I am a Hockey Player

#HockeyChangesLives

Spotlight Player

Sebastien Nevalainen

Minnesota Wild Sled Hockey

He was a hockey player before he even tried it. Armed with a visceral desire to play and be part of the team, Sebastien embodies what we like to call “sportsmanship”. He brings honor, sincerity, and pushes forward into what could be possible.

Born in Haiti, now living in the great State of Hockey, Sebastien has endured a tremendous amount of change in his seventeen years. New culture, new home, new school, new friends…his journey has been filled with new-ness and diversity. Despite many challenges along the way, Sebastien has been triumphant through much adversity. When opportunities present, Sebastien rises to the occasion with heart and then pushes forward into what may be possible. He is active in Nordic skiing, track and field, attends wheelchair sports camps and in his quiet time, enjoys reading and writing scripts. Currently in his third season playing for Minnesota Wild Sled Hockey, Sebastien is thriving on the ice as part of the team. Like his favorite MN Wild players, Zach Parise and Jordan Greenway, Sebastien’s favorite part about hockey is, “being a playmaker and setting his teammates up to score.” Sebastien and his parents describe the sled hockey community as their “hockey family” where they’ve been not only welcomed, but also supported through both challenges and victories.

Sebastien, your strength and sincerity inspire, and will serve as a reminder to others when they feel overwhelmed by change, to never, ever give up and always push into what may be possible.

Q: Tell us about when, how and why you first became a hockey player.

A: I first became a hockey player in 2018. This is my third season playing. I first found out about sled hockey at a wheelchair sports camp and loved it! I wanted to play for two years before joining the team.

Q: What do you love the most about playing hockey?

A: My favorite part about hockey is setting my teammates up for goals and being a playmaker. Being on a team has taught me how to work with others more effectively.

Q: What is your greatest hockey memory?

A: One of my greatest hockey memories is scoring a goal for my team against a formidable goalie who had a long shutout streak. Another of my greatest hockey memories is playing in the Hendrickson Festival.

Q: What is your greatest NON-Hockey related memory?

A: My greatest non-hockey memory is making it to nationals for track and winning a huge relay with my friends.

Q: What do your teammates mean to you?

A: My teammates have taught me all about hockey and they are like my hockey family.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not playing hockey?

A: I like Nordic skiing, reading, writing scripts, and hanging out with friends.

Q: If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

A: I would like to meet Superman because I would enjoy getting to see him bend steel without using heat!

Q: Who is/are your favorite Minnesota Wild player(s)?

A: Zach Parise and Jordan Greenway

Are you a hockey player who wants to share your story?

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