Trystan Self of the Kimberley Dynamiters, Griffen Ryden of the Castlegar Rebels, Jacob Biensch of the Chase Heat and Jack Henderson of the Osoyoos Coyotes were named Most Valuable Players for their respective divisions in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
Self – Eddie Mountain Division – Self led the league in wins with 22 in 29 games. He also had the best save percentage at .932 and the third best goals against average of 1.83, while being tied for the lead in shutouts with six.
“It’s honestly a huge honour to be named MVP of our division. I don’t know if it would have been possible without my team,” said Self. “They help me out in front. It’s great to get recognition from the league and the coaches vote on it.”
The Calgary product was extremely happy and excited when he heard he was one of the recipients. When it comes to the talent level in the Eddie Mountain division, Self said there are some extremely skilled players.
“I know Columbia Valley has one of the top lines in the league for scoring. Whenever we play against them, our team would be able to shut them down,” he said. “That just kind of proves what our team can do when we are playing our best games.”
Ryden – Neil Murdoch Division – “It’s a big accomplishment for me,” said Ryden, who had 26 goals and 39 points in 38 games.
His 26 goals ranked him fifth in the league. The Brandon, Manitoba product said he played well in what is one of his “best years and coming off a COVID-19 year, I wasn’t expecting to play as well as I have.”
After not playing last season, the six-foot, 165-pound forward enjoyed playing against and said it can be taken for granted being able to play everyday.
“I think what the league has done to make sure that we do, has been awesome,” he said. “Just getting to play everyday and not really having to worry about having to take games off. It’s been huge.”
Biensch – Doug Birks Division – “It’s pretty good. It had lots to do with my teammates,” said Biensch, who finished third in the league with 53 points in games.
“There are a lot of good players. I was pretty surprised and I thank a lot of my teammates that helped me get there,” said Biensch of his reaction to receiving the MVP award. “The coaches, I give all the credit to them.”
The Marsden, Saskatchewan product felt pretty good about his play, which simply had to do with more confidence.
“It was just trying to help my team win as much as we could. It was nice to get rewarded for it,” he said.
Henderson – Bill Ohlhausen Division – In 40 games, the Quesnel product led the league in points with 65.
“It’s always nice to get recognized when you have a good season like I did. I definitely couldn’t have done it without my teammates, my linemates and Head Coach Carter Rigby as well,” he said. “I was honoured, excited too. It’s always nice receiving an award.”
Henderson said their division is loaded with skilled players and “every night is a battle, there are no nights off.”
“It’s really nice to get this award because there are so many guys that could have got it,” he said. “Even on my team.”