By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor
During Saturday’s rookie skills competition at the NHL All-Star Game weekend, 8-year-old Devin Ybarra will be up close to one his favorite hockey players.
Ybarra was selected as Upper Deck’s ‘Stick Kid’ for the competition. The North Raleigh resident will get to walk through the locker room and meet some of hockey’s best players while having the best seat at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.
“I can’t wait to walk into the Hurricanes locker room and meet all the All-Stars,” said Ybarra, a third-grader. “Going in the locker room, I want to see all the Hurricanes lockers and then just being able to sit on the bench because I’ll get to see (Hurricanes team captain) Eric Staal up close.”
Ybarra won the competition by submitting an essay on why he should be a stick kid. Ybarra hasn’t competed in competitive hockey, but he is learning to skate through a program at Wake Forest.
And Ybarra has his goals set high.
“Hockey is a cool sport. They get to check and do fake passes,” Ybarra wrote in his essay. “Whenever you score, the crowd goes crazy. After I do my homework, I like to play street hockey with my mom. I want to play in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes.”
The grand prize package includes a pass to the NHL All-Star Fan Fair, a meeting Carolina rookie center Jeff Skinner, receive an authentic NHL Hurricanes jersey, a VIP pass, which will help him get to the front of players’ autographs line and the right to visit the All-Stars locker room on Saturday.