Shawinigan, QC - The Canadian Hockey League today announced the ten national award winners for the 2011-12 season including Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans who earned both the Chrysler Top Scorer and CCM Player of the Year Award. Shinnimin is the first player since Alexander Radulov in 2005-06 and Sidney Crosby in 2004-05 to win both major awards in the same season.
Winners were presented with their awards at Centre des Arts in Shawinigan as part of the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup festivities.
2011-12 CHL Award Winners:
Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year – Nail Yakupov (Sarnia Sting):
One year after claiming BMO CHL Rookie of the Year honours, Nail Yakupov is the Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year ranked first overall by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The 18-year-old Russian scored 31 goals and 38 assists for 69 points in 42 games and represented his home country earning silver at the World Junior Championship. Yakupov looks to become the sixth straight CHL player to be selected first overall in June’s draft. Also considered for the award was Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts and Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips.
FRAM Sportsman of the Year – Mark Stone (Brandon Wheat Kings):
The 19-year-old from Winnipeg, MB, Mark Stone netted finished second in WHL scoring with a career-high 41 goals and 82 assists for 123 points this season while drawing just 22 minutes in penalties in 66 games. Stone, an Ottawa Senators prospect, drew minor penalties in just 10 of the 66 games he played and picked up more than one minor infraction in a single game just once all season, despite playing heavy minutes for the Wheat Kings. Also considered for the award was Zach O’Brien of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and Brandon Saad of the Saginaw Spirit.
Dodge Top Scorer of the Year – Brendan Shinnimin (Tri-City Americans):
Brendan Shinnimin finished the 2011-12 regular season with a CHL-leading 134 points on 58 goals and 76 assists. The 21-year-old Phoenix Coyotes prospect from Winnipeg, MB, accumulated the most points in a WHL regular season since the 1998-99 campaign. Shinnimin recorded points in 60 of the 69 games he played this season, and finished the season on a 23-game point streak. Also considered for the award was Yanni Gourde of the Victoriaville Tigres, and Michael Sgarbossa of the Sudbury Wolves.
Home Hardware Humanitarian Player of the Year – Vincent Barnard (Quebec Remparts):
Vincent Barnard, a 21-year-old from Sept-Iles, QC, was involved in his community from the beginning of his junior career, however he outdid himself this year participating in a variety of community initiatives in the city where he played the final two of his four-year QMJHL career. Also considered for the award was Andrew D’Agostini of the Peterborough Petes, and Taylor Vause of the Swift Current Broncos.
Subway Scholastic Player of the Year – Jonathan Brunelle (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles):
On top of maintaining an exemplary academic file, Jonathan Brunelle, a 20-year-old from Boisbriand, QC, is also a role model for his teammates just as much off as on the ice. His perseverance in class has caught the attention and praise of his teachers while still producing on the ice with 85 points in 68 games. Also considered for the award was Adam Pelech of the Erie Otters, and Reid Gow of the Spokane Chiefs.
Old Dutch Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year – Jim Hiller (Tri-City Americans):
In his third season as head coach of the Tri-City Americans, Jim Hiller guided the Ams to yet another outstanding regular-season campaign. Under Hiller, the Ams posted a 50-18-2-2 record for 104 points to capture their fourth U.S. Division title in five seasons and finish with the best record in the WHL Western Conference. Hiller’s Americans boasted the WHL’s fourth-ranked offense and the top-ranked defense, and scored 91 more goals than they allowed this season. Also considered for the award was Jean-Francois Houle of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, and Greg Gilbert of the Saginaw Spirit.
BMO Rookie of the Year – Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec Remparts):
Mikhail Grigorenko captures the first-year honour thanks to his remarkable season recording 40 goals and 45 assists in 59 games for the Quebec Remparts, leading them to 43 wins and 93 points. The 18-year-old Russian native is also eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Also considered for the award was Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts, and Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice.
Vaughn Goaltender of the Year – Michael Houser (London Knights):
Michael Houser posted a 46-15-0-1 record backstopping the Knights to their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular season team, and tied an OHL single season record for most wins by a goaltender. The 19-year-old from Wexford, PA, had a goals-against-average of 2.47 and save percentage of .925 recording six shutouts. Also considered for the award was Mathieu Corbeil of the Saint John Sea Dogs, and Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Post Foods Canada Defenceman of the Year – Dougie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs):
Dougie Hamilton led all OHL defencemen in scoring with 72 points in just 50 games and tied for third in the league with a plus-minus rating of plus-37. He scored 17 goals with 55 assists including 30 assists recorded on the power play. An 18-year-old from Toronto, ON, Hamilton was selected by the Boston Bruins with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Also considered for the award was Jerome Gauthier-Leduc of the Rimouski Oceanic, and Alex Petrovic of the Red Deer Rebels.
CCM Player of the Year – Brendan Shinnimin (Tri-City Americans):
BrendanShinnimin, a Winnipeg, MB, native, enjoyed an excellent season for the Americans, recording 58 goals and 76 assists for 134 points along with a +45 rating in 69 games leading the CHL in scoring while helping the Ams win the WHL’s U.S. Division and Western Conference regular-season titles. The 5’10”, 175-lb pivot finished second among all WHL players with 58 goals and third among WHL players with 76 assists. Additionally, Shinnimin finished with 21 power play markers and second with seven shorthanded tallies. The 21-year-old overage player signed an entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes late in the season. Also considered for the award was Yanni Gourde of the Victoriaville Tigres, and Michael Houser of the London Knights.