Are There Any Black Hockey Players in the NHL?

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There are 25 professional hockey players of black African descent, including Wayne Simmonds of the National Hockey League Philadelphia Flyers. The NHL itself emphasizes that hockey is "for everyone," noting that many black players have played professional hockey since the 1950s.

Willie O'Ree was the first Black hockey player to play professionally in the NHL. The Canadian-born O'Ree's pro hockey career began in 1958. The Edmonton Oilers have a good track record of hiring black players, with a total of 11 such players having been on the team's roster through the year.

Other prominent players of African descent include forward Jarome Iginla, who plays for the Colorado Avalanche, forward Evander Kane of the Buffalo Sabres, forward Kyle Okposo of the Buffalo Sabres, and right winger Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers. Right winger Joel Ward of the San Jose Sharks is African-American, as is defenseman Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets, defenseman Johnny Oduya of the Dallas Stars, and defenseman Seth Jones of the Columbus Blue Jackets.