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To wrap up this year’s Bulldogs Weekly Recap articles here on HabsWorld as we all head off into a long summer, here is a fun little piece where I make my selections for what I am calling the Hamilton Bulldogs Player Awards. Obviously there are no actual trophies to hand out, but if I could present the awards to the selected players, here are the picks I have chosen.
MVP: Curtis Sanford and Drew MacIntyre - I have to have this award co-shared between these two guys. It is just not possible to give one the MVP honours and not the other. For the first half of the season, Sanford carried this Bulldogs team on his shoulders night after night, playing 40 games and finishing his injury-shortened season with a record of 25 wins, 13 losses, 2 shootout losses, and 5 shutouts, and a GAA of 1.93. Drew MacIntyre stepped into the starting goaltender’s role following Sanford’s injury and did the very exact same thing…carried the team on his back game in and game out. Big Mac played a total of 41 consecutive games (regular season and playoffs) and earned himself 24 wins, 15 losses, 2 shootout losses, 2 shutouts, and a GAA of 1.89 (regular season) and 1.95 (playoffs).
TOP DEFENCEMAN: Kyle Klubertanz - 10 goals and 22 assists during the regular season; 10 assists in the playoffs. He finished his year with Hamilton as the highest scoring blueliner with 42 points. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Klubertanz has taken his hockey career back to Europe where he will play next season with Djurgarden in the SEL.
TOP FORWARD: Nigel Dawes - Just like my choices of Curtis Sanford and Drew MacIntyre above, I am literally forced to give Dawes this award in this category. He seemed to come out of nowhere (it was actually the Chicago Wolves) and became the offensive scoring threat for the Dogs with 28 goals in the regular season and playoffs and 22 assists. He was the target which all other teams needed to shut down when they came in to play Hamilton. Unfortunately, just like Klubertanz above, Nigel Dawes has elected to play on the other side of the World next year, in the KHL in Russia.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Brendon Nash - 5 goals, 25 assists, and 30 points in his first year in the American Hockey League. He was a solid addition to the Hamilton blueline.