THUNDER BAY – Sports – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Friday that Daniel Del Paggio of the Thunder Bay North Stars been named its Pizza Hut player of the year, which is presented annually to the SIJHL’s most valuable player.
Del Paggio earned the 2013-14 nod over fellow finalists Lucas Debenedet of the Fort Frances Lakers and John Morales of the English River Miners in ballots cast by each of the SIJHL’s member teams.
The North Stars forward will now be the SIJHL’s nominee for the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s RBC player of the year award, which will be announced during the RBC Cup national Jr. A championship this May in Vernon. B.C.
The Thunder Bay native, who at just 17 years of age, had a banner campaign for the North Stars leading all SIJHL skaters in point-per-game average at 2.06 in also earning CCM first team all-star laurels this season.
As the second youngest player in the league he notched 36 goals while adding a SIJHL-high 69 assists in leading the North Stars in offensive production while finishing second overall in points with 105.
Del Paggio wrapped up the regular season on a tear by registering at least one point in each of the last 36 contests he participated in.
He was only held pointless four times in 2013-14 and just once in his last 46 games dating back to early October.
Other notable statistics saw him finish tied for second overall in power play goals with 13 and share third spot in the SIJHL in game-winning tallies with six.
Del Paggio furthermore represented the SIJHL at the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Prospects Games in Nova Scotia this past November.
He was also named the SIJHL’s Gongshow Gear performer of the month in both December and January and earned Pizza Hut player of the week laurels twice.
Two other former North Stars have won the Pizza Hut player of the year award previously with Trevor Gamache winning back-to-back honours in 2008-09 and 2009-10 while Nathan Breukelman was recognized in 2004-05.
The following is the list of the SIJHL’s all-time Pizza Hut player of the year recipients:
2013-14: Daniel Del Paggio, Thunder Bay North Stars
2012-13: Mike Dietrich, Minnesota Wilderness
2011-12: Byron Katapaytuk, Fort Frances Lakers
2010-11: Jon Mitchell, Dryden Ice Dogs
2009-10: Trevor Gamache, Fort William North Stars
2008-09: Trevor Gamache, Fort William North Stars
2007-08: Quinn Amiel, Fort Frances Jr. Sabres
2006-07: Justin Gvora, Thunder Bay Bearcats
2005-06: Chris Bryson, Schreiber Diesels
2004-05: Nathan Breukelman, Fort William North Stars
2003-04: Kevin Webb, Borderland Thunder
2002-03: Trevor Karasiewicz, Thunder Bay Bulldogs
2001-02: Charly Washipabano, Feathermen Hawks