The Nashville Predators introduce the fourth season of a program to recognize players and volunteers in the Nashville area who demonstrate character skills that make youth hockey a better experience for all involved. The Nashville Predators will recognize a Youth Hockey Player of the Month and a Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month each month during the 2008-09 regular hockey season.
During a ceremony held prior to the Nashville Predators January 17 home game against the Atlanta Thrashers, the Predators organization announced that Mitchell Mielnik and Jeff Bean were named Youth Hockey Player and Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month, respectively, for January. Mielnik and Bean were presented with a plaque recognizing their efforts on behalf of the Predators during the ceremony. The two were nominated and selected as part of a Predators hockey development initiative that will regularly recognize a player and volunteer in the Nashville area.
Mielnik, January’s Player of the Month, is nine years old, and plays defense for the Nashville Youth Hockey League (NYHL) Squirt Flames team which plays at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville. A big fan of the Nashville Predators, Mielnik began playing inline hockey at the age of six, with the goal to one day play ice hockey. Three seasons ago, Mielnik made the transition to ice hockey and hasn’t looked back since.
This Andrew Jackson Elementary fourth-grade student has a great attitude both on and off the ice. A dedicated teammate, Mielnik will volunteer to play for whatever position his team needs. Moreover, he does this with a smile on his face and tries his best. Most Preds games you can find him and his family cheering for the hometown team. Mielnik’s positive attitude is the reason the Nashville Predators have recognized Mitchell Mielnik as January’s Youth Hockey Player of the month.
The Nashville Predators are also proud to have named Jeff Bean as the January Youth Hockey Volunteer. Bean is a coach for the NYHL Squirt Flames team that plays at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville.
Bean’s involvement with hockey is not just at the youth level as he also plays recreationally on a men’s league in Nashville. It was playing with this team that he found out about volunteer opportunities with the youth teams at the NYHL. Bean is currently in his fourth season coaching youth hockey.
“Jeff’s love for hockey and his willingness to share that passion with his players is to be commended,” Bean’s fellow NYHL coach Mike Olin said.
Bean inspires his players through his positive attitude and respect. His love for the game and desire to teach is why the Nashville Predators have recognized him as January’s Youth Hockey Volunteer of the month.
For more information on the Predators hockey recognition program, or to nominate a player, volunteer or team making a difference in a youth hockey community, visit Predators Hockey Recognition and nominate someone today.