AJHL Announces Top Goaltender, Outstanding Defenceman, Most Dedicated Player

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The Alberta Junior Hockey League, in partnership with RBC, today announced the winners of three League Awards, including Outstanding Defenceman, Top Goaltender and Most Dedicated Player.  The award winners are determined through three stages of voting by the General Managers and Coaches of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Top Goaltender – Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey League Trophy

Luke Lush of the Drayton Valley Thunder is the 2018-19 Top Goaltender and recipient of the Friends of AJHL Trophy.  Lush becomes the first Thunder goaltender to receive the honour.  The annual award is presented to the goalie who demonstrated the greatest ability in his position throughout the season.

Lush (Sherwood Park, AB) has been an impact player for the Thunder since arriving in a trade from the Camrose Kodiaks, with 3 shutouts, 12 Viterra AJHL Star of the Game selections and a record of 21-13-5.  He has played the fourth most minutes of all AJHL goaltenders (2,468) this season and recorded the second most saves (1,250).  With just two games remaining in the regular season, Lush is second among all AJHL goaltenders with a .919 save percentage and holds a 2.67 GAA.  

Lush was recently named to the 2019 Inter Pipeline AJHL All-Academic Team and was recognized as the Alberta Ford Dealers AJHL Defensive Player of the Week in two consecutive weeks during November 2018.  Luke is also a finalist for the AJHL MVP Award after leading the Thunder back to the post-season following last season’s miss.

• 2018-2019 Award Finalists: Pierce Charleson – Brooks Bandits, Brady Parker – Okotoks Oilers, Colby Muise – Bonnyville Pontiacs, Luke Lush – Drayton Valley Thunder
• 2017-2018 Award Winner: Riley Morris – Okotoks Oilers

Outstanding Defenceman – W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy, Presented by the Alberta Ford Dealers

Spruce Grove Saints Captain TJ Lloyd is the 2018-19 recipient of the W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy as the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Outstanding Defenceman.  The award recognizes the defensive player who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season. 

The 19 year-old defenceman, who is committed to Bowling Green State University (NCAA), is completing his third season with the Saints after helping lead the Saints to their 2018 AJHL Championship.  Lloyd is currently third in team scoring with 42 points (10G, 32A) and is ninth among AJHL defencemen in scoring.   The Lloydminster, AB native recorded 11 multi-point games for the Saints.

TJ Lloyd represented the AJHL as a member of Team Canada West at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.  He was also selected as the Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week in October 2018 was and was twice recognized as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game.  TJ was a finalist for the Outstanding Defenceman award in the 2017-18 season.

The Saints are currently third in the North Division with three games remaining and a chance to climb to a second-place finish in the final week of the regular season.

• 2018-2019 Award Finalists: Zach Vinnell – Camrose Kodiaks, Mark Drohan – Canmore Eagles, TJ Lloyd – Spruce Grove Saints, Luke Albert – Bonnyville Pontiacs
• 2017-2018 Award Winner: Jacob Bernard-Docker – Okotoks Oilers

Most Dedicated Player – Don McNabb Memorial Trophy

Okotoks Oilers team captain Kyle Gordon is the winner of the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy as Most Dedicated Player.  The award is presented annually to the player judged as the most dedicated to his team.  Gordon is the first Oilers player to receive the League award.

“As an 18-year-old rookie forward, Kyle made a seamless transition to our organization due to his strong mental makeup, character, and relentless work ethic,” stated Oiler GM / Head Coach Tyler Deis.  “As a big, powerful forward, Kyle has continuously demonstrated his perseverance in order to succeed at the AJHL level with his endless hours of extra skating work to maintain his highest level of play.  Now in his third AJHL season, Kyle ceases to exemplify his amazing attitude for the game itself, as evident with his sportsmanlike – 75 minutes in penalties over three seasons of play, and unwavering respect for teammates and opponents alike. Despite multiple major injuries over his time as an AJHL student-athlete, Kyle’s attributes have allowed him to rehabilitate and come back to the game as strong as ever on the ice and as an even bigger component and leader in the dressing room.”

Gordon (Cochrane, AB) has led the Oilers to a second-place finish in the Viterra AJHL South Division standings and secured a first round match-up with the Calgary Canucks in the 2019 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs.  Kyle has been a key offensive producer for the Oilers with 37 points (14G, 23A) in the 2018-19 season, and a career total of 125 points (45G, 80A) in 145 regular season games.

• 2018-2019 Award Finalists: Alex Young – Canmore Eagles, Kyle Gordon – Okotoks Oilers, Taner Miller – Fort McMurray Oil Barons, Connor Blake – Grande Prairie Storm
• 2017-2018 Award Winner: Shane Fraser – 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 the opening games of the 2019 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs.

The League award winners in the area of Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year will be announced on Thursday, February 28th.