Brandon Wheat Kings
Brandon, MB. — Some more hardware for Brandon Wheat Kings’ Captain Mark Stone as he prepares to lead Team Canada into Tuesday night’s Semi-Final against the defending champion Russians at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Calgary.
The 19-year old Winnipeg product, who leads Team Canada with seven goals in four preliminary round games, has been named the 54th winner of the Brandon Sun’s H.L. (Krug) Crawford Memorial Award. The award is emblematic of sporting excellence in southwestern Manitoba.
A sixth round draft choice of the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators, Stone is coming off an outstanding 2011 that saw him finish third in Western Hockey League scoring with 106 points, earn first-team league all star recognition, sign his first NHL Entry Level Contract and lead the Wheat Kings and the league in scoring for the first three months of the 2011-12 regular season.
“It’s been an action-filled year,” the 6-foot-3, 206-pound right-winger recently told Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun. “Getting the contract done in Ottawa, going to the summer camp for the world juniors, playing in the Super Series and now getting to represent my country at the world juniors. Things are really going up for me and I’m going to try and make a career out of hockey and this is just one of the first steps.”
Despite missing the past month of play with the Wheat Kings, Stone remains among the league scoring leaders with 27 goals and 65 points in 33 games. He is currently three points back of Ty Rattie of the Portland Winter Hawks. During his 4-year WHL career, the former Winnipeg Thrasher has scored 92 goals and 238 points in 199 regular season games.
By winning the award, Stone becomes the thirteenth Wheat Kings’ player to capture this prestigious honour, joining the likes of Brayden Schenn, Mark Derlago, Eric Fehr, Jordin Tootoo, Cory Cyrenne, Marty Murray, Trevor Kidd, Ray Ferraro, Glen Hanlon, Ron Chipperfield and Juha Widing.
Other Wheat King Award winners since the trophy was established in 1958 include former coach Dunc McCallum and former general managers Jake Milford, Jack Brockest and Kelly McCrimmon.
In addition to recognizing Stone, the Brandon Sun named the Brandon University mens volleyball team as Team of the Year for 2011.