Ottawa 67’s forward Sasha Chmelevski is this year’s recipient of the Roger Neilson Memorial Award, the club and OHL announced on Tuesday.
The award, named after the late former coach of the Peterborough Petes, high school teacher, long-time NHL coach and Hockey Hall of Famer, is awarded annually to the top post-secondary student in the OHL.
“All my life, I always wanted to be a hockey player but my parents always pushed me to be better in school,” said Chmelevski. “Education is something I take very seriously and I take a lot of pride in representing the 67’s with this award.”
Chmelevski is taking courses at Oakland University in Michigan, achieving an average of more than 96% while studying biology and human nutrition as well as an international economics course during the winter term.
“Sasha is a driven leader, whose on-ice achievements speak for themselves,” said Jan Egert, 67’s Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting. “Throughout his OHL career, Sasha has placed a continued importance on maintaining personal academic development, and has excelled in successfully reaching those ambitions. We are thrilled to see that Sasha is recognized for his efforts and achievements again this season.”
In addition to excelling academically, Chmelevski has been a key part of the 67’s record-setting success this year, both as part of the leadership group and one of the offensive stars. The San Jose Sharks prospect had 35 goals and and 75 points in the regular season and 10 goals and 28 points in 15 post-season games this year.
The Northville, Michigan native is no stranger to academic awards, having been named both the OHL and CHL Scholastic Player of the Year in 2017.
The 67’s currently lead the Guelph Storm 2-1 in the OHL Championship best-of-seven series, with Game 4 going Wednesday night in Guelph. Tickets for Game 5 at The Arena at TD Place on Friday night are available here.