Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Denver Barkey of the London Knights, Kieron Walton of the Sudbury Wolves, Brad Gardiner of the Ottawa 67’s and Alex Kostov of the Soo Greyhounds have been named Academic Players of the Month for October.

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

Gardiner, who was also named East Division Academic Player of the Month in February 2022, is achieving an 89.5 percent average in grade 12 university-level Advanced Functions, Business Management and Elite Athlete at Blyth Academy The Glebe. He is on track to graduate a semester early due to his conscientious work ethic and perseverance at carrying both spring and summer courses.

“The 67’s organization continues to be impressed by Brad’s ability to balance his on and off ice responsibilities”, said 67’s General Manager James Boyd. “Brad is a diligent student who continues to impress with his development on and off of the ice.”

The 17-year-old from Aurora, Ont. has played 11 games this season, recording six goals and three assists for a total of nine points. The son of former NHL forward Bruce Gardiner, Gardiner put up seven points (3-4–7) in his rookie season with the 67’s. He was Ottawa’s third round (40th overall) pick in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.

Central Division: Sudbury Wolves rookie forward Kieron Walton is the OHL Central Division Academic Player of the Month for October.

Walton is currently achieving high grades in Entrepreneurship, World History, Co-op, and World Religions at St. Charles College. Walton’s teachers have described him as a student that shows positive initiative and is a cooperative team member in the classroom.

“Kieron is an excellent student, a great young player and an outstanding person”, said Wolves academic advisor Gord Ewin.

The 16-year-old from Toronto, Ont. has played 11 games this season, recording three goals and one assist for a total of four points. The 6-foot-6, 203Ib. left-winger was selected in the second round (28th overall) by the Wolves in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection.

Midwest Division: London Knights draft-eligible forward Denver Barkey is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for October.

Barkey is currently achieving an 87 percent average in English, a 95 percent average in Recreation Leadership, an 80 percent average in World History, and a 95 percent average in Elite Athlete at Catholic Central High School.

“Denver is an exemplary student-athlete,” said Knights academic advisor Wendy Glover. “He understands the demands of the classroom, and not only meets them but also exceeds them. He exemplifies the academic and learning skills that Ontario students are encouraged to demonstrate such as: responsibility, initiative, collaboration, self-regulation and independent work. He demonstrates the behavior that the London Knights and OHL would be proud of.”

“Not only does Denver model appropriate behavior in the classroom, he also made a commitment to support the local and school community,” said Knights General Manager Mark Hunter. “He attends various other school sports or community events/fundraisers. In doing so, he clearly demonstrates a commitment to the concept that he values the contributions and lives of other students and community members, as well as his teammates.”

The Newmarket, Ont. native has played 11 games this season, recording three goals and eight assists for the Knights. His rookie season in 2021-22 included 15 points (7-8–15) over 53 contests. London selected Barkey in the first round (16th overall) of the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.

West Division: Soo Greyhounds rookie forward Alex Kostov is the OHL West Division Academic Player of the Month for October.

Kostov has earned an overall average of 91 percent to date, including marks of 100 percent in Advanced Biology, a 95 percent average in Leadership, an 82-percentage average in Functions, and a 90 percent average in Culinary Arts at Superior Heights Secondary School.

“Alex is highly respected by his classmates, teachers and school staff,” said Greyhounds academic advisors Jerry Bumbacco and Mary Lynne Lukenda. “We are looking forward to following Alex’s academics and on-ice achievements as he progresses as a valuable member of the Soo Greyhounds.”

The rookie from Mississauga, Ont. has appeared in eight games this season, recording two assists. Kostov was selected in the third round (58th overall) by the Hounds in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection.

The OHL continues to produce student-athletes that move on to both professional and U SPORTS men’s hockey endeavours.

A total of 349 graduates utilized their OHL Scholarship at post-secondary institutions across North America during the 2021-22 academic year, with a total contribution by teams of over $3.5 million. Over the past 10 seasons, OHL Scholarship payments have totalled more than $25 million.

A total of 217 OHL Alumni were included on U SPORTS men’s hockey rosters to open the 2022-23 season.

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.