Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will host their annual Golden Puck Awards Gala this evening at some hotel in downtown Montreal.

After an unreal regular season, the Saint John Sea Dogs will have plenty of chances to take home some hardware tonight. Jonathan Huberdeau is nominated for three awards while Simon Despres, Zack Phillips, and Nathan Beaulieu are all in contention as well. Head coach Gerard Gallant and director of hockey operations Mike Kelly are also included in the long list of nominees.

Goaltender Jacob DeSerres will be awarded Jaques Plante Trophy for the league’s best goals against average.

Saint John did quite well at the awards show last year with Mike Hoffman being named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Gallant winning Coach of the Year.

Like in the past, the coverage of the event will likely be poor. But in a shocking turn of events, the QMJHL Twitter page is expected to post updates and pictures.

Mikaël Lalancette of Metro Montreal posted his predictions for the awards in a post on Sunday. Telegraph-Journal columnist Peter McGuire also made some predictions yesterday.

So without further to do, here are SN’s predictions for this evening’s trophy festival.

Michel-Brière Trophy - Most Valuable Player Sean Couturier (Drummondville Voltigeurs), Philip-Michaël Devos (Gatineau Olympiques / Victoriaville Tigres), and Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Prediction: Jonathan Huberdeau - led the top-ranked team in Canada in scoring basically all season long. He led the team in assists. He led the team in goals. He was a league best plus-59. He did all this at age 17 under the pressure of playing in front of dozens of scouts each game. He is the QMJHL’s MVP.

RDS Cup - Rookie of the Year Martin Frk (Halifax Mooseheads), Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi Saguenéens), Zach O’Brien (Acadie-Bathurst Titan), Domenic Graham (Drummondville Voltigeurs), David Honzik (Victoriaville Tigres), and Dominic Poulin (Chicoutimi Saguenéens)

Prediction: Charles Hudon - had an unreal rookie campaign with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. He had 23 goals and 37 assists and finished second in rookie scoring. He did this on an average Chicoutimi team that scored only scored 197 goals, one of only five teams to not score over 200 markers.

Émile "Butch" Bouchard Trophy - Best Defenseman Brandon Gormley (Moncton Wildcats), Simon Després (Saint John Sea Dogs), and Ryan Kavanagh (Shawinigan Cataractes / Rimouski Océanic)

Prediction: Simon Despres - has been shut-down city all year long. He played solid with Team Canada at the World Juniors and had a long look at Pittsburgh Penguins training camp.

Frank-J.-Selke Trophy - Sportsman of the Year Philip-Michaël Devos (Gatineau Olympiques / Victoriaville Tigres), Zach O’Brien (Acadie-Bathurst Titan), and Zack Phillips (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Prediction: Zach O’Brien – played in 58 games as a “rookie” and didn’t record a single penalty minute.

Michael-Bossy Trophy - Top Professional Prospect Nathan Beaulieu (Saint John Sea Dogs), Sean Couturier (Drummondville Voltigeurs), Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Prediction: Sean Couturier – despite all the talk about Jonathan Huberdeau possibly overtaking Couturier as the top prospect from the QMJHL, there are still plenty of agencies that have Couturier going ahead of the Sea Dogs forward. 96 points in just 58 games isn’t too shabby either.

Marcel-Robert Trophy - TELUS Scholastic Player of the Year Pascal Amyot (Halifax Mooseheads), Michaël Bournival (Shawinigan Cataractes), Guillaume Goulet (Victoriaville Tigres), Jean-Philippe Mathieu (Drummondville Voltigeurs), and Nicolas Therrien - Chicoutimi Saguenéens

Prediction: Pascal Amyot - difficult to predict this one but we’ll take Amyot because his education is talked about in the media as much as his hockey playing abilities are.

Ron-Lapointe Trophy - Coach of the Year Mario Duhamel (Drummondville Voltigeurs), Gérard Gallant (Saint John Sea Dogs), and Patrick Roy (Québec Remparts)

Prediction: Gerard Gallant – ‘Turk’ won the award last year as well and is just as deserving this season. Sure he has ultra-talented players to work with, but he is faced with the task of keeping a handful of high NHL draft eligible players focused on playing a team game and not as individuals. Gallant has certainly done that.

Maurice-Filion Trophy - General Manager of the Year Sylvain Couturier (Acadie-Bathurst Titan), Mike Kelly (Saint John Sea Dogs), Pascal Vincent (Montreal Juniors), and Jacques Beaulieu

Prediction: Mike Kelly – made some good trades at the deadline, most noticeably Eric Gelinas and Alexandre Beauregard. He also picked up Jacob DeSerres from the WHL. Kelly has helped make this team a contender last year, this year, and next year.

Paul-Dumont Trophy – Personality of the year Sean Couturier (Drummondville Voltigeurs), Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John Sea Dogs), and Louis Leblanc (Montreal Junior)

Prediction: Jonathan Huberdeau – we don’t even understand this award so we’ll go the homer route and take Huberdeau.

Humanitarian Award Alex Émond (Rimouski Océanic), Kirill Kabanov (Lewiston MAINEiacs), and Gabriel Lemieux( Shawinigan Cataractes)

Prediction: Kirill Kabanov – another award that is difficult to predict. We’ll take Kabanov simply because he is a unique human being.

Photo Credits: QMJHL, Marc Henwood/Station Nation, Marc Henwood/Station Nation, QMJHL

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