By Matt Dunn, Contributing Writer
Region – Local Massachusetts resident and former NHL player Jeff Serowik has transitioned from his role as top-scoring defenseman to coach, foundation director, and mentor.
From 1990-1999, Serowik played with the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as stints in the American Hockey League and International Hockey League, before a career ending head injury. After retiring, Serowik founded and became the director of the Pro Ambitions hockey camp. Along with his wife, Christine, he also founded the Sports Saves Souls foundation. The foundation is aimed to help children who face financial or physical difficulties and provides various forms of support to allow them to continue to get on the ice and play hockey.
“We’re mentors,” said Serowik. “We spend a lot of time training [our staff] and making sure the kids are getting good mentorship.”
A native of Bedford, N.H., Serowik attended Lawrence Academy during his high school years and quickly became a standout hockey player. Continuing to build momentum in his hockey career, Serowik received a scholarship to play at Providence College after his time at Lawrence Academy.
Cementing himself as a top player in the region during his time at Providence College, Serowik quickly found himself drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs and playing on the team’s minor league team north of the border at the conclusion of his college career.
Serowik’s 10-year professional hockey career took him from the Toronto Maple Leafs back home to the Boston Bruins, where he played on the Bruins’ minor league AHL team, the Providence Bruins. While there, he not only won the Eddie Shore award for best defenseman, he was also the AHL’s top scoring defenseman. Shortly after his successful stint with the Bruins, Serowik signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins where he made the NHL team in his first season.
Serowik’s career then came to a screeching halt.
“Things were going really well, and then I had a career ending head injury,” said Serowik, recalling the incident that cut his NHL career short. “I was sick for about two years after.”
After recovering from his injuries, Serowik refocused his efforts on growing the game he loves and helping children both become and remain active participants in the sport. He worked to develop his Pro Ambition hockey summer camps and the Sports Save Souls foundation.
Serowik’s Pro Ambition hockey camps are a popular option amongst young players, which has helped him grow his influence and mentorship in the game.
“I’m going on 25 years with Pro Ambitions now. We do camps all over the world – in Canada, the U.S., and Prague in the Czech Republic,” he said. “We train about 7,000 hockey players through our camps.”
Acutely aware of the high cost to play the game of hockey, Serowik wanted to find a way to help children who may face difficult circumstances at home or have families that may be struggling financially. The Sports Saves Souls foundation was formed shortly thereafter.
“We’ve been doing the foundation for about 15 years now, we raise money for under-privileged hockey players. It’s an expensive sport. We can never raise enough money, there are so many kids that need it,” Serowik said.
The foundation, which provides assistance with everything from purchasing equipment for young players, paying league fees, and even scholarships to hockey camp, can help children stay involved in the game despite difficult circumstances.
Jeff Serowik’s professional hockey career may have ended years ago, but his passion for the game and the future generation of players is stronger than ever, proving he is an award-winning hockey player both on and off the ice.