Garrett McFadden is thrilled with the honour, but even more thrilled with what the honour will mean for the McFadden's Movement mental health initiative.
The Guelph Storm captain has been named winner of the Ontario Hockey League's Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy, given to the league's humanitarian of the year.
The award is in recognition of McFadden's Movement, a mental health initiative he started with the help of Steph Coratti from the Storm's front office that promotes mental health awareness and raises funds for mental health initiatives.
"Being recognized league-wide is is an honour and it makes more of a difference for McFadden's Movement," McFadden, 19, said Thursday from Kincardine, where he is working on a golf course for the summer before returning to the Storm for a fifth season this fall.
"It's an honour to pick up an award and I'm happy for McFadden's Movement and where that's going to go because of this recognition.
"It's good to get the word out there and when the OHL is sharing the Twitter handle and everything it advertises McFadden's Movement and gets people talking about mental health and the importance of talking about mental health."
In addition to regular school visits and public appearances that Storm players do, McFadden's Movement has seen McFadden visiting many hockey teams to talk about mental health challenges people face and how important it is to talk to someone if they arise.
McFadden's Movement will be hosting a road hockey tournament June 17 in the Centennial High School parking lot and a golf tournament at the end of the summer is still a possibility.
"When we started this to where we are now, I think we're a lot more ahead than I had thought we were going to be," he said.
"But when I look back and think about all the people that have helped, like Steph Coratti who does all the work behind the scenes ... we've had a lot of people get on board and really helped it blow up.
"I'm not surprise at where it is given the help of all these people."
McFadden is the first ever member of the Storm to earn the award, which is named in honour of former OHLer Dan Snyder.