Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Whalers announce annual award winners

The Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers finished the 2008-09 season Monday night with an awards banquet held at CJ’s Brewing Company at Compuware Arena.

The following players received awards:

REGULAR SEASON MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, LEADING SCORER, ACADEMIC PLAYER and HUMANITARIAN of the YEAR: Captain Chris Terry, who led the Whalers with 39 goals and 55 assists for 94 points and was +25 during the regular season. Terry is third overall in franchise career scoring with 114 goals and 175 assists for 289 points in 253 games. Selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fifth round (132nd overall) in the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Terry must be signed by the Hurricanes by this summer’s NHL Entry Draft. Terry has been a leader in the Whalers’ community relations efforts over the past three seasons and is Plymouth’s nominee for the OHL’s Dan Snyder Award as Humanitarian of the Year.

ROOKIE of the YEAR: Center Tyler Seguin, who scored 21 goals with 46 assists for 67 points and was +14 in 61 games.

DEFENSEMAN of the YEAR: Defenseman Michal Jordan, who scored 12 goals with 30 assists for 42 points and was a team-leading +28 in 58 games. Jordan – a fourth-round pick (105th overall) of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft – played for the Czech Republic in the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championship.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER of the YEAR and PLAYOFF MVP: Goaltender Matt Hackett, who won the lead goaltender’s position with the Whalers in November and posted a career-best 3.04 goals-against average, .913 save percentage, two shutouts and a 34-13-3-0 record in 55 games for the Whalers this season. Hackett continued his fine work through the playoffs, posting a 3.01 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in 11 playoff appearances. Hackett is rated by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau as top prospect among all North American goaltenders for this summer’s NHL Entry Draft.

UNSUNG HERO of the YEAR: Center Matt Caria, who came to the Whalers in December in a trade with Sault Ste. Marie and scored 34 goals with 58 assists for 92 points, which tied him for fourth in league scoring, and was +14 in 67 games this season. Currently a free agent, Caria is playing for a professional contract next season.

LABATT BLUE COLLAR PLAYER of the YEAR: Veteran center Joe Gaynor, who enjoyed career highs with 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points and was +7 in 68 games this season. Gaynor is one of the best defensive forwards in the OHL and could return to the Whalers next season as an overage player.

LEADING SCORER IN THE PLAYOFFS (tie): Terry, who scored seven goals with nine assists for 16 points and Seguin, who tallied five goals with 11 assists for 16 points.

WHALER BOOSTER CLUB AWARDS: Barb Mohrlock Award as Fan Favorite – Terry; Player of the Month for March - Caria; Academic Player of the Month - Tyler J. Brown; Grinder of the Year - Gaynor.

WHALER OFF-ICE OFFICIALS: Alice Iafrate Award – Brett Bellemore. Certificates and cash awards to Caria and Scott Fletcher.

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