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Shark Life: Granting Hayden's Wish

Make-A-Wish recipient Hayden Bradley joined the San Jose Sharks for the weekend

by Ann Frazier /

Sports aren't just about the product on the ice (or field) and on the scoreboard. Sports are also about positively impacting the community and serving as inspiration to those around the team. And that's exactly what happened the weekend of January 19-21 for the San Jose Sharks.

On Friday, 15-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient Hayden Bradley was granted his wish: to become an honorary member of the San Jose Sharks. Inspired by Sam Tageson, who had been an honorary Shark in an earlier wish, Hayden only wanted to be a Shark for a day. However, the Sharks Foundation had bigger plans in mind.

The first day of his wish saw Hayden sign his contract and join his new Sharks teammates in an on-ice practice.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Meet Hayden Bradley. Born with a congenital heart defect and having lost his high school to the North Bay fires, his one wish is to be part of the #SJSharks. And thanks to @SharksCare and @SFWish, we���re making that happen today.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: BREAKING: #SJSharks sign defenseman Hayden Bradley to a standard players contract.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Hayden thought it was a one-game #SJSharks contract but, we had a little surprise for him. #roadtrip

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: First thing���s first for Hayden after signing his deal: meeting his new teammates and seeing his locker setup. #SJSharks

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Wouldn���t be a complete #SJSharks experience without a game of ping pong �� with @MeierTimo.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: #SJSharks head coach Peter DeBoer and defenseman Hayden Bradley speak to the media before practice.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Next up: Hayden joins his #SJSharks teammates on the ice for practice.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: That behind-the-back pass from Hayden to @bgoodrow23 ��

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: That���s it for today! We���ll see Hayden tomorrow at the game. �� #sjsharks

Tweet from @sam_tageson: Congratulations to Hayden! Enjoy your weekend, it���s truly an unforgettable experience! It���s incredible honor! #SJSharks

After showing off his stuff at practice - and answering many, many questions from the media - it was time for Hayden to rest up and get ready for the big day: the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Sharks gave him an experience as close to a player's day as possible.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: First NHL game tonight for Hayden. �� @SFWish | @SharksCare

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Hayden has arrived. #SharklyDressedMen

Tweet from @SharksCare: Honorary Shark meets honorary Shark. @sam_tageson welcoming Hayden to @SAPCenter for his big night!

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Suit up, Hayden! #SJSharks

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Reading tonight���s #SJSharks starting lineup: Hayden Bradley ��

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: You're not officially a Shark until you skate through the Shark Head. #SJSharks

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: What's it like to skate through the famous Shark Head before a #SJSharks game? As part of his @SFWish, Hayden got to find out. ��

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Tonight we let Hayden take care of the ceremonial faceoff duties (with his brothers dropping the puck). #SJSharks

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: TFW Pavelski tells you to take the ceremonial faceoff.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Here are your San Jose Sharks! P.S. Check out the last player skating through the #SJSharks head ��

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: The newest member of the #SJSharks and @sfwish recipient Hayden Bradley is 1-0 in faceoffs in his NHL career. ��

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Hayden went from on the ice with all-star hockey players to in a suite with his all-star heart surgeon. #SJSharks

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Hayden clues us into one of the #SJSharks pregame rituals. ������

Tweet from @sjsharkie: Great to see Hayden tonight! He got to bang the drum in the 2nd period (although I had to show him how to do it LOUD) and get the crowd up.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: As with all #SJSharks players, we grabbed and taped Hayden's first NHL game puck. Congrats Hayden!

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: But obviously, Hayden is the real first �� tonight.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Undefeated with Hayden on the team. ��Recap:

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Hayden gets the full #SJSharks win experience ����

Of course, the win against the Penguins wasn't the only game Hayden would get to enjoy. He was off to board the team plane to travel to Anaheim for the road experience. 

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: #AirShark is now boarding. ��Hayden is taking over our Instagram Story for his trip to Anaheim! Follow along at

Originally the plan was for Hayden to take a pregame Zamboni ride in Anaheim. However, now considered the team's lucky charm, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski asked Hayden to join the team in the locker room again and read out the starting lineup. 

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: .@jpav8 asked Hayden to read the #SJSharks starting lineup tonight ��

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Safe to say Hayden is having a pretty good time tonight. #SJSharks

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Of course, the real first �� is still Hayden Bradley. #goodluckcharm

Tweet from @SharksCare: The @SanJoseSharks are 2-0-0 since Hayden joined the team! #luckycharm

The Sharks and Hayden landed back in San Jose late Sunday night, with four out of four points in hand and a surely unforgettable weekend for Hayden. 

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