The Ontario Hockey League announced today the top academic player award winners and the runners-up. Ryan Mast of the Sarnia Sting, selected with the 181st pick at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft was a runner up for the Roger Neilson Memorial Award.
The Roger Neilson Memorial Award is named in honour of the Hall of Fame Coach who served behind the Peterborough Petes bench in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Neilson, a former high school teacher, was a pioneer in stressing the importance of education to all of his players.
Mast had his eyes set on playing in the NCAA until the Sting showed interest in him and the proximity to home and his family made it a no-brainer.
Mast will return to the Sting for the 2022-2023 season as he is not yet eligible for the American Hockey League. He has yet to sign his entry level contract but there is no rush as the Bruins have until June 1, 2023 to ink his deal.