GWMHL

2012-2013 Award Winners

In BOS, NAS, SAL, SFS, Special Features, STL on August 7, 2013 at 9:07 am

In a season notable for a lack of headline-making offensive performances, many players still shone in the 2012-13 GWMHL regular season. As a few select teams battle it out in the playoffs, we take a (totally biased and absolutely unscientific) look at the players who made the biggest mark on the year.

Scoring Champ

Claude Giroux, Nashville Knights
Giroux won his first-ever — and not likely his last — scoring title in style. With 108 points, he was the only player to surpass 100 and was 11 points up on his nearest competition. Most remarkably, and we’ll circle back to this, is that Giroux finished the year with 42 points more than his nearest teammate, Patrick Kane. Where would the Knights have gotten without him? Not very far.
Honourable Mentions: Erik Cole, Saint Louis Blues (97 points), Patrik Elias, Boston Banshees (96 points)

Sniper Award

Erik Cole, Saint Louis Blues
Erik Cole was lighting it up even before Saint Louis started acquiring a deep supporting cast at the trade deadline.  We didn’t see many stratospheric point totals this season, but Cole had some close competition in the goals race, but the winger — who had 32 goals last season and just 16 the season before — just kept ticking en route to his league-leading 54.
Honourable Mentions: Steven Stamkos, Charleston Chiefs (51 goals), Milan Lucic, Boston Banshees (47 goals)

Best Defenseman

Alex Pietrangelo, Salem Wannabees
As if the Wannabees — perennial contenders with a ridiculously deep roster — needed any more help, but here it is: they could afford to be patient with young Pietrangelo and it paid dividends in 12-13, as he led all defensemen in points with 72. It was just Pietrangelo’s second full season, too, so we probably expect more where that came from. Terrifying.
Honourable Mentions: Erik Karlsson, Boston Banshees (64 points), Kevin Shattenkirk, Denver Spurs (66 points)

Best Goaltender

Henrik Lundqvist, Boston Banshees
The Banshees boasted more than just honourable mentions – Boston fans also got to witness the year’s most spectacular netminding. With a goals against average of 2.14 and a lofty .940 save percentage, Lundqvist held a sizable lead in both categories. Although he only saw 41 games, as the Banshees went with a 1A/1B rotation with Devan Dubnyk — and you could argue that the setup inflated Lundqvist’s numbers — his performance was just that good. Where would the Banshees have placed if he’d played 20 or 30 more games? The mind boggles.
Honourable Mentions: Pekka Rinne, Vancouver Night Train (46 wins, 9 shutouts), Cam Ward, Saint Louis Blues (2.53, .912, 5 shutouts)

Rookie of the Year

Gabriel Landeskog, San Francisco Seals
It cost San Francisco Milan Lucic, of 47-goal fame, to land him, but the rebuilding Seals aren’t complaining. For one so young, Landeskog was an absolute force, as his 70 points led all rookies quite handily. He also saw more icetime than any forward on his team not named Marian Gaborik – and that includes John Tavares.
Honourable Mentions: Cody Hodgson, Farmington Fighting Saints (30 goals), Adam Henrique, Vancouver Night Train (59 points)

Fresh Start Award

Mark Streit, Nashville Knights
After an unusually active trade deadline, many impact players made good by their new teams. But no one turned it around quite like veteran offensive defenseman Mark Streit. In 40 games to start the year with Baltimore, Streit managed just 6 points. In 42 games with his new teammates in Nashville, he tallied 27 — including 7 goals.
Honourable Mentions: Kyle Okposo, Baltimore Crab (32 points in 39 games with Baltimore after 21 in 40 with Saint Louis), Daniel Alfredsson, Saint Louis Blues (32 points in 42 games with Saint Louis after 13 in 33 with Boston)

Most Valuable Player – Runners Up

3. Pekka Rinne, Vancouver Night Train
How does a guy not named ‘best goaltender’ get an MVP nod? Rinne was a workhorse, playing 73 games — way more than any other goalie this season. His numbers didn’t come close to Lundqvist’s, but they were respectable at 2.47 and .916. But his 9 shutouts and 46 wins were the reason the Night Train were the league’s second-best team.

2. Erik Cole, Saint Louis Blues
What more can be said about Cole? To look at the Blues’ roster now, you see a contender — but a few short weeks ago, it might have been a different story. Strong up the middle but fairly weak on both wings, the Blues relied on Cole to do all the heavy lifting through the first 40 games, and he rose to the challenge.

Most Valuable Player of 2012-2013

1. Claude Giroux, Nashville Knights
With Sidney Crosby battling injuries, Giroux has emerged as the league’s most dynamic offensive threat. It’s as simple as that. Without him, the Knights would still be struggling to make the playoffs — even in a division full of rebuilding squads. Despite a supporting cast that’s strong on paper, Giroux carried the load. With him, the Knights are poised to surprise. By far the year’s most valuable player.

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