On Wednesday the MJHL announced that Neepawa Natives’ forward Drayson Skulmoski has been named the 2018-19 Academic Player of the Year scholarship recipient. The 20-year-old has spend the season as an Athabasca University student (online) studying both Nutrition and Stats. He is hoping to put the $1,000.00 prize to use on a post-secondary degree in the immediate future. As the MJHL’s recipient, Skulmoski will now be one of 10 Canadian Junior ‘A’ nominees for the $5,000.00 CJHL Academic Player of the Year Scholarship.
The league also announced its Stars of the Month earlier this past week.
Currently battling the Portage Terriers in the MJHL Final, Swan Valley’s Alex Uryga has been named the league’s Player of the Month award recipient for the month of March. Building off of a strong end to the regular season, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound forward continued to raise his game in the postseason, putting up four goals and 14 points in 11 games for the Stampeders this past month.
On top of five multi-point performances, Uryga put up a seven-game point streak (three goals and 10 points), and has only since failed to score a point in just three of his 13 playoff games. The 20-year-old now has five goals and 15 points in the 2019 postseason.
Not to be outdone, the Stampeders’ MJHL Final opponent, the Portage Terriers saw both a defender and a netminder collect monthly honours as well. Blueliner Sam Huston picked up the Defenceman of the Month accolade after putting up 10 points in nine games, while backstop Ethan Peterson went 7-0-0 with a .938 save percentage and a 1.67 goals against average in March for the Goaltender of the Month recognition.
The recently eliminated Steinbach Pistons also got in on the action, as first-year forward Kyle Bettens received the league’s Rookie of the Month honours with a four-goal, 11-point month, while teammate Brendan Westbrook took home the Peak Performer award, contributing off the ice with Steinbach’s Youth for Christ and provided assistance in a local school classroom setting, on top of his volunteer hours within the minor hockey community in Steinbach.