The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), in partnership with RBC, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022-23 League Awards in seven categories. The annual awards include Most Valuable Player, Top Forward, Rookie of the Year, Outstanding Defenceman, Top Goaltender, Most Dedicated Player and Coach of the Year.
All award winners are 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) & Top Forward Award
Brooks Bandits forward Aiden Fink has been voted the 2022-23 AJHL Most Valuable Player (MVP) and recipient of the Top Forward Award. The NHL Top Prospect currently leads the AJHL in points (97) and goals (41) after 54 regular season games, averaging 1.8 points per game.
Aiden Fink (Calgary, AB) was ranked #66 among North American Skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term Rankings for the upcoming 2023 NHL Entry Draft. The 2004-born Bandit was also selected to represent the AJHL as a member of Team Canada West at the 2022 World Junior A Challenge in December. His season has been filled with accolades including two Alberta Ford Dealers Player of the Month awards, two Pizza 73 AJHL Player of the Week selections, the Brook Bandits Top Forward award, and he was named the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game seven times.
“We are fortunate to have been a part of Aiden’s development over the past two seasons, his growth on and off the ice has been significant,” said Bandits GM / Head Coach Ryan Papaioannou. “He was in a great position last year to learn from some highly skilled veteran players and was able to play a key role for us in the late stages of the season. This year Aiden picked up where others left off and has been dominant from the first exhibition game, right through the regular season. He’s handled the internal pressures of leading our team from a scoring perspective along with all of the outside pressures of the NHL Draft with maturity and focus. We are proud of his accomplishments and are all looking forward to his playoff season.”
Fink has served as an alternate captain for the Bandits this season and is committed to the University of Wisconsin (NCAA).
- 2022-2023 MVP Award Finalists: Matteo Giampa – Bonnyville Pontiacs, Caleb MacDonald – Whitecourt Wolverines, Aiden Fink – Brooks Bandits, Ty Daneault – Drumheller Dragons
- 2021-2022 MVP Award Winner: Ryan McAllister, Brooks Bandits
The AJHL Top Forward was created in the 2021-22 season and recognizes the player who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season.
- 2022-2023 Top Forward Award Finalists: Matteo Giampa – Bonnyville Pontiacs, Luigi Benincasa – Spruce Grove Saints, Aiden Fink – Brooks Bandits, Ty Daneault – Drumheller Dragons
- 2021-2022 Top Forward Award Winner: TJ Hughes, Brooks Bandits
Rookie of the Year (Dick White Trophy)
Bonnyville Pontiacs forward Nicolas Beaudoin is the recipient of the Dick White Trophy as AJHL Rookie of the Year for 2022-23. The University of Alaska Fairbanks commit leads all rookies in points (72) and is second overall in the AJHL for goals (39). Beaudoin (2004) has averaged 1.33 points per game through 54 regular season games.
Nicolas Beaudoin (St Paul, AB) was the recipient of the Inter Pipeline AJHL Rookie of the Week award four times this season, as well as earning a Pizza 73 AJHL Player of the Week award and Alberta Ford Dealers Player of the Month award in November 2022. Beaudoin has scored six game winning goals, earned ten Viterra AJHL Star of the Game selections, and is currently eighth overall in the AJHL Scoring Race in his rookie season.
Nicolas broke the Pontiacs franchise record for most goals by a rookie (36) and has continued to impress with his work ethic, maturity, and hockey sense. Beaudoin has been nominated by the Bonnyville Pontiacs for the Giuseppe AJHL Greatest Teammate Award.
- 2022-2023 Award Finalists: Nicolas Beaudoin – Bonnyville Pontiacs, Gavin Middendorf – Drayton Valley Thunder, Layne Loomer – Blackfalds Bulldogs, Hudson Malinoski – Brooks Bandits
- 2021-2022 Award Winner: Rieger Lorenz, Okotoks Oilers
Top Goaltender (Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey League Trophy)
Connor Mackenzie of the Grande Prairie Storm is the recipient of the Friends of AJHL Trophy as the Top Goaltender for the 2022-23 season. The annual award is presented to the goalie who demonstrated the greatest ability in his position throughout the season.
Mackenzie (Toronto, ON) leads the AJHL with a .929 save percentage in his second season with the Storm and was selected as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game 13 times. The 2002-born goaltender has a 2.86 GAA and two shutouts.
Connor Mackenzie has been nominated by the Storm as the RBC AJHL Community Ambassador in recognition of his exemplary commitment to the community. His ‘Lift the Mask’ initiative has raised awareness about mental health and $30,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association Alberta Northwest Region.
- 2022-2023 Award Finalists: Connor Mackenzie – Grande Prairie Storm, Erick Roest – Sherwood Park Crusaders, Ethan Barwick – Brooks Bandits, Freddie Halyk – Camrose Kodiaks
- 2021-2022 Award Winner: Kolby Thornton, Lloydminster Bobcats
Outstanding Defenceman (W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy) Presented by the Alberta Ford Dealers
Caleb MacDonald is the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Outstanding Defenceman and recipient of the W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy. The award recognizes the defensive player who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season.
MacDonald (2002) leads the Wolverines this season as both an alternate captain on the leadership group and in points (57). The third-year Wolverine is second in scoring among AJHL defencemen with an average of 1.0 points per game (7G, 50A).
MacDonald (Cambridge, ON) was also nominated as a finalist for AJHL MVP and has committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (NCAA) for 2023-24.
- 2022-2023 Award Finalists: Breck McKinley – Spruce Grove Saints, Caleb MacDonald -Whitecourt Wolverines, Tanner Willick – Blackfalds Bulldogs, Sam Court – Brooks Bandits
- 2021-2022 Award Winner: Zach Bookman, Brooks Bandits
Most Dedicated Player (Don McNabb Memorial Trophy)
The winner of the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy as Most Dedicated Player is Bonnyville Pontiacs Captain Trey Funk. The award is presented annually to the player voted as the most dedicated to his team.
“Trey is an outstanding teammate, person and Pontiac,” stated Associate GM Neil Langridge. “During his three years with our organization his dedication has not waivered for the team and community of Bonnyville. Trey’s commitment to the game and his craft has been evident since his first days in the AJHL and for him to be recognized for his dedication is only fitting.”
“The AJHL’s Most Dedicated Award is a prestigious award that many players are deserving of each year, for Trey to be recognized by his peers is a statement of his character and dedication.”
Funk (Redwood Meadows, AB) has recorded 43 points (21G, 22A) in his third season with the Pontiacs. The 2002-born forward is committed to Canisius College (NCAA).
- 2022-2023 Award Finalists: Trey Funk – Bonnyville Pontiacs, Tanner Komzak – Whitecourt Wolverines, Heath Armstrong – Brooks Bandits, Dean Spak – Okotoks Oilers
- 2021-2022 Award Winner: Myles Hilman, Drumheller Dragons
Coach of the Year
The 2022-23 AJHL Coach of the Year is Whitecourt Wolverines General Manager and Head Coach Shawn Martin. The Whitecourt Wolverines are second in the Viterra AJHL North Division Standings entering the final weekend of play – the highest position they have finished since the 2016-17 season.
“Shawn is a great leader and a great teammate,” said Wolverines Governor Craig Kibblewhite. “He is invested in the players and finds ways to elevate each of their games to create a winning culture. He is consistent in his approach and continually strives to educate himself on his craft through experience and hard work. Success at this level requires dedication, determination and Shawn exemplifies these qualities. The fans, players, staff and ownership are incredibly proud of Shawn on this accomplishment.”
Martin, 45, first joined the Wolverines as an Assistant Coach in 2017-18 before taking over as GM / Head Coach in 2019-20. Prior to joining the Wolverines, Shawn was an Assistant Coach with the St Albert Steel, Grande Prairie Storm and Sherwood Park Crusaders as well as Head Coach for the LaRonge Ice Wolves (SJHL). Martin (Wainwright, AB) was nominated as a finalist for AJHL Coach of the Year in 2019-20.
- 2022-2023 Award Finalists: Mario Pouliot – Bonnyville Pontiacs, Shawn Martin – Whitecourt Wolverines, Ryan Papaioannou – Brooks Bandits, Tyler Deis – Okotoks Oilers
- 2021-2022 Award Winner: Ryan Papaioannou, Brooks Bandits
The winners of the following League Awards and Scholarships will also be announced at the completion of the regular season and throughout the 2023 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs.
- Viterra All-League and All-Rookie Team
- Inter Pipeline AJHL All-Academic Team
- Regular Season Champion – Dave Duchak Trophy
- Scoring Champion – Ernie Love Trophy
- Top Goal Scorer
- Top Team Goaltenders – CCM Top Team Goaltenders Award
- Viterra Star of the Game Standings Leader – Viterra Cup
- Stewy Stewart Memorial Award – Stewy Stewart Memorial Trophy
- AJHL Executive of the Year – Ken Bracko Award
- Viterra Salute to Service Volunteer Award – North & South Division Recipient
- Inter Pipeline AJHL Scholarship
- Open Circle AJHL Scholarship – North & South Division Recipient
- RBC Community Ambassador Scholarship – North & South Division Recipient
- Dr. Oetker AJHL Greatest Teammate Award Scholarship – North & South Division Recipient