The Oilers hit the ice for Wednesday’s practice with a new, albeit temporary, teammate. Eight-year-old Kohen joined the Oilers as part of a Make-A-Wish day. He signed an official contract to become an honourary Oiler for the day.
“It was a special day for him and really a special day for us,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “Kohen is a young fella that had a wish come true today to become an Oiler for a day. He epitomizes really what a perfect Oiler is so we were happy to sign him to a contract. He’s tough, he’s got courage, he’s resilient, he inspires others and I think he had that effect on our group today. We had a pretty upbeat practice after a loss and I’d say he played a big part in it.”
The Oilers players had smiles to match Kohen’s.
“It brightened our day too,” said Matt Hendricks. “He’s been through a lot. It’s the dog days of the season and you’re coming into practice and bodies are beat up and a little weary. You’ve seen what he’s been through throughout his short life, eight-years-old, we’re happy he came out today. It was a lot of fun.”
Kohen led the team stretches, scored a couple goals and even scrapped with Darnell Nurse. All while his family watched from the stands.
“So much joy. So much hardship, first of all, with what they’ve gone through,” Hendricks said of Kohen and his family. “Then to see him living his dream. He probably could have done a thousand other things, but he chose to be with us at practice. We embraced it as a group and as a team and I know he had a heck of a time today. Hopefully it puts a smile on his face for a while.”
“It kind of lightened the mood for sure,” said Jordan Eberle. “Obviously, he’s been through quite a bit and to give him a chance to come out and meet some of his heroes and skate with the guys, I think he really enjoyed it and we definitely enjoyed it too.”