A Day in the Life of an NHL Assistant Ice Technician
Written by: Gabrielle Nordstrom
Editor: Kylie Augis
Any hockey fan wonders what it’s like to work in the National Hockey League. The adrenaline rush of going into work every day, wondering what NHL star you might cross paths with, or if your team is going to win or lose today. Will Prinz gets to experience exactly what we are all thinking about.
Prinz attended and played hockey at Montclair State University. He has played hockey all his life, and like many hockey players his goal was to get to the NHL. Not as a player though, he has hopes to become an equipment manager.
“My career goal would be equipment manager because I like working with my hands. I’ve been working in a proshop for years sharpening skates and such so I’m really used to doing all that,” said Prinz.
Prinz started working for the New Jersey Devils last year as ice crew. The ice crew are the people who shovel the ice during the periods, set up the goals before the game and before each period and do other game day operations. Only in his second year, he was promoted to assistant ice technician. In his current position, he drives the zamboni for game days, helps with other game day operations, and works on the practice rink.
Many people most likely do not know what an average game day would look like for an assistant ice technician. They do all the little things that go unnoticed.
The day starts early at 8 a.m., doing morning ice prep before each of the team's morning skate. After each team is done, they move on to cleaning the glass. Then they do one more final ice prep to get ready for warmups, this includes one more run on the zamboni and setting up the nets. After the game everyone helps with clean up and then more specifically the ice technicians must complete their own tasks before they can clock out for the night.
Prinz has experienced almost everything you could ever imagine in the first two years of his job. From almost last place in the NHL, half empty arenas to hat tricks, playoff games, 13 game winning streaks, and constant record breaking. The only thing missing is winning the Stanley Cup, which hopefully he will be able to witness one day. One would think his favorite memory from his job would be winning playoff games, but you would be wrong.
“My favorite game I’ve worked was the New Jersey Devils vs Toronto Maple Leafs when the Devils fans threw things onto the ice. What more could you want from that,” Prinz said when talking about his memories from work.
Prinz is very excited for what his future holds. As determined as anyone could be, he knows he can achieve his career goal. But, in the meantime he is happy where he is.
“I could not ask for a better job right now. It is just the beginning of my career and I know having this opportunity will open a bunch of doors for me,” said Prinz.