Battalion honours award winners
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Justin Brazeau and Adam McMaster were recognized twice each when the North Bay Battalion announced its award winners for the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League season Sunday.
Right winger Brazeau won the Don (Hockey) Hadley Memorial Award as the fans’ favourite player, an award named in honour of a Second World War veteran who was a longtime season ticket holder in Brampton, where the Battalion played for its first 15 years.
Brazeau also was named the most sportsmanlike player.
Centre McMaster was recognized as the rookie of the year and also received the Judy Smith Award as the scholastic player of the year. The award was named this year for the Battalion’s academic adviser, who is retiring from Chippewa Secondary School.
Brazeau, a native of New Liskeard, Ont., who turns 19 on May 26, was a 13th-round choice in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection, while McMaster, a 17-year-old resident of Beamsville, Ont., was North Bay’s first-round pick in 2016.
Centre Brett McKenzie, 20, was selected as the most outstanding player. McKenzie, a Vars, Ont., resident, was taken in the first round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.
Right winger Steve Harland was honoured as the overage player of the year. Harland, who turns 21 on May 10, is a Toronto native who was chosen in the sixth round in 2014.
Brady Lyle and Adam Thilander were co-winners of the top defenceman award.
Lyle, who turns 18 on June 6, is a North Bay native who was a first-round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, while Thilander, a resident of Skovde, Sweden, who turns 19 on Sept. 18, was a first-round choice in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft in 2016.
Defenceman Zach Shankar received the Jerry Callaghan Memorial Award as humanitarian of the year. Callaghan served with the club in various capacities in Brampton.
Shankar, a 20-year-old Prescott, Ont., resident, was chosen in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.
Award winners were recognized before the Battalion’s final regular-season game, against the Kingston Frontenacs.