Fink, Malinoski, Court, Armstrong, Barwick and Papaioannou all named AJHL 2022-23 Award Finalists

(February 16, 2023) – The Alberta Junior Hockey League has announced the 2022-2023 League Award Finalists, and each category has representation from the Brooks Bandits.

Aiden Fink (Calgary, AB) is a finalist for Most Valuable Player and the Top Forward Award. The second-year winger leads the AJHL in scoring with 90 points (35g, 55a) through 49 games, with a 1.84 points/game average, the highest in the league. Fink was named to the 2022 World Junior A Challenge All-Star Team in December, leading the tournament in scoring with 12 points (5g, 7a) in 6 games. He was named the Alberta Ford Dealers AJHL Player of the Month in September and October, while claiming the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) 1st Star of the Month for the latter month. Fink is ranked 66th on the latest NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings. The 2004-born forward is committed to Wisconsin (NCAA Division I). Past Bandits to win the League MVP include Jaret Granberg (2008-09), Cam Maclise (2012-13), Cale Makar (2016-17), and Ryan McAllister (2021-22). Bandits alumnus TJ Hughes won the Top Forward Award in 2021-22, the first year it was awarded.

Forward Hudson Malinoski (Saskatoon, SK) is a finalist for the Rookie of the Year Award. Through 38 games he’s tallied 57 points (12g, 45a), which is fourth in rookie scoring, averaging 1.50 points/game. His 45 assists are the sixth highest in the AJHL, second amongst rookies. Malinoski represented Team Canada at the World Junior A Challenge this past December, scoring 7 points (4g, 3a) in 6 games. The 2004-born forward is ranked 78th on the latest NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings. He’s committed to Providence (NCAA Division I). Past Bandits to win Rookie of the Year include Anthony Petruzzelli (2011-12), Cale Makar (2015-16), Oliver Chau (2016-17) and Brayden Krieger (2019-20).

Sam Court (Winnipeg, MB) is a finalist for the Outstanding Defenceman Award. Court leads all AJHL defenceman in scoring with 65 points (11g, 54a) through 46 games. His 54 assists are the 3rd most in the league, and the most by a defenceman. The 2004-born blueliner is ranked 224th on the latest NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings. Past Bandits to win Outstanding Defenceman include Linden Springer (2014-15), Cale Makar (2016-17) and Zach Bookman (2021-22).

Ethan Barwick (St. Albert, AB) is a finalist for the Top Goaltender Award. The 2002-born netminder leads all AJHL goalies in wins (41), Goals Against Average (1.93), Shutouts (6), Games Played (47), and .927 save percentage is ranked second in the league. He’s committed to Lindenwood (NCAA Division I). Barwick is two wins away from tying the AJHL record for most wins in a single season since the stat has been recorded. Barwick is looking to become the first Bandit goaltender to win the award.

Heath Armstrong (Calgary, AB) is a finalist for the Most Dedicated Player Award. The 2002-born forward is 19th in AJHL scoring with 56 points (13g, 43a) through 51 games. He’s eighth in assists in the league, and is fifth in 5 on 5 scoring with 46 even-strength points. Armstrong is the Bandits Nomination for both the RBC Community Ambassador Award and the Giuseppe AJHL Greatest Teammate Award. Anthony Paskaruk won the award in the 2013-14 season.

Ryan Papaioannou is a finalist for the Coach of the Year Award. The reigning Coach of the Year has guided the Bandits to a league-best 47-5-2 record, with the team clinching 1st in the South Division in early February. The Bandits once again lead the AJHL in goal scoring (294), Goals Against (107), Goal Differential (+187) and NCAA Division I Commitments with 15. He’s won the AJHL Coach of the Year Award three times (2012-13, 2018-19, 2021-22).

Two finalists from each division have been selected by the General Managers and Coaches of the Alberta Junior Hockey League through two phases of voting.  The award winner in each of the seven categories will be determined through a final stage of voting and announced at the completion of the AJHL regular season.

2022-23 Alberta Junior Hockey League Award Finalists

Most Valuable Player – Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy 

  • Matteo Giampa – Bonnyville Pontiacs
  • Caleb MacDonald – Whitecourt Wolverines
  • Aiden Fink – Brooks Bandits
  • Ty Daneault – Drumheller Dragons

Top Forward Award

  • Matteo Giampa – Bonnyville Pontiacs
  • Luigi Benincasa – Spruce Grove Saints
  • Aiden Fink – Brooks Bandits
  • Ty Daneault – Drumheller Dragons

Rookie of the Year – Dick White Trophy 

  • Nicolas Beaudoin – Bonnyville Pontiacs
  • Gavin Middendorf – Drayton Valley Thunder
  • Layne Loomer – Blackfalds Bulldogs
  • Hudson Malinoski – Brooks Bandits

Outstanding Defenceman – W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy, Presented by Alberta Ford Dealers 

  • Breck McKinley – Spruce Grove Saints
  • Caleb MacDonald -Whitecourt Wolverines
  • Tanner Willick – Blackfalds Bulldogs
  • Sam Court – Brooks Bandits

Top Goaltender – Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey League Trophy 

  • Connor Mackenzie – Grande Prairie Storm
  • Erick Roest – Sherwood Park Crusaders
  • Ethan Barwick – Brooks Bandits
  • Freddie Halyk – Camrose Kodiaks

Most Dedicated Player – Don McNabb Memorial Trophy 

  • Trey Funk – Bonnyville Pontiacs
  • Tanner Komzak – Whitecourt Wolverines
  • Heath Armstrong – Brooks Bandits
  • Dean Spak – Okotoks Oilers

Coach of the Year 

  • Mario Pouliot – Bonnyville Pontiacs
  • Shawn Martin – Whitecourt Wolverines
  • Ryan Papaioannou – Brooks Bandits
  • Tyler Deis – Okotoks Oilers