Personnel from the no. 1 ranked Jr. A hockey team in Canada have been duly recognized.
Six members of the Soo Thunderbirds have won major awards in votes cast by representatives from each of the eight teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
Joel Horodziejczyk, the Thunderbirds 1995 birth-year goalie, is the NOJHL’s most valuable player for the 2013-2014 season. In his second season with the Soo, the Sudbury native takes home the Carlo Cattarello Trophy as league MVP.
1993 birth-year forward Gavin Burbach, who is in his fourth NOJHL season, is the league’s best overall team player. Burbach, who is the Thunderbirds captain, hails from Newberry, Michigan.
Mason, Michigan native Tyler Jones is the NOJHL’s best defenceman. In his third NOJHL season, Jones is a 1993 birth-year skater and in his final term of eligibility.
Highly-regarded prospect Owen Headrick is the winner of the John Grignon Trophy as rookie-of-the-year. Headrick, a 1997 birth-year defenceman from Garden River First Nation, is an Ontario Hockey League draft pick of the Erie Otters. He also has a full-ride scholarship offer on the table from the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Lake Superior State Lakers.
Besides the four players, two other Thunderbirds have trophies in their possession.
Rookie bench boss Jordan Smith is the winner of the time-honoured Red McCarthy Memorial Trophy as coach-of-the-year.
And general manager Kevin Cain is the winner of the prestigious Joe Drago Trophy as executive-of-the-year.
Elsewhere, Brad Edwards of the Espanola Rivermen is the winner of the Mitch Tetreault Memorial Trophy as top defensive forward, Sudbury Nickel Barons defenceman Khadyn Butterfly is the recipient of the Gilles Laperriere Trophy as most improved player and forward Brett Wagner of the Elliot Lake Bobcats is most gentlemanly player.
PHOTO: Soo Thunderbirds captain Gavin Burbach. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)