Whitecourt, AB – The Whitecourt Wolverines held their annual awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon at the Forest Interpretive Centre.
Goaltender Xavier Potvin was named as the team's Most Valuable Player. This season he set single-season franchise records for games played by a goalie (45), minutes played (2693, shots faced (1249) and saves made (1146). He finished the year with a record of 25-14-6, a 2.29 goals against average, a .918 save percentage and 4 shutouts. He was also nominated for the AJHL's Goaltender of the Year award.
Fan Favorite and Most Dedicated Player
Third-year Wolverine forward Jaedon Leslie double dipped on the awards as he was voted as the fans favorite player for the second time in three seasons while also picking up the team's Most Dedicated Player award, which came as no surprise as he was also nominated for the league-wide award. Leslie tied his career high in goals this year with 15 while also setting new marks for assists (34) and points (49). His 7 game-winning goals this season set a new franchise record.
This year's Coaches Award was shared between second-year defenceman Tanner Foster and second-year forward Ben Evanish. The Coaches Award recognizes a player or players who were able to elevate their role on the team while also being projected to be a part of the following season's leadership group. Foster led all Wolverine defenceman in scoring with 4 goals, 25 assists, and 29 points. Evanish was far and away the Wolverine's breakout player during the 2017/2018 season as piled in 33 goals and 17 assists. His goal total led the team and was a personal increase of 25 from the previous year.
Wolverine forward Liam Motley secured this year's Top Scorer award on the final day of the regular season with an assist against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons as he won a very competitive four-way race between himself (51 points), Ben Evanish (50 points), Jaedon Leslie (49 points) and Estian Coetzee (48 points). Motley finished his career with the Wolverines having played in 99 games while scoring 45 goals and 45 assists.
Team captain Ryan Grant was named as the team's Top Defenceman. Grant completed his third season as a Wolverine and set a new career high in goals with 5. Throughout the course of this season, he solidified himself as one of the league's best shutdown defencemen. Grant has now appeared in 165 games as a Wolverine in the regular season and an additional 29 post-season games.
Rookie of the Year
Wolverine defenceman Matthew Monk was named Rookie of the Year. After an early season injury delayed his season debut, Monk jumped into the lineup in October and would go on to tie the team's franchise record for points in a season by a rookie defenceman with 23 after scoring 5 goals and 18 assists.
First-year Wolverine forward Spencer Bast was named the Unsung Hero after scoring 20 goals and 20 assists in 53 games while also taking just one minor penalty. Bast was a force in both ends of the ice and was considered to be the team's most consistent skater. This season was Bast's fourth and final year of junior hockey which saw him play a total of 170 career games combining his time in the AJHL, SJHL, and WHL.
Most Improved Player
Local product and rookie defenceman Spencer Augot was honored as the team's most improved player. After being held pointless in his first 16 games, he finished the season by scoring 4 goals and 5 assists in his final 20 games while also making huge strides with his consistent play in his own zone.
This year's Humanitarian Award was split by the Haygarth twins, Chase and Easton. Due to an early-season injury, Easton was held out of action for much of the year but that didn't stop him from doing his part to give back to the community. Prior to every home game, he would be seen signing autographs for young fans and was always at community events with a smile on his face. His brother Chase not only solidified his spot in the lineup as a rookie but also solidified himself in the community and was one of the top vote-getters for the team's Fan Favorite Award.