Swiss-born forward Calvin Thurkauf is the Kelowna Rockets MVP for 2016-17. - Image credit: Warren Henderson/Capital News

Thurkauf MVP, Foote and Lind win two each

With playoffs up next, Kelowna Rockets host annual awards ceremony Sunday afternoon

A horse, a beast, a bull.

Whatever term has been used to describe Calvin Thurkauf, the Swiss-born forward is now also known as the Kelowna Rockets’ MVP for 2016-17.

Thurkauf, who scored 37 goals and added 33 assists in 60 games during the WHL’s regular season, was presented with the club’s top honour Sunday at the Rockets’ annual awards ceremony.

“It’s a great honour,” Thurkauf said of receiving the team’s MVP award. “I couldn’t have done it without the team.

“Every opportunity comes with my linemates, (Nick Merkley and Reid Gardiner), it’s been awesome all year and I can really profit off their games.

“I can’t thank them enough.”

NHL draft prospects Kole Lind and Cal Foote each took home two individual awards.

Lind, 18, named the club’s most improved performer, was also the top scorer with 30 goals and 87 points. The Shaunavon, Sask. native had 41 points last season.

Foote, 18, a projected first round NHL draft pick this summer, was named the top defenceman and was the Rockets plus-minus leader.

The Englewood, CO native had six goals and 51 assists—fifth among WHL blueliners—while compiling a plus-39 rating.

The Rockets other award winners were:

• Top defensive forward—Rodney Southam

• Humanitarian award—Nick Merkley

• Rookie of the year—Nolan Foote

• Scholastic player—Konrad Belcourt

• Unsung hero—Devante Stephens

• Most sportsmanlike—Lucas Johansen

Graduating 20-year-olds Southam, Michael Herringer and Reid Gardiner were also honoured Sunday and were presented with commemorative framed plaques.

The Rockets will open their best-of-seven first round playoff series Friday night at home to the Kamloops Blazers.

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