A year to remember just keeps getting more memorable for Camrose Kodiaks defenceman Sam Jardine, who has been named one of the four finalists for the Dick White Trophy, given to the top rookie in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
When Jardine steps on the ice with the Kodiaks for the 2011 RBC Cup, beginning April 30 in Camrose, it
will be the third national or international event he will have taken part in in just over 12 months.
The Lacombe, Alta., native played for the Red Deer Optimist Rebels at the 2010 TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship, last April in Lévis, Que., before pulling on the Team Canada jersey and representing Canada West at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge in Penticton, B.C., in November.
Although the Optimist Rebels failed to make the semifinals and Canada West stumbled to a fourth-place finish, Jardine will have a chance for some hardware when the AJHL Rookie of the Year is announced following the conclusion of the regular season.
The 17-year-old has posted 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 48 games as of February 14, good for third among AJHL rookie defencemen, behind only Dustin Fostvelt of Spruce Grove (22 points) and fellow Kodiaks blueliner Jonathan Lashyn (21 points).
Jardine is in tough in the top rookie race – his competition include Spruce Grove’s Sammy Spurrell, the AJHL’s rookie scoring leader, Drumheller goaltender Cole Cheveldave, who was also named a finalist for AJHL Top Goaltender and AJHL MVP, and Ty Carey of Bonnyville.
Voting for all AJHL awards will be conducted among the league’s coaches and general managers.
This year’s AJHL awards are presented in partnership with the RBC Play Hockey program, which will award $1 million in grants over the next year to shine the spotlight on the people and programs that help hockey happen in communities across North America. For more information, visit www.rbcplayhockey.com.