A first round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in 2019, Thomas Harley has always been recognized for his on ice excellence. Last summer however, Harley was recognized for his academic success – receiving the prestigious Bobby Smith Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year.
In 2018-19, Thomas Harley earned the honour for his academic achievements in the classroom combined with his on-ice excellence for the Mississauga Steelheads. Harley was enrolled in six University level courses at Philip Pocock Public High School and Blyth Academy where he carried an overall average of over 88% studying Advanced Functions, Interdisciplinary Studies, Biology, English, Geography, and Chemistry. On the ice, the top NHL Draft prospect scored 58 points in 68 games including 11 goals and 47 assists.
“Balancing school and playing hockey in the OHL is not easy, but if you manage your time properly, it can be done without too much stress,” says Harley. “I would study and do work on bus rides, and days off would always be a great opportunity to catch up on both rest and my homework.”
When asked about what it meant to him to be named OHL Scholastic Player of the Year, Harley commented, “It’s a huge honour to win this award. A lot of great players have won it and I consider myself lucky to be among them. A huge thank you goes out to my parents, teachers, billets, and coaches who have gotten me to this point.”
Harley was the second member of the Steelheads to win the award following Nicolas Hague in 2016. Additional recipients since the award was first presented in 1980 include three-time winner Dustin Brown (Guelph 2001-03), Steven Stamkos (Sarnia 2007), Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2008), Matt Duchene (Brampton 2009), Erik Gudbranson (Kingston 2010), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2011), Adam Pelech (Erie 2012), Darnell Nurse (Sault Ste. Marie 2013), back-to-back winner Connor McDavid (Erie 2014-15), Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 2017), and Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie 2018).
“Teachers Life are proud sponsors of the OHL’s Academic Spotlight Program,” says Doug Baker, President and CEO of Teachers Life. “The dedication of the OHL’s student-athletes to their education mirrors Teachers Life’s commitment to students and educators across the province. By celebrating these athletes, they become role models to kids in their communities through their dedication to academic excellence, integrity and curiosity.”
About Teachers Life
Teachers Life is a federally regulated life insurance company. Founded in 1939, Teachers Life offers life and group insurance products to address the unique needs of Canadian families. Teachers Life is the first insurance provider in Canada to underwrite life insurance products online, in as little as 15 minutes. As a not-for-profit fraternal insurer, community commitment is a core value for Teachers Life. For more information, please visit TeachersLife.com.
About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.