Jaden Lindo hired by the Pittsburgh Penguins as manager of Community Hockey Program

Gaels alumnus in a new role with the NHL team who drafted him in 2014

Jaden Lindo played hockey at Queen’s from 2017-2021.
Credit: 
Supplied by Jaden Lindo
Jaden Lindo’s impact on the game of hockey has transcended varsity sports and reached the National Hockey League.
 
The former Gaels hockey forward, who graduated from Queen’s last spring, was hired by the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation as the Manager of Community Hockey Programs on Aug. 31. He will oversee hockey initiatives and programs for youth and minorities in the Pittsburgh community.
 
The Journal sat down with Lindo to discuss his new role and learn more about how his hockey career led back to the Penguins.
 
“It felt unbelievable,” Lindo said on being hired. “I’m extremely happy and excited to be back within the hockey world in a different role than I would’ve imagined.”
 
One program that Lindo will oversee in Pittsburgh is the Willie O’Ree Academy, which provides training and enrichment to Black youth hockey players and gives them a strong social support network.
 
“I feel absolutely honored to be able to lead that program and make a contribution to growing the game in a positive way,” Lindo said.
 
Lindo’s hockey experience runs deep. From 2012 to 2017 he played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, four seasons with the Owen Sound Attack and one with the Sarnia Sting, scoring 114 total points—derived from 56 goals and 58 assists—in 277 games.
 
Lindo currently plays with the Jamaican national team and captained his squad to a first-place finish at the 2019 AmeriGol International Hockey Association Championship.
 
Evidently a success on the ice, Lindo has also strived off the ice to make his mark on hockey culture.
 
In 2015, he starred in Souls on Ice: Past, Present & Future, a documentary that reveals the contributions of Black hockey players throughout the history of the game. In the film, Lindo’s arc culminates with the 2014 NHL draft, where he was picked by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the sixth round, 173 overall.
 
Returning to Pittsburgh is a full circle moment for Lindo. He feels extremely fortunate about the opportunities the organization has given him, from being drafted seven years ago to being hired in this role last week.
 
“Being drafted was a dream come true for me. It was all-around a fantastic experience and I think that’s something I’ll be able to leverage in the role I have now,” he said. “I think everything happens for a reason.”
 
“Did I expect to be back with the Penguins? No, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t. But I’m extremely happy and fortunate that they offered the position to me, and I couldn’t be more excited to start working with them.”
 
Lindo isn’t short on cherished moments throughout his career. Playing varsity hockey at Queen’s from 2017 to 2021, Lindo powered the Gaels to their 2019 Queen’s Cup victory where he was named game MVP.
 
“That was a very pinnacle moment for me in my hockey career […] that whole day is just engrained in my brain and I honestly just replay that moment over and over,” he said.
 
“My experience with the Queen’s hockey team has been unbelievable. It’s been so welcoming and supportive.”
 
At Queen’s, Lindo was also a positive force for equality and diversity in hockey, heading initiatives such as Pushing for Change, a fundraiser for the Hockey Diversity Alliance that aimed to bring awareness to racism in hockey and increase diversity in the sport. In doing so, Lindo quickly learned that being a player isn’t the only way to impact the game—being an advocate and a role model is another way he can give back.
 
“I know the challenges and the barriers that minorities go through just from my personal experience […] I don’t think that’s something that anyone should have to endure.”
 
Lindo keenly expressed his gratitude for the support he felt from the university and the hockey team during his chapter at Queen’s.
 
“[Queen’s] gave me the platform to allow me to express my passion for the change I’d like to see, and I appreciate that. I really had a great time at Queen’s, it was such an important part of my life.”
 
Hanging up the skates wasn’t necessarily an easy choice for Lindo, who’s been in the game for over twenty years, but he sees the silver lining in it, and he is ready to start his next chapter.
 
“The beauty of this position is that it allows me to be within the game, still be on the ice with the youth minorities,” he said. “It’s like the best of both worlds where I still get to […] be involved within the hockey culture but at the same time work in a professional role.”
 
“I’ve always wanted to give back to the game and I’ve always wanted to leave the game in a better place.”

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