KITCHENER -- A Waterloo Region student received recognition from an NHL star for his project featuring the player during Black History Month.

P.K. Subban, a defenceman for the New Jersey Devils, said he was flattered when he found out Noah Janzen, a Grade 6 student at Lexington Public School in Waterloo, chose to highlight his journey in his assignment.

Janzen got a personal thank you from the NHLer during an interview with CTV Kitchener on Wednesday.

"It was so cool," the boy said said. "I told some of my friends, too, and they thought it was amazing that a very famous NHL player would actually respond."

Janzen's project was a hand-drawn poster highlighting Subban.

"Even though he probably had some struggle getting to the NHL, he still stuck with it and made it here," Janzen said.

Janzen's teacher, Jenny Brooks, tweeted the photo and it caught Subban's eye.

"I think it's incredibly exciting and also incredibly powerful," said Brooks, who teaches Grade 5 and 6 at Lexington Public School.

Janzen described Subban as a role model, adding he's resilient, caring, hard-working and generous.

"I've always been one to kind of show the next generation, the people that look up to me, being a role model, and showing them it's not always easy, but you have to remain positive," Subban said.

Janzen's dad, Ben, said it was a wonderful opportunity to show how much the Black community matters to his son, along with his family and the whole school.

"I want to congratulate you on doing something that's going to send a solid message to a lot of people and a lot of kids out there," Subban said.