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Sting captain Nolan Dillingham awarded Mickey Renaud Trophy

Journal staff Sarnia Sting Captain Nolan Dillingham made history this week becoming the franchise's first player to earn the Mickey Renaud Captain's Trophy.
Sarnia Sting Captain Nolan Dillingham. (Sarnia Sting photo)

Journal staff

Sarnia Sting Captain Nolan Dillingham made history this week becoming the franchise's first player to earn the Mickey Renaud Captain's Trophy.

The award, named in honour of the Windsor Spitfires captain who died in February 2008, is given to one OHL captain every year, who “best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, with a passion and dedication to the game of hockey and his community.”

"Receiving the Mickey Renaud Captain's Trophy is an amazing honour,” said Dillingham, who recently completed his fifth season with the Sting.

"This season may have fallen short of the championship we all wanted, but the culture, environment and expectations we set are a big source of pride and hopefully something that will carry-on in Sarnia for years to come."

The overage defenceman was also the unanimous winner of the Sting's "Player's Choice" Award for the past season, noted by his teammates as the player who best exemplifies the Sting's organizational core values.

He served prominently in the Sting's School Breakfast program, serving students at local elementary schools and was also a leader of the Sting's "Sting Serve You" Dinner program in cooperation with local partner Boston Pizza.

A captain throughout his minor hockey career with the Mississauga Rebels AAA program, Dillingham was named Sting captain in January 2022.

“The 6-foot-1, 200Ib blueliner has been the leading force of a cultural shift within the Sting organization as he exhibits excellence, inclusion and professionalism daily,” a news release noted. “Dillingham's presence, work ethic and genuine care for every person he comes across are some of his leading qualities.

He has also maintained a relationship with the son of one of his former high school teachers who passed away two years ago, ensuring the child, who is a hockey fan, has a continued connection to the game. Dillingham has delivered signed memorabilia from Sting players and spent time with the young fan while home during the season and throughout the off-season.”

"Nolan is a player and a person who fully embodies our organizational core values," said Sting General Manager Dylan Seca.

"He signifies the same character and leadership of Mickey Renaud. He is a great teammate and someone who always found time to support his teammates and those in need in our community. As a captain, he helped shift our culture and has been the heart and soul of our group for the past two seasons. Nolan has left a legacy and a standard for all future players who wear the Sting crest. We are proud of his accomplishments, it’s a special moment for him, his family, and the entire Sting organization."

The 20-year-old Mississauga notice overcame an early-season injury to record career-highs with 14 points (6-8–14) over 45 games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-11 as Sarnia collected 41 wins and 91 points. He added six points (3-3--6) in 12 playoff contests, helping the Sting reach the Western Conference Championship Series for the first time in their 28-year history. He was also recognized in the OHL Coaches Poll as the best body checker in the Western Conference.

The Sting selected Dillingham in the fourth round (68th overall) of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection as he went on to record 32 points (9-23--32) over 147 career regular season games in black and yellow.

Nomination forms are submitted annually by OHL General Managers on behalf of their individual team captains. The selection committee consists of a panel of four, representing media from each OHL division.

Dillingham will be formally presented with the Mickey Renaud Captain's Trophy at the OHL’s Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 14 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. For a complete list of award winners, click here.

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