O’Leary, P.E.I., has been named the winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2017.
The announcement was made official Saturday evening on Hockey Night in Canada by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
In addition to $100,000 in arena upgrades to O’Leary Community Sports Centre, the community will host a pre-season game between Taylor Hall‘s New Jersey Devils and Erik Karlsson‘s Ottawa Senators on Sept. 25, 2017.
O’Leary, a small town on the west side of the island, is the 11th winner of Kraft Hockeyville and first from Prince Edward Island.
“Passion for hockey in our community is not about a single moment, a single event, a championship team or even hosting a NHL training camp in our small rural community,” Della Sweet, the person who nominated O’Leary, wrote in the community’s official nomination. “Our passion is about how hockey has shaped us, our connections, relationships, our actions, a desire to do better, to be better people, to have fun, to play together, and to be there for each other. In tough times in our history when we lost our rink due to a roof collapse and another time to a fire, our community came together to put that rink right back up so that hockey could continue to be our common denominator.”
Ituna Sask., was the runner-up. That community will also receive $100,000 in upgrades to Ituna Arena.