HockeyNow’s Minor Hockey Player of the Year Award is well on its way to becoming a minor hockey tradition of sorts. The B.C. award has been handed out since 2000, with the program expanding to include Alberta and Ontario last year.
“I feel like an old man talking about this award,” said Two-time Stanley Cup Champion Colin Fraser, the first recipient of the award when he was a 15-year-old Bantam. “Obviously, it was something special at the time and something I’ll never forget.”
Since Fraser, no less than 12 other future NHL draftees and players have won, including Gilbert Brule, Karl Alzner, Stefan Elliott, Griffin Reinhart, Morgan Rielly and 2011 first-overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, to name a few.
“The award is a great honour, especially when you look at some of the people who have won it in the past,” said Nugent- Hopkins of the players who came before him when he was honoured in 2008.
Our Player of the Year Selection Committee, chaired by former NHL defenceman Dave Babych, chooses the winner annually from a list of finalists compiled throughout each season.
With each passing year, as the list of deserving recipients grows, the philosophy upon which the award was built remains the same – to honour the minor hockey players each year who best exemplify hard work, dedication, performance, sportsmanship and leadership both on and off the ice.
2015: Luka Burzan
2014: Justin Almeida
2013: Dante Fabbro
2012: Mathew Barzal*
2012: Jansen Harkins*
2011: Joe Hicketts
2010: Curtis Lazar
2009: Morgan Rielly*
2009: Griffin Reinhart*
2008: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2007: Kevin Sundher
2006: Stefan Elliott
2005: Geordie Wudrick
2004: Dustin Sylvester
2003: Karl Alzner
2002: Gilbert Brule*
2002: Brock Bradford*
2001: Tyler Burton
2000: Colin Fraser
What a thrill it was to watch former Minor Hockey Player of the Year award winners Mathew Barzal (2012 POY) and Dante Fabbro (2013 POY) suit up for Canada last month at the World Juniors.
The minor Hockey Player of the Year race is especially top of mind at HockeyNow as we look ahead to watching former players of the year Mathew Barzal (2012 winner) and Dante Fabbro (2013 winner) wear the red and white at the World Junior Championships at the end of the month.
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.
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