The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins have had two players announced as representatives in the Viterra Division for the 2018/19 SJHL Awards.
Turner Ripplinger has been named as the division’s nominee for the ‘Player of the Year’ award and the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award. While Jake Heerspink has been named as the division’s nominee for ‘Best Defenceman’.
RIPPLINGER LEADS AT BOTH ENDS OF THE RINK
Turner Ripplinger has been having his most productive season in his first year with the Bruins and his final year of junior hockey. As of February 15th, he has posted career high’s in goals (21), points (54) and penalty minutes (150) while playing top-line minutes at even-strength and on both the powerplay and penalty kill.
“Players like Turner Ripplinger make their teammates better, their coaches more comfortable, and opponents uncomfortable,” states Head Coach and General Manager Chris Lewgood.
“Turner’s skills and abilities are not always flashy, but he always seems to find a way to contribute at both ends of the rink. ”
For ‘Player of the Year’, Ripplinger is nominated against Battleford North Stars defenceman Cody Spagrud (Global Ag Risk Division) and Melfort Mustangs forward Carson Albrecht (Sherwood Division).
For ‘Most Valuable Player’, Ripplinger is nominated against Humboldt Broncos forward Michael Clarke (Global Ag Risk Division) and Melfort Mustangs forward Justin Ball (Sherwood Division).
HEERSPINK HEADS BRUINS STACKED BLUELINE
Jake Heerspink is also enjoying his most productive year offensively in his final season of junior hockey. As of February 15th, Heerspink has set career marks in goals (9) and penalty minutes (132), while he is just seven assists and three points shy of career high’s in those categories.
More importantly, Heerspink and the Bruins all-star group on defence have developed into arguably the top blueline in the SJHL. Heerspink and his partner Johnny Witzke are easily the top tandem at both ends of the ice in the SJHL, with Aigne McGeady-Bruce and Devan Harrison not far behind and Kade McMillen, Austin King-Cunningham and Bronson Adams also contributing to the shutdown defence.
Heerspink gets the nod for the Bruins and the Viterra Division, and it’s possible he has already beat out his closest competition for the ‘Best Defenceman’ award in Johnny Witzke (52 games, 12-26-38).
“Jake Heerspink is a natural leader, tenacious defender, and an offensive threat,” adds Lewgood about the 20-year-old captain.
“With a hard, well-timed shot and ability to consistently get pucks to the net Jake is recognized as one of the SJHL’s premier offensive blueliners. But it is his ability to win one on one battles along the wall in his defensive zone is that opposition forwards likely think about the most.”
Heerspink is nominated against Battleford’s Cody Spagrud (Global Ag Risk Division) and Flin Flon’s Calvon Boots (Sherwood Division).
Turner Ripplinger & Jake Heerspink Celebrate A Goal Against The Weyburn Red Wings On February 2nd. (Photo: Durr Photography)