Otters’ Alboim, Firebirds’ Hay recognized with Ivan Tennant Memorial Award as OHL’s Top Academic High School Students

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Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to announce that Erie Otters defenceman George Alboim and Flint Firebirds forward Ethan Hay are 2022-23 co-recipients of the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award presented annually to the OHL’s Top Academic High School Student. Both players achieved 95% averages in Grade 12 studies this past season.

An 18-year-old from Uxbridge, Ont., Alboim excelled in a pair of English courses, Nutrition and Health, Public Speaking, Art History and a Business Co-op through Fairview High School and Blyth Academy.

“It is an honour to be the recipient of the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award,” said Alboim. “Being in High School while playing in the OHL comes with many challenges. Balancing the responsibilities of school and the effort required to excel at your sport is difficult for any athlete. Fortunately, I have had lots of support from teachers and family. Special thanks to all of my Fairview High School teachers in Erie as well as my Blyth Academy teachers, as well as Ms. K for helping and supporting me over the last two years. Education has always been very important to me as I recognize it allows me so many more options long-term. I am grateful that I had so much support through my journey and am looking forward to having education be part of my plan after high school.”

A 6-foot-2, 174Ib. defender, Alboim appeared in 48 games with the Otters in 2022-23, recording an assist. He was originally Erie’s fourth round (70th overall) pick from the Central Ontario Wolves in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.

“We are very proud of George’s accomplishment of winning the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award,” said Otters General Manager and Executive Vice-President Dave Brown. “Winning this award is an excellent example of how excelling in school translates in the classroom, on the ice, and in life. Jaime and Andrea Alboim have instilled great character traits in George, with an emphasis on education and providing the path for George to excel academically. Hockey is our game, but education is our most crucial component for our players, and George is an academic champion.”

Alboim becomes the second player in Otters franchise history to win the award, following present day NHL blueliner Adam Pelech who was recognized in 2011-12.

“George completed both in-person and online classes over the past two years,” said Otters Academic Advisor Leigh Kostis. “He was praised by his Fairview High School teachers as an excellent student who cooperated well with his peers, completed assignments despite a challenging schedule, and maintained a very high average. George is very well-spoken and personable. He is genuinely interested in the subject matter of all his courses, and actively participates in class; he’s an exceptional student.”

Draft eligible Flint Firebirds centreman Ethan Hay joins Alboim in being recognized with the award. The 18-year-old Hay finished with high standing in Grade 12 Literacy, Marketing, Food and Nutrition, Leadership, Physical Education and a Business Co-op through Grand Blanc High School and Blyth Academy.

“It’s a great feeling to be recognized with this award,” said Hay. “I worked hard throughout the year both on and off the ice and I’m glad to see it has paid off. Both school and hockey support each other. Hockey has taught me to work hard in everything I do, and I take pride in that in school as well. Learning in school and developing your mind also helps you on the ice. It’s important that they co-exist together. Our Academic Advisor Elizabeth Hoffman came in a bit last year and made a huge impact on us that translated into this year as well. She really helped us and did a great job making sure we were on the right path and on top of everything, and for that, I am very grateful.”

Hay put up 17 goals, 11 assists and 28 points over 64 games in his second season with the Firebirds, winning 55 percent of his faceoffs and excelling on Flint’s penalty killing corps. He added six points (1-5–6) in seven playoff matchups, going 59 percent in the faceoff circle. A former third round (46th overall) pick by the Firebirds in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection, Hay was listed as the 83rd-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2023 NHL Draft. He also fared well in the 2022-23 OHL Coaches Poll, being voted the second-best faceoff performer and second-best defensive forward in the Western Conference.

“We are very proud of Ethan for his commitment to school and hockey,” said Firebirds Head Coach and General Manager Ted Dent. “He is way beyond his years in maturity, in regards to preparation, focus, and commitment to both academics and hockey. He knows how to prioritize what’s important and he’s a great example for the OHL and our organization.”

Hay is the second Flint Firebirds player to win the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award, following goaltender Kyle Keyser who was the recipient in 2015-16.

“I am thrilled for Ethan,” said Firebirds Academic Advisor Elizabeth Hoffman. “He is a great student and he works very hard. He is so deserving of this award. Not only does he work hard in school but he’s a hard worker on the ice. It’s been a pleasure watching him do great things in both environments!”

The Ivan Tennant Memorial Award is given to the League’s Top Academic High School Player and is named in honour of Ivan Tennant, who spent a lifetime combining hockey and education. He was the Kitchener Rangers’ Education Consultant for 20 years and a key figure on the OHL’s Education Consultant’s Committee.

First-year Guelph Storm blueliner Rowan Topp also finished as a finalist for the award.

2022-23 OHL Ivan Tennant Memorial Award Team Nominees:
Barrie Colts – Chris Grisolia
Erie Otters – George Alboim
Flint Firebirds – Ethan Hay
Guelph Storm – Rowan Topp
Hamilton Bulldogs – Noah Nelson
Kingston Frontenacs – Mason Vaccari
Kitchener Rangers – Cameron Mercer
London Knights – Denver Barkey
Mississauga Steelheads – Luke Misa
Niagara IceDogs – Bronson Ride
North Bay Battalion – Wyatt Kennedy
Oshawa Generals – Ben Danford
Ottawa 67’s – Caden Kelly
Owen Sound Attack – Braedyn Rogers
Peterborough Petes – Chase Lefebvre
Saginaw Spirit – Joey Willis
Sarnia Sting – Easton Wainwright
Soo Greyhounds – Christopher Brown
Sudbury Wolves – Nate Krawchuk
Windsor Spitfires – Joey Costanzo

For a full list of OHL award recipients, click here.

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