Friday, February 24, 2012

Lakers' Byron Katapaytuk named SIJHL's Pizza Hut player of the year

Press Release

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Friday that Fort Frances Lakers forward Byron Katapaytuk has been named the SIJHL’s Pizza Hut player of the year for the 2011-12 season.

Katapaytuk edged out fellow finalists, goaltender Tanner Milliron of the Wisconsin Wilderness and forward Chris Hoffman of the Sioux Lookout Flyers in garnering the accolades.

Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the 20-year-old Moose Factory, Ont., product leads all SIJHL skaters in offensive production with 83 points on 32 goals and 51 assists.

He also paces the league in power play points with 32, is tied for second in game-winning goals with six and is currently riding a six-game point streak while also registering his No. 10 on the score sheet in 23 of his past 25 outings. Fort Frances is also 30-5-5 in contests this season in which he records at least one goal or assist.

Now in his third season with the Lakers he is 14th all-time in league scoring with 173 career points.

For his on-ice efforts Katapaytuk will receive the Pizza Hut player of the year plaque along with a gift card courtesy of Pizza Hut in recognition of his accomplishments at an upcoming game.

Katapaytuk will now represent the SIJHL as the league’s nominee for the RBC Canadian Jr. ‘A’ player of the year, which will be announced during the 2012 Royal Bank Cup in Humboldt, Sask. That event goes May 5-13.

The following are the SIJHL’s all-time Pizza Hut player of the year recipients:

2011-12: Byron Katapaytuk, Fort Frances Lakers
2010-11: Jon Mitchell, Dryden Ice Dogs (Nipissing, OUA)
2009-10: Trevor Gamache, Fort William North Stars (Lakehead, OUA)
2008-09: Trevor Gamache, Fort William North Stars (Lakehead, OUA)
2007-08: Quinn Amiel, Fort Frances Jr. Sabres (Augustana, ACAC)
2006-07: Justin Gvora, Thunder Bay Bearcats (Guelph, OUA)
2005-06: Chris Bryson, Schreiber Diesels (RMC, OUA)
2004-05: Nathan Breukelman, Fort William North Stars (Lakehead, OUA)
2003-04: Kevin Webb, Borderland Thunder (Fort Frances, Sr. AAA)
2002-03: Trevor Karasiewicz, Thunder Bay Bulldogs (New Jersey, FHL)
2001-02: Charly Washipabano, Feathermen Hawks (St. Anselm, ECAC-E)

(Nathan can be reached at

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