The Saginaw Spirit have announced their 2013 team awards following their Spring Rookie Development Camp; which was held this past weekend at Saginaw Bay Ice Arena. Listed below are the 2013 awards; along with the recipient’s name next to the award.
*Community Service Award: Defenseman, Grant Webermin
*Heart and Soul Award: Forward, Eric Locke
*Rookie of the Year Award: (2 tied) Defenseman, Brandon Prophet and Forward, Jeremiah Addison
*Most Improved Player Award: Forward, Jimmy Lodge
*Fan Favorite Award: Goalie, Jake Paterson
*Best Defenseman Award: Defenseman, Steven Strong
*Wren Blair Leadership Award: Captain, Garret Ross
*Most Valuable Player Award: Goalie, Jake Paterson
*Leading Scorer Award: Forward, Eric Locke
Saginaw Spirit Head Coach, Greg Gilbert was looking for a repeat as the OHL coach of the year; when he found himself as a finalist again this year for the Matt Leydan Trophy, awarded annually to the OHL’s top coach. A repeat was not in the cards for the Saginaw coach, as Gilbert was beat out this year by Plymouth’s Mike Vellucci, and two other OHL coaches. Vellucci finished with 45 points in the voting process ahead of George Burnett of the Belleville Bulls who received 39 voting points. D.J Smith of the Oshawa Generals finished in third place with 33 voting points.
The Matt Leyden Trophy has been awarded annually since 1972 in recognition of the contributions of Matt Leyden, past President of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1965-1967. The Oshawa native was honored as a lifetime member of the OHA in 1972.
Vellucci will be formally presented with the award at the 2012-13 OHL Awards Ceremony taking place Tuesday June 4 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and will also be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year.
Vellucci and his Plymouth Whalers were eliminated from the OHL playoffs by the London Knights 4-games to-1 in the western conference championship series of the OHL playoffs. The London Knights will now face the Barrie Colts in final series of the OHL playoffs for the coveted Robertson Cup. The winner will move on to the Memorial Cup.