A White Bear Lake hockey-lover’s invention keeps kids comfortable on the ice.
Almost everyone who lives in Minnesota knows that when it comes to keeping your hands warm in the freezing winters, mittens work better than gloves. However, that same logic had not been applied to warming equipment for hockey players’ hands until Jon Chase created Hockey Paws.
Hockey Paws are hockey mittens designed specifically for kids. While kids are playing hockey, instead of shoving their already frigid fingers into the separate holes found in traditional hockey gloves, Hockey Paws allow the entire hand to be in one large space, like mittens. They are black with a white claw design on the outside.
Chase has been involved in hockey throughout his life. He grew up in White Bear Lake and was part of the WBL Hockey Association. He went on to play college hockey at Hamline University. Currently, he once again lives in White Bear Lake and coaches his two daughters in hockey.
One of the problems Chase saw with not only his daughters, but the rest of the players on the teams he coached, was that they always suffered from cold hands. He searched for a better option, but found nothing. It was then that Chase came up with the idea for Hockey Paws and set out to create a pair of hockey mittens that actually kept kids’ hands warms while they were playing.
“As we all know, mittens are warmer than gloves as they allow the fingers to warm each other through their collaborative heat and why wouldn’t the same science apply to protective hockey mittens?” Chase says.
His creative process began with diligent research about the construction of already existing kids’ gloves. Then he sketched pictures of the hockey mittens he had in mind. After receiving a patent for his design and concept, he found vendors who could make prototypes for him to test. After tweaking aspects like design, size and fit, he found a combination that satisfied his vision and ordered two sizes, a youth small which is 8” and a youth large which is 9”. One year after the idea was born, Hockey Paws was well on its way.
Chase wants to do everything he can to keep future generations playing the sport he adores, which he is doing by inventing a product that keeps kids happier and more comfortable while playing.
“Unfortunately, hockey has been declining in the northern states over the past several years. Hockey Paws’ mission is to keep more kids in the great sport of hockey and grow the sport,” Chase says.
Even though Chase just started selling Hockey Paws a few months ago, the product is receiving positive responses and some of their retailers, like Strauss Skates, have already reordered their product. One of Chase’s main goals is to increase the number of retailers that sell Hockey Paws, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Currently, Hockey Paws are available online or at local retailers including Strauss Skates in Maplewood, Dave’s Sport Shop in Maple Grove and Lettermen’s Sports in Blaine.
Chase’s own daughters use Hockey Paws during their practices and games and no longer let cold fingers keep them from playing their best.
Chase says, “My daughter Summer was recently quoted saying, ‘My hands are actually sweaty,’ while a few other girls on the ice were complaining about their cold fingers.”