By Nicholas Troiano
Sacred Heart University men’s hockey senior co-captain Mitch Nylen has been nominated for the 2017 Hobey Baker Memorial award. The prestigious award is given to the nation’s top player.
Nylen has played 28 games for the Pioneers this season, producing four goals and 11 assists in his senior campaign.
Growing up in the non-hockey town of Atlanta, Ga. it was tough for Nylen’s skills to be seen at a young age. This was until he moved to Massachusetts, where he was finally able to put his abilities on display.
“When I moved to Massachusetts, I realized that I had what it took to play college hockey,” said Nylen.
From this point on, Nylen’s talents were never questioned, but it was his work ethic that lead to him being successful at the college level.
“Mitch wouldn’t be the hockey player he is today without his excellent work ethic. The hours that he put in over the summer have definitely translated to success on the ice this season. He has consistently been a top defenseman for us and his continued work ethic will propel him to succeed at the next level,” said senior co-captain Evan Jasper.
This hard work and positive impact has his teammates and coaches rooting for him to take home the Hobey Baker Memorial award.
“Mitch is a great candidate for the Hobey Baker. Nylen has played a huge role for Sacred Heart over the last four years and each year he has shown vast improvements. With every success that our program has had, much can be attributed to the talent and hard work of Mitch Nylen and what he brings to the table for this program,” said Jasper.
Coach C.J Marottolo also has high praise for his senior co-captain.
“Mitch is a terrific skater with great mobility and a powerful stride that stands out in terms of his physical traits. He loves to compete and he is a selfless teammate. He plays with confidence and poise,” said Marottolo. “Mitch embodies exactly what the Hobey Baker award exemplifies. He has tremendous character both on and off the ice and he is one hell of a hockey player.”
The entire Sacred Heart men’s hockey program is
honored by the nomination, including Nylen himself.
“It is a huge honor to be nominated, it came as a shock to me but it’s sort of a satisfaction to have all your hard work and dedication recognized. Winning the award would be a perfect ending to my college career,” said Nylen.
As Nylen finishes his final season with the Pioneers, he is getting the recognition that he has worked his whole life for. Nylen’s impact has been felt by his teammates and the coaching staff.
Fan voting for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award ends on March 5. At that point it will be known if Nylen has won the award.