SAINT PAUL -- The Minnesota Wild along with the NHL and NHLPA and partners Minnesota Hockey, CCM, Total Hockey and Hy-Vee announced today that registration for the 2017 Little Wild Program, presented by Hy-Vee, will open at 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday, May 23. Five new locations have been added for 2017, bringing the total this year to 16 participating communities across the State of Hockey.
The Little Wild Program, presented by Hy-Vee, is designed to introduce the game of ice hockey at the beginner level by offering a low-cost, low-commitment opportunity in an effort to increase participation in youth hockey and grow the game. The NHL and NHLPA fund the program and provide equipment for participants. The program also promotes the importance of regular exercise, teamwork, and developing leadership skills while having fun experiencing the game of hockey.
"This past season, we saw another unprecedented jump of 8 and under registration numbers, with more than 18,000 players in that age group joining teams across Minnesota," said Minnesota Hockey Executive Director Glen Andresen. "Little Wild Learn-to-Play has played a huge role in that growth and it is increasing each year with the growing popularity of the program. We are very excited to add five new locations so that we can increase numbers in those communities and surrounding areas."
The Little Wild program will begin in September when more than 1,000 kids will have the opportunity to take part. Each participant will be outfitted with gear from head-to-toe and receive four hours of professional on-ice instruction for $100.
Former Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard returns as the program's NHL alumni Learn to Play Local Manager. Ballard will spend time onsite assisting with on-ice instruction as well as providing guidance for first-time hockey parents.
"We are excited to share the game we love with children and families across the state," said Minnesota Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka. "The Little Wild Learn-to-Play Program underscores our commitment, with our valued partners, to creating a greater State of Hockey."
Registration for Little Wild Learn-to-Play will begin at 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday, May 23 on Wild.com on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible for 2017, children must have a date of birth that is between September 1, 2008 and September 1, 2012. The program is open only to those who have not already participated on an organized youth hockey team or association. Completion of a learn-to-skate program is suggested in advance of Little Wild participation. Children with any previous hockey league experience (including previous Little Wild enrollment) are not eligible to participate in the program.
The program at each location will be led by licensed USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey instructors. Each participant will receive CCM equipment including skates, a hockey bag, jersey, helmet, gloves, pants, protective pads, hockey socks and a stick. The cost of the program includes all equipment and four hours of on-ice instruction. If not enrolled in the program, equipment can be purchased at Total Hockey locations.
2017 Little Wild Learn-to-Play Dates and Times
|Location (Rink) ||Day ||Dates ||Time |
|Bemidji (Bemidji Community Arena) ||Sun ||9/17, 9/24, 10/1, 10/8 ||5:45-6:45 p.m. |
|Bloomington (Bloomington Ice Garden) ||Wed ||9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27 ||7:15-8:15 p.m. |
|Champlin Park (Champlin Ice Forum)* ||Sun ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||11:15-12:15 p.m. |
|Chaska Chanhassen (Chaska Community Center)* ||Tue ||9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3 ||7:15-8:15 p.m. |
|Duluth (Heritage Sports Center) ||Sun ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||3:00-4:00 p.m. |
|Forest Lake (Forest Lake Sports Center) ||Fri ||9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29 ||5:30-6:30 p.m. |
|Lakeville (Ames Arena) ||Tue ||9/5, 9/12, 9/19, 9/26 ||5:30-6:30 p.m. |
|Minneapolis (Parade Ice Garden) ||Sun ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||1:00-2:00 p.m. |
|Moorhead (Moorhead Ice Arena) ||Sun ||9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27 ||3:00-4:00 p.m. |
|Owatonna (Four Seasons Centre)* ||Mon ||9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2 ||6:00-7:00 p.m. |
|Plymouth (Plymouth Ice Center) ||Wed ||9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27 ||6:00-7:00 p.m. |
|Prior Lake (Dakotah Arena) ||Wed ||9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27 ||6:20-7:20 p.m. |
|Rosemount (Rosemount Community Center) ||Tue ||9/5, 9/12, 9/19, 9/26 ||6:15-7:15 p.m. |
|Roseville (Roseville Ice Arena)* ||Sun ||9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1 ||3:00-4:00 p.m. |
|Willmar (Willmar Civic Center)* ||Mon ||9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2 ||5:45-6:45 p.m. |
|Woodbury (Bielenberg Sports Center) ||Wed ||9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27 ||6:00-7:00 p.m. |
*new 2017 location