Warriors’ Justin Almeida wins Bumper to Bumper Sportsman of the Year Award

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Moose Jaw Warriors centre Justin Almeida wrapped up the 2018-19 campaign with 111 points, including 33 goals and 78 assists, to finish just three points shy of the league scoring lead and help the Warriors secure third place in the WHL’s East Division. The 20-year-old was also whistled for just 14 minutes in penalties as he took home the Brad Hornung Trophy as the WHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player.

This year marked Almeida’s fourth season in the junior ranks, as the native of Kitimat, B.C., became a full-time skater in the league during the 2015-16 campaign as part of the Prince George Cougars, who originally selected him with the fifth-overall pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. Across four full seasons in the WHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect has tallied 89 goals and 154 assists for 243 points in 256 career games.

This season, Almeida was a two-time recipient of WHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week honours, counting back-to-back weeks in mid-January when he put up seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in seven appearances.

Almeida is the second consecutive WHL skater to win the award after Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos) did so a year ago. Finalists for the Bumper to Bumper Sportsman of the Year Award this year included Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki of the Guelph Storm as well as Rouyn-Noranda Huskies centre Peter Abbandonato.

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