March 16, 2014, Brandon (ISN) – Captain Ryan Pulock was the big winner Saturday night as the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings hosted their annual Awards Night before over 5,200 fans at Westman Communications Group Place.
One year after taking home five trophies, the 19-year old Grandview, Manitoba capped off the 2013-14 regular season by capturing three more as the Wheat Kings brought the curtain down on their 2013-14 Western Hockey League regular season.
In addition to being chosen this year’s recipient of the Meighen Haddad Most Valuable Player and Manitoba Hydro Turk Broda Trophy for being named the hockey club’s Top Manitoba Born player, Pulock became the first Brandon blueliner in thirty-five years to capture three Top Defenceman honours when he was recognized as this year’s winner of the Brad McCrimmon Memorial Trophy.
McCrimmon was named Brandon’s Top Defenceman during each of his three seasons in Brandon – from 1977-79 – and until Pulock broke his record earlier this month, he held the franchise record for Most Goals by a Wheat King blueliner. In addition to finishing the season with 64 career goals since joining Brandon in the fall of 2010, he is one of only five to have scored over 200 points in their Wheat King career, joining McCrimmon, Cam Plante, Justin Kurtz and Burke Henry.
During his four years with the Wheat Kings, Pulock has scored 210 points in 261 games. This past season, he finished second in club scoring with career highs in goals (23) and points (63).
Pulock was one of only two Wheat Kings to win multiple awards on Saturday, joining 17-year old center Jayce Hawryluk. The Roblin product, who is eligible for this June’s National Hockey League Draft, captured the Canad Inns Hardest Working Award as well as the Brandon Sun Scoring Champion Trophy for leading the club in scoring this year with 64 points, including 24 goals in 59 games.
Rounding out the list of winners announced before, during and after Saturday’s regular season finale against the visiting Regina Pats were John Quenneville (Dennis Truscott UCT Most Improved Player), 16-year old rookie Jesse Gabrielle (Shoppers Drug Mart Fans Choice Award), defenceman Colton Waltz (Precision Toyota Unsung Hero), 4-year veteran Rene Hunter (Art Marshall Top Graduating 20-year old Player), Minnedosa product Chad Robinson (McDonalds Frank King Trophy for the Most Community Minded Player), Tim McGauley (Keystone Centre John Scott Kent Most Sportsmanlike Player) , netminder Jordan Papirny (MNP Rookie of the Year), Quintin Lisoway (Coca Cola Rob Stouffer Most Inspirational Player) rookie Ryley Lindgren (Maggie Janz Scholastic Player of the Year) and right-winger Richard Nejezchleb, who captured the Manitoba Blue Cross 3 Star Award.
A 19-year old native of the Czech Republic, Nejezchleb scored 32 goals and 57 points in 66 games this season. His 32 goals were the most scored by a Brandon import since the club joined the Western Canada Hockey League in 1967.
For the fifth consecutive season, the Wheat Kings awards were given out during the club’s final regular season game, which was won by Brandon 6-3 over Regina. Peter Quenneville scored three times, rookie Jordan Papirny turned aside 35 shots and 15-year old center Nolan Patrick fired his first ever WHL goal as the Wheat Kings clinched seventh place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.
Brandon finished the regular season with a record of 34-29-6-3 and will now meet Regina in the best of seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, set to begin next weekend at the Brandt Centre. The balance of the schedule, including games three and four in Brandon will be announced by Monday.