Brandy Flores interviews Kyle Boyd, the director for youth and community development for the Seattle Kraken.
Brandy Flores: “Kyle, I mean, it’s so exciting just for our Coachella Valley residents to have hockey here in the valley. Starting a new franchise, is I’m sure a lot of work, but for you guys to bring it to the Coachella Valley, why was this place the one?”
Kyle Boyd: “We were really excited about what we could bring to the Coachella Valley and all of the opportunities both for youth that already exist and our opportunities to partner with the community and exposing more young people to the great game of ice hockey, ice skating another activity that is rare to find in this region. So we’re really excited about what we’re bringing to the valley.”
BF: “Thinking about bringing things to the valley, how is the Seattle Kraken AHL franchise going to integrate themselves in this community?”
KB: “Yeah, so one of the great things about the AHL, in particular, is that you have some of the top tier talent coming into the NHL, some of our top draft picks, talent from all over the world will start their careers right here. And they are going to be excited about getting to know this community, and help those who are just a little bit younger than them along a very similar journey. So we feel like it’s a great opportunity for them to develop as young players, but also for them to give back to the community.”
BF: “You mentioned that you were a former youth hockey player yourself. So how important is that to have people that you can look up to teach you the game, especially here? Where it’ll be brand spanking new?”
KB: Where you have, you know, the opportunity to interact with people who’ve committed their lives to attain the highest levels of the game is so key for young people to see those role models and see what they do, both on the ice and off the ice as people. And I think that’s what’s really exciting for us as we think about what these players are going to bring is obviously a tremendous talent and skill that young people can learn from, but also the example they can set around hard work and you know, setting goals and really trying to make a difference in the community.
BF: “Talking about that youth engagement, do you know what kind of youth programs that you guys are going to provide to the valley?”
KB: “One of the things that we’ve been talking about is engaging people with ball hockey, roller hockey, you know, introducing some of the simplest versions of the game. So every kid can go out in their driveway or go to the park and play. And then from there building towards obviously an on eyes experience. So working with our great partners at the city level at the school district level youth-serving organizations and sports organizations that are already here is critical to us introducing the new sport.”
BF: “Awesome, and speaking now on the Seattle Kraken AHL team that’s going to be here. Do we know what the team name is going to be like? Do we know anything about that? Can you give
KB: “I don’t have anything for you yet. Hopefully very soon. I love you know, getting ideas and suggestions from young people. So for those who are following us, feel free to send us your best ideas for a name or for a mascot, whatever it might be, you know, we’ve gotten some ideas for design. So whatever ideas that the community has, we’d love to hear them.”