Hockey player skilled on the ice & in his studies

“Personally I’m having a pretty good year.” Nolan Huysmans

Nolan Huysmans is having a good year in the Western Collegiate Hockey League. He recently won two awards for his schoolwork and hockey points.

Nolan Huysmans is having a good year in the Western Collegiate Hockey League. He recently won two awards for his schoolwork and hockey points.

One of Ponoka’s young athletes is making headlines in his sport and his schoolwork.

Hockey player Nolan Huysmans, 22, received the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s (WCHA) Offensive Player of the Week honours for making two goals and five assists in two games recently.

While being recognized for his efforts on the ice, Huysman’s studies off the ice at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks is putting awards on his resume. A 3.8 cumulative GPA from the spring and fall semester earned him a WCHA Scholar award at about the same time.

The Nanooks’ right-wing hockey player started when he was four in Ponoka and hard work has brought him to the highest level of the sport in university and college.

Huysmans is in his second year of business administration at the university and reaching the NHL is a possibility in his career. “It’s kind of what I’m hoping for. Obviously it would be a dream.”

The Nanooks are sitting right in the middle of their conference and nationally as well, so Huysmans feels the possibility of making it to nationals is a tough challenge.

But on a personal level he has already beaten last year’s record.

“Personally I’m having a pretty good year,” said Huysmans.

This season Huysmans scored seven goals and 13 assists in 29 games, compared to five and five last season, and the season isn’t over. Playoffs start in a few weeks.

“It’ll be tough. Each conference does their own playoffs…We need to win playoffs to earn a berth in the national tournament,” explained Huysmans.

He is finding a balance of school and hockey to earn him a high GPA but it’s a challenge. The Nanooks practice Monday to Thursday, then they play Friday and Saturday league games, usually on the road.

This is Huysmans second year with the Nanooks.