The Ontario Junior Hockey League today announced that Kyle Clarke (pictured during humanitarian aid trip to Sousa, Dominican Republic – photo courtesy of the Clarke Family) of the North York Rangers has been named the 2016-17 recipient of the OJHL Humanitarian-of-the-Year Award.
More than doubling his offensive output this season as one of the Rangers veteran leaders, the 19-year old native of Mississauga, Ontario set a high standard of excellence for his teammates, both on-and-off the ice.
Named the club’s captain entering the 2016-17 season, Clarke has not disappointed during his third full year with North York. He would finish second in scoring on the Rangers with both 20 goals and 50 points in 52 regular season games played, while also leading the team with four game-winning goals. Clarke’s offensive output was more than double his previous career best, set in 2015-16 and was significantly more than his entire 129 game OJHL career combined.
For much of Clarke’s life, he has battled an asthmatic condition, and has chosen to not only overcome all the obstacles that he has faced, but to become a spokesperson for the condition and do his part to assist others with the disease. For more than a decade, dating back to his minor hockey years in the atom age group (9-10 years of age), Clarke has been an ambassador and spokesperson for the Lung Association, speaking on living with the condition as a high-performance athlete. All the while, he has taken part in speaking engagements aimed at encouraging kids with asthma to not let it stop them from achieving their dreams, as well as coping mechanisms to deal with day-to-day life. Featured in newspaper articles, television shows and as a spokesperson for different camps and foundations, Clarke has set an exemplary standard for players across the league to follow.
As if his work with young people dealing with the effects of asthma isn’t enough, Clarke has more recently taken on a new charitable endeavour with the Live Different organization. Over the past couple of years, he has volunteered his own personal time with two separate humanitarian aid trips to Sousa, Dominican Republic, helping to build four houses and a school, as well as other community improvements for the impoverished area. Clarke would personally raise more than $5,000 over two years that was contributed directly to the build and impacting the lives of less fortunate individuals was a very humbling and rewarding experience that he cherished and looks forward to continuing in the future. Finally, this summer, Clarke is also volunteering his time as an assistant coach with a Toronto-area Under-14 team, called the “Canada Red Cottons” that will compete in a tournament being held in Beijing, China.
The OJHL Humanitarian of the Year is awarded to the player adjudged to have made the most notable contribution to his community in a humanitarian sense, including, but not limited to charitable work, school visits and extra-curricular off-ice activities.
Josh Maguire of the Cobourg Cougars was named runner-up in the OJHL award selection to Clarke.
The Cobourg Cougars captain, and recent commit to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks, is the heart-and-soul of his club as he looks to lead them to a national championship as host of the 2017 RBC Cup, National Junior ‘A’ Championship. Maguire is extremely active in the community, working with various minor hockey team programs, as well as the kids ‘Learn to Play.’ Perhaps most importantly, he is the founder of the Bryan Rose Sports Fund in memory of his late Grandfather, raising thousands of dollars for families that cannot afford to have their children participate in hockey.
Later this week, the Trainer-of-the-Year Award recipient will be announced.
2016-17 OJHL Award Winners
Award Winner Runner-Up
Top Scorer Jack Jacome (GEO) Brayden Stortz (WEL)
Top Goaltender Stefano Durante (COB) Josh Astorino (GEO)
Executive Greg Walters (GEO) Brent Tully (COB)
Humanitarian Kyle Clarke (NYR) Josh Maguire (COB)
Previous OJHL Humanitarian-of-the-Year Recipients
Award Winner Runner-Up
2015-16 Stefano Durante (COB) n/a
2014-15 Sean Kohler (OAK) Stefano Durante (COB)
2013-14 Kevin Shier (TLP) n/a
2012-13 Tyler Feaver (WHI) Josh Timpano (TRE)
2011-12 Matt Dineen (NEW) Adam Shibuya (TOR)