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USA Hockey named the first selection for the Brendan Burke Internship program, to honor the gay son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, who was killed in a car accident in February.
Cole Burkhalter played hockey throughout his childhood but had to stop at the age of 17 because of a rare form of cancer found in his knees, according to Outsports. He has since interned for the Canisius College hockey team while working on his master's degree and has coached at a prep school in Buffalo, N.Y.
"He is a young man of high character and strong work ethic," Brendan's older brother Patrick Burke said in a statement. "The praise from his past employers was universally and overwhelmingly positive. We believe he has a bright future in hockey, and, more importantly, is a good person who will carry on Brendan's legacy of kindness, honesty, and inclusion. We are confident he will be a strong representative for USA Hockey both in and out of hockey arenas."
Brendan Burke was a student at Miami University of Ohio, where he also was hockey operations assistant for the men's team. The internship is for others who want to pursue a career in hockey operations.