The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that the organization will partner with Blackhawks Television Analyst Eddie Olczyk and Blackhawks Charities for the third annual Eddie Olczyk Award, which supports youth hockey players, teams and organizations in Illinois that may not have the means to play at a competitive level.
Since its inception in 2011, the Eddie Olczyk Award has distributed over $55,000 in grants, raised through Blackhawks Youth Hockey Summer Camps, to 24 individuals and one organization. Individuals and families in need of assistance for participation in an Illinois sanctioned team or organization, sanctioned teams in need of assistance for tournament expenses and Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI) organizations in need of assistance to run programs which increase the participation in, and quality of, youth hockey who wish to be considered for the grant process must submit a letter of inquiry by Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. Complete information can be found on blackhawks.nhl.com/youthhockey.
“Having the opportunity to teach and assist the youth organizations and young hockey players in my hometown community is truly an honor,” said Olczyk. “The impressive growth of youth hockey in Illinois and remarkable success of both this great award and our youth hockey camps wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough, Jay Blunk and everyone with the Blackhawks organization.”
A 2012 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and native of Palos Heights, Ill., Olczyk is now in his eighth season as the television analyst for Blackhawks hockey on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV Channel 9. He also serves as the Head Instructor at Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Camps and is dedicated to the development and growth of youth hockey in Illinois.
A veteran of 16 National Hockey League seasons, Olczyk began his career as an 18-year-old with his hometown Blackhawks in 1984-85 after being chosen with the third overall selection of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. Olczyk recorded 77 goals and 209 points in 322 regular-season tilts over five seasons with Chicago (1984-87, 1998-2000) and tallied 13 points (7G, 6A) in 21 Stanley Cup Playoff tilts with the Blackhawks.
Over the course of 1,031 regular-season games he scored 342 goals and recorded 794 points with Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Winnipeg, the New York Rangers and Los Angeles, winning a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994, and was also a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. Olczyk also serves as the lead television analyst for NHL national broadcasts on NBC Sports Group.