The Estevan Bruins have announced their 2019/20 team awards winners, as the usual end-of-season banquet and celebration was not held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cancelled the SJHL playoffs abruptly on March 13th.
The past season was another successful one on the ice for the Estevan Bruins, as the club finished 6th overall with a record of (31-23-3-1). Every player on the team contributed to that success in one way or another, with a select group of players earning recognition with an individual award as chosen by the Estevan Bruins staff.
Congratulations to the winners of our 2019/20 team awards!
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – #10 Jayden Davis
Jayden Davis led the Estevan Bruins in almost every way possible during his 4th and final season of junior hockey. On the ice, Jayden led the Bruins in goals (21), assists (37), points (58), shorthanded goals (2), and was tied in games played (58). In 4 playoff games, Jayden added 3 points (1G, 2A). The 20-year-old from nearby Alameda was named Captain of the Estevan Bruins this year, and his leadership ability and team-first mentality helped carry the team through a tough first-half of the season. After the Christmas break, the Bruins posted the 2nd-best winning percentage in the SJHL with Davis posting outstanding statistical numbers including a 12-game point streak to end the season.
PLAYOFF MVP – #35 Keenan Rancier
In an abbreviated SJHL postseason, there was arguably no better player in the league than the Estevan Bruins goaltender after four games. Despite the Bruins falling behind (3-1) in their Best-of-7 series to the Melfort Mustangs, Rancier did almost everything possible to lead his team to victory in all four games. Rancier did not allow more than two goals in each of the four games (4-1 W, 4-1 L with two ENG, 2-1 OTL, 2-1 L), finishing with an SJHL-leading .955 SV% and 2nd-SJHL with a 1.69 G.A.A. Rancier stopped 149 of 156 shots and put the Bruins in a position to win each of their four games in the SJHL quarterfinal round.
DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR – #4 Devan Harrison
The Estevan Bruins were fortunate to have two of the best defencemen in the SJHL on the same team, with both Devan Harrison and Kade McMillen playing a huge role in the team’s success in 2019/20. The award however does go to Harrison, who was also named as the SJHL Viterra Division winner of the ‘Best Defenceman’ award. Harrison played in all 58 games on the blueline with 5 goals, 30 assists, and 35 points. In his second season with the Bruins, Harrison continued to make strides both offensively and defensively and will be counted on, along with McMillen, to anchor the Bruins’ blueline next season in his final junior season.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – #22 Griffin Asham-Moroz
The Estevan Bruins had a SJHL-leading 12 rookie skaters this past season, with multiple players taking on big roles and playing important minutes in their first junior season. But no one made as consistent and significant impact as Griffin Asham-Moroz, with the 18-year-old near the top of the league, and the Bruins, in most statistical categories. Asham-Moroz led all Bruins’ rookie skaters in goals (18), assists (29), points (47) and game-winning goals (4) in 55 games played. Asham-Moroz also scored two points (1G, 1A) in the Bruins’ lone playoff win over Melfort in Game 1. The rookie was 3rd among all first-year players in the SJHL in scoring, behind only Tristan Lemyre (FFB – 62 points) and Karter McNarland (50 points).
MARK CROSS ‘ETHICS’ AWARD – #19 Tyson Manz
The Estevan Bruins ‘Ethics’ award, named for former player Mark Cross who won the award twice during his time with the Bruins, recognizes the player who best embodies the club on and off the ice. It celebrates a player who’s drive, determination, perseverance, and positive attitude on the ice and in the dressing room helps leads the team to reach their goals. This person is also an ambassador for the team in the community, engaging with fans and making everyone feel like part of the team.
This season, there is a perfect choice for the award as 3rd-year forward and veteran leader Tyson Manz has been chosen for the Mark Cross ‘Ethics’ award. Tyson has been a quiet leader for the team since his rookie season and grew into that role this year, earning a an ‘A’ on his jersey in the process. Tyson was integral to making the abundance of rookie players feel comfortable, and his never-ending positive nature spilled over onto others during tough times.
‘ROCKY’ AWARD – #16 Brady Nicholas & #28 Troy Hamilton
The Estevan Bruins ‘Rocky’ award is presented to the player, or players, who best represent a blend of skill and toughness for the team. These players typically play a heavily physical brand of hockey, going into the dirty areas to make plays, stepping up for their teammates, and contributing offensively at the same time.
This year, two rookie forwards are both bestowed with the ‘Rocky’ award: centerman Brady Nicholas and winger Troy Hamilton. Both players finished with very similar offensive numbers in their 18-year-old seasons, tied in games played (41), and points (29), with each player posting at least 100 PIM (Hamilton – 100 PIM, Nicholas – 108 PIM). Each player had multiple fighting majors as well, but both were regulars on the team’s powerplay and were counted on nightly to help the team earn wins.
‘MR. HUSTLE’ AWARD – #35 Keenan Rancier
The Estevan Bruins ‘Mr. Hustle’ award recognizes a player who’s motor never stops running throughout the season. On gamedays, they prepare and play at a 100% pace. On off days, they work tirelessly at improving any and all aspects of their game.
This season, the ‘Mr. Hustle’ award goes to goaltender Keenan Rancier. Rancier joined the Bruins in an off-season trade but it became apparent immediately that he was going to be a player leaned upon from Day 1. The goaltender treated his spot on the team as a full-time job, staying at the rink outside of scheduled team hours to work out, watch video, study, and did whatever he could to prepare for the next opponent. His routine did not change on days he was not scheduled to start in net, and his professional approach to the position was not only a shining example for his teammates, but it carried over on the ice. Statistically, Rancier was one of the top goaltenders in the SJHL all season long and his consistently strong player, especially early in the season with the team struggling to score, was integral to the club’s success at the end of the season.
‘HEART’ AWARD – #10 Jayden Davis
The ‘Heart’ award, presented and chosen by the Estevan Bruins Training staff, goes to the player that puts the team’s goals ahead of their own consistently. They understand that the work that goes in off the ice carries over onto the ice, that the only thing that matters at the end of the game is that the team wins, and that any effort less than their best is unacceptable.
It’s very possible that the award gets named after this year’s winner, as he has won the award each of his four years with the club: Jayden Davis. In his final season, the Bruins’ captain played every game for his team and those with the team know that Jayden was never at 100% health-wise at any point in the year. Despite that, Davis helped lead the off-ice preparations and training, led the team in scoring, and continued to play a fast-paced, physical and intimidating brand of hockey.
MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER – #15 Tanner Manz
The ‘Most Underrated Player’ award recognizes a player who typically does not receive the level of recognition compared to the amount of positive things they bring to the team on a regular basis. This player is integral to how the team plays, is a team-leader, and does several little things well that translate to big things and wins at the end of the game.
The winner for the award this season is 20-year-old forward Tanner Manz, who has been a key contributor to the team in each of his three seasons with the Bruins. Tanner has consistently been one of the strongest centermen in the SJHL in the faceoff circle, is excellent defensively and plays a hard, physical game on defenders nightly. This season, he played the same game but with increased opportunity offensively and on the powerplay, Manz flourished scoring 20 goals (10 on the powerplay) all while working to shut down the other teams’ top players. Tanner scored big goals throughout his SJHL career, including a hat-trick in a playoff game in his rookie season and the Game 5 OT winner against the Humboldt Broncos in 18-19. He added to his big goals this year with the ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ goal just 11 seconds into a game and another OT winner against Humboldt in late January during the Bruins’ run towards playoffs.
MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER – #14 Eddie Gallagher
The ‘Most Sportsmanlike Player’ award recognizes a player who excels in all areas of the game, specifically one who contributes on the scoresheet while playing within the rules and posting a relatively-low penalty minute totals.
This year’s winner is an obvious one, as Eddie Gallagher was 2nd overall in team scoring with 50 points (15G, 35A) and was lowest among all skaters with 4 PIM (2 minor penalties). As play-by-play voice Rob Mahon has noted out, Gallagher finished with more powerplay goals (6) than total penalty minutes (4). Gallagher was the Bruins’ leading scorer after Christmas, and led the Bruins in playoff scoring with 5 points (2G, 3A) in 4 games. Despite not posting a lot of penalty minutes, Gallagher did not shy away from the dirty areas often taking a hit to make a perfect pass or going to the net for a deflection or rebound.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – #7 Caleb Petrie
The ‘Most Improved Player’ award recognizes a player who continually works at his game throughout the season and becomes a key teammate for the Estevan Bruins by the time the season ends. It’s difficult to make up a specific criteria for the award, as multiple players improve in certain areas each year and in some veterans cases, they improve from year-to-year.
This season, the award goes to rookie forward Caleb Petrie. The 18-year-old forward started the season fighting for playing time with 11 other rookie skaters and specifically at the center position, where at one time the Bruins were carrying up to 7 capable centermen. When he wasn’t in the starting lineup, Petrie was a leader in helping out with the other gameday necessities including the team video responsibilities.
Petrie was assigned to the team’s Junior ‘B’ card at the December 1st roster deadline, meaning he could only play a maximum of 10 more games a the Junior ‘A’ level during the regular season while playing with the Pilot Butte Storm in Junior B. However after that date, Petrie’s game elevated to another level. In Junior ‘B’, Petrie posted 22 points (11G, 11A) in 14 games while with the Bruins, Petrie tallied 7 points (3G, 4A) in 9 more games. Again when not in the lineup, Petrie kept a positive message in the dressing room and helped assist the team in whatever way he could.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AWARD – #11 Kade McMillen
The ‘Community Involvement’ award recognizes a player who puts as much effort into engaging with fans and participating in team activities in the community off the ice as they do with commitment to their abilities on the ice.
There is a league-award for each team for ‘Community Involvement’, but it does not necessarily mean that the same player wins both awards. However for the Estevan Bruins, it is the same player as 2nd-year defenceman Kade McMillen has been recognized with the award. Kade took on a larger leadership role with the team both on the ice as an Assistant Captain and off the ice, spear-heading the team involvement with volunteer activities that the Bruins participated in. Kade participated in almost every single community event, and also took time to chat with young fans after practices and games, signing autographs and making great memories for everyone he encountered.
ABE BERDAY MEMORIAL SCHOLASTIC AWARD – #35 Keenan Rancier
The ‘Abe Berday Memorial Scholastic’ award recognizes a player who is committed to achieving academic success as much as their success on the ice with the team. Typically it recognizes a player taking post-secondary education classes, either in person or online, who posts a high grade-average and who is a key player in the lineup for the team.
This year’s winner is Keenan Rancier. His work ethic and on-ice success is obvious and has already been noted, but Keenan’s dedication to his academics is just as notable. Rancier takes his education very seriously, which also lends itself well to any schools interested in committing to the netminder as academics are as important as hockey ability.
MOST POPULAR PLAYER AWARD – #10 Jayden Davis
The Estevan Bruins ‘Most Popular Player’ award recognizes a member of the team that is not only well-respected among his coaches and teammates, but translates that personality to the fans and general public making him a popular figure representing the Bruins.
This year’s winner is Jayden Davis, as the captain of the team has been one of the most popular players among fans and teammates over his four seasons with the Bruins. Davis has a very outgoing personality, constantly cracking jokes and getting the most fun out of each of his teammates as possible. It seems he especially targets players who have their ‘serious’ face on or are little more shy, and Jayden has a special way to get those players to crack a smile and have fun while playing hockey. The fans recognize Jayden’s personality too, and see it come through on social media through photos and videos along with face-to-face chats, as Jayden always has time to have a quick chat with anyone who comes up to him.
ESTEVAN BRUINS ‘TOP SCORER’ AWARD – #10 – Jayden Davis
This is one of the Bruins’ two statistic-based awards, as it simply goes to the player who scored the most points in the regular season. Jayden Davis led the Bruins with 58 points this year, a career-high that also included career-high marks in goals (21) and assists (37).
ESTEVAN BRUINS ‘IRON MAN’ AWARD – TIE – #4 Devan Harrison, #10 – Jayden Davis, #19 – Tyson Manz
This award recognizes the player or players who play in every regular season game for the Estevan Bruins. This season, three players played in all 58 regular season games (and all 4 playoff games): defenceman Devan Harrison and forwards Jayden Davis and Tyson Manz.
There is also one award handed out for the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ for the Estevan Bruins. This person is typically a dedicated part of the team and/or production of home games at Affinity Place, while also volunteering time outside of gameday hours to support the club.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – Darren Rog
Darren has volunteered for the Estevan Bruins for several years and most recently, has been the team’s statistician during home games and keeps the roster up-to-date online. This past season, Darren took on a larger role in the production of home games at Affinity Place. Darren took on the role as gameday producer operating the Tricaster video screen on the score clock, which also ties in to the team’s feed seen on HockeyTV. Darren also mentored new volunteers up in the Bruins’ Press Box, assisting with gameday music and lights, gameday stats, and gameday video.
Darren’s dedication and professionalism was essential in easing the club in a transition-year for gameday volunteers, and the Estevan Bruins sincerely thank Darren for his efforts and recognize him as the ‘Volunteer of the Year’.
READ MORE: 2018-19 AWARD WINNERS