Mallards Rookie of the Year strives for higher education

Skating with a Rookie of the Year title may be deceiving, but third year Mallards member, Mike Hellyer is no stranger to the ice.

Hellyer’s title doesn’t reflect his hockey experience in the slightest. The 27-year-old played for five years at University of Manitoba and has been a Mallards player for three years. The hockey pro knows there’s more to life than just what’s inside the rink.

“I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to take care of my education,” said Hellyer, who is currently working on a master’s degree. “I’m happy in my choice to get my degree and take care of myself for life after hockey.”

The brainy player’s coach said similarly to himself, Hellyer is a perfectionist and can note his mistakes without being told. He attributes this to his personality.

“I think his character takes him a long ways,” said Mallards Head Coach Terry Ruskowski. “He knows what he has to do, what his positioning is, and how he has to do it. I know that when he does make mistakes I don’t usually have to tell him because he knows exactly the mistakes when he comes off the ice.”

Hellyer said he likes playing for the Mallards and enjoys the wide fan base. He said the fans are loyal and it’s important to treat everyone like family.

“It’s nice when you’re around town and you see someone that knows you,” Hellyer said. He noted that the Q.C. is a large area with a small town feel.

While he has his education as a safety net to fall back on, Hellyer said he hopes to have a long career playing hockey.

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