Hockey kid to skate with Canucks

Oak Bay youngster wins contest to join NHL team for pre-game activities

Ben White of Oak Bay will hit the ice with the Vancouver Canucks before their Dec. 21 home game against Detroit.

Ben White of Oak Bay will hit the ice with the Vancouver Canucks before their Dec. 21 home game against Detroit.

Ben White couldn’t believe it when his parents told him he’d been selected to skate with his heroes.

“Well, I thought that they were just joking,” says the nine year old, who lives in Oak Bay.

Next Wednesday, Ben will join the Vancouver Canucks for their pre-anthem skate, and on the blue line for the singing of “O Canada.”

Ben is equipped for both tasks, as a minor hockey defenceman playing in the atom division for the Victoria Racquet Club Kings, and as a member of a choir.

His dad, Jeremie White, entered a draw at Save-on-Foods in Saanich, which partners with the  Canucks to put on the Every Kid’s Dream contest.

“My wife and I are life-long Canucks fans,” said Jeremie. “We always looked at those kids on the blue line thinking how cute they were … (We thought) how great it would be if that happened with one of our kids.”

He entered the contest six times to better Ben’s odds. Next week, father and son will travel to Vancouver with $500 spending money.

Ben’s goal is to skate alongside his favourite player, Ryan Kesler.

So, is he nervous about this high-profile skate? “Not really,” he says. “It’s just amazing.”

The Dec. 21 game against Detroit will be shown on TSN at 7 p.m.

rholmen@vicnews.com