Mark DeMontis is the recipient of the 2024 Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award in Canada, presented by Hyundai, given to an individual who through the sport of hockey has positively impacted their community, culture or society.

The winner was decided through public voting, and votes from O'Ree, NHL executives and Hyundai executives.

DeMontis is founder of Canadian Blind Hockey and a member of the Canadian National Blind Hockey team. The 37-year-old has volunteered countless hours to raising awareness and supporting the game for those who are blind or visually impaired. His energy and commitment have opened the door to thousands of blind and partially sighted children who thought they'd never experience hockey.

One focus has been broadening a recreational base that might eventually bring blind hockey to the Paralympic Games and create a world championship.

“The most gratifying thing has been seeing the impact, first-hand, especially with youngsters and their families," DeMontis said. "It's always been a goal of mine to show blind or partially sighted youth across the country, and around the world for that matter, that blind hockey not only existed, but that they could participate despite their disability."

For the second time, the NHL is presenting the Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award to one winner in the United States and one in Canada. The United States recipient, presented by Discover, will be announced June 28, when the first round of the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be held at Sphere in Las Vegas (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

Five awards will be handed out during the NHL Awards at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas on June 27 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN).

The remaining schedule of announcements, which is subject to change, is as follows:

Thursday, June 27: Calder Memorial Trophy

“To the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.”

Finalists: Connor Bedard, CHI; Brock Faber, MIN; Luke Hughes, NJD

Thursday, June 27: Hart Memorial Trophy

“To the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”

Finalists: Nikita Kucherov, TBL; Nathan MacKinnon, COL; Connor McDavid, EDM

Thursday, June 27: James Norris Memorial Trophy

“To the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

Finalists: Quinn Hughes, VAN; Roman Josi, NSH; Cale Makar, COL

Thursday, June 27: Ted Lindsay Award

“To the most outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.”

Finalists: Nikita Kucherov, TBL; Nathan MacKinnon, COL; Auston Matthews, TOR

Thursday, June 27: Vezina Trophy

“To the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position.”

Finalists: Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA; Thatcher Demko, VAN; Connor Hellebuyck, WPG

Friday, June 28: Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award presented by Discover (U.S.)

"To an individual who – through the game of hockey – has positively impacted his or her community, culture or society."

Finalists: Jerry DeVaul (Colorado Springs, Colo.); Kelsey McGuire (Philadelphia, Pa.); Estela Rivas-Bryant (El Segundo, Calif.)

Friday, June 28: E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence

“To the NHL Draft prospect who best exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism."

Click here to access the 2024 NHL Awards Information Guide, which features details on this season’s finalists as well as all-time voting histories and winners for each NHL Trophy. columnist Dave Stubbs contributed to this report

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