BURNABY, B.C. – The BCHL announced the winners of its year-end awards today for the 2021-22 season.
Three award finalists for each trophy were determined after a round of voting by the 18 league head coaches. Winners were selected after a second round of voting by the same coaches.
Vern Dye Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player)
Simon Tassy (F) – Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Tassy was the key to the Silverbacks offence during the season, finishing as the BCHL’s third-leading scorer with 78 points in 53 games and putting up the third most goals in the league with 38. The 21-year-old helped the Silverbacks to a 36-12-4-2 record during the regular season, the second-best record in the BCHL. In addition to his league-wide accolades, Tassy led Salmon Arm in all offensive categories, including goals, assists (40) and points.
He also did a lot of his damage on special teams. Tassy led the league with seven shorthanded goals, helping Salmon Arm to a league-best 85.1 per cent penalty kill rate, and 23 of his points came with the man advantage for a Silverbacks team that finished with the best power-play percentage in the league at 27.6 per cent. He is committed to Minnesota State University next season.
Tassy is the fourth Silverbacks player to win the award, joining Landon Smith (2014), Mark Zengerle (2009) and Travis Zajac (2004).
Runners up: Sean Donaldson (Nanaimo) & Matthew Wood (Victoria)
Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year)
Wood led the BCHL in scoring as a rookie, totaling 85 points in 46 games played. Starting the season at just 16-years-old, the University of Connecticut commit reeled off 13 points in the first five games of the regular season and never looked back. In addition to leading the league in points, Wood’s 45 goals were also the most in the BCHL this year. He finished his campaign 10 points clear of his closest competitor in rookie scoring and 11 goals clear of the rookie lead. His 40 assists were the second-most among eligible first-year players as well.
Wood led all rookies with 27 power-play points and also led the entire BCHL with 16 goals with the man advantage. He went on two separate eight-game point streaks during the season and had a seven-game goal scoring streak as well, lighting the lamp 11 times over that stretch.
Wood is the third Grizzlies player in the past five years to win the award and the fourth overall, joining Alexander Campbell (2019), Alex Newhook (2018) and Jamie Benn (2007) as winners.
Runners up: Tyson Dyck (Cranbrook) & Cade Littler (Wenatchee)
Tyson Jugnauth – West Kelowna Warriors
In his second year in the league, Jugnauth took major steps forward in his development. The 2022 NHL Draft prospect was the BCHL’s second highest scoring defenceman with 50 points in 52 games. His nine goals on the campaign were second best among blueliners as were his 41 assists.
Jugnauth’s season highlights include a stretch where he had three points in three of four games, which was part of a five-game point streak where he had 11 points from Jan. 19 to Feb. 4. The recently turned 18-year-old recorded multiple points in 16 games this season. He is committed to the University of Wisconsin.
This is the fourth time a Warriors player has won the award. Westside Warriors defencemen were honoured three straight years when blueliner Justin Schultz won it back to back in 2008 and 2009 and Brendan Ellis won in 2010.
Runners up: Matthew Campbell (Coquitlam) & Clark Hiebert (Victoria)
Owen Say – Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Say finished the regular season just one thousandth of a point off of the league lead in save percentage with a mark of .923. He also had the fourth-best goals-against average at 2.44 and tied for the fourth-most shutouts with three. He ends his second BCHL season with a record of 23-10-5 in 38 appearances, backstopping the Silverbacks to second place in the Interior Conference.
Say, who is committed to Mercyhurst University next season, won seven of his first eight starts and did not lose two starts in a row until early February. Of his three shutouts during the year, the most impressive came on Jan. 28 on the road against the Cranbrook Bucks when he stopped all 39 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory.
Say is the first goaltender in Silverbacks history to win the award.
Runners up: Cooper Black (Nanaimo), Hobie Hedquist (Alberni Valley)
Bob Fenton Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike Player)
Cameron Johnson (F) – Chilliwack Chiefs
Johnson led the Chiefs in scoring during the regular season with 65 points, which was good enough to put him in eighth in overall league scoring. He accomplished all of this while only accumulating 10 penalty minutes and playing all 54 games. On top of leading his team in points, his 25 goals and 40 assists were also tops among Chilliwack players.
Johnson had multi-point efforts in 21 of his games this year and also went on an eight-game point streak from Dec. 12 to Jan. 14 where he put up 13 points. The 17-year-old Harvard University commit went the first 32 games of the season before committing his first minor penalty.
Runners up: Josh Nadeau (Penticton) & Noah Serdachny (Salmon Arm)
Joe Tennant Memorial Trophy (Coach of the Year)
Fred Harbinson – Penticton Vees
Harbinson led the Vees to the best record in the BCHL and first place in the Interior Conference, as well as the overall league standings with a record of 43-8-1-2.
Penticton finished the regular season with the most goals scored with 256, as well as the lowest goals against with 123. They owned the second-best power play, operating at a 25.3 per cent rate, as well as the second-highest penalty kill percentage at 84.6.
This is Harbinson’s fourth Joe Tennant award in his 15-year BCHL career, previously winning in 2016, 2012 and 2008. This is the 11th time that a Penticton coach has won the award, joining Bruno Campese (2007), Bryant Perrier (2000, 2001), Enio Sacilotto (1995), Garry Davidson (1992, 1994) and Jack Taggart (1971) as previous winners.
Runners up: Joe Martin (Alberni Valley) & Tyler Shattock (Salmon Arm)
Brett Hull Trophy (Leading Scorer)
Matthew Wood (F) – Victoria Grizzlies
46GP – 45G – 40A – 85PTS
Wally Forslund Trophy (Goaltending Duo)
Kaeden Lane & Carter Serhyenko – Penticton Vees
123 team goals against (2.28 average)
Ron Boileau Trophy (Best Regular-Season Record)
43-8-1-2 (89 points)
About the BCHL:
Sending more players on to college hockey every season than any other hockey league in Canada, the BCHL has established itself as a national leader in the development of young student athletes. Considering today’s NHL features more NCAA alumni than ever before, Junior A hockey is fast rivaling other leagues in North America as a breeding ground for the sport’s most elite and successful players. In 2019-20 alone, there were 196 BCHL players who received scholarships to top schools in the U.S. and Canada.