THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Monday that Nick Minerva of the Fort Frances Lakers has been named the SIJHL – Gongshow Gear best defenceman award recipient for the 2015-16 season.
In earning the accolades, Anderson topped fellow nominees Troy Williams of the Dryden GM Ice Dogs and Aaron Wesley-Chisel for the award in voting done by each of the SIJHL member clubs.
The 20-year-old native of New Brunswick, N.J., was the runaway leader in offensive production among all league defencemen with 73 points, which was also the second highest total among all SIJHL skaters.
In 52 games played, Minerva scored 21 times and doled out 52 assists for the league-leading Lakers helping lead them to their third consecutive regular season title.
His nine power play goals tied him for the most among SIJHL D-men.
Earlier this season Minerva was tabbed the SIJHL – Gongshow Gear performer of the month for both November and December.
He becomes the first blueliner from a Fort Frances-based club to earn league top defenceman honours since Kurt Hogard accomplished the feat in 2003-04 with the then Borderland Thunder.
The following is the list of the SIJHL’s all-time best defenceman award recipients:
2015-16: Nick Minerva, Fort Frances Lakers
2014-15: Noah Anderson, Minnesota Iron Rangers
2013-14: Austin Frank, Minnesota Iron Rangers
2012-13: Len Pelletier, Dryden Ice Dogs
2011-12: Anthony Calabrese, Wisconsin Wilderness
2010-11: Jon Mitchell, Dryden Ice Dogs
2009-10: Jon Mitchell, Dryden Ice Dogs
2008-09: Brad Pawlowski, Thunder Bay Bearcats
2007-08: Brad Pawlowski, Thunder Bay Bearcats
2006-07: Jordan Smith, Fort William North Stars
2005-06: Ryan Baird, Fort William North Stars
2004-05: Ryan Baird, Fort William North Stars
2003-04: Kurt Hogard, Borderland Thunder
2002-03: Jay Philips, Borderland Thunder (Co-winner)
2002-03: Lloyd Stansell, Thunder Bay Bulldogs (Co-winner)
2001-02: Mike Kavanaugh, Dryden Ice Dogs (Co-winner)
2001-02: Jarris Blacksmith, Featherman Hawks (Co-winner)