After a season-long watch, discussion, ranking and reporting, we are very honoured to announce our three worthy winners: Justin Almeida in B.C., Jaret Anderson-Dolan in Alberta, and Brandon Saigeon in Ontario.
These three exceptional hockey players play in North Vancouver, Calgary and Hamilton, and they all bring different strengths to their teams, but the one thing that made them stand out above all others is their character. All the finalists in all three regions were top notch hockey players and good people. Our selection team had many discussions and debates when it got down to finally judging. In fact, it took longer than ever to come to a decision due to the need to talk to people on the players’ teams and those who know these guys the best to help make the right call.
As many of you know, HockeyNow has named a Minor Hockey Player of the year in B.C. since 2000. The list of winners include Stanley Cup winners, Memorial Cup winners, provincial champions, NCAA scholarship winners, first round NHL picks and beyond. It’s an impressive list. One of the common threads of all the winners has always been character.
Over two years, we worked towards enhancing and improving the selection process. We created a selection team of world class people and scouts that know hockey players and can analyze character and what a good hockey person is. We endeavoured to make the process transparent and very in depth. Launching the award in Alberta and Ontario and adding Dave Babych as our Chair as well as Dennis MacInnis and his team at ISS have been an incredible part of the evolution of the Minor Hockey Player of the Year award. A huge thank you to the whole selection team. And of course, congratulations to all the finalists and the three winners.
It will be fun to watch these three men progress in their hockey careers over the coming years. Make sure you check in regularly to our events page at hockeynow.ca, we will be updating it with news on our winners and in September we will begin the process of selecting next year’s winners.
We hope you enjoy our first print instalment of HockeyNow: Crave. We know that the vast majority of our print and online readers are hockey players or family members of players and we all buy gear.
Rather than create another product guide that is full of tech specs and interviews with product managers—not that stuff like that isn’t neat for hockey dorks like me—we wanted to have first person experiential takes on gear.
After this issue, we will continue to get reviews and tips from players—including men’s league, prospects, pros and formers pros—about their favourite equipment, why they choose it and how it helps them play great hockey. No matter what level of hockey we play, we all need equipment that works for us and is comfortable to use.
Last month, we at HockeyNow tested out some Bauer sticks, skates and gloves for an online HockeyNow: Crave feature. It was a lot of fun trying out the latest and greatest and then giving our take on why we liked certain pieces and why it helped our “game” (low division men’s hockey!).
We hope you enjoy the section in print and online (hockeynow.ca/hockeynow-crave), which will be regularly updated. Let us know what you think and if you have some gear that you Crave, contact us and we can tell the hockey world.
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