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
And we’re off! A new season means a fresh batch of candidates for our annual Minor Hockey Player of the Year Award. Since 2000, the award has been honouring players in their CHL draft year who are at the top of their game and exemplify a strong commitment to sportsmanship, leadership, and school and community participation.
Josh Williams was four years old when he parked himself in front of the television and witnessed the sport of hockey for the first time. Little did he know, it was the start of something life-changing.
They know. When contacting the players who win the HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year awards, one fact clearly stands out.
You have to be of a certain vintage to remember 'Waikiki Hockey.' But check it out on YouTube, you crazy kids, and you'll be amazed to watch Wayne Gretzky, complete with an Elvis-style pompadour, starring in the campy skit featured on a famous 1989 edition of "Saturday Night Live."
We’re in the home stretch now. It’s just a few short months away from our judges officially selecting the HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year in each B.C., Alberta and Ontario, to be crowned in July. Our April preliminary lists feature players who best exemplify what the award stands for, and it's about a lot more than their performance this season.
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