The MHL is proud to announce several award winners for the 2017-18 regular season. Earlier this month, officials from all MHL teams submitted nominations and subsequent votes for several deserving players throughout the league.
“The MHL wishes to congratulate our many deserving award winners for the 2017-18 regular season,” League President Brian Whitehead said. “One of our primary goals is to spotlight the many talented players that have made the MHL their league of choice. The numerous close votes and quality of players that have earned these distinctions is a testament to what our league has to offer.”
MHL PLAYER OF THE YEAR/MHL SCORING CHAMPION
TJ SHEA – SUMMERSIDE WESTERN CAPITALS
It was a season to remember for forward TJ Shea of the Summerside Western Capitals. The 19 year old from Tignish, PEI led the league during the regular season in goals scored (43) and assists (62) for an outstanding 105 points, the highest total for a player in the league in 13 years. This also marks the first time in seven seasons that any player has reached the century mark in total points. Shea was held off the scoresheet a grand total of four times in 48 games played while also reeling off a nearly four month long, 33 game point streak in the process. Shea posted 35 multi-point games during the season while also being named first star of the month in the league an unprecedented three times. He was also named the CJHL First Star of the Month for January, 2018. Shea, who won the MHL scoring title by 16 points after being named to the Rookie All-Star Team in 2016/17, played a pivotal role in the Western Capitals’ league leading offense.
MHL DEFENSEMAN OF THE YEAR
MITCHELL KREIS – MIRAMICHI TIMBERWOLVES
For the second season in a row, the league’s award for its top defenseman will go to a member of the Miramichi Timberwolves. Mitchell Kreis led all defensemen – and also led the T-Wolves team – in scoring during the regular season with 53 points, including 21 goals, in 50 games. Acquired by the Timberwolves from the Valley Wildcats just prior to the start of the season, Kreis contributed greatly in all aspects of the game to a Miramichi club that experienced some significant turnover immediately following their march to the 2017 MHL Playoff Final. The 20 year old from Georgetown, Ontario also brought a leadership component to the Timberwolves, acting as an Assistant Captain for his new club. Kreis posted 15 multi point games on the back end for Miramichi while also helping them achieve the league’s best penalty killing efficiency rating during the season.
MHL GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR
DOMINIK TMEJ – SUMMERSIDE WESTERN CAPITALS
Although he didn’t suit up for an MHL game until November 18th, Dominik Tmej certainly made the most of his time between the pipes with the Summerside Western Capitals. The 18 year old from Bradenton, Florida earned MHL Goaltender of the Year Honors by reeling off a 17-2 record to go with a 2.06 GAA and a sparkling save percentage of .941. Tmej boasted individual winning streaks of seven and six games, respectively. Arguably his most astounding accomplishment was posting six shutouts on the year in just 22 total appearances. The consistent play of Tmej played an integral part in Summerside’s 17-4 record since early January, which helped propel the club to a solid second place finish in the Eastlink North Division.
MHL CHARACTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CAMPBELL PICKARD – TRURO BEARCATS
This year’s MHL Character Player of the Year, forward Campbell Pickard of the Truro Bearcats, took on the challenging task of coming to a new team and assuming a leadership role in the process. The 20 year old from Halifax proved more than up to the challenge, leading the Bearcats with 35 goals and 69 points while driving the offensive game of a club that relied heavily on a defense-first mentality. “Campbell Pickard is exactly what every player in the MHL should aspire to be,” explained Bearcats Head Coach Shawn Evans. “It is an honour and privilege to be his Coach. A complete 200 foot hockey player who competes and plays the game the right way. In hockey you earn respect – it is not given to you. He has earned that as the leader of our team. He treats everyone in the community of Truro with the utmost respect. In my 16 years Coaching the Bearcats he may very well be the most well rounded young man I have had the opportunity to work with. (I’m) very proud and very lucky to have Campbell be a Truro Bearcat.”
MHL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
JORDAN SPENCE – SUMMERSIDE WESTERN CAPITALS
Having a player in his 16 year old season lead the league in rookie scoring is a rare occurrence. Having a defenseman do it is ever greater cause for celebration. Such was the case for this year’s Rookie of the Year in the MHL, Jordan Spence of the Summerside Western Capitals. Spence topped all rookies with 52 points in 50 games. His 39 assists led all blueliners – not just rookies – in that category. Not only was Spence’s feat a rare event, the impact it had on the Western Capitals’ charge through the league during the 2018 calendar year made it all the more important. During that timeframe, Spence recorded 10 multi-point games. The Cornwall, PEI rearguard, who turned 17 last month, was also named the league’s Rookie of the Month for November. Spence, who spent last season with the Charlottetown Pride in the NB/PEI Midget AAA ranks, was selected by the Western Capitals in the third round of the 2017 MHL Draft.
MHL COACH OF THE YEAR
LAURIE BARRON – YARMOUTH MARINERS
Last year, Laurie Barron helped guide the Yarmouth Mariners to a 43 point improvement the first season of his second tour of duty as Head Coach of the Mariners. This year, the 50 year old from Kennetcook, Nova Scotia literally took his club to another level as the Mariners captured top spot in the Eastlink South Division during the regular season, the first time in six years the team has earned that accolade. This is Barron’s second Coach of the Year Award. He previously earned the trophy in 2012, when he once again led the Mariners to not only their last division title but their last trip to the MHL Playoff Final as well. For the past two seasons, Barron has also represented the MHL as part of the league’s coaching staff at the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge.
YOUNG/KNICKLE AWARD – TOP GOALTENDING DUO
KEVIN RESOP & ALEC MACDONALD – TRURO BEARCATS
No team in the MHL can lay claim to an individual trophy quite the same way the Truro Bearcats have with the Young/Knickle Award for top goaltending duo during the regular season. This year, the netminding of Kevin Resop and Alec MacDonald combined to help the Bearcats allow just 130 goals against on the year. Resop, a 20 year old who hails from St. Petersburg, Florida went 17-19-3 with Truro while sporting a 2.56 GAA and .911 save percentage. He also posted two shutouts. MacDonald, in his first MHL season, went 7-3-1 to go with a GAA of 2.13 and a .916 save percentage. The 18 year old from Truro also earned a pair of shutouts while going 3-0 during the month of March. This marks the tenth time in the past 15 years that Bearcat goaltenders have captured this award.
The Maritime Junior Hockey League congratulates all of its deserving award winners. The winner of the MHL Scholastic Player of the Year Award and Bob Boucher Scholarship will be announced at a later date. As well, the winners of the MHL Community Spirit Award, Roger Meek Executive of the Year Award and Moe Bent Builders Award will be revealed at the 2018 MHL Draft in Berwick, Nova Scotia.
Will MacLaren – themhl.ca