We couldn’t be prouder of the HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year Award and what it represents for minor hockey. For the 18th year, we will be presenting the award to a player in each B.C., Alberta, and Ontario who not only shows great hockey ability, but also brings strong sportsmanship and leadership to the table as well as proven participation in their school and community.
And how do we select these fine young individuals? We rely on a selection committee—headed by B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and Vancouver Canucks alumnus Dave Babych and International Scouting Services founder and head scout Dennis MacInnis—who carefully put together monthly regional lists of their top selections.
This month’s list features players who are getting noticed by major junior leagues and who, in one way or another, have shown their leadership abilities on and off the ice. Standouts have been showing us what they’re made of in the final stretch of the regular season, through the playoffs and beyond – from the Ontario minor midget leagues, and particularly the OHL Cup, the BCMML, the AMMHL and sport school leagues.
As you’ll see, we have a very strong showing this year and the final decision certainly won’t be an easy one. The good news is that we don’t have to zero in on our winners just yet. The HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year awards are handed out in July, which still buys us a bit of time, but we’re certainly sharpening our pencils and paying very close attention to these exemplary players as we count down the days until the big presentation.
Preliminary list BC 2002s, March 2017
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.
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.
De La Gorgendiere, Aiden [D]
De La Gorgendiere had 15 points (1G, 14A) in 6 games. Was named the top defenceman in the tournament and was one of the best players in the tournament period. All situations defender that does it all for his team. Good size and skates efficiently around the ice. Potential to make an impact in the WHL in the future.
Gendron, Jacob [D]
Loves to take the puck end to end and control the game. Has a very good shot off the rush and from the point, can beat defenders to outside and through mid ice, uses his strong skating ability to get away from trouble.
Helliwell, Ryan [D]
Very good dman, uses size to advantage, strong on puck and strong on the boards. Passes hard and makes good decisions with and with out the puck, hard to play against and defends well. Impact player on the ice and very noticeable.
Hoogendoorn, Kurt [D]
Very smart defenseman who rarely gets caught out of position, and makes good plays with the puck. Nice skater and has deceptive speed. No shortage of upside, and should become a solid WHL defenseman with some work.
King, Ben [C]
King had 10 points (2G, 8A) in 6 games. Solid two way forward who doesn't have many holes in his game - versatile player who compliments his linemates Good vision and smarts and really good passer with good vision. Good all around player who is the kind of player you win with.
Mount, Payton [C]
Very skilled player and a strong two-way forward. Very good skater and has excellent vision. Should be a high pick in the WHL Draft and has the potential to be a strong player at that level.
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.
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.
Preliminary list AB 2002s, March 2017
Benning, Michael [D]
Shifty, offensively dangerous defender wasn't afraid to take the puck up the ice on his own. He consistently made crisp tape to tape passes and he got his wrist shot off very quickly.
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
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
Greig, Ridly [C]
Greig had 8 points (1G, 7A) in 6 games. Really good performance for a kid that may be flying under the radar. Played top line, PP, PK. Skilled, offense first player with the ability to push the pace offensively. Breaks into the offensive zone with speed forces defenders to back off. Creates space for teammates.
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.
Neighbours, Jake [LW]
Lot of offensive upside. Strong kid that is very tough to take off the puck once he has possession, Uses his body well to protect the puck and win battles. Excellent vision and makes outstanding offensive decisions.
Plaschewsky, Braden [C]
Was a threat every time he is on the ice. Great at reading the play. His hands allow him to make creative passes to his teammates and generate scoring chances. Can make high end plays at full speed.
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.
Sexsmith, Joel [D]
Sexsmith had 3 points (0G-3A) in 5 games.Smart and reliable defender that makes simple plays to get the puck out of DZ and to his forwards. Not flashy but able to contribute at both ends of the ice. Can carry the puck up ice but is more likely to make an outlet pass.
Preliminary list ON 2001s, March 2017
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.
Coe, Brandon [RW]
A powerful offensive winger who is hard for any defender to handle. Drives the net hard to create chances, and chips it in well to use his strong board play to retrieve. Can handle the puck at top gear, which coupled with his size makes him a dangerous offensive weapon.
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.
Penman, Duncan [D]
Smooth skating intelligent defenseman. Doesn't play a flashy game. Very effective at transitioning the puck up ice. Has potential as a top four defenseman at the CHL 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.
Suzuki, Ryan [C]
Has elite vision and passing/playmaking abilities. Excellent puck control, always comes out of a scrum with the puck, seems to have it on a string. High hockey IQ, seems to be thinking 2 steps ahead of everyone else on the ice.
Tomasino, Philip [C]
Very gifted player that has a lot upside to his game. Loves to have the puck on his stick and he does a great job of push the pace up ice. Has great speed and loves to drive the puck wide.
Vukojevic, Michael [D]
Excellent ability to quickly turn a defensive stop into offence. He played physical, and he uses his elite size well and his long reach to his advantage in order to knock pucks loose or breakup a play.
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