By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
The Selkirk Steelers picked up much of the silverware at this year’s MJHL awards, winning four of the six categories, including Steelers’ veteran Parker Thomas, 20, being named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Thomas, who hails from Winnipeg, has been awarded the Steve “Boomer” Hawrysh Award, given annually to the MVP winner. The award was doubly special for Thomas, who was a runner-up for MVP last season.
Thomas will soon be adding another trophy to his collection ─ MJHL scoring championship. After 53 games, he has 32 goals and 93 points.
“All the award winners should be extremely proud of themselves,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said today in a release. “All of the award winners were selected based on voting by the coaches of our league.”
Runners-up were Zack Waldvogel of the Portage Terriers and Tyler Grove of OCN Blizzard.
Rookie of the Year – Vince Leah Trophy
Tyler Jeanson, Portage Terriers
Jeanson, 16, has enjoyed an outstanding rookie season, reflected in 21 goals and 40 points in 55 games. A native of Graysville, Jeanson was also named to the MJHL all-rookie squad.
The runners-up were Jackson Keane, Winnipeg South Blues and Carter Johnson, Swan Valley Stampeders.
Braeden Ostepchuk, Selkirk Steelers
Ostepchuk, 20, has been outstanding this season, reflected in a 35-8 record, 1.95 GAA, .933 save percentage and six shutouts. For two consecutive months (November/December) the Lethbridge native was named the league’s top goaltender.
Runners-up were Adam Iwan, Virden Oil Capitals and Zach Rakochy, Steinbach Pistons.
Top Defenseman – Brian Kozak Trophy
Joel Messner, Selkirk Steelers
Messner, a 19-year-old from Lorette, has been outstanding along the blueline, playing a key role in the Steelers’ outstanding season. In addition to his stand-out defensive play, he’s also shown to have an offensive flare reflected in 50 points (9-41) in 50 games.
Runners-up were Channing Brescianni of Winnipeg Blues and Tanner Butler, Dauphin Kings.
Hockey Ability – Lorne “Windy” Lyndon Trophy
Max Flanagan, Swan Valley Stampeders
Flanagan, 20, hails from Edmonton and has been a major contributor in the Stamps’ offensive attack, reflected in leading his team’s points’ race with 36 goals and 65 points in 57 games.
The runners-up were Justin Valentino, Dauphin Kings and Warren Callis of Winnipeg Blues.
Coach of the Year – Portage Terriers “Muzz McPherson” Award
Ryan Smith, Selkirk Steelers
This award is named after colourful Murray “Muzz” McPherson, who led the Portage Terriers to a Centennial Cup championship in 1972-73. McPherson would be impressed with the outstanding coaching performance of Smith, whose Steelers’ won the Addison Division pennant.
Under Smith’s guidance, Steelers were as high as third overall in the CJHL rankings.
Runners-up were Troy Leslie of Virden Oil Capitals and Blake Spiller, Portage Terriers.
(With files from the MJHL)