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Grizzlies Dominate 2020-21 Island Pod Awards

After polling coaches and broadcasters from the four teams in the Island Pod, the league has determined the winners of the Island Pod Awards.

Island Pod Most Valuable Player

Ellis Rickwood (Victoria Grizzlies) – 20GP – 13G – 17A – 30PTS

Rickwood took the league by storm in his first season in the BCHL. The Brantford, Ont. native announced his presence as a force to be reckoned with when he scored four times in his BCHL debut in a 6-5 shootout win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. He never looked back from there, notching points in 17 of 20 games and finishing tied for second in league scoring with 30 points overall. The 18-year-old helped lead the charge for a Grizzlies team that finished with the second-most goals for in the BCHL and eventually led them to top spot in the Alberni Pod.

Island Pod Top Goalie

Luke Pearson (Alberni Valley Bulldogs) – 17GP – 11-4-2 – .922 SV% – 3.01 GAA – 2 SO

Pearson was a steadying presence in the crease for a Bulldogs team who enjoyed a fair amount of success hosting the Alberni Pod. The 20-year-old was busy over the past six weeks, starting 17 of his team’s 20 games. He ranked second in the BCHL with 978 minutes played, but was clearly able to handle the heavy workload. His .922 save percentage tied him with Victoria’s Carter Woodside for tops in the Alberni Pod, while his two shutouts were ranked first among Island goaltenders. The Whitby, Ont. native is committed to play at Yale University next year, so he will finish his BCHL career on a high note with this award.

Island Pod Top Defenceman

Isack Bandu (Victoria Grizzlies) – 20GP – 5G – 18A – 23PTS

Over the past six weeks, Bandu proved that he is an elite defenceman in the BCHL. The 20-year-old from Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Que. led all blueliners in points with 23. His 18 assists were also most among BCHL defencemen and were just two off of the overall league lead. With his performance in the pod, Bandu showed that he is one of the most improved players in the league compared to last year. He nearly doubled his point output from 2019-20 in less than half the games. Bandu was consistent all year long, contributing multiple-point efforts on eight different occasions this year. His best stretch came as the Grizzlies were pushing for first place in the standings when he had seven points over his team’s final four contests. Bandu is committed to Northern Michigan University.

Island Pod Top Rookie

Ellis Rickwood (Victoria Grizzlies) – 20GP – 13G – 17A – 30PTS

At 18 years old, Rickwood led all BCHL rookies in scoring with 30 points, a number that tied him for second among all skaters. His 13 goals and 17 assists each tied him for second among first-year players. 13 of Rickwood’s 30 points came with the man advantage, which was the most by a BCHL rookie. He started earning accolades right away as he was named BCHL Player of the Week after the opening weekend of action when he notched five goals in his first two games in the league, including a four-goal effort in his debut. Rickwood started his career on a nine-game point streak and would go on to have another stretch with points in five straight.

Non-Voting Awards

Island Pod Leading Scorer: Ellis Rickwood (Victoria Grizzlies) – 30 points
Island Pod Champion: Victoria Grizzlies – 28 points (14-6-0)

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The BCHL Pod Awards are presented by FortisBC.