Calgary's Dampy Brar was named the winner of the 2020 Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award by the NHL Tuesday night.September 8, 2020
The award is presented to someone who helps people build character and develop important life skills, using hockey as a platform.
"That's amazing," Brar said on Sportsnet Tuesday night. "I just want to thank my family and friends for the voting and the support that I received. I'm at a loss for words right now."
Brar played professionally for the International Hockey League and West Coast Hockey League in the late 1990's and early 2000's. He now coaches and mentors youth, and co-founded the APNA Hockey Program in an effort to provide support for the South Asian hockey community and other hockey players from minority communities.
A former pro hockey player in the IHL and WCHL, Dampy Brar works tirelessly to mentor and teach youth hockey. As the first child in his family to be born outside of India, Brar also continues to play a major role in bringing hockey to his family’s native country. #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/34GkUrsqcx— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) September 9, 2020
O'Ree was the first Black hockey player in the NHL, playing for the Boston Bruins from 1957 to 1961.