to ensure there is always a meaningful place for girls and women of all ages in the game of hockey.

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