April 21, 2021

CAPS: Braden Holtby Grants Wish

Braden Nienaber, an 8-year-old Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native, participates in a ceremonial puck drop with Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Sabres captain Steve Ott during the Jan. 12 Capitals game at Verizon Center. The experience was part of a wish granted by the Capitals in partnership with The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Braden Nienaber, an 8-year-old Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native, participates in a ceremonial puck drop with Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Sabres captain Steve Ott during the Jan. 12 Capitals game at Verizon Center. The experience was part of a wish granted by the Capitals in partnership with The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

 

 Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby chats with 8-year-old Braden Nienaber during warmups at the Capitals game on Jan. 12. Nienaber’s wish, granted through The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, was to meet Holtby. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby chats with 8-year-old Braden Nienaber during warmups at the Capitals game on Jan. 12. Nienaber’s wish, granted through The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, was to meet Holtby. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

 

Braden Nienaber skates with Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Jan. 11. The 8-year-old’s wish was to meet Holtby and also included a tour of the Capitals locker room and participation in a ceremonial puck drop, among other activities. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Braden Nienaber skates with Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Jan. 11. The 8-year-old’s wish was to meet Holtby and also included a tour of the Capitals locker room and participation in a ceremonial puck drop, among other activities. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

 

Washington Capitals Braden Holtby Grants Wish of
The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada Child

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals and Braden Holtby partnered with the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada to grant the wish of 8-year-old Braden Nienaber to meet the Caps goaltender from Jan. 11-12.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native skated with Holtby as well as other Capitals players following the conclusion of practice. He also received a tour of the Capitals locker room from Holtby and was presented with a custom jersey and locker nameplate as well as signed equipment.

On Sunday, Jan. 12, Nienaber was given a private tour of Verizon Center and rode on the Olympia ice resurfacer pregame. He also participated in a ceremonial puck-drop and watched warmups from the Capitals bench. During the first intermission Nienaber played in a mascot hockey game, and he received a tour of the press box and television booths during the second intermission. Following the game, Nienaber met Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Holtby in the Capitals locker room.

Nienaber was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis in 2011 and has undergone multiple surgeries and chemotherapy. Langerhans cell histiocytosis is a disease similar to cancer in which white blood cells multiply too quickly, causing bone and organ damage.

Holtby and Nienaber met previously when Holtby played for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League.

“As a kid that age to be in a NHL locker room around NHL players, his heroes, it’s something that he will never forget,” said Holtby. “I just wanted to pitch in and make it the best experience for him as possible. It was an honor to help make Braden’s wish come true.”

Visit MonumentalNetwork.com to view a video recap of the weekend and ceremonial puck drop.

Each year, thousands of Canadian children between the ages of three and 17 are diagnosed with a life threatening illness. Since 1984, The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada has worked tirelessly to grant exceptional wishes to over 20,000 children and their families.

This year, the Foundation expects to grant over 1,000 new wishes and is proud to have never refused a wish to an eligible child, and with the help of volunteers and generous donors, is able to grant nearly three wishes every day. Each wish is an individual adventure, carefully structured to meet the needs of a particular child and family. The Foundation is a national charity with chapters in every province and territory. Visit www.childrenswish.ca for more information.

About Cheryl Nichols

Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events since 2006. Cheryl has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.

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