Not an overly vocal captain, Cal Foote led more by example for the Kelowna Rockets’ during the 2017-18 WHL season.
On Sunday, the 19-year-old blueliner’s impact on the Western Hockey League club couldn’t have been more clear during the Rockets’ annual awards ceremony at the Kelowna Community Theatre.
Following on the heels of a stellar regular season, Foote was named both the Rockets’ MVP and top defenceman.
Humbled by the award, Foote said the recognition could have just as easily gone to Dillon Dube, Kole Lind or Carsen Trwaynski.
“I was surprised when I got it because we have so many great players, we have three other guys that are in the running for it,” said Foote, who had 19 goals and 70 points this season. “They all had a great seasons, credit to them they played well this year.”
Forward Dillon Dube won the first ever President’s Award. A new honour designed to recognize outstanding and significant accomplishments, the award
Dube was the first Kelowna Rockets player ever to earn a spot on the Canada’s world junior team roster in back-to-back seasons. The Cochrane, AB native served as team captain and helped Canada win gold at the 2018 championship in Buffalo.
Defenceman Gordie Ballhorn left the ceremony with three awards in his possession. The 20-year-old from Wetaskiwin, AB won the Unsung Hero and Plus-Minus Awards, and shared the Hamilton Humanitarian Award with fellow over-ager, Carsen Twarynski.
Twarynski, who led Kelowna with 45 goals this season, was also named the Rockets’ most improved player.
Other award winners:
• Top scorer—Kole Lind (95 points).
• Rookie of the Year—Kaedan Korczak
• Top defensive forward—Conner Bruggen-Cate
• Most sportsmanlike—Leif Mattson
• Scholastic Award—Wil Kushniryk
The Rockets will take on the Tri-City Americans in the opening round of the WHL playoffs. The Rockets will host Game 1 on Thursday at Prospera Place. Face off is 7:05 p.m. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is set for Saturday night in Kelowna.
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