Q:

How many African-American players are in the NHL?

A:

As of September 2014, there are about 30 players of African descent playing in the National Hockey League or for an affiliate of an NHL team. Prominent examples are P.K. Subban and his brothers Malcolm and Jordan, Jarome Iginla, Wayne Simmonds, Kyle Okposo and Ray Emery.

P.K. Subban plays defense for the Montreal Canadiens and is widely regarded as one of the best defensemen in the league as of September 2014. His brother Malcolm is a goalie for the minor league affiliate of the Boston Bruins, and his brother Jordan began his NHL career in 2014 with the Vancouver Canucks.

Other prominent players of African descent include forward Jarome Iginla, who, as of fall 2014, plays for the Colorado Avalanche, forward Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets, forward Kyle Okposo of the New York Islanders and right winger Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers. Right winger Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals is African-American, as is defenseman Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets, defenseman Johnny Oduya of the Chicago Blackhawks and goalie Ray Emery of the Philadelphia Flyers. Emery and Simmonds have won Stanley Cups with previous teams, Emery with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and Simmonds with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012.

Paul Bisonette, who is a fourth line player for the Phoenix Coyotes as of 2014 but has a sizable Twitter following, is of African-American descent by way of his mother Yolanda.


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