One member of the Virden Oil Capitals was recognized by the league last week, while three local players were among those who received team awards.
Nolan Chastko was named a Manitoba Junior Hockey League Rookie Team All-Star. The 17-year-old from Brandon was sixth in the league in rookie scoring with 42 points in 51 games, as of Monday. He ranked first on the Oil Caps in points and goals (20).
Virden products Ty Plaisier and Eric Reid and Manson’s Bray Rookes were among the Oil Capitals who received team awards on Sunday. The organization presented half of its annual awards after playing Selkirk and were slated to dole out the others after Thursday’s contest versus Swan Valley. Plaisier and Rookes received the Fountain Tire Fan Choice award.
“I feel very appreciative of the support that I’ve gotten from my hometown, and I feel thankful that I get to play in a place with such special fans,” he said. “It brings so much more excitement to the game and pulls the community together.”
The first year defenceman split the season between his hometown squad and the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. Rookes is in his fourth and final season with the team. The other finalists for the award were Trevor Hunt, and Davis Chorney.
Reid, a second year netminder, was named the team’s Wallace District Fire Department Unsung Hero. He leads the team with 20 wins, as of Monday,
“Eric, like our team, has been very good in the second half of the season,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “When he is on, our guys play with a tremendous amount of confidence in front of him. He has developed into one of the top goalies in the league.”
Others in the running for the Unsung Hero award were Joey Bielik, Andrew Blocker, and Chastko.
First-year forward Naton Miller picked up the Alexandra Hotel Most Improved Player Award. The Saskatchewan resident has learned the ropes of Junior A hockey while battling for ice time.
“He has shown development in all areas of his game, and he works hard to get better,” Ramsey said. “He makes the most of his time in the lineup and we are excited about the player he can become in the next two seasons.”
The other MIP finalists were Layton Veitch, Nolan Wallace, and Thomas Phillips.
Rookie Nicholas Guberman from Winnipeg has been quick to lend a hand in the community. He earned the Sunrise Credit Union Most Community Minded Award. Also up for the honour were Veitch, Brody Wilson, and Dean Gorchynski.
The Cross Plumbing & Heating Top Defenceman Award went to Hunt of Hartney. In his third season, the blueliner posted a career-best 21 points. The other finalists were Plaisier, David Bielik, and Ethan Guthrie.
Brett Sabel was named the BlackGold Trucking Top Defensive Player. The Fond du Lac, Wisc. forward has contributed as a rookie. Rookes, Wallace and Brody Wilson were also finalists.