Most Valuable Player and Player Of The Year:
Tad Kozun, Nipawin Hawks
Usually, the MVP goes to the player deemed to be most valuable to his team while the Player Of The Year is for the best player in the league. Often times, the two end up being different; but this season I see Tad Kozun as a clear cut victor in both categories. The Hawks are in first place and would, likely, be closer to the bottom of the standings without him. He makes others around him better and he contributes in all situations. Kozun has 25-goals in 25-games so far. Last year, the top goal scorer barely cracked 30 over the full season. If he didn't have a single assist, he'd still be only two points away from leading the loop in scoring.
MVP Honorable Mentions: Tyson Predinchuk, Melville; David Stumborg, Humboldt; and Brady Norrish, Yorkton.
Player Of The Year Honorable Mentions: Sebastien Beauregard, La Ronge; Austin Daae, Estevan; Brett Boehm, Flin Flon.
SASKTEL Goaltender Of The Year:
Kale Thomson, Yorkton Terriers
Dawson who? The Terriers knew they had a competent veteran to fill the big shoes left by Dawson MacAuley's departure to the WHL, but they couldn't have had any idea they had a player, in Thomson, who would emerge as the toughest goalie in the league to get a puck by on a nightly basis. He's been a workhorse, showing no signs of fatigue. He deserves every ounce of success as he was the odd man out of a 3-goalie rotation as a rookie and then got usurped by MacAuley in the second half last year and had trouble getting playing time. He's persevered and it is, now, paying off. He plays behind a really good defense, but opposing teams have to be frustrated at seeing Thomson foil them once they do break down the Yorkton blueline.
Honorable Mentions: Devin Buffalo, Flin Flon; Tyrell King, Kindersley; Isaiah Plett, Melville.
David Stumborg, Humboldt Broncos
I had a real good look at him last Thursday in a tight battle against Kindersley and the guy was sensational. There is nothing he doesn't do. He skates well, passes well, shoots well, plays his position well, leads well, and doesn't seem to tire. He must have logged over 35 minutes that night. Or maybe he didn't and it just seemed like he did because he was always involved. Nevertheless, Stumborg is a horse and in a league where really talented defensemen seem to grow on trees for a select few teams; he's the best of the lot.
Honorable Mentions: Brady Norrish, Yorkton; Chase Norrish, Yorkton; Devon McMullen, Yorkton; Logan Sproule, Humboldt (it's almost not fair these teams have all the best ones).
Rookie Of The Year:
Rylan Parenteau, Weyburn Red Wings
It only stands to reason that with goal scoring down, goalies would factor, prominently, in the conversation for best first year player. Parenteau plays on a team that doesn't have high hopes this year, but he just may back stop them into the playoffs. He still has a year of midget eligibility remaining and, frankly, I'm stunned that he's playing in this league and not the WHL, which I'm told was his first preference. He likes to play the puck and his poise is much like you would see in a veteran. One has to wonder if the WHL won't come calling next year. He's the real deal.
Honorable Mentions: Ryland Pashovitz & Cade Spencer, Humboldt; Travis Mayan, Melfort; Spencer Trapp, Notre Dame.
Coach Of The Year:
Jamie Fiesel, Melville Millionaires
This is, probably, not even close at this point. I picked them to come dead last at the start of the year and even after they got off to a decent start through six games, I was still waiting for the roof to cave in. It hasn't. Despite massive departures from last year's 'all in' team, the Mils are right back near the top of the standings with a bunch of guys nobody heard of before the year started. Tyson Predinchuk, their most dangerous offensive player, was barely good enough to dress in last year's playoffs. Can the cinderella story continue? It's nice to see Fiesel get some credit too. His teams are always in the mix, yet you get the feeling the local fans didn't always appreciate that...until now.
Honorable Mentions: Kevin White, Notre Dame; Dean Brockman, Humboldt; Rockie Zinger, Kindersley.