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ShaunS

Thunderbolts 2017-18 Season Awards

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Evansville began announcing "team awards" on Twitter last week. So far the results have been... surprising.

 

Rookie of the Year - Brendan Mitchell. A newcomer on defense, he skated 52 games with the team (the most of any rookie) and picked up 7 assists. He had a -13 plus/minus and 50 PIM

"Unsung Hero" - Nick D'Avolio. Honestly I don't know what qualifies one for this award, but Nick had a pretty good season. He played in 52 games and garnered 35 points (11g, 24a). His +10 plus/minus was the highest on the team.

Defenseman of the Year - Bo Driscoll. No stranger to Evansville, Bo returned for 29 games this season and earned 5 points (1g, 4a). His plus/minus was dramatically increased from last season at -4, and he accrued 21 PIM. I did notice that Bo was playing much improved hockey toward the end of the season, but it's important to keep that in a frame of reference... improved for him. 

I'm not sure what the team is up to with these awards to be completely honest. For example, the only metric Brendan Mitchell was a "leader" in was games played, even among rookies. Stats can lie, and Mitchell wasn't as bad as his numbers could let you think though. So I really ignored that. But, as much as I can genuinely say Bo Driscoll is playing *better* this season, naming him defenseman of the year left me speechless. It obliterated my "most games played' theory for the previous selections, and I don't want to be unduly critical. However, it seems like a slight to people like Melkert and Schumacher who on a bad night are a level above Bo's game.

Oh well. Can't wait to see what's next. Maybe Al Graves for offensive player of the year?

 

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Reading my own post reminded me how shook up I was from those previous selections. It's as if I was trying to break every best practice in the English language at once.

 

The final award for Most Valuable Player goes to Dylan Clarke. Finally someone who clearly deserves the honor, Clarke played 51 regular season games earning 52 points (23g, 29a). That placed him 11th in points and 9th in goals for the entire league. He's a highly skilled guy who I hope elects to stick around.

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