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Hockey Colors: 'Mighty Ducks' Franchise Boosts Nelson's Off-Ice Career

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confronting Connor McDavid Slapshotting is a difficult task under normal circumstances. Try a goalkeeper’s glove on the other side.

That’s what Chris Nelson did when he was aiming for goal in a BetMGM commercial featuring the Edmonton Oilers Center and Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, which began airing in early October.

“The wardrobe assumed that all goalkeepers would catch with their left hand instead of their right hand,” said Nelson, who is left-handed and catches with his right hand. “So now I’m playing with the opposite hand. Conor McDavid taking a slapshot from the hash mark. 15-20 feet..”

Wardrobe glitches were no problem with Nelson. The commercial is part of a busy streak both in front of and behind the camera that sees the former University of Wisconsin defenseman, New Jersey Devils prospect, and seemingly everywhere in Hollywood these days.

In addition to the BetMGM ad, Nelson appears in a hockey-themed commercial for T-Mobile in which he and an opposing player face off using foam pool noodles.

He has a role and was a technical advisor to the Netflix romantic comedy Your Place or Mine starring Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, set to stream on February 10, 2023.

But Nelson’s biggest role in this run was as hockey technical advisor for the second season of Disney+’s The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers series. The 53-year-old Philadelphia native trained the actors and choreographed all the on-ice scenes.

“Chris was the absolute MVP for our staff,” said Josh Goldsmith, executive producer and showrunner of “Game Changers” with his wife Kathy Yuspa. “We couldn’t do the show without him. It helped me choreograph it in an interesting way.”

Melissa Cossar, co-executive producer of the show and director of three episodes this season, thanked Nelson for being on set for the action scenes and telling hockey stories.

“Being able to speak the same sports language as Chris, we were able to push each other creatively and incorporate some really fun and special hockey sequences,” said the enthusiastic Chicago Blackhawks. Kosar, a fan and an avid recreational hockey player who put on skates during that time, said he would direct the show’s on-ice scene. “For directors who may not have that background, they could rely on Chris’ expertise.”

So did the actors, who went to two-week camps before filming to help Nelson master his skating and hockey skills.

“Even though we learned a lot in season one, he taught us a lot,” said Swayam, who portrays Mighty Ducks player Sophie Hanson Butt in the series. Bhatia said. “We progressed further in Season 2. He was on set with us a lot of times, so as you can see in the first two episodes, the choreography was great, so we were able to do it.” He was there to fix us up while we were filming”, really intense. ”

Nelson steps in front of the camera for a small role in the series and delivers one line.

“Emmy possible?” Nelson said. “Absolutely not.”

Little did Nelson think he would find success in show business after finishing college at the University of Wisconsin, where he played for the 1990 NCAA championship team. He appeared in his 143 games for Wisconsin from his 1988 to his 1992, scoring 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists).

The Devils selected Nelson in the fifth round (96th) of the 1988 NHL Draft. But he soon learned he couldn’t go to the NHL with defensemen Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedemeyer, Viacheslav Fetisov and Tommy Averin already on the New Jersey roster. was

After hopping around the minor leagues for seven seasons, he returned to California in 1996, where his parents lived when they were teaching at UCLA, to explore show business opportunities. He played professional roller hockey while appearing on TV shows like ‘Baywatch’, ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ and ‘Bones’.

Nelson put his hockey skills to work as a technical advisor on movies like The Miracle, Batman & Robin, Tooth Fairy, and Love Guru.

He cut back on advice work for nearly a decade because he found it difficult to surpass the work he did on “Miracle,” which was regularly on lists of the top 10 greatest hockey movies ever made. said he did.

Then the iconic franchise called.

“The Mighty Ducks franchise has such a cult following that everyone wants to be a part of it,” he said. “Everyone who worked, who was used in action, was immortalized in the ‘Ducks’ franchise, so you’re creating your own legacy until the end of time, so that’s great.

Nelson acknowledges that the increasing workload of TV commercials and advice is due to hockey’s growing diversity and changing demographics of its fan base among the entertainment industry and advertisers. I think it reflects that.

“Currently, clients and viewers have accepted and understood that the world of hockey and the world of sports differ in race, color and religious preferences.

“I’m very good at what I do, but it’s also a time when people are seeing and embracing it, and opportunities are opening up for people like me and women in hockey.” ”

That said, Nelson wasn’t in a hurry to quit his day job. He runs a hockey storage and hospitality company, He LockerRoom13, which he founded in 2019 for players in the Los Angeles area who don’t have time to carry or tend to their hockey equipment.

The company receives players’ gear and transports it to a warehouse in El Segundo. There it is cleaned and stored, then delivered to the player’s rink before the next match.

Nelson also handles equipment for the Los Angeles Kings’ Emergency Backup Goalie (EBUG) and has helped the Kings identify local goalies who can fill the job over the years.

His growing entertainment output prompted Nelson to start another business. Hockey for Hollywood offers technical he advisors, ice he camera operators, skate actors, stunt he performers and production coordinators.

His goal is to become a director in the future.

“I’m basically already the director of the second unit,” he said. That’s what I really want.”

Photo: Disney+, Derek McKenna, Chris Nelson, T-Mobile