A strong teammate on the ice, Nicolas Canade is just as giving in the local community and his efforts didn’t go unrecognized.
The Mississauga Steelheads forward is the 2018-19 recipient of the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy as the OHL’s Humanitarian of the Year, the junior hockey league announced on May 6th.
Canade is the first Steelheads player to be presented with the honour after leading the club’s community initiatives and spearheading programs of his own. His endeavours included a social media campaign in support of the Steelheads’ ‘Pink in the Rink’ for breast cancer awareness efforts, where he was inspired to help out a teammate whose family had been affected by breast cancer.
Canade would personally contribute $2,500 following widespread interest generated from a post on his personal Instagram account in the form of some 65,000 likes. His donation was matched by corporate support and additional contributions, resulting in a $6,000 donation to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Part of his community outreach also included leading a group of his teammates to Credit Valley Hospital to visit sick children, plus numerous visits to local elementary schools to discuss topics like leadership, a drug-free lifestyle and the importance of education.
Canade also supported teammate Jacob Ingham’s ‘Bleed Blue’ campaign for Canadian Blood Services and along with his family have been active supporters of the Pinball Clemons Foundation.
“I am extremely honoured and humbled to receive the Dan Snyder Memorial Award,” the 19-year-old said. “I share this award with my family, my teammates, my coaches and the phenomenal Mississauga Steelheads organization. Without all the support from the people I mentioned above, this award would not be possible.
“I am a strong believer in giving back to the community that has given so much to me over the years.”
The Mississauga native has played two seasons with the Steelheads. He was named an alternative captain this past season and finished with a career-high 22 points in 63 games after splitting time between forward and defence.
Canade will be the OHL’s nomination for the CHL Humanitarian of the Year, which will be announced during the Memorial Cup in Halifax on May 25th.
Canade wasn’t the only Steelheads player this week to be honoured this week by the OHL.
Teammate Thomas Harley is the winner of the Bobby Smith Trophy as Scholastic Player of the Year.
The second-year defenceman, who is one of the top prospects for this year’s NHL Entry Draft in June, was presented with the award for his academic achievements in the classroom and his contributions on the ice with the Steelheads.
The 17-year-old is enrolled in six university level courses at Philip Pocock High School and Blyth Academy. Studying Advanced Functions, Interdisciplinary Studies, Biology, English, Chemistry and Geography, Harley carries an overall average of over 88 per cent.
On the ice, Harley finished eighth in scoring among blue liners with 11 goals and 47 assists for 58 points in 68 games. Harley represented Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
“It’s a huge honour to win this award,” the native of Syracuse, N.Y. said. “A lot of great players have won it and I consider myself lucky to be among them. A huge thank you goes out to my parents, teachers, billets and coaches who have gotten me to this point.”
Harley will be the OHL’s nomination for the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year, which will be announced during the Memorial Cup in Halifax on May 25th.
Both Canade and Harley will be officially presented with their awards at the annual OHL Awards Ceremony on June 5th.
photo: Mississauga Steelheads veteran forward Nicolas Canade is the 2018-19 recipient of the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy as the OHL’s Humanitarian of the Year. Terry Wilson/OHL Images