It may not be quite as big a deal as winning a gold medal for Team Canada, but it’s a big deal nonetheless.
The Barrhaven Independent has named Brandt Clarke its 2022 Glen Dicks Person of the Year. The Barrhaven Independent has named a person of the year in the community for the past 18 years, though not during the COVID pandemic.
The honour is given to a person in Barrhaven who has either made a difference in the community or has been an inspiration to others in the community. The Independent renamed the honour after former advertising manager Glen Dicks, a heart-and-soul member of the Barrhaven community who passed away in 2009.
“We chose Brandt to be our person of the year a month ago, but we wanted to wait until after the World Junior Hockey Championships to make the announcement,” said Barrhaven Independent owner Jeff Morris.
“Over the years we talked to him a couple times, and also his older brother Graeme, who plays in the New Jersey Devils organization,” Morris said. “They get it. They understand how much it means to the kids in the community to be able to look up to someone who has worn the same jerseys and skated in the same rinks as they did not that long ago.
“Brandt Clarke put this community on his back and took us all for a wonderful ride. Obviously, every kid loves Connor Bedard, but Brandt Clarke has inspired every boy and girl in Barrhaven who plays hockey.”
In the gold medal game, Clarke forced a turnover in overtime and got an assist on Shane Wright’s golden goal. He finished the tournament with two goals and six assists for eight points in seven games, leading all Canadian defencemen in scoring.
Clarke was back home after the tournament and showed off his gold medal. Clarke has always been a big fan of the World Junior Tournament. He went to games with his parents and cheered on Team Canada. He knows that kids who were just like him are cheering on Team Canada now.
“In the moment when the building was going crazy, nothing felt real,” Clarke told CTV Ottawa’s Jackie Perez. “It’s starting to feel real getting to show off the medal.
“Just to be a guy people look up to with my signature, it’s kind of crazy a cool moment,” added Clarke.
After nine games with the Kings, Clarke had two assists in nine games. He put up remarkable offensive numbers for a defenceman in Barrie last year with 59 points in 55 games.
Last summer, Clarke’s objective was to make the Kings out of camp. He did well and had a good pre-season, and he appeared in eight of the team’s first nine games. The limit for NHL rookies to play without burning a year of their contract is nine games.
As expected, after the tournament, the Kings sent Clarke back to the Colts.
Clarke will be a defenceman in the NHL, but his focus right now is to help Barrie win an OHL championship and get to the Memorial Cup.
And who knows how many more young players in Barrhaven and across Canada he will inspire.
Feature Image: Daniel St. Louis, Hockey Canada Images