Leading by example on the ice is one form of leadership, but voluntarily being part of the community is another and Estevan Bruins’ defenceman Kade McMillen exemplifies both of those in an amazing way.
The 19-year-old product from Carievale, Sask., has nearly tripled his offensive numbers in his second season in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, but his list of community-involvement activities has multiplied by an even greater number.
McMillen participates in reading classes at elementary schools, helps load trucks for the Salvation Army, serves breakfast at community gatherings and attends practices for minor hockey teams not just in Estevan, but in the surrounding area including smaller centres such as Oxbow, Carnduff, Carlyle and his hometown of Carievale.
Before every home game, McMillen takes it upon himself to meet the game’s seventh player and then brings that special guest into the dressing room to introduce them to the rest of the team.
McMillen, who is an alternate captain for the Bruins, is a fan favourite and for good reason. He truly is an ambassador for the game and the Estevan Bruins are proud to nominate him for the RBC and SJHL Community Ambassador Award.
Sebastian Eger, Weyburn Red Wings
Being a young hockey player and moving away from home for the first time can be somewhat daunting. There is the on-ice commitment that changes, but being accepted by both your new teammates and the community that you have adopted can also be a challenge.
When you have a personality such as Sebastian Eger, however, then that process becomes much simpler.
The 18-year-old rookie defenceman from Regina relocated to Weyburn in the fall and immediately it became apparent that this was a special young man.
Eger, who has appeared in 35 games this year, was quick to volunteer for every team event in the community, but his outgoing nature was noticed even when he wasn’t representing the team.
On once such occasion, while just being downtown, he left such an impression on a person that that person felt compelled to call the Red Wings’ office and state that “this young man is the model role model wanted for the youth of Weyburn.”
Eger’s billet mom has indicated that they have lost track of the number of times that they get calls stating that Sebastian has gone out of his way to make someone’s day.
It is refreshing to see that the pressures of the game don’t alter one’s personality and for that the Red Wings are proud to have Eger as their selection for the RBC and SJHL Community Ambassador Award.
Jake Gudjonson, La Ronge Ice Wolves
It’s funny how winning transcends into so many different forms.
The La Ronge Ice Wolves have enjoyed their best season in nearly a decade and as a result are a serious contender for a league championship entering the upcoming Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs.
The success on the ice has spilled over to the community as well creating more opportunities for the Ice Wolves to become involved in a variety of events.
While some players shy away from this attention, 20-year-old forward Jake Gudjonson has thrived in it volunteering to be with students at the Pre Cam Elementary School and participating in a number of sporting events along with numerous other activities.
The Golden, B.C., product is in his second season with the Ice Wolves and while his production on the ice has seen a vast improvement, so has his involvement with the community and for that the La Ronge Ice Wolves are proud to have his name included in the process for selecting a winner of the RBC and SJHL Community Ambassador Award.
Jeremy Bisson, Nipawin Hawks
When a junior hockey player stays in once centre for an extended period of time they often take ownership of that community and that is exactly what has happened with Jeremy Bisson.
The 20-year-old Moose Jaw native has been in Nipawin for three years and during that time he has helped the Hawks win a league championship, a pair of regular-season pennants and this year, once again, be a threat to go deep in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs.
His leadership on the ice has been rewarded with an “A” on his jersey for the past two seasons, but it is off the ice where Bisson has made an even bigger impact.
Bisson regularly helps out with the Special Olympics floor hockey team, assists young players in the Nipawin Minor Hockey Association, participates in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Community Walk, helps decorate at the Pineview Lodge senior’s long-term facility, goes to elementary schools for visits and so much more.
Whenever he is called upon, both on the ice or off, Bisson answers that call and for that the Nipawin Hawks are excited to have Jeremy Bisson included in the list of finalists for the RBC and SJHL Community Ambassador Award.