Mikyla Grant-Mentis: The Next Big Name in Toronto Sports
Posted on January 24, 2022
Image Credit: @TheTorontoSix/Twitter
This past December, Forbes released their 30 under 30 for North American sports. This included some of the biggest names in the industry, and in the past has featured some of the biggest names in sports. This year it featured PHF (Premier Hockey Federation) superstar for the Toronto Six, Mikyla Grant-Mentis. The 23-year-old Brampton native is the reigning PHF MVP and has continued to tear up the league to the tune of 23 points in 13 games, 10 points ahead of the next highest scorer. I was lucky enough to interview her recently and got some great insight into what it’s like being one of Toronto’s premier athletes.
Generally, when you’re an elite athlete like Mikyla, you tend to expect to be recognized on lists like the Forbes 30 under 30, but that wasn’t necessarily the case for her. “It’s honestly kind of crazy” is what she had to say about being named to the list. She said she was thinking “Like why am I there with some people” in reference to NBA superstar, Devin Booker and the other stars on the list. While she is certainly on the level of athletes like Booker, it makes sense that this sort of recognition could be surprising. The PHF is still a young and growing league that doesn’t get much attention compared to many other pro sports leagues. In fact, most players still have to work other jobs on the side, while still playing hockey. For Mikyla she is both a midget hockey coach and a FedEx driver, the latter of which might seem tedious compared to playing pro hockey, but she doesn’t see it that way. She said “Honestly it’s so fun, I love driving.” and that she can relax and listen to music the whole time. Still, though this isn’t necessarily the glamorous lifestyle that a lot of athletes seem to live. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t those moments though. When her team entered the PHF bubble last season, they were given all sorts of things from sponsors of the league, including a Canada Goose jacket, which stood out to Mikyla as the moment where she realized that she really made it.
One thing that makes Mikyla stand out among other Toronto athletes like Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Auston Matthews or Pascal Siakam is that she’s from the GTA. After starting her pro career in Buffalo, she came to Toronto to play for the Six, and she says that being from Brampton played a major role in that decision. She said the Six’s season opener this season had the most family she had ever seen at any of her games, and it’s not just her family who she feels support from. When asked what it would mean to bring a championship to Toronto she said “It would be amazing. I feel like no matter what team Toronto has, they will support it.”. She clearly loves Toronto and it’s encouraging to know that the face of the franchise knows how much winning, especially on the ice, would mean to the city.
As the reigning MVP, it’s probably easy to become arrogant and to try and carry the team by yourself, but Mikyla hasn’t let that happen. As good as she knows she is, she credits the team for a lot of her success, not herself being responsible for the team’s success. It’s hard to imagine a better person to be the face of Canada’s only PHF than her, and she recognizes just how important she can be in shaping the future of professional women’s hockey. She’s fully embraced that role and as she continues to dominate the competition, she continues to show why she’s one of Toronto’s premier athletes.