Wingels, 25, is in his third NHL season - all with San Jose. A leader on and off the ice, Wingels has not only impacted the Bay Area with his tireless off-ice commitments to the community, but as an advisory board member of the You Can Play Project, he served a pivotal role in an organization that made a ground-breaking and historic agreement in the sports world. He is one of two professional hockey players to serve on the board and the only player to spend the entirety of the 2012-13 season in the NHL.
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On April 11, the National Hockey League Players' Association and the National Hockey League announced a historic partnership with the You Can Play Project that formalized and advanced their long-standing commitment to make the NHL the most inclusive professional sports league in the world. You Can Play will conduct seminars at the NHL's rookie symposium to educate young prospects on LGBT issues. In addition, You Can Play will make its resources and personnel available to each individual team as desired. The NHLPA and NHL also will work with You Can Play to integrate the project into their Behavioral Health Program, enabling players to confidentially seek counseling or simply ask questions regarding matters of sexual orientation.
On a local level, Wingels has assisted the Sharks Foundation, which offers unique resources and financial support to organizations that enhance the lives of the local youth, in a variety of ways. He has participated in many community events over the course of the 2012-13 season, including:
• Helped the Sharks Foundation raise over $90,000 by participating in the Sharks Foundation Golf Classic
• Participated in a post-game meet and greet with young members of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night
• Helped the Sharks Foundation raise over $75,000 at the annual "Sampling with the Sharks" event
• Assembled a basket for the "Favorite Things" Basket Auction as his basket alone raised $2,000 for the San Francisco Ronald McDonald House and Jacob's Heart Cancer Support Services
• Provision of autographed items to many youth-related causes (fundraising initiatives)
• Always quick to attend meet and greets with children following games
• Serves as Co-Captain for the Sharks FINatical Kids Club
On the ice, Wingels has been a physical presence for the Sharks all season. He led the team with 115 hits and was T-fourth amongst team forwards in blocked shots (32). He has set career highs in goals, assists and points (5-8=13) in 42 games played.
The native of Evanston, IL was originally selected by San Jose in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
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