OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Jackson Edward of the London Knights, Matthew Mania of the Sudbury Wolves, Brad Gardiner of the Ottawa 67’s and Bryce McConnell-Barker of the Soo Greyhounds have been named Academic Players of the Month for February.

East Division: Ottawa 67’s rookie forward Brad Gardiner is the OHL East Division Academic Player of the Month for February.

Gardiner achieved an 88 percent average in grade 11 university-level Functions and English, as well as grade 12 World Issues and International Business, completing four credits over two quadmesters. He is now taking Grade 12 university-level English as well as Nutrition and Health at Blyth Academy.

“Brad’s excellent marks are a direct reflection of his solid work ethic and dedication to his educational goals,” said 67’s academic advisor Eileen Duffin. “His teachers describe him as well organized, conscientious, and dedicated to working hard.”

“Bradley has proved to be an organized and conscientious student athlete in his first season with the 67’s,” said general manager James Boyd. “As a result, he has shown continuous development throughout the season, both on and off of the ice.”

The 16-year-old from Aurora, Ont. has played 42 games this season, recording three goals and four assists for a total of seven points. Gardiner was Ottawa’s third round (40th overall) pick in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.

Central Division: Sudbury Wolves rookie defender Matthew Mania is the OHL Central Division Academic Player of the Month for February.

Mania is currently enrolled in Algebra, Chemistry, Art and English where he is maintaining a straight-A average at Great River Connections Academy.

“Matthew is a an excellent student and dedicated player,” said Wolves academic advisor Gord Ewin.

The 16-year-old Olmsted, Ohio native has recorded two goals and six assists in 35 games this season. He was Sudbury’s fourth round (60th overall) pick in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.

Midwest Division: Draft eligible London Knights rookie defenceman Jackson Edward is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for February.

Edward achieved a 93.5 percent average in Data Management, English, Communications Technology and Classical Civilizations at Blyth Academy.

“Jackson is an exemplary student,” said Knights academic advisor Wendy Glover. “In addition to achieving high grades, he attends all academic advising meetings and assists other players as a peer tutor when needed. He exhibits the work ethic and desire to learn more than the required material in all classes.”

The Newmarket, Ont. native has played 32 games this season, recording four assists for the Knights, who selected him in the second round (22nd overall) of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. He’s the 75th-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings.

West Division: Draft eligible Soo Greyhounds forward Bryce McConnell-Barker is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for February.

McConnell-Barker earned  an overall average of 87 percent  in his  three grade 12 university-level courses, highlighted by a mark of 98 percent in English at Superior Heights Secondary School.

“Bryce shows qualities of a team leader and a positive role model,” said Greyhounds academic advisors Jerry Bumbacco and Mary Lynne Lukenda. “He has been described by his teachers and classmates as a mature young man who is well respected by the younger players. He has demonstrated, by his actions and achievements, that he is an outstanding representative of the Soo Greyhounds and the OHL.”

The rookie from London, Ont. has scored 14 goals, 18 assists and 32 points in 50 games this season. McConnell-Barker was the fourth overall pick of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection and is the 28th-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Draft Rankings.

2021-22 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
February – Brad Gardiner (Ottawa 67’s)
January – Luca Marrelli (Oshawa Generals)
December – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Cole Brown (Hamilton Bulldogs)
October – Sam Alfano (Peterborough Petes)

Central Division:
February – Matthew Mania (Sudbury Wolves)
January – Pano Fimis (Niagara IceDogs)
December – Owen Van Steensel (North Bay Battalion)
November – Hunter Haight (Barrie Colts)
October – Owen Beck (Mississauga Steelheads)

Midwest Division:
February – Jackson Edward (London Knights)
January –  Jackson Parsons (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Matthew Poitras (Guelph Storm)
November – Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)
October – Cal Uens (Owen Sound Attack)

West Division:
February – Bryce McConnell-Barker (Soo Greyhounds)
January – Ryder McIntyre (Sarnia Sting)
December – PJ Forgione (Saginaw Spirit)
November – Ethan Hay (Flint Firebirds)
October – Bronson Ride (Windsor Spitfires)

A total of 343 graduates utilized their OHL Scholarship at post-secondary institutions across North America during the 2020-21 academic year, with a total contribution by teams of over $3.1 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.


About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

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