WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - Monday was special day for 32 children from the Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROES) Winnipeg program, who received a special gift and met one of their hockey idols.
The kids aged 9-12 all received a brand-new full set of hockey equipment courtesy of the NHLPA's Goals and Dreams fund. To help dole out the gear - Winnipeg Jets All-Star forward Mark Scheifele.
"Any chance I can get to put a smile on a kids face or help someone is in need of it, I'll always welcome that opportunity," said Scheifele.
"Doing an event like today and seeing a bunch of kids smiling faces, does it all for me."
Celebrating 10 years, HEROS Winnipeg has engaged, educated and inspired more than 600 youth from Winnipeg.
"I think giving the opportunity for kids that wouldn't have that chance the chance to play a game and be with their friends and learn all the special skills that come with playing a sport on a team. I think that's so crucial," said Scheifele.
After Scheifele arrived, he answered questions ranging from what he does before each game, who his favourite player was growing up and even who the he thinks is the slowest Jet.
"There is always a few easy ones and a few harder ones but those are usually the best ones," smiled Scheifele.
"Kids are always asking questions just to ask a funny question. It's always good to answer those ones."
One of the children even uncovered Scheifele's newest hobby. Playing the drums.
"Me and Andrew (Copp) are playing," laughed Scheifele.
"We both suck but it's just a fun thing to do. It's something different. It's something to put your mind towards something else (besides hockey). It's really tough in terms of getting your body working in a bunch of different positions. So it's something that I really suck at right now but I hope to just get decent at it."