NHL

NHL, NHLPA launch program to help players prepare for future

Former Winnipeg Jets' Anders Hedberg, second from right, shakes hands with Toronto Maple Leafs' Leo Komarov (47) as Ulf Nilsson and Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) watch during the induction ceremony for the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Bobby Hull was also inducted but did not attend. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)

Former Winnipeg Jets' Anders Hedberg, second from right, shakes hands with Toronto Maple Leafs' Leo Komarov (47) as Ulf Nilsson and Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) watch during the induction ceremony for the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Bobby Hull was also inducted but did not attend. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The NHL and NHLPA have launched a program designed to help players plan their post-hockey careers long before they hang up their skates.

The Core Development Program will give players avenues to further their education, network and find out what jobs they may be suited for, such as finance and broadcasting. League and NHL Players Association officials say the program targets young players, not just those in the twilight of their careers.

This new endeavor is independent of the NHL Alumni's Break Away program that focuses on player transitions once they retire. Most professional leagues have a similar process, but the NHL and NHLPA believe their program for current players is unique.

The program was spawned from player feedback, and it is voluntary.