By Scott Billeck
Guillaume Naud of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Dauphin Kings has been nominated for the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Player of the Year award.
The 20-year-old couldn’t be more pleased with the nomination.
“I found out during the season, a few weeks ago,” said Naud. “I was obviously pretty excited about it, I didn’t know a lot about the award, I wasn’t familiar with it. For sure though, I was very excited, and a little proud of myself.”
The product of Augsburg, Que., took home Manitoba Junior Hockey League MVP honors this year, racking up 88 points in 60 games. His 56 assists led the MJHL and helped his Dauphin Kings to a league-best record of 47-11-2, including an impressive 20-game win streak to end the year.
Naud played with some of the most potent scorers in all of the CJHL this season. Together with Jesse Sinatynski and Jon Gaudet, the trio put up an incredible 271 points over the course of the season.
Naud credited his teammates with any success he had this past season.
“I contribute my success to my all of my teammates,” said Naud. “Whoever I was playing with out there, I could score goals or give it to someone in the slot and they would score a goal. That is something that helped me out a lot, we had such a strong and deep team.”
Dauphin Kings head coach, Marlin Murray, praised Naud for more than his offensive prowess.
“He was the most complete player in the league,” said Murray. “Very good on both sides of the puck, offensively well gifted and defensively very sound and responsible. He was an elite player in a very good league.
“He complements everybody on the ice. He’s a very good passer, very creative player. Guilluame takes care of his own end first, he’s well respected in the league and on our team as one of the best defensive players in the MJHL.”
Naud would like to further his hockey playing career, leaning towards the CIS route. He is currently weighing his options.
“I am planning on playing CIS,” said Naud. “I haven’t decided where to go yet. I’m waiting for the best offer. I have a few, but I am looking at all my options.
The CJHL Player of the Year award recognizes the best player as voted by their respected leagues. The winner will be announced during the 2013 RBC Cup being held in Summerside, P.E.I. The recipient will join an esteemed list of former winners that includes Danny Heatley, Kyle Turris and Paul Kariya.
The other nominees for the Player of the Year Award are:
– Mike Dietrich – Minnesota Wilderness (Superior International Junior Hockey League)
– Charlie Finn – Kingston Voyageurs (Ontario Junior Hockey League)
– Mitch Gillam – Chilliwack Chiefs (British Columbia Hockey League)
– Benjamin Laliberte – Pantheres de Saint-Jerome (Ligue de Hockey Junior AAA Du Quebec)
– Cam Maclise – Brooks Bandits (Alberta Junior Hockey League)
– Mitchell Mynard – Summerside Western Captials (Martime Hockey League)
– Michael Pontarelli – Cornwall Colts (Central Canada Hockey League)
– Tait Seguin – North Bay Trappers (Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League)
– Alex Wakaluk – Melville Millionaires (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League)