Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

PHOTOS: 2019 Bruins Team Award Winners



The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins 2018/19 season officially came to a close on Wednesday, April 10th with the annual Team Awards Banquet at the Beefeater Plaza.

In total, 18 awards were presented to members of the Bruins with a few players winning multiple commemorative plaques and getting their name engraved on the annual trophies.

Graduating forward Turner Ripplinger has been named as the 2018/19 ‘Most Valuable Player’ for the Bruins, in a season where he finished with a career high 26 goals and 33 assists for 59 points in 57 games. Ripplinger added a team-leading 11 points in 13 playoff games for the Bruins. And with his unique blend of skill, grit, and toughness (150 PIM), Ripplinger was also named as the winner of the team’s ‘Rocky’ award.

Leading the way hauling in four awards on the night was Bruins defenceman: Johnny Witzke. The graduating blueliner took home the ‘Most Popular Player’, ‘Community Involvement’, ‘Shinske/Pierson Memorial Scholarship’ and ‘Iron Man’ award (along with Aigne McGeady-Bruce and Isaiah Thomas, who also played every game this season).

Close to 150 people filled the Beefeater Plaza for the evening, a tremendous show of appreciation from billets, families, volunteers and fans for the team that entertained our community for the past 7 months.

Ending the evening was a presentation to the team’s seven graduating players, who each received a ring to thank them for their contributions to the Bruins:

GRADUATING: #3 – Johnny Witzke, #6 – Aigne McGeady-Bruce, #8 – Jake Heerspink, #16 – Will Koop, #17 – Turner Ripplinger, #21 – Michael McChesney, #26 – Bryce Platt

The full list of award winners is below. Congratulations to all the winners and congratulations to each member of the 2018/19 Power Dodge Estevan Bruins on an extremely successful and memorable season!

Gail Chilman – Power Dodge ‘Volunteer of the Year’
Johnny Witzke, Aigne McGeady-Bruce, Isaiah Thomas – Encompass Fitness ‘Iron Man’ Award
Michael McChesney – Estevan Bruins ‘Top Scorer’
Johnny Witzke – RBC ‘Community Involvement’ Award
Will Koop – Abe Berday Memorial ‘Scholastic’ Award
Johnny Witzke – Rocket Sales ‘Most Popular Player’
Aigne McGeady-Bruce – Rock106 ‘Most Sportsmanlike Player’
TJ Irey – TEML ‘Most Improved Player’
Devan Harrison – JL’s Bike & Skate ‘Most Underrated Player’
Johnny Witzke – Shinske/Pierson Memorial Scholarship (presented by: Jeff Pierson)
Michael McChesney – Mark Cross ‘Ethics’ Award
Jayden Davis – Estevan Bruins Training Staff ‘Heart’ Award
Tristyn Deroose – Crown Advertising ‘Mr. Hustle’ Award
Turner Ripplinger – KSM Trucking ‘Rocky’ Award
Grant Boldt – Spectra Financial ‘Rookie of the Year’
Jake Heerspink – A&W ‘Defenceman of the Year’
Aigne McGeady-Bruce – Days Inn Estevan ‘Playoff MVP’
Turner Ripplinger – Tower Café ‘Most Valuable Player’


Power Dodge ‘Volunteer of the Year’
Description: Awarded to an individual who donates significant hours of their own time assisting the club with gameday activities, promotions, or day-to-day operations.
Winner: This year’s winner has won the award in the past for her invaluable help with gameday preparation and execution. She resumed that role this year, and once again stepped up with her time and experience during a very busy playoff run making it a smooth and successful postseason. All of this is not new, but this year was different without Ed by her side…which makes this season’s contributions that much more special.
Winners: Gail Chilman

Encompass Fitness ‘Iron Man’ Award
Description: “Presented to the player or players who play every game in the regular season for the club”
Winners: Johnny Witzke, Aigne McGeady-Bruce, Isaiah Thomas

Estevan Bruins ‘Top Scorer’
Description: “Awarded to the player or players who lead the club in points scored during the regular season.”
Winner: #21 – Michael McChesney (61 points, also led with 30 goals)

RBC ‘Community Involvement’ Award
Description: “Presented to the player or players who are determined to have the most desire to represent the club at community events. The winner also displays a positive and outgoing attitude at the events, volunteers without any or minimal hesitation, and encourages his teammates to volunteer as well.
“This year’s winner has spent years meeting and exceeding the criteria outlined for this award. The bar has been permanently raised as to what it means for Bruins players to impact the city of Estevan and the surrounding area.”
Winner: Johnny Witzke

Abe Berday Memorial ‘Scholastic’ Award
Description: “Presented to player or players who excels academically during the hockey season, and maintains a high grade while also playing effective minutes for the team.
“This year’s winner sees the big picture when it comes to planning for his future. As a full time student this season with extraordinary grades and his focus for next year on academics he is sure to continue to build on this and make a fine career for himself post-hockey!”
Winner: Will Koop

Rocket Sales ‘Most Popular Player’
Description: “Awarded to the player or players that hold the greatest amount of perceived popularity in the community.”
“This year’s winner will either be the mayor of Estevan or run a successful home daycare in years to come. He has endeared himself to fans in this community for 3 seasons and his name will not be soon forgotten in SE SK”
Winner: Johnny Witzke

Rock106 ‘Most Sportsmanlike Player’
Description: “Awarded to the player or players that compete at a high level and is a difficult opponent to play against, all while playing within the rulebook.”
“A lot of times this award goes to an impactful player with gentlemanly qualities. This year’s winner is no exception but adds an uncanny ability to play the game with an ultra high level of compete and nastiness while maintaining the typical sportsmanship previous winners posses.”
Winner: Aigne McGeady-Bruce

TEML ‘Most Improved Player’
Description: “Awarded to the player or players that show the most significant increase of ability in all areas of their game. This award can be given over a one-season span, or multiple seasons as determined by the coaching staff.”
“The recipient of this award built a foundation for his Jr career in his rookie season through his work ethic, blue collar mentality, and team first attitude. This year he was given an opportunity to take on a larger role with the team and added a top end skill element and point production to his bag of tricks”
Winner: TJ Irey

JL’s Bike & Skate ‘Most Underrated Player’
Description: “Awarded to the player or players that make the most significant contribution in their role on the team, while possibly being overshadowed by their teammates or ignored by their opponents.”
“The 2019 Most Underrated Player Award goes to a player who made an immediate impact when joining the team but did so while flying under the radar for many. His statistic production is modest unless looked at in a points per game summary. His defensive play is often overlooked due to his ability to break up a play before it becomes memorable. His quiet leadership was just that: quiet, but was also invaluable to the club.”
Winner: Devan Harrison

Shinske/Pierson Memorial Scholarship
Winner: Johnny Witzke

Mark Cross ‘Ethics’ Award
Description: This award was previously named the Bill Shinske Ethics Award. Mr. Shinske spent years building the Estevan Bruins and shaping what it meant to be a Bruin. His legacy will be honoured by the club in a different fashion down the road. After the April 6, 2018 tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos, Bruins management made the decision to rename this award. Among the 16 killed was Mark Cross who played for the Bruins for 3 seasons. Mark is the only player to date, that we’re aware of, to receive this award in multiple seasons winning it in 2010 and 2011.
“This year’s winner is a player who wore the Bruins B for 3 seasons with pride. He was a leader on the ice and among his teammates. His humility and soft spoken nature, his team first mentality, and his on ice contributions will be missed dearly as he graduates from Junior hockey.”
Winner: Michael McChesney

Estevan Bruins Training Staff ‘Heart’ Award
Description: “Presented by the club’s training staff, the winner of the award shows the greatest level of work ethic, team spirit, determination, dedication, and drive on the team.”
Winner: Jayden Davis

Crown Advertising ‘Mr. Hustle’ Award
Description: “As described within the title, this award is presented to the player or players who displays a high level of hustle on the ice every shift throughout the regular season.”
“The 2019 Mr. Hustle Award recipient earned this honour by quietly going about his business every single day. Playing the game and practicing with efficiency and close attention to detail along with an unwavering work ethic made him a team favourite and one of the most respected players in the dressing room.”
Winner: Tristyn Deroose

KSM Trucking ‘Rocky’ Award
Description: “Presented to the player or players who display the greatest combination of skill, grit, toughness, drive and willingness to win throughout the regular season.”
“Finishing every single check, selflessly blocking shots, paying a physical price to make the right play, playing through pain, competing relentlessly, and a complete disregard for size and strength odds define this player’s contributions far more than his impressive statistics do.”
Winner: Turner Ripplinger

Spectra Financial ‘Rookie of the Year’
Description: “Awarded to the player or players that show the highest level of ability and consistently contribute to the team’s success during their first full season of Junior ‘A’ hockey.”

“This year’s Top Rookie earned himself a role rarely take on by a player of his age. He has set the table for a tremendous Junior hockey career and gained the attention of our great fans and scouts alike.”
Winner: Grant Boldt

A&W ‘Defenceman of the Year’
Description: “Presented to the defenseman who demonstrates leadership at his position and plays a key role in all scenarios for the Bruins”
“This year’s winner plays the game with a high level of compete and grit, he is one of the nastiest physical defensemen in the SJHL, and he had a career year statistically.”
Winner: Jake Heerspink

Days Inn Estevan ‘Playoff MVP’
Description: “Awarded to the player who’s contributions to the team most directly results in success in the playoffs”
“This player is given the most menacing assignments every single night and meets every challenge head on. His value to the Bruins is not measured on the score sheet but is measured rather on his ability to keep the other team’s best players off of it regularly.”
Winner: Aigne McGeady-Bruce

Tower Café ‘Most Valuable Player’
Description: “The name of the Award says it all”
“This year’s winner took pride in competing to the best of his ability night in and night out. Whether it was his willingness to sacrifice his body on the penalty kill or his uncanny ability to find the back of the net in high pressure situations, he found a way to lead the way on the ice as consistently as any Bruins player in recent memory. The combination of that consistency, skill, and the integrity with which he plays the game makes him the 2018-19 Tower Café Most Valuable Player.”
Winner: Turner Ripplinger

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