Wayne Gretzky is helping to promote the growth of hockey in China ahead of the 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games, when the Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins will play preseason games Sept. 15 (Shenzhen) and 19 (Beijing).
Gretzky was named a global ambassador for the Kunlun Red Star, China's only professional hockey team that plays in the Kontinental Hockey League. He'll help with youth development and training for players aged 8-17 in Beijing and Shenzhen, with the goal of expanding to at least 20 locations in China.
Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leader in goals (894), assists (1,963) and points (2,857), will visit Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai from Sept. 12-18.
"To now have him part of the growth of hockey in China in the buildup to the 2022 Winter Olympics (in Beijing) will promote interest and participation in the sport, especially among young people," Ao Meng, Kunlin's executive director, told China Daily.