Hockey: Reagan named MVP, Thorimbert Rookie of the Year and Most Improved
By Remy Greer
Team defence led the way all season for the Okotoks Jr. B Bisons.
So it stands to reason their Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player would hail from the blueline as Okotokian Luc Thorimbert picked up both awards at the team’s awards banquet on Friday evening to highlight a massive year of growth.
“The first half was definitely a hard adjustment definitely a different pace from last year,” said Thorimbert, who skated for the Midget AA Oilers the year prior. “When I got used to it, it got a bit easier. Help from the team, I got a lot of support, they would tell me maybe do this or that and it definitely helped out a lot.”
He shared the Rookie of the Year award with fellow blueliner Travis Scott, who helped form a strong group of blueliners from top-to-bottom.
“It does take the pressure off and it does help for improvement too,” Thorimbert said. “It’s competitive so you really have to work for your ice-time. It’s great having a full lineup of D that can do proper things and do the right things out there.”
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound defenceman set modest goals for his first trip through the Heritage. He registered 8 points in 30 games while playing a responsible stay-at-home game on the back-end.
“My goal going in was getting consistent play, as a rookie you don’t always get consistent play,” he said. “Once I started getting consistent ice-time I think that’s where my confidence started to grow and it just sprouted from there.”
The backbone of the Bisons team, Devin Reagan, walked away with the MVP Award, in what must of have been the easiest vote of the night from the coaching staff.
Reagan, who also earned the Top Goaltender in the HJHL award, led the loop with five shutouts and finished second overall with 19 wins.
Fellow netminder Nicholas Ewanchuk finished the season with the top goals against average and save percentage.
The duo along with rookie Matt Baba combined to set a new Okotoks franchise record for team shutouts during the regular season.
Power forward Dallas Otto earned four team awards in his final season with the herd. The hard-nosed winger was named the Hardest Working Bison and earned the Postseason MVP, Heart Pride Sacrifice trophy and shared the Leadership Award with Reagan and Kyle Dunville.
He said the Hardest Working Bison award meant the most to him.
“That’s always been what I’ve prided myself on,” he said. “I’ve never been the fastest or the most skilled, I’ve always had to outwork everybody else on the ice and tried to lead by example.”
Otto, one of three alternate captains, had to take on a bigger leadership role when captain Kyle Harrison was sidelined for the season after just 12 games.
“I give credit to all of the leaders on the team,” he said. “They all stepped up when Harry went down. And Harry himself was a good leader, he showed up to every practice, every game. Even though he didn’t play he was always there for all of us.”
Harrison, a 1998-born centre eligible to return next season, earned the Perseverance No Guts/No Glory Award in recognition of his continued commitment to the team both before and after his season ending injury.
Mitch Wolfe marked his return to playing the game in his hometown with the Top Defenceman award, Most Sportsmanlike Player nod while sharing the Plus/Minus trophy with forward Nicolas Murrell.
Tough as nails winger and penalty killer extraordinaire Nicolas Lush earned the Top Defensive Player Award while Jagger Thiessen was recognized for finishing as the team’s Scoring Champion.
After taking a year off from the game, Thiessen led Okotoks with 35 points in 36 games.
Earning the Mosby Scholarship award were Harrison and Ewanchuk, with the latter also taking home the Academic Achievement Award on the evening.
The 2019 Okotoks Bisons Player Awards night took place at the Crystal Ridge Golf Club.
For more information go to okotoksbisons.com
Bisons awards winners MVP – Devin Reagan Postseason MVP – Dallas Otto Most Improved Player – Luc Thorimbert Most Dedicated – Devyn Stewart Heart Pride Sacrifice – Dallas Otto Leadership Award – Devin Reagan, Kyle Dunville, Dallas Otto Most Sportsmanlike – Mitch Wolfe Rookie of the Year – Travis Scott, Luc Thorimbert Top Defenceman – Mitch Wolfe Top Defensive Player – Nicolas Lush Perseverance – No Guts/No Glory – Dallas Otto Scoring Champion – Jagger Thiessen Plus/Minus – Mitch Wolfe, Nic Murrell Hardest Working Bison – Dallas Otto Mosby Scholarship – Kyle Harrison, Nicholas Ewanchuk Academic Achievement Award – Nicholas Ewanchuk Overage Acknowledgements – Kody Briggs, Kyle Dunville, Nic Murrell, Dallas Otto