The hockey world was devastated on Wednesday following the passing of Edmonton Oilers superfan Ben Stelter. Stelter, 6, battled a form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, which he was diagnosed with just after his fifth birthday. Stelter’s love for the Oilers was an inspiration to the team, and following his passing, Connor McDavid, Zach Hyman, and Jay Woodcroft held an impromptu press conference in order to pay tribute to the late superfan. During the press conference, McDavid spoke about the impact Stelter had on the Oilers’ locker room, and he didn’t mince words.
Connor McDavid on Ben Stelter: "He was an amazing little guy that lit up every single room he walked in."
— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) August 11, 2022
“He was an amazing little guy that lit up every single room he walked in,” McDavid said of Stelter during the press conference on Thursday morning.
Stelter was in attendance for much of the Oilers’ surprising playoff run this past season. He became close companions with McDavid and was one of the most vocal proponents of the team playing “La Bamba” after each home playoff win, which was a tribute to the late Joey Moss.
Stelter battled glioblastoma in March of 2021. He subsequently underwent surgery, multiple rounds of chemotherapy, and many sessions of radiation therapy. Despite all he was battling, Stelter remained upbeat and an inspiration to the Oilers and their fans.
Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said that Stelter “defined what a bright light is” when discussing the tragic loss of the six-year-old superfan. Zach Hyman also weighed in on Stelter’s passing during Thursday’s press conference.
The Oilers released a statement via Twitter mourning the death of Stelter.
Ben, the legend. 💙🧡 pic.twitter.com/xvL1c6PcbC
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) August 11, 2022
“We are mourning the passing of our dear friend, number one #Oilers fan, good luck charm & inspiration, Ben Stelter,” the Oilers posted on the social media platform. “Although small in stature, Ben’s impact on our team & community were massive.”
RIP Ben Stelter, you will be greatly missed.