OHL graduates Brett Welychka and Nathan Chiarlitti have received major CIS awards after impressive 2015-16 seasons.
Both players are competing in the 2016 CIS University Cup in Halifax, Nova Scotia as Welychka’s Carleton Ravens claimed bronze in the OUA and Chiarlitti’s St. FX X-Men won an AUS Championship.
Welychka is the second Raven in four years to win the Clare Drake Award, joining 2013 recipient Mitch Porowski.
As a two-time Memorial Cup participant with the London Knights and former Belleville Bulls captain, it did not take long for Welychka to adapt to the pace of CIS hockey. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound forward took the OUA by storm in an outstanding freshman campaign that saw him finish second in CIS scoring with 46 points, including a CIS-leading 32 assists in 27 league games. He began his university career with a six-game point streak and continued his torrid scoring pace throughout the season with 15 multi-point performances, along with two game-winning goals.
The arts student from London, Ont., was the focal point of a prolific Ravens offence that ranked third in the OUA and fifth in the nation with 4.11 goals per contest. In addition to winning the Clare Drake Award, Welychka was named an OUA East first-team all-star in his university debut.
“Brett has made an immediate impact on our program and he has brought a very mature approach to his game in how he prepares and practices each week,” said head coach Marty Johnston. “He plays a 200-foot game and the coaching staff counts on him to be a dominant player each night. He is very deserving of this award.”
Nathan Chiarlitti joined Welychka in earning hardware, receiving the Dr. Randy Gregg Award given annually to the player who best demonstrates excellence in hockey, academics & community service.
A former member of the Sarnia Sting and Owen Sound Attack, Chiarlitti became only the second StFX player to earn the Dr. Randy Gregg Award since it was first presented in 1991. He joins his current head coach Brad Peddle, who claimed the honour in 1999.
In his third-year of eligibility, the assistant captain from Maple, Ont., is a tremendous leader on and off the ice for the X-Men. An AUS second-team all-star for the second consecutive season, Chiarlitti played in all 28 games during the regular season, averaging over 30 minutes per contest, leading the team’s defencemen in scoring with three goals and 12 assists, and finishing with a plus/minus rating of +14.
Academically, the fourth-year Dean’s List student achieved CIS academic all-Canadian status in each of the past two years, finishing amongst the top five students in his honors humans kinetics program. He recently completed the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and hopes to attend medical school in the future.
Chiarlitti is heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time with an array of organizations and causes. He was awarded the Leader of Distinction award by the StFX Leadership Academy, which he has been involved with for the past three years. He is a volunteer coach for the Antigonish Minor Hockey Mentorship Program, and founded and maintains the Hockey Program of X-Cellence, a peer tutoring program for both the X-Men and X-Women varsity teams. He is also president of the Coady Society, volunteers with the StFX human kinetics community service learning program Fit 4 Life and Fit 4 Tots, participates in StFX’s Best Buddies program, has lent his time to L’Arche Horizons, and has also done extensive volunteer work in medical research including thyroid oncology research at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, work with Caisis, the online cancer data management system, as well as data collection for CAPL (Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy).
“Nathan has been our captain all season and is a tremendous leader in our group,” said head coach Brad Peddle. “He is highly respected in our dressing room, while being able to maintain strong personal relationships with his teammates. He is our most reliable player on the ice in every situation. When it comes to the values associated with this award and the complete person it exemplifies, I can sincerely say Nathan fits the description more than anyone I have ever had in our program. His willingness to go above and beyond to help others is quite remarkable.”
For more information on the 2016 University Cup and CIS award recipients, please visit cis-sic.ca