AHL launching mentorship initiative at All-Star Classic

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson announced today that the league has launched an initiative that will provide young professionals from diverse backgrounds with an opportunity to work with, and be mentored by, the training staffs in the locker rooms and on the benches at the AHL All-Star Classic.

Athletic trainers Sydney Kinder and Noémie Chartier-Lefrançois have been invited to participate in the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Bell in collaboration with Manulife Bank, taking place this coming Sunday and Monday, Feb. 5-6, at Place Bell in Laval, Que.

Kinder is currently an athletic trainer with the United States Marine Corps as part of its Sports Medicine Injury Prevention program. She holds a master’s degree in athletic training from Texas A&M University, and was a three-sport athlete during her undergraduate career at SUNY-Canton. Kinder also serves as the director of the Hockey Players of Color Movement, is a committee volunteer with the Black Girl Hockey Club, and has been involved with the Ice Hockey in Harlem program in New York as a player and coach.

Kinder will work with the Toronto Marlies’ support staff with the Western Conference All-Stars in Laval.

Chartier-Lefrançois is currently in her fourth season as athletic therapist with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. She earned a master’s degree in athletic therapy and a degree in kinesiology from the University of Québec at Trois-Rivières. She has earned invites to the Québec Games, as well as development camp for the Montréal Canadiens.

Chartier-Lefrançois will work with the Laval Rocket’s support staff with the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

A limited number of tickets for the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Bell in collaboration with Manulife Bank, which include admission to both the Rona AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday (6 p.m. ET) and the Mise-o-jeu AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday (7 p.m. ET), are available now by visiting rocketlaval.com.

The 2023 AHL All-Star Classic will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 94 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Cam AtkinsonDrake BathersonPatrice BergeronJordan BinningtonJack CampbellJohn CarlsonLogan CoutureThatcher DemkoDenis GurianovConnor HellebuyckTristan JarryKaapo KahkonenJordan KyrouJonathan MarchessaultJacob MarkstromBrandon MontourWilliam NylanderKyle PalmieriMikko RantanenDylan StromeLinus UllmarkVitek Vanecek and Mats Zuccarello.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and staff of all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.