Keep working and keep working hard. That’s how Merritt Centennials defenceman Josh Teves put himself in the position to win the RBC National Junior A
"That motto is how I got to where I am and what I live by. I'm very honoured to receive this scholarship. It is a really big blessing to have both the
monetary award and to be acknowledged for it," said Teves, who will receive $5,000. "I wasn't expecting it. It gives me a great sense of pride that all the
hard work I did is paying off both academically and on the ice."
Teves, a Calgary, Alta., native, will be a freshman at Princeton University next season, enrolling in the mechanical engineering program while patrolling
the blue-line for the Tigers.
The RBC National Junior A Scholarship program is designed to provide an opportunity for players to apply for a scholarship based on their academic
accomplishments and community services. Teves was selected among 10 candidates – one from each Canadian Junior Hockey League member league – shortlisted
for the award.
As a self-proclaimed late bloomer on the ice, Teves has built an incredible story of getting to the point of being courted with several post-secondary
opportunities for both his work in the classroom and on the ice.
"I went to a really academic-focused school in Calgary and it wasn't until later in life that I got into more competitive hockey. I was cut from teams
plenty of times, which made me just push that much harder to play at that high level," said Teves. "It was a whirlwind couple of years for me. I set goals
that for a long time I thought I might never reach but I kept working hard and now I am accomplishing them. It is so exciting looking forward and to think
about what is in store for my future."
Teves joined the Fernie Ghostriders in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, a B.C. Junior B loop, for the 2013-14 season and was picked up by
the Centennials this year. He was a key player on the blue-line as one of Merritt’s top point-producing defencemen, picking up 33 points in 57 regular
"This award wouldn't be possible without the coaches I had in Merritt. They helped me so much and gave me a shot that made me grow both on and off the ice
as a person and I owe them a lot of thanks. I also owe a lot to the team academic councillor and my billets Jill and Steve Rose," he said. "Then of course,
my family. They taught me so much and are the reason I am where I am today. I am just so thankful for everyone who has helped me in my life."
For Teves, balancing academics and hockey is a matter of remaining focused. Hockey is always the reward and the stress relief from exercising his brain in
the classroom or from studying. Teves said he has become better at time-management because of it.
Centennials head coach Luke Pierce said Teves is "an outstanding young man" that played a significant role in leading their club. According to the coach,
Teves’ maturity and leadership created a culture of respect and admiration amongst the community and his performance on the ice also provided an example
for all players.
"Although Josh boasts many talents as a hockey player, it is his work ethic and determination that set him apart. He will be a very difficult asset to
replace in Merritt, not only on the ice but in our dressing room and in our community. I feel fortunate to have worked with him over this past season,"
said Pierce in a letter of reference for Teves’ application.
It is the first time a player from the Centennials has won the $5,000 national scholarship.
"Josh is the type of person that has not had the easy route which makes him a very intriguing young man. The dedication he put into his studies is similar
to what he puts into the game. I couldn't think of a more deserving guy to win this," said Pierce. "It is such a neat story because he hasn't always been
the top recruit or the best prospect. He is a late-bloomer and nothing has been easy for him. He had to take the back roads to get to where he is and at
the end of the day he reached the level he always wanted."
While proving himself on the ice and in the classroom, Teves also takes the time to give back to others. His long list of volunteer efforts include reading
with elementary school students, working at food drives, assisting people with special needs and an international trip to Belize to restore a jaguar
sanctuary at a national park in the heart of the jungle.
The philanthropic work goes hand-in-hand with his aspirations to become an engineer when his hockey career ends.
"I want to make life easier for people through innovations on things that make everyday things simpler. I think volunteering and working with people with
challenges has definitely opened my horizons and shown me different perspectives on life that may have contributed to those aspirations," said Teves.
Through the years, RBC National Junior A Scholarship winners have earned degrees from some of the most prestigious universities in North America, becoming
tremendous ambassadors for their teams, their leagues and the Canadian Junior Hockey League.