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Ice District regulars: Meet the stars of the Edmonton Oilers watch party

During Game 1 of the NHL’s Western Conference final, Edmonton Oilers fans are typically glued to the mega-screen outside Rogers Place in the Ice District Plaza.

But after the second intermission Thursday night, the attention shifted to Izack Hodgins.

Wearing a cowboy hat, jeans and a “Stuart Skinner” jersey, Hodgins began to dance inside a massive circle that had formed around him.

“I love dancing,” Hodgins said.

“It just comes from the heart.”

Ever since the Oilers second round series against the Vancouver Canucks, his moves —a combination of hip-hop, country and Ukrainian dancing — have been drawing a crowd.

“Out of nowhere, I thought ‘Might as well bust a move,’” he said of the moment he decided to start dancing in the packed crowd.

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Dancing Edmonton Oilers fan Izack Hodgins at the Ice District Plaza on Thursday, May 24, 2024. Global News

A video of him dancing was posted to social media and went viral.

Ever since, the Barrhead resident has been getting recognized in the crowd — nicknamed “Dancing Skinner” after his jersey of choice.

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Hodgins has taken some hip-hop classes, but he’s more connected to the latter part of his nickname.

“I’m a goalie. I started when I was young. Just this past year I’ve been doing Junior A hockey,” Hodgins said.

“I just feel really honoured. People coming up and recognizing me just from a little bit of dancing,” he said.

Edmonton Oilers fans forming a conga line at the Ice District Plaza on Thursday, May 24, 2024. Global News

During the Global News interview, Hodgins was spotted by a young man who was familiar with his viral videos.

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“I love this guy, I saw his video!” said the young man as he ran up with his friend to give Hodgins a handshake. “He was breakdancing in the circle, going crazy. Game 7 legend.”

Hodgins later invited the duo to join him for a dance party Thursday night.

“Let’s go!” the fans cheered.

Edmonton Oilers fans at the Ice District Plaza on Thursday, May 24, 2024.
Edmonton Oilers fans at the Ice District Plaza on Thursday, May 24, 2024. Global News

Another Oilers fan that’s caught the attention of the crowd is Lanz Olstad.

Olstad can be found off to the centre of the plaza, wearing a virtual reality headset and holding on to two controllers.

He can still see the Edmonton Oilers game through his VR headset — adorned with a pair of green eyes — while he drums to various songs in virtual reality.

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“I love the atmosphere here. And I’m a big Oilers fan. I thought, what better location than in the public in Edmonton than to show my support for the oilers and what the boys are doing this year,” he explained.

“It’s [Stanley] Cup or bust this year.”

Throughout the night, fans came up to take selfies with Olstad or ask him questions.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the people I meet, it’s positive. But there’s the one per cent that are negative,” he said. “[People] will come up to me and ask ‘Why aren’t you watching the game?” and it’s like, ‘I am watching the game!’”

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