Ten years after the tragic passing of Nick Crosby, the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) with the support of the Crosby family, have announced that the U18 Prep Division Top Scholastic Athlete award has been re-named to the Nick Crosby Top Scholastic Athlete Award.
“Nick was the first ever winner of the award and years later still exemplifies what the CSSHL envisions our student-athletes to strive for today. As an academic based hockey league, it is our goal to have all of our student-athletes reach their academic potential and character growth as Nick did,” said CSSHL Chief Operating Officer Kevin Goodwin.
Originally from Ketchum, Idaho, Crosby spent the inaugural 2009/10 CSSHL season as the captain of Banff Hockey Academy. He recorded 4 points in the 11 CSSHL games that were part of his 70 plus game grade 12 season.
That season Crosby was the very first winner of the CSSHL’s Student Athlete of the Year award while receiving the Banff Hockey Academy Most Valuable Player and Student Athlete of the Year awards.
“For me Nick embodied what the league was all about, or at least what we were trying to do with the league,” said former Banff Hockey Academy President Bill Doherty. “Kids that were hard working, loved the sport, loved the academic piece and were committed to both. And Nick was all of that.”
On top of his hockey related honours in 2009/10, Crosby was admitted into the Banff Community High School Lifetime Honors Society and was awarded the Banff Academy Prize for Physical Education.
“Nick was just one of those guys where when you’re around him, it was fun. It was light, there was a bounce in the air,” added Doherty, who mentioned the two spent time together in Japan running hockey camps.
Following his successful season with Banff Hockey Academy Crosby joined the Brooks Bandits in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). “He was on his way to play college hockey for sure, which was his goal,” said Doherty.
However, Crosby’s goal to play college hockey was something he was unable to achieve as Crosby passed away after being involved in a motor vehicle accident on July 5, 2011.
“When I went to his funeral in Ketchum, Idaho, the whole community was out. It was held in his high school gym and it was packed and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. It was emotional but it was also impressive just the impact that young man had on people,” said Doherty.
The impact Crosby has on the Ketchum community continues to this day as The Sun Valley Community School awards the Nick Crosby Athlete of the Year award each year.
Following his death Banff Hockey Academy renamed their Student Athlete of the Year Award to the Nick Crosby Student Athlete of the Year Award in 2012. Crosby has had his number retired by the Bandits, who have since created a Nick Crosby Memorial Award, which is presented to a Bandits player exemplifying Nick’s assets of determination, teamwork, loyalty and passion.
The original suggestion to honour Nick Crosby with this award came from former CSSHL Director, Media and Communications Tyson Giuriato, who passed away in 2020 before the award could officially be re-named in Crosby’s honour. “All of the leadership qualities I mentioned with Nick, Tyson displayed so many of them as well,” added Doherty.
“I think the question you might ask is do we acknowledge these people for what they’ve done if there wasn’t the tragedy and for me, for both of them, the answer is yes. They’re both incredible guys.”