The first black NHL player was Willie O’reed back in 1958 that helped break the color barrier for the National Hockey League. There wasn’t another black NHL player that stepped onto the ice in the NHL until some 15 years later when Washington Capitals players Bill Riley and Mike Marston suited up. Tony McKegney became the first real liner for black hockey players in the NHL, scoring 40 goals in 1987-88 with the St. Louis Blues. Grant Fuhr was the first black hall of famer; a net minder that became the first black player to have his name engraved on Lord Stanley’s Cup. In the present day there are many more black hockey players in the league than before. It’s great for the sport and incredible to see how fast the growth of black hockey players is happening.
There have been roughly 70 black players who played at least one NHL game and as of today there are 20 black players currently on active NHL rosters. Assuming all 30 teams had even rosters of 21 players that would leave 630 players in the league. So in today’s NHL that would leave slightly over 3% of all players are black, a major increase from years before.
5 well known Black Forwards and their career stats:
5 well known Black Defensemen and their career stats:
3 well known Black Goaltenders and their career stats:
Black players are increasing in numbers today in the league and the more that make it to the NHL level, the greater the impact we can see they will have on the ice in any role, whether its a goal scorer, defenseman, goaltender, or enforcer. As hockey continues to grow we will see many more players of all sorts of ethnicity and race from all over the world join the NHL. Hockey is most definitely for everyone!