Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tri-City Americans Forward Brendan Shinnimin Wins Big at WHL Awards: Tri-City's Shinnimin Wins Big at WHL Awards

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tri-City Americans Forward Brendan Shinnimin Wins Big at WHL Awards: Tri-City's Shinnimin Wins Big at WHL Awards

Article excerpt

CALGARY - Brendan Shinnimin piled up points in 2011-12 at a rate that hasn't been reached in the Western Hockey League in more than a decade.

Shinnimin was recognized for his outstanding season with a pair of trophies at the WHL awards luncheon Wednesday.

The Tri-City Americans forward captured both the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL's player of the year and the Bob Clarke Trophy as the league's top scorer.

"Obviously you look at the Western Hockey League and the guys that they produce and even the young guys coming up and it's a huge honour," said Shinnimin, who scored 58 goals and added 76 assists in 69 games. "For me to be able to earn player of the year and top scorer it feels good and it's something I've worked for (in) my five-year junior career."

Shinnimin's point total was the highest for a WHL player since the 1998-99 season when Pavel Brendl of the Calgary Hitmen also had 134 points.

Not bad for a player who was never chosen in the WHL Bantam Draft.

"Not being drafted there and being told I was too small, (that) I was never going to play, it made me want to make it even more," said the five-foot-10, 175-pound centre, who beat out Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers to earn player of the year accolades. "To be able to have that drive is something that you can't find in everyone. I think I've developed that just from playing in the Western Hockey League and just trying to follow a dream."

Although Shinnimin was never selected in the NHL Entry Draft, the 21-year-old Winnipeg native recently signed a contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.

"To win these two awards and then to eventually sign with the Phoenix Coyotes is a dream come true," said Shinnimin, who will join the Coyotes for their playoff drive although, he doesn't expect to play in any games this post-season. "It's obviously a huge opportunity to just be able to practise with the guys and to be around the team and see what it takes to get to that next level and what kind of lifestyle that they live. To be able to watch some outstanding playoff hockey, it's going to be quite the experience."

Also on Wednesday, Alex Petrovic of the Red Deer Rebels won the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as league's top defenceman, while Tyler Bunz of the Tigers took the Del Wilson Trophy as the WHL's goaltender of the year. …

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