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The Alberta Junior Hockey League, in partnership with RBC, is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 League Award Winners in six major categories. The annual awards are presented in the following categories: Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Outstanding Defenceman, Top Goaltender, Most Dedicated Player and Coach of the Year.
The award winners listed below were determined through three stages of voting by the General Managers and Coaches of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Most Valuable Player- Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy
Spruce Grove Saints forward Chris Van Os-Shaw is the 2017-18 AJHL MVP and recipient of the Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy. Van Os-Shaw leads the AJHL Scoring Race with 93 points, 8 game winning goals, and a notable 1.6 points per game average.
Van Os-Shaw has recorded points in 50 of 58 regular season games thus far, including six 4-point games, and is just one goal shy of 50; a benchmark that was last reached by Mark Letestu (Bonnyville Pontiacs / Columbus Blue Jackets) in 2005-06. His remarkable shot and goal scoring ability has led the Saints to a first-placed finish in the Viterra AJHL North Division standings.
Chris Van Os-Shaw (Regina, SK) made an immediate impact on the Saints organization after being acquired from the SJHL in the pre-season. In his 96-game SJHL career, he recorded 100 points, an offensive force that he brought with him to the AJHL.
Chris picked up several accolades throughout his AJHL campaign in 2017-18, including 14 Viterra AJHL Star of the Game selections, the Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week Award (January 8-14, 2018) and Alberta Ford Dealers AJHL Player of the Month Award (January 2018). His success was highlighted in December 2017 when he committed to the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves of the NCAA Division I.
Van Os-Shaw becomes the fifth player in Saints franchise history to receive the AJHL MVP Award.
• 2017-2018 Award Finalists: Chris Van Os-Shaw – Spruce Grove Saints; Justin Bernier – Grande Prairie Storm; Jordan Taupert – Drumheller Dragons; Dennis Cesana – Brooks Bandits
• 2016-2017 Award Winner: Cale Makar – Brooks Bandits
Rookie of the Year – Dick White Trophy, Presented by Canalta Hotels
Zachary Okabe of the Grande Prairie Storm has captured the Dick White Trophy as AJHL Rookie of the Year for 2017-2018.
In his rookie season, Okabe has become known for keeping fans on the edge of their seat when he has the puck. The 17 year-old forward recorded 13 multi-point games in the regular season, and is second overall among rookie scorers in the AJHL with 53 points (20 goals, 33 assists). He is in the Top 25 of the AJHL Scoring Race with an average of 0.9 points per game. Okabe has received the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game Award five times for the Storm.
“The Storm organization is very proud of Zach's accomplishment,” said Storm Head Coach Matt Keillor. “He works extremely hard and is a humble person. His incredible skillset on the ice and his efforts away from the rink in school have really set him up for future success. We are honoured that Zachary's efforts haven't gone unnoticed and we can’t wait to see what his future holds.”
Zachary Okabe (Okotoks, AB) committed to the University of Vermont (NCAA) as a 16 year-old in September 2017.
Okabe joins a successful group of AJHL alumni as the AJHL Rookie of the Year, an award previously won by NHLers such as Stu Barnes, Mike Comrie and Dany Heatley. He is just the second Storm player to ever receive the award, which was last won in 1997-98.
• 2017-2018 Award Finalists: Zachary Okabe – Grande Prairie Storm; Chris Curr – Fort McMurray Oil Barons; Brock Bremer – Camrose Kodiaks; Nick Blankenburg – Okotoks Oilers
• 2016-2017 Award Winner: Oliver Chau – Brooks Bandits
Top Goaltender – Friends of AJHL Trophy
Riley Morris of the Okotoks Oilers is the 2017-2018 Top Goaltender and recipient of the Friends of AJHL Trophy. The Top Goaltender Award is presented to the goalie who demonstrated the greatest ability in his position throughout the season.
Morris enters the final games of the 2017-18 season with 15 consecutive wins. Morris and the Oilers are attempting to break a 30 year-old League Record for the Longest Winning Streak (21 wins), a record they now share with the 1988 Calgary Canucks. Through the record setting season, Morris has posted a record of 28-2-2 and recorded 4 shutouts. He is second overall among all AJHL goaltenders with a 2.05 GAA.
The 21 year-old from Calgary, AB is in his fourth AJHL season as a member of the Okotoks Oilers. In his final season, he has set new franchise records for Most Career Shutouts (10), Most Game Played by a Goaltender (138) and Most Career Wins (85).
Morris claims the honour after losing out as a finalist for the annual award in 2016-17. The only other Oiler goalie to ever receive the Top Goaltender Award is Nic Renyard (2014-15).
• 2017-2018 Award Finalists: Eric Szudor – Fort McMurray Oil Barons; Xavier Potvin – Whitecourt Wolverines; Riley Morris – Okotoks Oilers; Mitchel Benson – Brooks Bandits
• 2016-2017 Award Winner: Logan Drackett, Calgary Canucks
Outstanding Defenceman- W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy
Jacob Bernard-Docker is the recipient of the W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy as the 2017-2018 Outstanding Defenceman. The Outstanding Defenceman award is given annually to the defensive player who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season.
NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft listed Bernard-Docker as 62nd overall among North American Skaters and a projected second round selection. The NHL prospect won a gold medal as a member of Team Canada West at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge in December. He was also selected to represent the AJHL in the CJHL Prospects Game in January 2018.
Bernard-Docker has scored 20 goals and 20 assists in his second season as an Oiler, and is 7th among all AJHL defencemen in scoring. He was selected as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game seven times for the Oilers in the 2017-18 season. The native of Canmore, AB was also a finalist for the 2017-18 Most Dedicated Player Award.
The 17 year-old has committed to the NCAA Division I University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
The only Oiler player to previously win the W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy was Colten Hayes in 2010-11.
• 2017-2018 Award Finalists: TJ Lloyd – Spruce Grove Saints; Daniel Hilsendager – Lloydminster Bobcats; Jacob Bernard-Docker – Okotoks Oilers; Dennis Cesana – Brooks Bandits
• 2016-2017 Award Winner: Cale Makar – Brooks Bandits
Most Dedicated Player – Don McNabb Memorial Trophy
Fort McMurray Oil Barons captain Shane Fraser is the winner of the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy as the 2017-2018 Most Dedicated Player. The trophy is awarded annually to the player judged as the most dedicated to his team.
Shane Fraser (Strathmore, AB) has led the Oil Barons to a second-place finish in the Viterra AJHL North Division standings. The third-year veteran of the Oil Barons was an effective leader on and off the ice, collecting 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) for his team. Fraser was 4th in team scoring, with 13 multi-point games, and was recognized as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game five times.
Oil Barons GM / Head Coach Tom Keca has nothing but praise Fraser, “Shane is such an outstanding kid. He persevered through a tough season with the team in his rookie year, and it has been so rewarding to watch him develop into a leader. He is the poster-boy for our organization and what a coach wants every Oil Baron to aspire to be. He is one of the nicest and most dedicated people I've ever met.”
Fraser is the 7th Oil Baron in franchise history to receive the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy.
• 2017-2018 Award Finalists: Shane Fraser – Fort McMurray Oil Barons; Jaedon Leslie – Whitecourt Wolverines; Joey May – Calgary Mustangs; Jacob Bernard-Docker – Okotoks Oilers
• 2016-2017 Award Winner: Ryan Symington, Bonnyville Pontiacs
Coach of the Year
Okotoks Oilers Head Coach Tyler Deis is the 2017-2018 Alberta Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year as voted by his peers from across the AJHL.
The Okotoks Oilers have set a wide range of franchise and league records throughout the 2017-18 season and are currently looking to break a 30 year-old record for the Longest Winning Streak (21 games). With a record of 49-6-2 and three regular season games remaining, the Oilers have clinched the 2017-2018 regular season title and are on track to enter the Record Book in categories including Fewest Losses, Most Wins, and Longest Unbeaten Streak.
The Oilers have made a steady climb to the top, finishing 3rd in the South Division in 2016, and in a three-way tie for 2nd in 2017. Tyler Deis was named Head Coach in June 2016 after joining the Oilers as an Assistant Coach for the 2013–14 season.
Oilers President of Hockey, Brad Robson, recognizes the impact Deis has had on the organization. “Tyler is an excellent educator and communicator, who has created strong relationships with our staff and players. He has an ability to individualize his coaching for each player and get the best performance from them. He is a great leader on and off the ice, and his dedication is the main reason for our success. We are extremely proud of Tyler's recognition as AJHL Coach of the Year.”
Tyler is an experienced teacher and coach with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education from Minnesota State University, combined with a major in Physical Education and Athletic Coaching. After playing his Junior Hockey in the SJHL, Deis played Division I NCAA hockey for four years. Upon completion of University, Tyler began his professional hockey career playing in the ECHL for five seasons. Upon returning to Canada in 2005, he started his teaching and coaching career at the Edge School for Athletes where he instructed the on-ice Hockey Skill Academy for eight years.
The Okotoks Oilers were League Award finalists in four categories and winners of three awards.
• 2017-2018 Award Finalists: Bram Stephen – Spruce Grove Saints; Tom Keca – Fort McMurray Oil Barons; Tyler Deis – Okotoks Oilers; Tyler Drader – Calgary Mustangs
• 2016-2017 Award Winner: Tom Keca, Fort McMurray Oil Barons
The award recipients will be presented with a trophy and recognized at a home game throughout the final weekend of the AJHL regular season and 2018 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs.
The following League Awards and Scholarships will also be presented at the completion of the 2017-2018 AJHL Regular Season.
• Regular Season Champion – Dave Duchak Trophy
• Scoring Champion – Ernie Love Trophy
• Top Team Goaltenders – CCM Top Team Goaltenders Award
• 2017-2018 Viterra All League and All Rookie Team
• Viterra Star of the Game Standings Leader – Viterra Cup
• Unified Valve Group Powerplay Leader
• Stewy Stewart Memorial Award – Stewy Stewart Memorial Trophy
• Viterra Salute to Service Volunteer Award – North & South Division Recipients
• RBC Junior A Scholarship
• Inter Pipeline AJHL Scholarship
• Unified Valve Group Scholarship