Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First half awards

We have officially approached the halfway point of the 2011-2012 season for the Kelowna Rockets.
I thought it was time to issue my first half team awards at the 36 game mark.
Here are my winners. If you disagree, leave a comment and tell me what you see.

MVP: Colton Sissons.
The 18 year-old leads the Rockets in goals (20), power play goals (10) and is the teams most consistent worker. He is hard on pucks, will engage you in the corner and never gives up no matter what the scoreboard indicates. The youngest captain in Kelowna Rockets history, Sissons is attempting to become the first forward since Scott Parker to be taken in the opening round of the NHL draft.
Runner up: Shane McColgan. McColgan leads the team in points, something he accomplished as a 17 year-old last season. On most nights, McColgan is just behind Sissons in the hard work department. His 26 assists leads the team in that category.

Most Improved: Cole Martin.
Not much was expected from the 17 year-old American when he cracked the opening day roster. His, as cool as a cucumber exterior, and willingness to compete has seen the Arlington Texas resident make huge strides on a young defensive core. Choosing to swim rather than sink in the deep waters he entered as a WHL rookie, Martin is proving he can play with the big boys despite weighing just 170 pounds.
Runner Up: Jesse Lees.
Lees has played in just 16 games because of injury and the under 17's. If Lees was healthy and had played more, he could have been my winner at mid season. Every time I see him play I see a huge upside.

Best Defenceman: Cole Martin.
Martin logged big minutes on a recent Saskatchewan road trip and played against the other teams top lines. Not bad for a 17 year-old who still needs to fill out. Forget the point totals. They are irrelevant. A minus 1 rating for someone who has played 34 games is impressive. Watch specifically how Martin recovers after being beat. No Rockets defender does it better in recovering after being caught flat footed.
Runner Up: Damon Severson. You can't ignore his 20 points and hard shot. Severson will be a high draft pick and will likely be a shoe-in to win the award next season.

Unsung Hero: Mitchell Chapman.

With the trade of Colton Jobke to Regina, the 19 year-old was relied upon to play an increased shutdown role. Rarely on the score sheet, Chapman blocks shots, fights the other teams toughest player and does whatever the coaches ask of him.
Runner Up: Carter Rigby. The 17 year-old's 10 goals after 29 games is impressive. With 16 points, Rigby is the top scorer among first year players and has arguable one of the heaviest shots on the team. Rigby could be more selfish and shoot the puck more and rarely fights, but when he does, it shows that he is not a one trick pony. Rigby is also showing success at the face-off circle.

Rookie Of The Year: Tyson Baillie.

Just 15 when the season started, this rookie forward continues to improve at an impressive rate. With six goals in 35 games, Baillie isn't having the offensive success he had when he led the team in pre-season scoring, but Baillie leads the team in plus-minus with a +9. Baillie's leadership role at the Under 17's will only help his game. Every time I see him play, I think of Tyler Spurgeon.
Runner Up: Cole Martin.


sportsjunkie007 said...

100% agreement on all of our great youth. Next year's team looks very promising. Now if I could only find a reason to keep coming to THIS year's games.

Powerplay said...

Here is what I see

MVP Brett Bulmer
28 points in 19 games, +8 this year which is a big improvement from last season. If you ask other teams who they have to worry about it is Brett Bulmer or Shane McColgan.

Most Improved Carter Rigby
3 points in his first 10 games, I thought he is done. But now 14 points in his last 19 games he is starting to bring it.

Best Defenceman Kevin Smith /Mitchell Chapman/Myles Bell/Damon Severson
I actually thought that Regan would say best Dman was Mckenzie Johnson. It will be interesting to see how the Rockets play when they have all four of their top Defenceman in the lineup all healthy at the same time. When you say watch how Cole Martin recovers after being beat, that says it all, he is getting beat to often and was on for three of the four Spokane goals against last night.

Unsung Hero Mitchell Chapman, I believe the Rockets erred when they made Colton Scissons the Captain. Chapman is the leader of this team and the Rockets would have a much better record as they would be ready to play each and every game under his leadership.

Rookie of the Year Bowey/Lees/Baillie/Martin lets see who steps up in the second half of the year.

Ryan said...

Let me guess, one more season where management feels this team can make noise in the playoffs. Since we got squat for McMillan, Callahan and Barrie no use thinking Bulmer or Brown will be given a chance to win in their final seasons. Wouldnt wanna make our team better for the future.

Hockeyman said...

Severson is a shoe in to win the award next year but Martin is the guy this year that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I think Regan expected so little from the rookie that he picked him top D-man not based on play but on surpassing expectations. As far as leading the team who else stepped up a fought Dylan Mcraith, Champman is cleary the leader.

Regan Bartel said...

This is all for debate. No wrong answers here. I love how Chapman has stepped up physically. The kids a warrior.

Ryan said...

Chapman is hands down the best d-man taking each game into account. Especially with his willingness to drop the mitts. Severson and Bowey have had good games but Damon in particular has stunk the joint out more than a few times. Smith has also been very consistent and steady, which is what he is expected to do.

Bell and Johnston have been massive disappointments. Enough said, no need to get mean.

MVP- it is sad that not one player jumps to mind when talking MVP. Hard not to pick Sissons though.

The biggest shocker award has to be how Vasko cant seem to get a goal. More than a few times he has been the best forward, working the hardest and comes so close yet cant buy one. Despite the lack of production I hope Bruce brings him back next year, he shows enough to be optimistic about.

Sam Jones said...

No Martin deserves best defenseman because he has played well and stepped up a lot this year. Chapman hasnt done anything important in weeks. And I agree Bulmer should be MVP but Sissons has done well