Braves captain named league MVP
Ty Jones carried a young Saanich Braves team to within one goal of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League final. For his efforts he was awarded the Jamie Benn Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.
The delayed awards were finally released on June 7.
The MVP was one of two trophies for Jones. The 19-year-old Braves captain also tied Victoria Cougars forward Steven Axford with 75 points for the Doug Morton Trophy as the league’s top scorer.
“I was assuming (Jones) would be considered,” Braves coach Brad Cook said.
“Jones was so consistent in his production and work ethic and I played him in all situations.”
It’s hard to argue with the effect Jones had on the Braves’ youth and inexperience, and how important he was down the stretch, the coach said.
“It’s rare you see a player win games single-handedly, but Jones did that,” Cook added. “It’s not always the ideal way to win, but that said, he was that good.”
Even more exciting than Jones winning MVP is his return for the 2012-13 season as a 20-year-old, leaving an NCAA Div. 3 offer on the table.
The Braves will likely lose Sam McMullen and Sean McBride to junior A, and Jack Palmer to the Western League’s Brandon Wheat Kings. Palmer won the Larry Lamoureaux rookie of the year award.
The Cyclone Taylor Cup finalist Cougars earned a lions’ share of the awards for its exceptional season with just six losses in 42 games. Evan Roch won goaltender of the year award, captain Brody Coulter won the top forward award, and Mark Van Helvoirt won coach of the year for his role in leading the Cougars to a franchise-best 36 wins.