Waterloo Region’s top athlete was recognized Tuesday night.

Hockey player Mark Scheifelewas named Athlete of the Year for 2016.

The Kitchener native currently plays for the Winnipeg Jets.

Scheifele's parents accepted the award on his behalf as he is currently in Europe representing Canada at the World Hockey Championship.

Eight athletes made the short-list of nominees earlier this year.

They included NBA star Jamal Murray, golfer and NHL referee Garrett Rank, lacrosse player Dhane Smith, and sledge hockey player Kevin Sorley.

Rounding out the list were Alyssa Lagonia who plays professional soccer in Switzerland, paralympic swimmer Alec Elliot and lawn bowler Darryl Fitzgerald.