It would be easy for anyone to succumb to pressure in Lawson Sherk's shoes as he prepares to play in the Memorial Cup semi-final.
But the Georgetown youth is keeping a cool head as he hits the ice tonight, playing against the Shawinigan Cataractes.
"I've had the amazing opportunity of playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs this year,” he said. “Getting the chance to both win an OHL championship and being able to attend the Memorial Cup has been a memory that will stick with me for life."
The homegrown talent played local minor hockey with the Halton Hills Hurricanes until the Hamilton Bulldogs drafted him in 2019.
Sherk and the Bulldogs were recently crowned the Ontario Hockey League Champions after defeating the Windsor Spitfires in seven games, earning them a spot as the OHL representative for the Memorial Cup.
Sherk is entering his second year of eligibility for the upcoming 2022 NHL draft, proving to scouts that he’s an integral part of Hamilton's success this playoff run. With outstanding two-way play at centre and leading the Bulldogs penalty kill unit, Sherk put up two goals and four assists during the Bulldogs' run to the Memorial Cup.
If Draft Day doesn't turn out as hoped, Sherk still has options at NHL rookie camp. Last season, he attended the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie camp in hopes of a spot in their team's system. With no contract offered, Sherk has shown that he learned from his experience and stepped him game up, achieving 12 goals and 23 assists during regular season play with the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Off the ice, Sherk makes an impact academically as well. Last year, he was the recipient of the 2020-21 Ivan Tennant Memorial Award, which is presented annually to the league's top academic high school player in the OHL. He achieved a 95.2 per cent average in six university-level courses.