Hockey neck guards are pieces of protective equipment that protect against any injury on the ice committed by another player, a skate, a stick, or a puck. These neck guards are made of a lightweight, yet thick padding. Even with a helmet and uniform shirt, the neck is still exposed, so the neck guard is what protects the player's neck.
This item is especially important for goalies, as they are the ones who are subject to the most injuries to the neck, either by a stick in the air or a puck. Without a neck pad, a player's neck veins could be cut. This happened before in 1989 in the NHL, when two opposing players crashed into each other and a blade cut one's neck open. After this incident, many goaltenders in the NHL opted to wear neck guards. Even though they are not a required piece of equipment, they provide a lot of safety and security for those who wear them.
Hockey neck guards can be purchased online or in any sporting goods store that sells hockey equipment. The non-cut material is typically polyester and attaches in the back by velcro or is slipped over the head entirely. They range in colors, but many players choose a traditional black guard.