Tech founder introduces neck guard design for hockey players following recent tragedies

For years, USA Hockey has recommended skaters use neck protection on the ice, but now that neck guards will be mandatory as of Aug. 1. some parents want to know which ones are best for their children.

Justin DeVellis and Robyn Karashik

Feb 17, 2024, 1:24 AM

Updated 58 days ago

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Two years after the tragic death of Connecticut’s Teddy Balkind, USA Hockey is mandating the use of protective neck guards on the ice. This new mandate hopes to make youth and high school hockey safer across the country.
For years, USA Hockey has recommended skaters use neck protection on the ice, but now that neck guards will be mandatory as of Aug. 1 some parents want to know which ones are best for their children.
News 12 Connecticut's Justin DeVellis said one company is seeking to change the game for the better. He spoke with G8R tech founder and CEO Carter Hogg to hear more about his new protective gear.
“You are going to take some repeated blows and you are still going to take some severe hits over the course of play,” said Hogg. “Part of what makes the games so wonderful is that physicality that it brings to the table.”
Hogg, 20, claims his company has developed a neck guard that’s more effective than the common name brands. He said what sets his company’s neck guard apart is its ability to protect against angled cuts and lacerations, covering more surface area than name brand products. It’s also fully flexible and moves with players without limiting range of motion.
“You’re at life-threatening chances of injury every time you sustain some sort of laceration to the neck,” said Hogg. “If you look back in history, you’ll see how long it took them just to adopt helmets.”
He said his company launched the Gator Skin Ice in November 2023 in response to recent tragedies on the ice.
“With the unfortunate passing of Adam Johnson, we saw the need for better neck protectors out there as well as the general need for people to be wearing neck protectors,” said Hogg.
Hogg said his company also works to help mitigate concussions in hockey as well as football.
“Playing these sports is super important and I think helpful to [the] youth of America and can have such a profound impact on people's lives,” said Hogg. “I think mitigating the risks of these sports in order to preserve what makes them great is super important.”


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