Brett Connolly continues to get recognized for his efforts this past season.
On Wednesday, Connolly was named the Western Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year during the league’s awards luncheon in Edmonton.
Connolly, a Prince George minor hockey product, topped Eastern Conference finalist and Regina Pats forward Jordan Weal to take home the honour.
“I’m really excited about winning this award,” Connolly stated in a press release. “It has been a goal of mine for a while now and it’s nice to see all the hard work paid off.”
Connolly, who turns 17 on Saturday, established a rookie scoring record for the Cougars with 30 goals and 60 points in 65 games in the 2008-09 WHL campaign. He became the first player to earn the team’s Most Valuable Player award while being named the top rookie the same season.
Connolly is up against a pair of Europeans for the Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the Year award. Nineteen-year-old forward Evgeny Grachev of the Brampton Battalion was named top rookie in the Ontario Hockey League, while 18-year-old defenceman Dmitry Kulikov took home top rookie honours in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The CHL awards will be presented during the Memorial Cup in Rimouski, Que. on May 23.
Other award winners announced on Wednesday were: Brett Sonne of the Regina Pats Player of the Year; Chet Pickard of the Tri-City Americans Goaltender of the Year; Jonathon Blum of the Vancouver Giants Defenceman of the Year; Stefan Elliott of the Saskatoon Blades Scholastic Player Award; Tyler Ennis of the Medicine Hat Tigers Most Sportsmanlike Award; Taylor Procyshen of the Tri-City Americans Humanitarian of the Year; Don Hay of the Vancouver Giants Coach of the Year; Kelly Kisio of the Calgary Hitmen Executive of the Year; Mike Bortolussi of the Medicine Hat Tigers Marketing and Communications Award; Casey Pierro Zabotel of the Vancouver Giants Top Scorer; Chris Savage of Medicine Hat Top Official; Calgary Hitmen Regular Season Champions; and Prince Albert Raiders Scholastic Team Award.