Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Cooper Way of the Oshawa Generals, Pano Fimis of the Niagara IceDogs, Trent Swick of the Kitchener Rangers and Ryan Mast of the Sarnia Sting have been named Academic Players of the Month for January.

Though the puck has yet to drop on the 2020-21 OHL Regular Season, players are striving for excellence in the classroom through their studies. The League continues to work with government and public health agencies to prepare a safe return to play. Academic players of the month are listed in correspondence with their 2019-20 divisions. Details concerning the structure of 2020-21 team alignment will be made available upon release of the OHL Regular Season schedule.

Here’s a look at the OHL’s Academic Players of the Month for January:

East Division: Cooper Way of the Oshawa Generals is being recognized as January’s East Division Academic Player of the Month. He holds a 92% grade in Biology, 98% in Chemistry, 99% in Calculus and an 86% in English for an overall average of 94% in Grade 12 studies at Maxwell Heights Secondary School and St. David Catholic Secondary School.

“Cooper has shown an incredible focus and work ethic,” noted team academic advisor Tom Buchanan. “Cooper has demonstrated his determination as he strives for goals in both academics and hockey.”

Way suited up for one game with the Generals last season. The 17-year-old Waterloo, Ont. native was a fourth round pick of the Generals in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection out of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Elmira Sugar Kings where he put up 25 points (8-17—25) over 46 games during the 2019-20 campaign.

Central Division: Niagara’s Pano Fimis is January’s Central Division Academic Player of the Month. He boasts a 91% in Chemistry, a 92% in Math and a 90% in Financial Accounting in Grade 11 studies at Governor Simcoe Secondary School.

Fimis is described as a leader among his peers with a commitment to his studies that will serve him well in the future. “Pano exemplifies all that we look for in a student-athlete. He has made the best of this difficult situation we find ourselves in and has worked extremely hard, according to his teachers,” wrote IceDogs academic advisor Tim Tope.

Fimis was chosen second overall in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection by the IceDogs following a 104-point season where he captained the Toronto Jr. Canadiens to a GTHL U16 Championship. The 16-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont. was named GTHL Minor Midget Player of the Year and represented Canada at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he captured bronze.

Midwest Division: Trent Swick of the Kitchener Rangers has been named Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for January. At St. Francis Catholic Secondary School, he achieved an 87% grade in English, an 87% in Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology, and a 94% in Chemistry. He currently holds a 90% mark in Religion as well.

“Trent is to be commended for his consistent academic focus and attention to detail during this very unusual and challenging school year,” wrote academic advisor Dave Tennant. “It takes a great deal of dedication and perseverance to achieve the success he has, and I wish him all the best in continuing his studies.”

Rangers head coach and general manager Mike McKenzie added: “It is great to see Trent has used his time wisely and kept up with his studies over the course of the year. One of the reasons we were excited to draft Trent last year was his work ethic on and off the ice and this award recognizes that off-ice work ethic.”

The 16-year-old Thorold, Ont. native was drafted in the third round of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection after a 55-point season with the Southern Tier Admirals.

West Division: Sarnia Sting defenceman Ryan Mast is the West Division’s Academic Player of the Month for January. Mast carries an impressive 92% average across six Grade 12 courses at Bloomfield Hills High School. His report card includes high standing in Calculus (92%), Advanced Composition – English (90%), Physics (82%), Psychology (94%), Business Ethics (95%) and Accounting (97%).

Mast has been praised for his exemplary time management skills and self-motivation towards his studies as well as his ability to balance his off-ice training routine with his daily school expectations.

The 18-year-old defender put up 11 points (1-10—11) over his 58-game rookie season with the Sting. A native of Bloomfield, Mich., Mast was a ninth round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection out of the Detroit Compuware AAA Program.

2020-21 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
January – Cooper Way (Oshawa Generals)
December – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Lawson Sherk (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Central Division:
January – Pano Fimis (Niagara IceDogs)
December – Tnias Mathurin (North Bay Battalion)
November – Hunter Haight (Barrie Colts)

Midwest Division:
January – Trent Swick (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Eric Uba (Guelph Storm)
November – Connor Lockhart (Erie Otters)

West Division:
January – Ryan Mast (Sarnia Sting)
December – Davis “T-Bone” Codd (Saginaw Spirit)
November – Gavin Hayes (Flint Firebirds)

A total of 334 graduates utilized their OHL Scholarship at post-secondary institutions across North America during the 2019-20 academic year, with a total contribution by teams of over $3 million.  Over the past 10 seasons, OHL Scholarship payments have totalled more than $25 million.

Click here for more information about ‘OHL Players First’ programs.


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