NHLer’s visit St. Basil Catholic Elementary

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Students of St. Basil Catholic Elementary Hockey Canada Skills Academy were
surprised by two local National Hockey League players on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
Colin Miller, Vegas Golden Knights defenceman, and Michael Amadio, Los Angeles Kings
forward, paid a visit to students on Thursday to speak about their journey to the NHL and how hard work and perseverance have led them to play professional hockey. Some fifty students had the opportunity to sit and listen to their stories, ask questions, and receive a personalized autograph and photo with the players.

Keith Coletti, elementary school facilitator of the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) Hockey Canada Skills Academy spoke about the benefits of having two professional athletes speak to the students.

“I have been fortunate enough to have coached many talented and skilled players at the Bantam AAA level for many years, Colin and Michael were two of these players. I couldn’t have thought of two better role models to come and speak to our student athletes about what every young hockey player dreams of, playing in the NHL,” said Coletti.

“Having stay in contact with both Colin and Michael throughout their journey to the NHL, I knew that they would deliver a message of hard work, perseverance and following your dream, to the students of the HSCDSB Hockey Academy,” added Coletti.

Colin Miller, a 151st overall draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2012, did not have the easiest of paths to the NHL. Currently playing with the Vegas Golden Knights as one of their top shut-down defencemen, Miller spoke about how never giving up enabled him to further his hockey career.

In his early years, Colin was cut by the local midget ‘AAA’ team, and opted to play High School Hockey, where he put the work in every day to better himself and play at an elite level the following year. Miller went on to play midget “AAA”, and Jr. “A” before suiting up for the Soo Greyhounds, where he played three years in the OHL, being named Captain of the Greyhounds in his final season.

Colin has showed that never giving up on your dream will pay off, and how hard work and determination plays a vital role in trying to accomplish your goal. Miller has now played 250 games in the NHL, between three teams, the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Golden Knights.

Former St. Mary’s College student, Michael Amadio, a 90th overall draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, was fortunate enough to take a different path to the NHL. Amadio, a once 50-goal scorer for the North Bay Battalion of the OHL, had scouts all over him in his bantam, midget, and junior days. Michael was always known for his offensive production as he tallied 134 points in his bantam aged playing days. Michael was skilled enough to play only one year with the Midget ‘AAA’ club before getting drafted into the OHL.

Amadio spent four seasons with the Battalion, serving as Captain in his final year. Michael spoke to the students about how at a young age he never gave up the opportunity to have a hockey stick in his hand. Growing up in a hockey family, he was always either on the rink, in the basement, or on the street shooting pucks and learning new moves; mastering the skills needed in the game. The Sault native now has over 80 NHL games under his belt with the Kings, and is looking forward to next season.

“I was so excited to have the opportunity to meet Colin and Michael! They are from the Sault and I loved how they were able to share their stories about their journey in hockey and what it takes to make the NHL,” expressed Nick Dearing, Gr. 5/6 student.

HSCDSB Hockey Canada Skills Academy is proudly based out of St. Mary’s College and St. Basil Catholic Elementary School. In accordance with Hockey Canada this innovative program is designed to enhance a student-athlete’s confidence, individual playing skills, self-esteem and opportunities in both academics and athletics.