MARLBORO, MA - The Junior Bruins banquet is around the corner and for the first time the B's will hand out a new piece of hardware. We are proud to announce the Greg M. Mauldin Award that will be given annually to the player in the Bruins program who best typifies what a Junior Bruin represents: Excellence, Leadership, Pride, Loyalty and Work Ethic.
The award is named after one of the Bruins greats-Greg Mauldin. Mauldin, who is currently playing in Switzerland for Fribourg-Gotteron in the Swiss A League, grew up in Holliston, MA and played his youth hockey for the Minuteman Flames. Despite being a local player, the B's had yet to organize summer teams at the youth level, and did not know who he was till he showed up at our open tryouts in 2000.
He showed up after being cut from the Walpole Stars (EJHL) and Greg earned a position on our Midget team (Little Bruins) after a great try-out. Greg made quick work of the Midget league and led the team in scoring. He was then bumped up to our EJHL team. His development and his star continued to soar. He ended up as a leading scorer and top player on the team ad in the league despite being cut by another team in the league and starting the season with the midget team.
He then went on to capture a boatload of awards during the 2000-01 season. He was team captain, leading scorer, league all-star and league MVP to name a few. Greg was one of the most sought after recruits in the east during the summer of 2000. It was during that time that Greg accepted a full scholarship to U-Mass Amherst.
When he was offered a spot in our program, his father, the late Richard Mauldin, had just a few words to share.
“Looking back now it is refreshing to remember what a great attitude Mr.Mauldin had and we wish we saw more of that. He knew nothing would be given to Greg and that he was grateful for the opportunity and anything that Greg accomplished in his hockey career would be earned. If he came up short and didn't reach some of his goals, he wouldn't blame coaches, line mates or anyone else. Mr. Mauldin, along with his wife, did a great job with Greg and a big reason that Greg is as successful as he is, is because he had great parents who instilled in him a work ethic that is second to none.”
That work ethic was evident early on. When he started to have success on the big stage his commitment to excellence and that work ethic grew. He took a job at NESC so that he would have access to the rink whenever he wanted and he would work the early and late shifts so that, if there were an empty sheet of ice, he would jump on ice and shoot thousands of pucks. He put a small mattress in one of the locker rooms in the summer and would at times spend the night sleeping at the rink so he could wake up early, throw his skates on and get an on ice workout in before the rinks were rented and filled.
Greg was a talented player, but, through his work ethic, drive and determination was able to lift his game to a level that was above his God given talent. He is an example that hockey players are not born great. There were hundreds, thousands even, of players who had more talent than he but never got close to the level that Greg did because he “wanted it” more.
While he was at U-Mass, they had their best seasons since joining Hockey East. His play at the college level earned him a professional contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets and he made his NHL debut in the spring of 2004. He has played at the NHL level with the aforementioned Blue Jackets, New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche. His play this season in Europe earned him a spot at the prestigious Spengler Cup. Greg's leadership was evident as a teenager while playing for our Little Bruins and EJHL team. He led by example, played the game the “right way” and always put the team first. He took pride in being a Junior Bruin and in the decade plus that he has been a pro he has come back to spend time coaching our summer tournament teams and working at our camps.
“Greg has made a lot of money as a pro and he obviously doesn't need the money he makes while coaching one of our summer teams for a weekend or at a camp of ours,” Chris Masters commented. “Yet, anytime we call and ask him to help out, he is always there for us. I don't know if the kids he coaches know how lucky they are to have Greg with them, even if it is just for a weekend or at a camp.”
“Greg is one of the players we talk about to players even today. His is a great story and if more had the commitment to excellence, leadership, pride, loyalty and work ethic that he did, more would reach their hockey goals. He is a great player, one of the best to ever wear and Junior Bruins jersey, and is a remarkable person. We are thrilled to be able to honor him with an award that we feel is the highest honor we can bestow upon a player in our program each year,” Peter Masters follows up.
The inaugural recipient of the Greg M. Mauldin Award will be announced at the 2013 Junior Bruins banquet on Monday, March 11th. We will also recognize the recipient of the 2012 Thomas C. Federico Memorial Award at the banquet in addition to the award winners from each of our teams from this past season.