This time of year is a busy one, with playoff preparation, planning spring tryouts and lots of travel. In B.C., it’s also a busy time for the BC Hockey Hall of Fame, who recently announced the 2015 inductees and are ramping up for the induction ceremony this summer.
HockeyNow has had the huge privilege of being part of the event since 2000. BC Hockey Hall of Fame founder Scott Carter deserves a big acknowledgement here. In the fall of 1999, after just a few months of us being in publication, he reached out and asked if we would like to put together an award for the top minor hockey player of the year in B.C., to be presented at the induction ceremony every July in Penticton.
Since then, HockeyNow has been proud to give the award in conjunction with the Hall’s induction ceremony to future Stanley Cup champions, Memorial Cup champions, NCAA scholarship winners and a group of really solid citizens. The past winners are Colin Fraser, Tyler Burton, Brock Bradford, Gilbert Brule, Karl Alzner, Dustin Sylvester, Geordie Wudrick, Stefan Elliott, Kevin Sundher, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Griffin Reinhart, Morgan Rielly, Curtis Lazar, Joe Hicketts, Jansen Harkins, Mathew Barzal, Dante Fabbro and Justin Almeida. That is one impressive list. We are very excited to work towards picking the 2015 B.C. Minor Hockey Player of the Year. And for the second year, we will be presenting the award in Alberta and Ontario too.
As for BC Hockey Hall of Fame’s list, their 2015 induction class is a great one again this year. The inductees are Stanley Cup Champion Rob Niedermayer, former Vancouver Canucks Captain Markus Naslund, former Canuck and current NHL coach Curt Fraser, longtime BC Hockey coach and builder Cam Kerr, and the 1979 Team B.C. Canada Winter Games Champions.
Rob Niedermayer, born in Cassiar, B.C. and raised in Cranbrook, had a brilliant junior career with Medicine Hat, was drafted by Florida in 1993, played 17 seasons in the NHL, won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, was a member of Canada's gold medal winning team at the 2004 World Hockey Championships, and is now retired where it all started in Cranbrook.
Markus Naslund played 12 seasons in Vancouver and is the franchise leader in goals (346). "Nazzy" was the third Canuck to have his jersey retired, joining Stan Smyl and Trevor Linden. Naslund played 1,117 NHL games, recorded 869 points, was the Canucks MVP five times, and Captained the team for eight years.
Curt Fraser played his minor hockey at the North Shore Winter Club before embarking on a junior career with the BC Junior Kelowna Buckaroos and the WHL Victoria Cougars. He was selected 22nd overall in the 1978 NHL draft by the Vancouver Canucks, where he played for five seasons. He played 704 games in the NHL before retiring as a player and turning to coaching in the professional ranks, which he’s been doing for 22 seasons. He was the head coach for the NHL Atlanta franchise and is currently an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars.
Cam Kerr has been involved in BC Hockey for more than 40 years. He played with the WHL Saskatoon Blades and the UBC Thunderbirds before turning his career towards hockey development. Kerr was a founding member of the BC Hockey High Performance program, and has been a coach and instructor in minor hockey, international hockey, and national programs.
Team B.C., 1979 Canada Winter Games Champions, was comprised of 19 Junior B players selected throughout B.C. Team B.C. won six straight games at the Canada Winter Games in Brandon, Man., including a 6-0 win over Nova Scotia in the gold medal game. It was B.C.’s first-ever gold at the games.
For more information on the event, go to bchhf.com. All are welcome and we strongly encourage you to attend, it’s a top shelf event. You’ll get to see the above inductees AND the 2015 Minor Hockey Player of the Year.
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