Oilers find young fan who sent Ryan Nugent-Hopkins his hockey card
EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers have tracked down the young fan who sent a letter and hockey card to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Axel Tripard, a 10-year-old boy from Carp, Ont., sent letters to his favourite hockey players while in daycare this summer.
“We got him the envelopes, and he had the task of finding the addresses, writing them out, and going in the post office, picking up his stamps,” said his mom, Melanie Matthews.
“We didn’t really know where he was sending them.”
Axel’s favourite teams are the Edmonton Oilers and the Chicago Blackhawks.
There was just one problem: Axel forgot to include his return address, prompting a nation-wide search by the NHL team when it wanted to respond.
Matthews says the family saw the story about Axel’s letter on the news.
“We just could not believe it, then we saw the picture of his letter with the hockey card, and we knew it was his writing right away,” said Matthews.
“We were all really excited about it. He had been kind of wondering if he was ever going to get his card back. We were really pumped about it.”
Not only did the Oilers send back a response, but Axel's favourite player sent a message directly to him.
"Thank you for being a fan, and keep cheering us on," Nugent-Hopkins relayed through CTV News Edmonton.
"Hopefully you get that card soon."
Axel told CTV News: "I thought I wasn't going to get much feedback from teams, so yeah, I'm pretty excited."
Matthews says Axel loves hockey, and plays pee wee hockey in his hometown.
“Every morning before he goes to school he watches all the highlights of all the games, and he just loves hockey. He’s so passionate about it, he just loves it," she said.
"We're overwhelmed with the response and we're very happy that the Edmonton Oilers came out this way looking for him."
Tim Shipton of the Oilers Entertainment Group said when the opportunity comes, the team "(works) hard to try to connect our fans again with whatever the wish is, whatever their dream is."
Axel also sent letters to the Blackhawks' Calvin de Haan.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Matt Woodman