EDMONTON, AB - Zeyad Almahamed was laced up in a pair of hockey skates with a stick in hand for the first time during an Introduction to Hockey session at the Downtown Community Arena on February 7.
The 13-year-old took part in the session, which was designed to introduce youth to the sport of hockey, alongside 30 more participants from the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.
"We were playing, practicing, and doing some tricks," Zeyad said of his first hockey experience after arriving in Canada in 2016. "At the end, we played a game versus each other. It felt so nice and so exciting."
Fast forward to February 19, Hockey Is For Everyone night at Rogers Place, and Zeyad was having his name called by the public announcer and lining up on the blueline alongside future heroes Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Oscar Klefbom.
"I felt scared, shy, and excited at the same time," he admitted. "I want to play all my life now."
Video: AROUND THE RINK | Hockey is for Everyone