The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins have had two players announced as representatives in the Viterra Division for the 2018/19 SJHL Awards.
Turner Ripplinger has been named as the division's nominee for the player of the year award and the most valuable player award. Captain Jake Heerspink has been named as the division's nominee for best defenceman.
Ripplinger has been having his most productive season in his first year with the Bruins and his final year of junior hockey. As of Feb. 15, he has posted career highs in goals (21), points (54) and penalty minutes (150), while playing top-line minutes at even-strength and on both the power play and penalty kill.
"Players like Turner Ripplinger make their teammates better, their coaches more comfortable, and opponents uncomfortable," said head coach and general manager Chris Lewgood.
"Turner’s skills and abilities are not always flashy, but he always seems to find a way to contribute at both ends of the rink. "
For player of the year, Ripplinger is nominated against Battleford North Stars defenceman Cody Spagrud (Global Ag Risk Division) and Melfort Mustangs forward Carson Albrecht (Sherwood Division).
For most valuable player, Ripplinger is nominated against Humboldt Broncos forward Michael Clarke (Global Ag Risk Division) and Melfort Mustangs forward Justin Ball (Sherwood Division).
Jake Heerspink is also enjoying his most productive year offensively in his final season of junior hockey. As of Feb. 18, Heerspink has set career marks in goals (nine) and penalty minutes (132) in 52 games. He has also matched his career high for points with 37.
More importantly, Heerspink and the Bruins all-star group on defence have developed throughout the year. Heerspink and his partner Johnny Witzke are a top tandem at both ends of the ice in the SJHL.
Heerspink gets the nod for the Bruins and the Viterra Division.
"Jake Heerspink is a natural leader, tenacious defender, and an offensive threat," said Lewgood about the 20-year-old captain.
"With a hard, well-timed shot and ability to consistently get pucks to the net Jake is recognized as one of the SJHL’s premier offensive blueliners. But it is his ability to win one on one battles along the wall in his defensive zone is what opposition forwards likely think about the most."
Heerspink is nominated against Battleford's Spagrud (Global Ag Risk Division) and Flin Flon's Calvon Boots (Sherwood Division).