With their 2017-18 season in the books, the Nepean Raiders’ staff announced a selection of awards for their players on Fri.
Rookie of the Year: Olivier Gauthier
The 18-year-old Gauthier joined the Raiders this season from Nova Scotia’s Newbridge Academy and made an immediate impact. Gauthier flourished alongside frequent linemate Antoine Belisle and his 39 points placed him in a tie for second on the team.
HC Darcy Findlay on Gauthier: “He starts where he finishes and it’ll be scary. The kid’s a pro.”
Most Gentlemanly and Scholastic: Ryan Horvath
This season was Horvath’s second CCHL tour, his first with Nepean. The Stittsville-native now has only 46 PM in 92 career games. Horvath was also named to the league’s All Academic All-Star Team this week and was the league’s scholastic player of the month for Nov.
Findlay on Horvath: “He understands the process on and off the ice – volunteers and works hard. An all around good person.”
Most Improved: Bryson Michel
Coming over from the OJHL’s Wellington Dukes in early Oct. Michel helped shore up the Nepean defensive core after the trades of Bailey Brant, Ben Sellars and departure of Andrew Froese. Michel emerged as a big-minute and all situation defenceman.
Findlay on Michel: “He’s got the best game day routine in the league. This choice was a no brainer! His hard work is paying off.”
Defensive Player of the Year: Corey Tam
A part time, then full time captain, Tam was an absolute staple on Nepean’s backend yet AGAIN this year. His performance earning him an NCAA scholarship to SUNY-Brockport. A Raider forever, Tam finished his Nepean career second all time in games played (243).
Findlay on Tam: “You can’t replace #8. It’s as simple as that.”
Top Scorer and Coaches’ Award: Antoine Belisle
The second-year forward wore an ‘A’ all year and improved upon his rookie numbers, finishing with 19 goals and 51 points. His performance exploded (32 points in 30 games) following the Dec. trades of then-top scorers Malcolm Arseneau and Kari Belec, earning him a spot in the league’s top 20 scorers.
Findlay on Belisle: “Antoine is Mr. Reliable! We had no question what we were getting each day!
Team MVP: Liam Souliere
Souliere emerged as Nepean’s number one goaltender after joining the team in late Sept. Despite finishing 11th in league wins (16), he placed fifth in sv% (.927) and seventh in GAA (2.70). Most notably, Souliere was excellent against the leagues best. He stopped 53 of 55 in a Nov. 10 shootout win at Carleton Place and made 67 saves in a Mar. 2 win, also at Carleton Place.
Findlay on Souliere: “He turned a lot of heads down the stretch, put himself on the map – excited to see what next year brings.”
Raiders 2017-18 Statistics
Record: 24-32-2-4 (54 points, eight back of eighth place Rockland)
10-16-1-4 Home / 14-16-1-0 Away
Goals For: 169 (ninth)
Goals Against: 196 (eighth)
Penalty Min.: 952 (tied for seventh)
Powerplay Percentage: 17.3 per cent (seventh)
Penalty Kill Percentage: 83.7 per cent (fifth)
Goals: Belisle (19)
Assists: Belisle (32)
Points: Belisle (51)
Penalty Minutes: Colin McCaughey (108)
CCHL Debuts with Nepean: Gauthier, Souliere, Michel, Alex Bourhas, Liam Stagg, Davis Browning, Scott Mueller, Josh Shimizu, Jack Miles, Antonio Silenu, Bobby Dempster, Isaiah Baptiste, Dakota Seaman, George Young, Mackenzie White.
Transactions In: Souliere (André-Laurendau), Michel (Wellington), Noah Rowe (Kemptville), Bourhas (Meritt), James Buckley (Pembroke), Dana Engram (Rockland), Ford Ondrovic (Brockville), Silas Mattawashish (Ottawa), Ryan Donovan (Hawkesbury), McCaughey (Brooks), Aaron Brisebois (Kanata).
Transactions Out: Arseneau (Pembroke), Belec (Hawkesbury), Sellars (Coburg), Brant (Ottawa), Nicholas Domitrovic (Kemptville), (Michael Thomas (Ottawa), Mackenzie White (Kanata) Matthew Chan (Kitchener), Henry Scott (Ayr), Jacob Myra (Amherst), Kodiak Whiteduck (Le Sommet Academy), Jordan Renaud (Amherst), Rico Rossi (Coburg).
NCAA Commitments: Tyler Orban (Robert Morris), Corey Tam (SUNY-Brockport)