Pirates Announce 2014-2015 Player Awards
Portland, Me. - The Portland Pirates presented their Team Awards on Saturday night before their last regular season home game of the year against the Providence Bruins at the Cross Insurance Arena. Six players were honored for a variety of awards picked by the Pirates organization and fans.
Goalie Mike McKenna was awarded with the Most Valuable Player Award. The Most Valuable Player is selected by Pirates fans and is awarded to the player deemed to be the most valuable to the Pirates each season. Previous winners include Andy Miele, Alex Bolduc, Mark Mancari, Martin Brochu, Jim Carey, and current Pirates Assistant Coach Trent Whitfield. McKenna, who boasts a 26-18-6 record and 0.925 save percentage for the 2014-2015 season, had seven shutouts and reached a career-high for wins.
The Jack Button Award, named for the late Washington Capitals Diector of Player Development, was awarded to Henrik Samuelsson. The Jack Button Award is given to the Pirates' Best NHL Prospect, as selected by the team's NHL parent club, the Arizona Coyotes. Samuelsson, who is in his first professional season, has 16 goals and 21 assists with a +7. He was called up to the Coyotes twice. Previous winners of this award include Connor Murphy, Jhonas Enroth, Bobby Ryan, and Glen Metropolit.
The Tom Ebright Award honors the player who best fit the ideals of what a Portland Pirates player should be, as envisioned by Pirates Founding Owner Tom Ebright. Alex Bolduc was chosen as this year's winner by the Pirates Front Office. Bolduc, who has had 21 goals and 28 assists for a +10 rating, played in his 500th professional game this season and was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. Previous winners of the Ebright Award include Kevin Kaminski, Whitfield, Byron Dafoe, Trevor Gillies, and Derek Whitmore.
The Player's Player Award, which honors the player deemed to best represent the values and spirit of the team, as chosen by the players themselves, was awarded to assistant captain Dylan Reese. Reese, a defenseman, has 10 goals and 27 assists with a +9 rating for the current season. Previous winners of the Player's Player award include Brett Hextall, Tyler Bouck, Mel Angelstad, Kent Hulst, and Trent Whitfield.
Jordan Szwarz, a forward, was awarded the Unsung Hero Award. This award goes to the player who rose above expectations to become a key member of the team, as chosen by Pirates fans. Szwarz has scored 9 goals with 12 assists and has a +2 rating for 2014-2015. Previous winners of the Unsung Hero Award include Jordan Martinook, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Tim Kennedy, and Brad Church.
Pirates' fans chose Francis Wathier as the Most Popular Player. Wathier, who has 5 goals and 9 assists this season, got the most votes by fans in the online poll. Previous winners include Andy Miele, Ryan Hollweg, Tyler Ennis, Jason Christie, and Kaminski.
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