Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MHL wraps up 2011 Draft, hands out Awards

Press Release

The MHL Draft took place in Dieppe on Saturday afternoon at Centre Arthur J. Leblanc and for the first time the first two rounds were broadcast by Rogers Televison (to be re-broadcast by Eastlink Television at 7pm).
At the opening of the Draft, three annual awards were handed out. Coach of the Year went to Gordie Dwyer of the Summerside Western Capitals. Dywer led his Capitals to a 36-12-1-3 record on the regular season for 76 points. In the playoffs, his team was even more impressive as they accomplished two series sweeps and ousted the top Woodstock Slammers in a dramatic game seven comeback.

Dywer, who now holds the title of Head Coach for the PEI Rocket, was pleased to get the nod. "It's very humbling to be selected Coach of the Year in the Maritime Hockey as there are so many great coaches in the league", said Dywer following the Draft. "It just comes back to having a really good organization and having good people in place. Good coaches have good players and I was very fortunate in Summerside to be able to coach a lot of great character kids. It's a great honour."

Executive of the Year went to the Yarmouth Mariners. Since entering the league in 2002, the Mariners have been one of the strongest MHL franchises, but had experienced some struggles in recent years. Under new ownership (Tri-Star Industries) and the direction of General Manager Laurie Barron, the team had a strong season with an exciting young team, rejuvenating enthusiasm and support for the franchise in their community and reporting record attendance rates for their club in the playoffs.

"It's quite an honour for us to receive this recognition", said Head Coach and General Manger Laurie Barron. "Over the last year and a half, we worked very hard to improve the profile and quality of the organization and bring interest back to the rink. I feel our energies paid off as we now see a huge improvement in terms of how the community feels about and supports the team. There's been a big boost of enthusiasm in Yarmouth and the team is in the best shape it's been in for a long time now. It was also a huge shot in the arm to be awarded the 2012 World Jr. A Challenge. We're looking to being great hosts in Yarmouth for that event."

This year's MHL Builders Award was awarded in the honour of Edmund Gagnon. Gagnon, a well known businessman and sports lover who passed away at the age of 92 last year was considered a Giant in the world of Junior Hockey and played a significant role in helping to establish the sport in New Brunswick. Gagnon's passion and support of Junior A hockey is credited as being a key reason the Moncton Gagnon Beavers (now Dieppe Commandos) were able to stay vibrant in the Moncton area
To view draft selections, click here.

All trades made prior to and at the draft will be shortly posted in the Transactions section.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

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