“He was such a fighter” – Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers remember superfan Ben Shelter over emotional Zoom call

Ben Stelter joined the Edmonton Oilers for their morning skate earlier this year on April 28, and afterwards was presented his own Upper Deck "Heroic Inspirations" trading card by Connor McDavid.

Ben Shelter with his favourite NHL player Connor McDavid
Ben Shelter with his favourite NHL player Connor McDavid
FirstSportz News

The National Hockey League (NHL) lost one of the most adorable fans, Ben Shelter on Tuesday. The 6-year-old boy, unfortunately, died 18 months after he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, in March 2021.

Ben will always be remembered for his cute wishes and cheering for the Edmonton Oilers. As a result, forwards Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman, coach Jay Woodcroft and the rest of the Oilers got together on a Zoom call to remember and mourn the little kid. 

“I thought ‘Woody’ made a great point: athletes have an impact on kids, but Ben had such a great impact on our team and myself, even in the short time we knew him,” McDavid said, as quoted by NHL.com. “He was just such an amazing kid, so strong, so brave. When you watch anyone go through that, especially when you’re 5 or 6 years old, it’s truly inspiring. He was such a fighter. Just an awful, awful day.”

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“I just loved being around Ben”

Ben Shelter at post-match media briefing
Ben Shelter at post-match media briefing

Shelter, who always loved McDavid and forward Leon Draisaitl, was the Scotiabank Skater when Edmonton played the San Jose Sharks on March 24 earlier this year. He had become known around the League as an Edmonton superfan, encouraging them to “Play La Bamba, baby,” in social media videos after each postseason win during their run to the Western Conference Final.

Ben was present on the rink with the players during introductions and the national anthem. He later attended the postgame press conference with Hyman after the Oilers’ 5-2 win.

“Obviously I just fell in love with him right away, and the entire family,” McDavid said. “We just developed that relationship over the course of the year. I just loved being around him.”

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