Edmonton, Alta. – Saskatchewan’s Taran Kozun was the big winner Wednesday, as Canada West announced the 2019-20 men’s hockey award winners.
The former Seattle Thunderbirds netminder earned a pair of honours, as the conference’s coaches selected him as both Player of the Year and Goalie of the Year.
Kozun backstopped the Huskies to 17 wins this season, while leading CW in goals-against average (1.87), save percentage (.931), and shutouts (5).
Ex-Portland Winterhawk Adam Henry also enjoyed a memorable day, claiming both the Top Defencemen and Student-Athlete Community Service awards. The Manitoba Bisons defender led the all defencemen in goals with 11.
Two other Huskies – Jared Dmytriw (Rookie of the Year) and Levi Cable (Sportsmanship and Ability) – also claimed awards, while Regina’s Todd Johnson was named the CW Coach of the Year.
The 2020 CW Men’s Hockey Final is set for this weekend, as the UBC Thunderbirds travel to Saskatoon to take on the Huskies. The best-of-three series opens Friday, February 28 at 7 p.m. CST and marks
UBC’s first trip to the conference final since 1978 as well as the first meeting between the T-Birds and Huskies in the CW Final.
You can watch the action by tuning into Canada West TV Presented by Co-op.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR & GOALIE OF THE YEAR: Taran Kozun
Arts & Sciences
Former WHL clubs: Kamloops Blazers, Seattle Thunderbirds
It was another dominant season for Saskatchewan Huskie Taran Kozun, who is a dual award winner, claiming the conference’s Player and Goalie of the Year awards.
Kozun follows in the footsteps of former Huskie standout goalie Jordon Cooke, who was the last CW player to claim both awards in the same season (2015-16).
The former Seattle Thunderbird led the conference in every major goaltending category, posting a 1.87 goals-against average, .931 save percentage, five shutouts, and 17 wins. Along with those sparkling numbers, Kozun also became just the second goalie in CW history to score when he found the net in January against the Calgary Dinos.
Thanks in large part to Kozun’s stellar season, the Huskies finished second in the conference standings, as the program’s all-time leader in shutouts (11) posted a third consecutive season with a save percentage north of .920.
“For as long as I’ve been here – including as an athlete – we’ve always had good goaltending and Taran provides the level of play that our program expects. He’s earned the respect of the league over the last two years with the way he’s played. He’s consistently been a high achiever and obviously people respect him for his consistency at the top level.” – Saskatchewan Head Coach Dave Adolph.
TOP DEFENCEMAN & STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE: Adam Henry
Arts & Sciences
Former WHL clubs: Lethbridge Hurricanes, Seattle Thunderbirds, Saskatoon Blades, Portland Winterhawks
Adam Henry combined excellence on the ice and in the classroom during his final season with the Manitoba Bisons to claim the Merv “Red” Dutton Trophy as the conference’s top defenceman, along with the Student-Athlete Community Service award.
Henry topped the conference in defencemen goal scoring this season with 11 markers, while his 11 assists gave him 22 points on the season to finish third overall in the defencemen scoring race.
Off the ice, the Manitoba captain finished with a 3.0 GPA in the Asper School of Business and was active in the University of Manitoba Athlete’s Council (UMAC), volunteering for the group’s anti-bullying and youth literacy campaigns, along with work at Siloam Mission, and the UMAC Christmas hamper program.
He is also involved in coaching minor hockey, assisting at the Laker Hockey Academy.
“The University of Manitoba is thrilled to see Adam honoured with a Canada West First All-Star Team selection and two major awards. We are extremely proud of the excellence Adam has achieved in athletics, academics, and community service throughout his five seasons at the U of M. Adam is an exceptional leader and a highly talented student-athlete who is an outstanding role model.” – Manitoba Head Coach Mike Sirant.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jared Dmytriw
Former WHL clubs: Victoria Royals, Red Deer Rebels, Vancouver Giants
Former Vancouver Giants captain Jared Dmytriw stepped into a major role for the Saskatchewan Huskies and made the most of the opportunity.
The Craven, Sask. native is the CW Rookie of the Year (U of A Hockey Alumni Trophy winner) after suiting up for all 28 regular season contests, registering a conference-best 28 points amongst rookies.
Dmytriw finished with 10 goals and 18 assists to lead Saskatchewan in scoring and post the highest rookie point total by a Huskie since 2015-16 when Saskatchewan featured the conference’s top three rookie scorers: Kohl Bauml – 33, Levi Cable – 28, Andrew Johnson – 26.
“Jared had a fantastic 20-year old season in the WHL and we had the good fortune to convince him to come back to Saskatchewan and play. I didn’t expect him to come in and be our leading scorer, but I knew with his motor that he was going to be really good. He’s committed, has brought it ever since he first came on the ice for us, and I think he’s a surprisingly gifted player.” – Saskatchewan Head Coach Dave Adolph.
SPORTSMANSHIP & ABILITY: Levi Cable
Hudson Bay, SK
Former WHL clubs: Kootenay ICE
Veteran two-way forward Levi Cable has claimed the UBC Hockey Alumni Trophy for sportsmanship and ability.
Cable posted the third 20-point season of his career in 2019-20, registering 10 goals and 14 assists. He also registered a second consecutive penalty free season, as he concluded his five-year CW career with just 18 penalty minutes.
“I think Levi has been the best two-way forward in the league since about mid-way through December in his first year. He brings it, is a reliable player at both ends of the rink, and scores game-winning goals week-after-week. He’s first on the puck, aggressive, and physical.” – Saskatchewan Head Coach Dave Adolph.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Todd Johnson
Regina Cougars head coach Todd Johnson is the CW Coach of the Year after doubling Regina’s win total from a year ago, as the Cougars won eight games in 2019-20. Bolstered by the mid-season addition of forward Tanner Nagel and backstopped by the stellar play of goaltender Brandon Holtby, the Cougars reeled off 13 of a possible 16 points in their first eight games of the second half of the season.
The Cougars narrowly missed out on their first trip to the Canada West postseason since the 2012-13 season, finishing three points back of Manitoba for the sixth and final playoff spot.
Johnson becomes the U of R’s second Canada West Coach of the Year, joining Bill Liskowich (1992).
Athletic director comments:
“We are thrilled for Todd’s CW Coach of the Year honour. Todd is the full package in terms of U SPORTS coaches – he’s an excellent technical and tactical coach with a high-performance mindset. He’s also a wonderful human being who models values and behaviours so that his student-athletes may go on to be high-performing community contributors.” – Regina Athletic Director Lisa Robertson.
About Canada West
Since 1972, Canada West (CW) has been a leader in Canadian university sport, working to provide our student-athletes the opportunities to excel in sport, the classroom, and their communities. CW and our 17 members from across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba collectively carry on a legacy of competitive excellence, as our champions proudly go on to represent the conference at U SPORTS national championships.
Canada West – training leaders, building champions.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.