Rick Nieuwendyk was born in Ajax and educated at St. John the Evangelist Public School, Dennis O’Connor High School, and at the University of Toronto. He also received a certificate from the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario.
As a defenseman for the 1980 Whitby CBC Builders Minto Cup Champions, Rick was the recipient of the Glenn Sheffield Memorial Award. In 1981, while serving as captain of the team, he was voted Best All-Around Player.
Rick also coached boys and girls hockey and was presented with a Coach of the Year Award by the Burlington Hockey Association. Additionally, Rick acted as a Convener, Timekeeper and Organizer for the Oshawa Panthers girls’ hockey team (ages 15-20 years).