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Heard making a difference in the community

March 2, 2023

Mitchell Heard is known as an impact player. The hard-working forward is the newest member of the Belleville Senators, and the organization is more than happy to have him on board. Recognized mainly for his high-energy style of play, Heard might have as much of an influence on the community with his charitable work.

The native of Bowmanville, Ontario, is pleased with his well-deserved promotion to the American Hockey League after collecting 43 points (16 goals and 27 assists) and a plus-14 rating in 45 appearances this season with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. He is already focusing on how he can help make a difference in the Bay of Quinte Region after signing a professional tryout offer with the Senators on February 23. 

“It’s been a long time coming for me to get back to where I need to be. I’m excited to be here, and being a local is another advantage,” Heard said. “It will be nice to get involved with the community. I like giving back. That means a lot to me. So we’ll see how long and the impact I can make here, and hopefully, we can do something in the future.”

The 30-year-old centreman launched the Heard that we can Help Foundation earlier this month in Ohio, a non-profit that helps provide opportunities for kids to experience hockey and get involved with the community. This is especially important for youth that might not have a chance to enjoy the physical fitness and camaraderie that comes with playing sports in an organized setting otherwise. 

Heard That We Help Foundation

“I think the fact of just how expensive the game is today, and we want to give back to kids in need that can’t afford to play. We’re starting with fees and equipment. Our goal is to build a local community rink in Toledo. We started with that, and I think for me, it’s just giving back and just being fortunate enough to play this game as long as I have. I know how much goes into it. I think giving back in any way goes a long way, especially for the kids. As they grow older, they’ll be able to see the impact it makes as well.” 

Heard isn’t taking his latest opportunity in the AHL for granted after spending the last four seasons split between the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (in Germany) and ECHL.

“No matter where you are, you always want to move up, and you always want to be better. I’m going to treat each day like it’s my last and earn every opportunity I can.”

“I think keeping the right mindset and staying positive by doing what you do best and not trying to be someone you’re not. Just be yourself, have fun, and good things will happen. You never know when you’re going to be back here. You never know when you’re going to be gone. So cherish each moment. I think as when I was younger, I think I took that for granted, and now I’m growing up and realizing a lot goes into it, and I’m ready.”

While embracing his latest role in the Friendly City, Heard is always looking for ways to benefit others. The Senators’ latest addition already demonstrates the organizational values of commitment and excellence in the community.