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NCAA Roundup: Year-End Awards

In Part 2 of our year-end NCAA Roundup, presented by Johnston Meier Insurance, we recap the 11 BCHL alumni that took home individual conference awards at the conclusion of the season.

CCHA Forward of the Year

David Silye – Junior – Minnesota State University (Nanaimo Clippers/Penticton Vees)

Silye led the CCHA with 23 goals and dished out 16 assists for 39 points in 37 games for Minnesota State. The conference’s leader in power play goals (12) and shooting percentage (.264), he is second in points and faceoff wins (434). He has two game-winning goals, 87 shots on goal and is a +3 with 12 blocks at the defensive end of the ice.

The Arnprior, Ont. native played in the BCHL for four seasons from 2016 to 2020. He spent the first two years with Nanaimo before joining Penticton prior to the 2018-19 campaign. In his two years with the Vees, he collected 122 points in 112 games and was named team captain in his final year.

CCHA Defenceman of the Year

Jake Livingstone – Junior – Minnesota State University (Langley Rivermen)

Livingstone led all CCHA skaters with 26 assists in the regular season, to go along with eight goals for 34 points, which ranks fourth in the league. His 0.92 points per game are fifth and his 52 blocked shots are ninth. He led all conference defencemen in games played (37), goals, assists, power play goals (3) and game-winning goals (2). The All-CCHA First Team selection is fourth in plus-minus (+12) as well.

Livingstone played four seasons in the BCHL with the Langley Rivermen. Over his 185 regular-season games, the Creston, B.C. native notched 104 points. In his final year in the league in 2019-20, he finished as the BCHL’s second-highest scoring blueliner with 49 points in 52 games and was named a Second-Team All-Star and a finalist for the league’s Top Defenceman award.

Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year

Carter Wilkie (F) – Sophomore – Rochester Institute of Technology (Chilliwack Chiefs/West Kelowna Warriors)

Wilkie tied for second in conference scoring with 27 points on nine goals and 18 assists in Atlantic Hockey play. He ended the regular season with 37 points on 13 goals and 24 helpers, which topped all conference skaters. Wilkie has recorded back-to-back 30+-point seasons in his first two years with the Tigers to become the 11th RIT player in the program’s Division I era to reach the 30-point mark in multiple years.

The 22-year-old forward played three seasons in the BCHL, split between the Chilliwack Chiefs and West Kelowna Warriors. Over his career, he notched 87 points in 127 regular-season games.

Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year

Max Itagaki (F) – Army West Point (Nanaimo Clippers)

Itagaki finished second in assists in conference play with 20 and ended the full season with 29 to set a new Atlantic Hockey freshman record for assists in a season, breaking the previous record that had stood since 2005-06. The Glenview, Ill. native also led the Black Knights in scoring this season with 33 points, which tied for the ninth-best total by a freshman in conference history.

The 2002-born forward played the 2021-22 campaign with the Nanaimo Clippers, finishing second on the team with 61 points in 54 games and ending up top-10 in league scoring.

Atlantic Hockey Best Defenceman

Aiden Hansen-Bukata – Junior – Rochester Institute of Technology (Nanaimo Clippers)

Hansen-Bukata finished eighth and led all defensemen with 25 points against Atlantic Hockey competition, and led all skaters in assists in conference action with 23 helpers. The Delta, B.C. native finished the season with 30 assists to become the first Tiger since 2015-16 to log 30 assists in a season. Hansen-Bukata finished +20 in conference play, which shared the team and Atlantic Hockey lead. He blocked a team-high 46 shots against in-conference competition, which ranked second in Atlantic Hockey.

The 23-year-old played two BCHL seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers from 2018 to 2020. He registered 62 points over 106 regular-season games during his junior career and was named a Second-Team All-Star after his rookie season.

Atlantic Hockey Individual Sportsmanship Award

Braeden Tuck (F) – Senior – Sacred Heart University (Trail Smoke Eaters)

Tuck was whistled for just two minor infractions in 37 games for a team that was the least-penalized in Atlantic Hockey. In four seasons with SHU, the Calgary, Alta. native has taken just four minor penalties while playing in all 124 of the Pioneers contests in that span. He recorded 20 points on five goals and 15 assists this season and netted a pair of game-winners, including an overtime winner against Canisius on Feb. 19.

Tuck played three seasons in Trail, including one as captain, and ended his BCHL career with 108 points in 165 regular-season games, adding another 27 in 38 playoff games.

ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year

Yaniv Perets – Sophomore – Quinnipiac University (Penticton Vees)

Logging more than 1,242 minutes between the pipes for the Bobcats, Perets allowed just 26 goals against through the duration of league play while making 387 saves, good for a save percentage of .937. He also wrapped up the regular season with six shutouts against league opponents, including three alone during the month of February.

The Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que. native played the 2019-20 season in Penticton, posting the third-best goals-against average in the league at 2.19, the second-most shutouts with five and a .918 save percentage.

ECAC Hockey Defensive Forward of the Year

Skyler Brind’Amour – Senior – Quinnipiac University (Chilliwack Chiefs)

Brind’Amour had a career year for the Bobcats during the 2022-23 campaign, more than doubling his goal output from 2021-22 with seven tallies during league play this season. Combined with his 11 assists, Brind’Amour finished fourth on the team in points with 18 through 22 regular-season league contests. He has also been a valuable contributor to the Bobcats’ back end, blocking 12 shots to help Quinnipiac to a league-best 30 goals against and helping the team to a historic finish in the standings, becoming the first team to reach the 20-win mark in more than 30 years.

The son of Stanley Cup champion and current Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Skyler spent two years with the Chilliwack Chiefs from 2017 to 2019 and won a National Championship with the team in 2018.

ECAC Hockey Scholar Athlete of the Year

Matthew Verboon (F) – Senior – Colgate University (Salmon Arm Silverbacks)

Verboon is currently in his fourth year pursuing his bachelor’s degree in physics with an economics minor, and has maintained a 3.69 grade-point average. He has spent seven semesters on Colgate’s Dean’s List and is a three-time Raider Academic Honour Roll selection and ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selection (2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-2022). On the ice, his 15 goals and 32 points both rank second on the team

Verboon spent the 2018-19 campaign in Salmon Arm, leading the team in goals (28), assists (28) and points (56). A dual citizen of Canada and Switzerland, Verboon played for the Swiss national team at the 2019 and 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, registering seven points in 12 games over the two tournaments.

Hockey East Sportsmanship Award

Hudson Schandor (F) – Junior – University of Connecticut (Salmon Arm Silverbacks/Surrey Eagles)

Schandor took only eight minutes in penalties in his junior year, despite suiting up for 35 games. The North Vancouver, B.C. native finished the year as the Huskies second-leading scorer after piling up 32 points on 11 goals and 21 assists.

Schandor played three seasons in the BCHL, the first two for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and his final year with the Surrey Eagles. Over his junior career, he totaled 114 points in 147 regular-season games. He finished as the BCHL’s seventh leading scorer his final year in the league with 61 points in 56 contests.

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award

Jay Keranen (D) – Senior – University of Michigan (Prince George Spruce Kings)

Keranen was Michigan’s recipient of the conference’s sportsmanship awards, given out to one player on each Big Ten team. The Brighton, Mich. product took only five minutes worth of penalties the entire season, playing in 37 games for the Wolverines. He registered one goal and four assists in his senior year.

The 24-year-old played two seasons with the Prince George Spruce Kings from 2017 to 2019, a run that culminated in a Fred Page Cup championship his final year in the league.