Skip to main content

Short Shifts

Short Shifts

Hailey Dawson uses robotic hand to drop ceremonial puck in Vegas

7-year-old with Poland Syndrome helps Golden Knights celebrate Hockey Is For Everyone Month

NHL.com @NHL

Hailey Dawson drops first puck

Hailey Dawson drops puck with robotic hand for HIFE

Seven-year-old Hailey Dawson drops the ceremonial puck with her 3-D printed robotic hand in Las Vegas as part of Hockey Is For Everyone

  • 00:48 •

Hailey Dawson has opened up professional sporting events before, but never in her hometown.

The inspiring 7-year-old girl, born without three fingers on her right hand and an underdeveloped thumb and pinkie due to Poland Syndrome, was at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday where she used a robotic hand made with a 3-D printer in order to drop the ceremonial first puck before the Vegas Golden Knights game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Instagram from @haileys_hand: Instagram: Hailey Dawson drops puck

Dawson, who will turn eight next month, previously made it her goal to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. She's done so at three ballparks, including Minute Maid Park in Houston where she threw out a memorable pitch before Game 4 of the 2017 World Series.

"Who wouldn't be afraid to walk out there in front of 45,000 people and throw out a first pitch? Not her," Yong Dawson, Hailey's mother, said.

Hailey Dawson's specially-made robotic hand was decorated with the Vegas Golden Knights logo and she dropped a perfectly placed puck between Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith and Flyers captain Claude Giroux.

"It's super cool to wear this," Hailey Dawson told NHL.com. "It doesn't get uncomfortable wearing it, but it gets hot sometimes."

By participating in these events, the Dawsons are hoping to help raise awareness about Poland Syndrome, a rare genetic disease, and also inspire those born with disabilities to not limit themselves. The special hand was first conceived at UNLV's engineering department.

"Every time this happens, she gets to talk about what she was born with. People don't know what it is. We talk about it because she's been doing this. People start to hear what it is, and that's good for us because there's a lot of people that have this. Different parts of it, but they have it," Yong Dawson said. "Then we get to talk about the cool hand that UNLV made, and there's been some families that have gotten hands made. Another family from UNLV and some other families across the nation have gotten this because of her hand."

Hailey Dawson may be inspiring others, but she's also just having fun out there.

"I really like the [Golden Knights]. Super good. So fun," Hailey Dawson said. "I love sports."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.