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Calgary Flames prospect Hunter Brzustewicz wins OHL's 'best teammate' award

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A Calgary Flames prospect has won an award for his leadership on and off the ice.

Defenceman Hunter Brzustewicz, who played the 2023-24 season with the Kitchener Rangers, was awarded the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Ted Baker Teammate of the Year Award.

“The annual honour is presented to the player deemed the best teammate based off selfless play, on and off-ice leadership as a mentor and role model to other players, as well as a commitment and dedication to his team,” the OHL said in a news release.

This is the first time the award has been handed out, named after former OHL vice president Ted Baker who worked with the league for 35 years.

"First of all, I would like to thank the OHL and the Kitchener Rangers for making this possible," Brzustewicz said in a news release.

"I would also like to thank my teammates for making it so easy to come to the rink every day, to work hard and have fun. All I’ve wanted to do since I’ve been here is give it my all to be the best teammate and player I can be. The coaches gave me the guidance to make all that possible.”

The Flames acquired Brzustewicz through a mid-season trade that sent forward Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks. He was originally drafted by Vancouver in the third round of the 2023 NHL Draft.

The league said Brzustewicz persevered through challenges “both on the ice and in life” last year while maintaining a “positive, team-first attitude.”

"I believe everything happens for a reason," he said. "No matter what, always make the best out of the opportunities you get.”

The American defenceman recorded 13 goals and 92 points in the OHL last season, setting a single-season franchise record with his league-leading 79 assists.

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