AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk presented three prestigious League Awards prior to tonight's game between the Pontiacs and the Fort McMurray Oil Barons in Bonnyville, AB.
The presentations included League MVP, Outstanding Defenceman and Coach of the Year.
Most Valuable Player- Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy
Bobby McMANN (Wainwright, Alberta) is the 2015-2016 Alberta Junior Hockey League MVP and recipient of the Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy.
The 19 year-old Pontiac Assistant Captain is currently tied for the lead in team scoring with 63 points (36G, 27A). McMann has scored the most game winning goals of all AJHL players (9) and the second most goals (36) with 2 games remaining. McMann has recorded 22 multi-point games in the regular season and an average of 1.4 points per game. The 3rd year Pontiac was awarded as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game 11 times this year. Bobby McMANN has been an Assistant Captain with the Bonnyville PONTIACS for the past two seasons.
Bobby McMann won a Gold Medal as a member of Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. Bobby McMANN has committed to Colgate University of the NCAA Division I.
The last Pontiac to win the AJHL MVP Award was Edmonton Oilers center Mark Letestu in 2005-2006.
Outstanding Defenceman- W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy
Brinson PASICHNUK (Bonnyville, Alberta) is the recipient of the W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy as Outstanding Defenceman. Brinson leads all AJHL defencemen in scoring with 63 points (19G, 44A) and is tied with AJHL MVP, Bobby McMANN, as the team scoring leader.
Pasichnuk has averaged 1.2 points per game through the regular season and recorded 19 multi-point games. The 18 year-old has scored 5 game winning goals, the most of all AJHL defenceman. Brinson now holds the Franchise Record for most goals and for most points in a single season by a defenseman, formerly held by Matthew REGISTER.
Brinson Pasichnuk is identified in the NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term Rankings and represented Team West at the 2016 CJHL Prospects Game. He also won a Gold Medal with Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. Brinson was recognized as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game four times, the Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week in October 2015, and the Alberta Ford Dealers AJHL Player of the Month for October 2015.
The second year Pontiac serves as an Assistant Captain for his hometown Pontiacs. Brinson and his brother Steenn recently committed to the NCAA Division 1 Arizona State University Sun Devils.
The Outstanding Defenceman award is given annually to the defensive player who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season. Brinson is the 4th PONTIAC in the last seven years to be nominated for the outstanding defenseman trophy and joins former PONTIACS Blake LEASK (University of Alaska) and Matthew REGISTER (American Hockey League) as members of the organization winning the honor.
Alberta Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year
Rick Swan (Bonnyville, Alberta) is the 2015-2016 AJHL Coach of the Year as voted by the Alberta Junior Hockey League General Managers and Coaches.
Swan is in his third season as Head Coach and General Manager of the Bonnyville Pontiacs and during that time has posted a regular season record of 94-58-26 while guiding the team to the playoffs in all three years.
The Pontiacs were eliminated in Round Two of the 2014 playoffs, advanced to the North Division Final in 2015, and have the potential to finish the regular season as high as 2nd in the AJHL North Division in 2016. Through Swan’s tenure, 27 Pontiac players so far have committed to College and Universities across North America.
The Bonnyville Pontiacs promoted Rick Swan to Head Coach and General Manager in April 2013. Swan spent the 2012-2013 season as the Pontiacs Associate Coach and Assistant General Manager after joining the club from the Knights of Columbus Midget AAA club in Edmonton where he had been the Head Coach since 2008-2009. In 2009, Swan won the Glen Sather Trophy as the AMHL Coach of the Year.
The 2015-2016 Pontiacs have already captured three League Awards – League MVP, Outstanding Defenceman and Coach of the Year. The Pontiacs are on track to set a new Franchise Record for Most Wins (38) and have broken a Franchise Record for Most Points in a Single Season (formerly 83) and Franchise Record for Least Amount of Losses in a Single Season (formerly 16).
Rick Swan was a finalist for the 2015 AJHL Coach of the Year Award. The last Pontiac Coach to win the award was Chad Mercier in 2010-2011, who recently rejoined the organization as Co-Chair of the 2016 World Junior A Challenge which will be held in Bonnyville, Alberta.
Bonnyville PONTIACS captain Steenn PASICHNUK was nominated by the league's General Managers and Coaches as the AJHL Most Dedicated Player – Don McNabb Memorial Trophy along with the SAINTS Tyler BUSCH, GRIZZLIES Wyatt NOSKEY and the CANUCKS Ben ASSAD.
Steenn is committed to Arizona State University NCAA Division 1 for next season.