The recipient of the 2014-2015 Evolution Hockey Award for Perseverance and Dedication is goaltender Tommy Nixon of the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Nixon received the award from Evolution Hockey owner and AJHL alumnus, Jay Blakley, in a pre-game ceremony tonight in Sherwood Park.
The Evolution Hockey Award for Perseverance and Dedication was developed to promote post-secondary education by assisting students currently playing in the AJHL. Eligible applicants must be committed to attend a post-secondary institution either in Canada or the United States for the following season, and have completed at least one full season in the League. A $1,500 scholarship will be awarded annually to a current AJHL player.
“Tommy displays great leadership skills both on and off the ice,” stated Crusaders General Manager / Head Coach Tim Fragle. “He is a hardworking person who follows direction and takes initiative when it's required. He is the type of person that the Crusaders want moving forward as he helps create a team culture that is positive and focused. Tommy is committed to the team and their goals first rather than his personal on-ice goals. He is an excellent teammate that everyone respects.”
“Tommy has committed to attending Holy Cross College starting in the 2015 season, where he will compete on the men’s hockey team and start his studies focusing on medicine,” Fragle added. “He will be an exceptional student athlete in the next stage of his life.”
Tommy Nixon is in his second season with his hometown Sherwood Park Crusaders, where he also made an impact at the local high school. “As a student, Tommy was very successful,” says Jeremy Hurtubise, Student Counsellor at Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School. “His average in all academic subjects for grade 12 was 86%, a feat that was made all the more impressive when one takes into consideration his training regimen for his Sherwood Park Crusaders Hockey Team. Tommy was also a very active member of the school community outside of the classroom. He was always an enthusiastic participant in school wide events. I am sure that Tommy's positive attitude, perseverance and healthy work ethic will guide him to success!”
The Alberta Junior Hockey League and Evolution Hockey announced the creation of the new scholarship in January 2014. The first-ever winner of the award was Dan Wedman of the Bonnyville Pontiacs. Evolution Hockey owners, Jay Blakley and Chad Shiel are both AJHL alumni. Blakley was a member of the Bonnyville Pontiacs in 1991-1992 and Chad Shiel played for the Calgary Royals, Crowsnest Pass Timberwolves and Grande Prairie Storm from 1997-2001.