The Latino presence in the National Hockey League is overlooked when you look at the other three major sports (basketball, baseball, and football) in the United States. Hockey is mainly a regional sport in the United States in the Northeast and Midwest region. In my opinion, the lack of cold weather and ice in Latin American countries is the reason why Hockey is not that big among Latinos.
Two players that have made a great impact in Hockey were Al Montoya and Scott Gomez. Al Montoya was the 6th overall draft pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. He was the highest Latino draft pick to ever enter the NHL. Montoya is the first Cuban-American to play in the National Hockey League. Montoya went to the University of Michigan and led the team to a post-season birth in the NCAA tournament each year. He was so good that he decided skip his senior year and to go to the National Hockey League. The New York Rangers, one of the NHL’s most storied franchises, drafted Al Montoya as the starting goalie.
The first Latino to ever play in the NHL was Scott Gomez. Gomez is an Alaskan native and as far as he can remember he’s been playing hockey. His father was a Mexican and his mother was a Columbian who were both immigrants that met each other in Anchorage, Alaska. Scott played with the Montreal Devils in the National Hockey League. He won the Stanley Cup championship in 2000 and 2003. Scott really believes himself to be a great Latino role model. He believes that tbey deserve to have the same exposure to hockey like he did as a boy in Alaska.
A compilation of Scott Gomez from Montreal Devils to the New York Rangers.