Willie O’Ree made history after stepping on the ice, playing for the Boston Bruins on Jan. 18, 1958. Willie was the very first African-American to play in the National Hockey League. Although he only played in the NHL for two years due to a severe eye injury, he opened up the door for many other African-Americans to compete in the NHL, including Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. He was also an All-Star. This is a very big fact, considering hockey still only has a few blacks in it.