Canadian Hockey League Award Winners announced
CGC Top Scorer Award / CHL Rookie of the Year / The Hockey Company CHL Player of the Year
Sidney Crosby, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
Crosby exploded onto the Canadian Hockey League scene after being the top pick in the QMJHL draft. The Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia rookie was the first 16-year-old player to win the CHL scoring title with 54 goals and 81 assists for 135 points in 59 games. Crosby also became the fifth 16-year-old to play for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships last January in Finland. He was the CHL player of the week three times.
MasterCard Most Outstanding Defenceman – James Wisniewski, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Wisniewski scored 17 goals and 53 assists for 70 points in 50 games to help Plymouth to a 32-24-9-3 record this season. The 20-year-old native of Canton, Michigan was a fifth round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. The Whalers captain was named OHL defenceman of the month in October and March and won a gold medal with Team U.S.A. at the World Junior Championships in Finland in January.
Vaughn Custom Sports Most Outstanding Goaltender Award – Cam Ward, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
In his third season with the Rebels, Ward posted a 31-16-8 record with four shutouts, a 2.05 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. The 20-year-old native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, was among the top three goaltenders in the league in nearly every statistical category. He was even better in the playoffs, helping the Rebels reach the Eastern Conference final while recording three shutouts to go with a 1.85 GAA and .945 save percentage.
Home Hardware Humanitarian of the Year – Chris Campoli, Erie Otters (OHL)
Campoli, a 19-year-old Mississauga, Ontario native, was very active in the Erie community, volunteering more than 230 hours to special causes. Campoli spent more than 100 hours in the Shriner’s Hospital for Children outpatient clinic. The Otters captain helped check patients into their rooms, escorted patients to x-ray and assisted the clinical staff with office duties.
Prospects Hockey Scholastic Player of the Year – Devan Dubnyk, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Dubnyk, an 18-year-old goaltender from Calgary, is completing his high-school studies in his hometown, after attending Kamloops’ NorKam Secondary during the hockey season. Dubnyk is also projected as a first-round selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in Raleigh, NC on June 26th and 27th. Dubnyk becomes the second Blazer to win this prestigious award. Scott Niedermayer is the only other Blazer to have put his name on that trophy, doing so in 1991.
Bell Canada Sportsman Award – Benoit Mondou, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
Mondou led the Cataractes with 61 assists and 95 points while accumulating just 32 minutes in penalties in 68 games this season. The 19-year-old native of Sorel, Quebec was an eighth round pick of the Boston Bruins last June. The third-year player was the QMJHL,s rookie of the year in 2002.
RE/MAX Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award – Dale Hunter, London Knights (OHL)
Hunter, a 43-year-old native of Petrolia, Ontario, guided the Knights to a 53-11-2-2 record and their first OHL regular season championship. The team established a new league record with 110 points in the regular season. They lost just three times at home in 2003-04 and won 16 of their final 17 games to finish the season. After playing three seasons in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers and Sudbury Wolves, Hunter enjoyed a 19-year playing career in the National Hockey League with Quebec, Washington and Colorado before retiring in 1999.
Canada Post Cup – Sidney Crosby, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL and overall winner) / Josh Harding, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL winner) / Eric Himelfarb, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL winner)
Throughout the entire season, the three stars of each game in the OHL, QMJHL and WHL were awarded points towards the Canada Post Cup. The first star of a game received 10 points, the second star received five points and the third star received two points. The overall winners from each league at the conclusion of the 2003-04 season were recognized at the CHL Awards Ceremony and Canada Post donated $2,500 in each winner,s name to their respective league education program. Canada Post donated more than $10,000 to the league educational programs through this event.