Sens announce winners of 2017-18 team awards
The Belleville Senators are proud to announce the winners of its team awards after the Sens completed its inaugural season.
Senators general manager Randy Lee and head coach Kurt Kleinendorst selected Jim O’Brien as the team’s most valuable player, Pat Sieloff as defenceman of the year and Colin White as rookie of the year.
The players choice award, decided by a player vote, was awarded to captain Mike Blunden. The Senators, ahead of Saturday’s home finale against the Utica Comets, also paid tribute to Ben Sexton who was the team’s IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year nominee.
“All winners this season have been integral to our team and community,” said Senators general manager Randy Lee. “We believe these five gentlemen have laid the foundation for what we plan to be a winning culture in the near future within our organization here in Belleville.”
O’Brien claims the team’s MVP award after starting the year on a professional tryout agreement. The 29-year-old, a former first round pick of Ottawa, notched 13 goals and 29 points in 60 games with Belleville and secured himself not only an AHL deal for 2017-18, but also a two-year two-way deal with Ottawa that saw him suit up in 10 NHL games with Ottawa this past season adding an assist.
Sieloff has played in 57 games with Belleville this season scoring one goal and eight assists while leading the team with 102 penalty minutes. Sieloff has been a constant member on Belleville’s penalty killing unit and has seen sporadic time on the power play. Sieloff also returned to the NHL this season scoring in his lone game with the Senators and in the process made history by becoming the first ever player to score his first two career NHL goals in his first two career games while playing for two different teams.
White, in his first full professional season, has tallied 27 points (11 goals) in 47 games with Belleville while notching two goals and six points in 21 games with Ottawa.
In Blunden, the Sens had an established captain for a team featuring many youngsters. Despite missing time on two separate occasions with hand injuries, Blunden was nothing short of a leader for Belleville on and off the ice and tallied six goals and 10 assists in 44 games.
Sexton was nominated by the Senators for the 2017-18 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award
On March 29 after making a huge difference in the Bay of Quinte off the ice through community events including school and hospital visits as well as a ticket delivery. On the ice, Sexton played 30 games for Belleville scoring 10 times and adding 11 assists and also made his NHL debut, playing in two games for Ottawa.