At a lovely little press conference at the local Credit Union branch, the Ice Wolves and SJHL announced the award nominees from La Ronge. Without further rambling, here they are with my thoughts on the players' seasons so far.
Most Outstanding Player - Marc-Andre Carre
Depending on who you talk to, Marc-Andre is the most dynamic player in the league. I don't know if I've seen anyone this year that is as much of a threat to score every time he touches the puck, even in his own end. This intimidation, as Bob Beatty put it, makes his linemates better as they have more room to operate. It will be hard to vote against Carre at the end of the season, though there are some fantastic players up for the award. Best thing about this for the Ice Wolves, he's (theoretically) back next year.
Most Outstanding Defenceman - Dayton Fossum
There was no doubt Dayton would be the nominee for this category. His ability to move the puck either by passing or skating ranks up there in the top few defencemen in the league. Not to mention his defensive play. There isn't a shift that Fossum takes off, many times making brilliant plays to hold some of the best scorers in the league off the scoreboard. In a league featuring some excellent blue-liners, Fossum stands with the best of them.
Top Rookie - Justin Ducharme
Though he's only played in 27 games due to a suspension and his recent injury, Justin put together a very good year (13 G, 15 A, 28 Pts). Ducharme does it all, he puts that aptly cliche'd 110% out every shift, he can hit, pass and score. He stands out as the best player on the ice almost every time he hops off the bench. One of the most underrated part of Ducharme's game is that of an agitator. He's great at getting under the skin of his opponents. With Ducharme in the lineup for a full season next year, he could be taking a run at Carre's title of Most Outstanding Player.
I'll have the preview for tonight's game against the Bombers up this afternoon, as well as the press conference audio. Also, head over to the previous post to get your questions for SJHL President Laury Ryan onto the webcast tonight!
Post Script: Press Conference in its entirety is up on the Feature Interviews Page click here to listen.