AJHL Announces League MVP, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year

The Alberta Junior Hockey League, in partnership with RBC, today announced the recipients of three major League awards.  Arjun Atwal of the Sherwood Park Crusaders has won the 2019-20 League MVP Award, Brooks Bandits forward Brayden Krieger is the AJHL Rookie of the Year, and Okotoks Oilers General Manager & Head Coach Tyler Deis has been selected as Coach of the Year.

Most Valuable Player- Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy

Sherwood Park Crusaders Team Captain, Arjun Atwal, is the 2019-20 AJHL MVP and recipient of the Alberta Old Time Hockey Players trophy.  Atwal leads the AJHL in scoring with 106 points and is poised to win the 2019-20 AJHL Scoring Race.

Atwal, 20, has played 162 regular season AJHL games for the Crusaders over five seasons.  He currently leads the league in points (106) and assists (71) and has amassed a 21-game point streak as he prepares to conclude the regular season this week.  Atwal is just the fourth player in Crusaders history to hit the 100-point milestone.

?Arjun is the leader of our team and a cornerstone in the rebuild of the Crusaders,? stated Sherwood Park Crusaders General Manager Kyle Chase.  ?The importance of a player like Arjun can?t only be measured by goals and assists, and we aren?t where we are today without his leadership.  He is a first-class person from a first-class family and he deserves every accolade he receives.?

The dominant Centre from Edmonton, AB received the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game award eight times this season and was twice named the Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week. 

  • 2019-2020 Award Finalists: Alex Young – Canmore Eagles, Jack Works – Okotoks Oilers, Lucas Thorne – Bonnyville Pontiacs, Arjun Atwal – Sherwood Park Crusaders
  • 2018-2019 Award Winner: Dylan Holloway ? Okotoks Oilers

Rookie of the Year – Dick White Trophy, Presented by Canalta Hotels

Brooks Bandits forward, Brayden Krieger, is the recipient of the Dick White Trophy as AJHL Rookie of the Year for 2019-20. 

In a standout season, Krieger leads all AJHL rookies in scoring with 93 points (35G, 58A) and is fourth overall in the AJHL Scoring Race.  The native of Elora, ON has averaged 1.6 points per game, scored nine game winning goals, and compiled 31 multi-point games in the regular season.

The 19 year-old?s point production and his ability to kill penalties and play big minutes has been a notable asset to the Bandits.  ?Brayden has been an integral part of our regular season success this season,? said Brooks Bandits General Manager & Head Coach Ryan Papaioannou. ?His ability to make the people around him better has been evident in all situations. His offensive output can be described as generational for the AJHL, as he is the highest scoring rookie in the last 19 years.?

?Brayden?s work on the ice, paired with his academic achievements, has landed him a commitment to Bowling Green University, which he will attend after spending one more season working on his craft here in Brooks.”

AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk will present Brayden with the Dick White Trophy prior to tonight?s AJHL game in Brooks, AB.

  • 2019-2020 Award Finalists: Brayden Krieger – Brooks Bandits, Dylan James – Okotoks Oilers, Kabore Dunn ? Fort McMurray Oil Barons, Graham Gamache – Spruce Grove Saints
  • 2018-2019 Award Winner: Carter Savoie, Sherwood Park Crusaders

Coach of the Year, Presented by Finning Canada

The 2019-20 Alberta Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year is Okotoks Oilers General Manager & Head Coach Tyler Deis.  With a record of 47-7-4, the Oilers are in a heated battle for the regular season title and have clinched first place in the Viterra AJHL South Division for the fourth time in franchise history.

Tyler Deis is concluding his seventh season with the Oilers organization, and his fourth season in the role of General Manager & Head Coach.  In 2017-18 Tyler was awarded as both the Alberta Junior Hockey League and the Canadian Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year.

Under the leadership of Head Coach Tyler Deis, the Oilers have finished first in the AJHL South Division twice (2017-18, 2019-20), advanced to the Division Final three times (2017, 2018, 2019) and the League Final in 2018.

?Tyler is totally dedicated to our players, staff and organization,? said Okotoks Oilers President Wayne Lauinger.  ?He has enhanced the Oilers program to create opportunity for prospective players and staff through his positive mentorship and development. Tyler gives unselfishly as a coach and a leader to prepare those around him for the next level?.

Deis is supported by Associate Coach / Assistant General Manager Kyle Schussler and Assistant Coach / Assistant Director of Hockey Development Reid Hnatowich.

Tyler is an experienced teacher and coach with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education from Minnesota State University.  After playing his Junior hockey in the SJHL, Deis played NCAA Division I hockey then began his professional playing career in the ECHL for five seasons.  Upon returning to Canada in 2005, he started his teaching and coaching career at the Edge School.  Combined with winning many titles during his time as Head Coach at the Edge, Deis put his name to both a Midwest Prep Hockey League Championship and the Canadian Sport School Hockey League Championship.

  • 2019-2020 Award Finalists: Tyler Deis – Okotoks Oilers, Clayton Jardine – Camrose Kodiaks, Shawn Martin – Whitecourt Wolverines, Adam Manah – Sherwood Park Crusaders
  • 2018-2019 Award Winner: Ryan Papaioannou, Brooks Bandits


The award recipients will be recognized at a home game throughout the final week of the AJHL regular season and the opening games of the 2020 Inter Pipeline AJHL PlayoffsThe award winners are determined through three stages of voting by the General Managers and Coaches of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

The League award winners for Most Dedicated Player, Top Goaltender and Outstanding Defenceman will be announced on Thursday, February 27th.