With the hockey season underway, it’s time for HockeyNow to once again begin the search for our Player of the Year in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. The Player of the Year award has a rich history and was first given to Colin Fraser in 2000, who went on to win two Stanley Cups.
Other notable past award winners include 2011 NHL first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins; Karl Alzner, and Stefan Elliott, as well as 2015 Ontario winner Gabriel Vilardi, who is projected to go in the top 5 at the 2017 NHL Draft.
The award is presented annually to players in their CHL draft year from each B.C., Alberta and Ontario. Winners are chosen based on their hockey ability and performance, and they must exemplify strong leadership, sportsmanship, and school and community involvement.
The Player of the Year Selection Committee, headed by B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and Vancouver Canucks alum Dave Babych and International Scouting Services founder and head scout Dennis MacInnis, assembles preliminary lists of players, released each month.
Here are the lists for October.
Preliminary list - BC 2002s, October 2016
Sourdif, Justin [C]
Top prospect, Can do it all, skate, shoot, check, was dominating all weekend. Scored big goals in tournament and was a force. Total package and compete level is high.
Shepard, Cole [LW]
Quick, smart , fast and creates chances with speed, protects puck down low and takes puck to the net hard. Undersized but uses speed and quickness to elude defenders.
Thurston, Trevor [D]
Has bite to his game, hard to play against, plays vs top line every shift. Produces on the PP due to his good shot and passing ability, makes good out let passes.
Bowen, Ethan [C]
Strong skater with good speed. Was strong on the for check and supported well on the back check, Good offensive upside due to his vision and his skating.
Borysiuk, Jordan [C]
Attacks with speed, likes to beat defenders 1 on 1 , has good size, makes smart decisions with and with out the puck.Very good on the cycle and uses size to protect the puck.
Preliminary list - AB 2002s, October 2016
Guhle, Kaiden [D]
Smooth skating and his ability to control the pace of the game. Guhle has the potential to be a 2-way defender in the WHL in the future.
McClennon, Connor [C]
Top 3 prospect in BC.controls game, sets pace and tone, has excellent hockey sense and awareness on the ice, works hard and isn't afraid to mix it up.
Dubinsky, Cole [C]
Crafty little offensive player with slick passing skills and offensive instincts. A natural play-maker with excellent vision. Very high hockey IQ
Prokop, Luke [D]
Very solid, plays against top lines , shut down d man. Plays a big role on a good team and kills PK and plays PP. Solid prospect that contributes to the team success
Crnkovic, Kyle [C]
Highly skilled smaller dynamic player, scored 2 goals in final game and was top forward in the tournament. Fast and quick with excellent hockey sense
Preliminary list - ON 2001s, October 2016
Hughes, Jack [C]
Great skater; very good edge work and top end speed. Hard snap shot that he can get away on the rush at full speed. Projects as a top line forward at the OHL/NCAA level.
Rees, Jamieson [C]
Center with average size. Very good skater with good speed and quickness. Quick hands. Can make plays with the puck at top speed.
Aguanno, Anthony [D]
Good, strong skater with speed and showed the ability to rush the puck. Walks line with the puck well and has a heavy point shot.
Burridge, Jeff [RW]
Has a tremendous shot, hard and accurate. Knows where he needs to be in the O-zone, is strong in the corners off the cycle.
Clarke, Graeme [RW]
He is a shooter; takes a high volume of shots. Protects the puck well in the offensive zone and is dangerous working off the cycle.
1) Prospect Profiles: Alexander Alexeyev, Hunter Holmes & Xavier Bouchard
2) Ask a Coach: University of Vermont Associate Coach Kyle Wallach: Academics, Recruiting & Preparation
3) 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year: November Shortlists
4) Cornered Coach: The Peanut Gallery
5) The Search Begins for the 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year