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Lil' Oilers is a Learn to Play initiative, developed in collaboration with the NHL and NHLPA, that is designed to introduce youth aged five to six (2012 and 2013 birth dates) to the great game of hockey. Running in January and February 2019 out of the Downtown Community Arena adjacent to Rogers Place, eligible children will be selected via lottery to participate in this unique hockey program.

This year, due to the great success of the program, we are expanding to Revolution Place in Grande Prairie, AB to offer an additional 100 spots to children aged four to eight in the area. Children will be selected via lottery to take part in our new expansion program, headed by Oilers alumni, Colin Fraser.

Lil' Oilers will help break common entry barriers into the minor hockey system by providing all participants with new complimentary CCM hockey equipment, as well as world class on-ice instruction from Oilers Alumni and local hockey experts. With an emphasis on fun and approved lesson plans from Hockey Canada, Lil' Oilers is the perfect program for those looking to get their start in hockey!

Lil' Oilers Expands!

After two successful seasons in Edmonton, Lil' Oilers is expanding to Grande Prairie for 2019. This season, we will not only return to Edmonton to host 350 first-time players, but we will also expand north in Oil Country, offering 100 spots for first-time skaters aged 4-8 in the Grande Prairie area. This program will be led by Oilers Alumni and three-time Stanley Cup Champion, Colin Fraser. Eligible children will be selected via lottery to participate in the program. The lottery will be open from November 1, 2018 until November 30, 2018.

Lil' Oilers Eligibility

There are three critical elements that must be met by all applicants to be considered eligible for the Edmonton Lil' Oilers program:

  1. Age: Birthdate must fall between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013.
  2. Minor Hockey Background: No previous participation in any Hockey Canada sanctioned programming.
  3. Deposit: $150. Upon program completion, $100 will be credited towards enrollment in the Edmonton and surrounding community minor hockey program for the 2018-19 season.

Lil' Oilers participants will be selected via lottery following the application process. Applications will be accepted starting Thursday, November 1 until Friday, November 31, 2018, at 5:00 PM MT. Please note, only one application will be accepted per child.

**Please note, the Grande Prairie expansion will follow the same criteria, with the exception of the age range. Eligible participants for the Grande Prairie expansion program will have a birthdate that falls between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted from Thursday, November 1, 2018 until Friday, November 30, 2018 at 5:00 PM MT. One (1) application per child; multiple submissions will not increase your chance of selection.

If your child meets all of the outlined requirements and you are interested in participating in the Lil' Oilers program, please click here to apply

Please note that participants will be randomly selected via a lottery. Following the lottery process, all applicants will be notified on the status of their application.

What Lil' Oilers Receive

Six (6) one-hour ice sessions led by Oilers Alumni members Jason Strudwick (Oilers defencemen, 2008 to 2011) and Jeff Deslauriers (Oilers goaltender, 2008 to 2010). Additional on-ice instruction will be provided by certified hockey experts from both Hockey Alberta and Hockey Edmonton.

The Grande Prairie program will be led by Oilers Alumni member Colin Fraser (Three time Stanley Cup Champion and Oilers centre, 2010-11) as well as hockey experts from Hockey Alberta and AJHL's Grande Prairie Storm.

Lil' Oilers branded equipment courtesy of CCM that includes:

  • Helmet
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Skates
  • Elbow Pads
  • Gloves
  • Pants
  • Shin Pads
  • Jersey
  • Socks
  • Equipment Bag

Frequently Asked Questions

The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) have identified the need for a unified growth strategy as a priority for the sport of hockey. As a result, the Learn to Play Initiative (LTP), a joint (NHLPA/NHL) grassroots hockey initiative was created to offer more families an opportunity to see what makes youth hockey great. For potential first-time participants to the sport, this program changes the way hockey is offered to inspire new families to join the hockey community and provide an age-appropriate program based on the latest child development research. With certified coaches, led by NHL Alumni, the on-ice program will provide a fun and safe atmosphere for learning the basic skills of ice hockey.

The program is offered to new, first-time participants (boys and girls) between the ages of five and six. First-time participants are those participants who have not previously been registered to a USA Hockey or Hockey Canada sanctioned minor hockey program. Programs are scheduled to begin in January 2019 and are open to participants born between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. 

With the new Grande Prairie expansion, we will offer the program to first-time participants between the ages of four to eight. First-time participants are those participants who have not previously been registered to a USA Hockey or Hockey Canada sanctioned minor hockey program. Programs are scheduled to begin in February 2019 and are open to participants born between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014. 

It is recommended for a child who has no prior ice skating experience to enroll in a "learn to skate" program, but this is not required. Many Edmonton public rinks have regular ice skating sessions which are open to the public and are a great way to gain experience and confidence on the ice. For those interested, here are some recommended websites:

Currently, the Edmonton Lil' Oilers program will operate at the Downtown Community Arena (10245-105 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB, T5H 2R8).

Our expansion program will operate at Revolution Place in Grande Prairie, AB (10017 99 Ave, Grande Prairie, AB T8V-0R7)

Lil' Oilers participants will be required to pay a $150 deposit for this program. Included in this fee will be head-to-toe equipment, as well as six (6) one-hour ice sessions led by Oilers Alumni and local hockey experts from both Hockey Alberta and Hockey Edmonton. Upon program completion, $100 will be credited towards enrollment in the Edmonton minor hockey program for the 2018-19 season.

Upon being accepted into the Lil' Oilers Learn to Play program, each participant will receive complimentary head-to-toe equipment from CCM. The equipment package includes; a helmet with cage, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin guards, hockey skates, a hockey stick, jersey, socks and an equipment bag. All equipment is required to be worn during each on-ice session. Participants will keep the equipment upon graduating from the Learn to Play program. Participants will be required to purchase their own neck guard, mouth guard and athletic supporter. 

The lottery process will take place in mid-December. Following this, all participants will be notified about the status of their application via email. Please do not call or email inquiring about the status of your application. 

There will not be a formal waiting list for this program. If there are any selected participants unable to participate, another individual will be drawn randomly and provided the opportunity to enter the program. If you were not selected and are interested in future Lil' Oilers programming, please stay tuned to EdmontonOilers.com for the latest information. 

The Edmonton Oilers, in partnership with Hockey Alberta and Hockey Edmonton, will provide all participants with an overview of next step/transition programs prior to graduating from the Lil' Oilers program. 

If your child does not plan to participate in any 2017-18 Edmonton minor hockey programs, the $100 deposit will be used for Lil' Oilers programming costs.

Unfortunately not. The Lil' Oilers program is offered to only new, first-time participants. The Edmonton Oilers, in partnership with Hockey Alberta and Hockey Edmonton, will provide participants with direction on transitional, next-step programming available in Oil Country.

The National Governing Bodies for youth hockey in the United States and Canada, respectively.

Yes, the membership is valid for the current youth hockey season. Upon enrolling in your next hockey program beyond the current playing season, standard registration fees will apply.

The Governing Body provides a number of resources for the Learn to Play program, including; age-appropriate training modules and practice plans, coaching certification, background screening and insurance for all Lil' Oilers participants.

Registration with the Governing Bodies is included for the Learn to Play program. Should you elect to enroll in a future hockey program upon graduating from Lil' Oilers Program, standard Governing Body fees will apply.

2018 Recap

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ICE Level | Lil' Oilers

Through training, Lil' Oilers is a free program that teaches kids the fundamentals of the sport and encourages them to keep with it

  • Oct 17, 2018 • 02:42

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