Siegenthaler fulfills a dream with hockey camp in Thailand

Jonas Siegenthaler achieved a personal dream while making history as the first known NHL player to host a hockey camp in Thailand.

Siegenthaler fulfills a dream with hockey camp in Thailand

Feature Photo: IG / @siegenthaler34

Jonas Siegenthaler’s dream of holding a hockey camp in Thailand a country he considers a second home became a reality at the beginning of June.

For the New Jersey Devils defenceman with Thai roots, the three-day Jonas Siegenthaler Ice Hockey Summer Camp, which hosted dozens of U11 and U15 players, represented even more than a personal goal. It was the first time in the history of the city and country that an NHL player hosted a hockey camp.

The 27-year-old, whose mother is Thai and father is Swiss, held the historic camp in Chiang Mai   a city located in the northern part of the Southeast Asian country.

“This means a lot to me,” he told “I always wanted to give Thailand something back because it’s my second home, and even better I was able to do it with the hockey community in Thailand.”

The camp featured on-ice instruction and constant words of encouragement from the man at the centre of it all.

Siegenthaler is no doubt the perfect role model for the face of Thai hockey.

When he made his NHL debut with the Washington Capitals  Nov. 9, 2018,

Siegenthaler became the first player of Thai descent to skate in the league.

The blueliner, born in Switzerland, won a silver medal with the country at the 2024 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Czechia mere days before kicking off the camp in Chiang Mai.

The camp exceeded his dreams.

“I didn’t have high expectations, but the minute after I arrived there, I couldn’t really believe how much effort and work they put in to put this camp together,” said Siegenthaler.

“Everything was so professional, and the kids were amazing. I was just happy to share all the happy moments and emotions with the kids.”

He was soon able to share in those memories with his parents, who now live in Hua Hin, a beach resort town in northern Thailand.

Siegenthaler visits them once a year during his off-season and was able to spend a few days with his mother and father, with plenty to talk about.

“The best part was getting to know how passionate and interested the hockey community is in Thailand and spreading the joy and happiness with the kids and people there.”

Currently, there are approximately 60 players who train regularly with the hockey academy at Chiang Mai’s hockey facility, which was completed in October 2023.

According to the, there are 624 registered hockey players in Thailand. Of that number, 435 are under the age of 20.

Siegenthaler, who spent the first 97 games of his NHL career with the Washington Capitals before coming to the New Jersey Devils via trade in April 2021, would like to see the number of registered players in the country continue to increase in the coming years.

The 57th overall pick by Washington in the 2015 NHL Draft is committed to playing a major part in achieving that objective.  

He views the camp as only the beginning for young kids interested in heightening their hockey skills and embracing the sport.

“I think this was the first step for them to see that everything is possible and having someone to look up to.” 

The player who wears his heart on his sleeve Siegenthaler’s right arm has numerous tattoos, including one in Thai script just below his wrist envisions a bright future for the game in the country that is home to nearly 72 million people.

“If they continue with their hockey program, Thailand will have a big future as a country.”

And a huge supporter and advocate in Jonas Siegenthaler.