Kimberley Dynamiters award winning season continued Friday, as the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced its league-wide award winners.
Among the big winners was the Dynamiters’ Brock Palmer.
Palmer translated a dominating 50-goal, 98-point season into the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Most Valuable Player award.
Like the divisional awards, these are voted on by the 20 teams.
The Coaldale, Alta., product is the league’s lone 50-goal scorer, which helped him also earn the league’s Top Scorer Award. He capped off the regular season on a 10-game point streak in which he put up 12 goals and 21 points. He led the league with 13 game stars.
“That is pretty crazy,” says Palmer of being the MVP. “There’s some good players in this league. That’s pretty cool, that’s awesome.”
Palmer, who has 237 points in 141 regular season games in three seasons, joked he never thought in a million years that his goal total would surpass his assists.
“It was a pretty crazy year that way. The whole year I just kept getting bounces and bounces. Most of them were pretty lucky,” he says. “They just kept coming.”
Palmer credited his scoring prowess to some luck.
“All the ones I should have scored I missed, and then the ones I shouldn’t have, I scored,” he joked.
Compared to last season, Palmer says he’s grown a lot as a player. Palmer says his speed has been better as he focused on that during the off-season, which helped him dominate. He also managed to continue putting up points while playing with a variety of linemates since head coach Derek Stuart likes to change lines frequently. Palmer was reunited with Keegan McDowell, which he enjoyed as they had a lot of success last season. He also saw time with rookie Beau Larson at the start, as well as Jett Saharchuk, who he loves playing with.
“We have a pretty deep group of forwards,” he says.
What stands out to Palmer about his season is consistency. He was held off the scoresheet just seven times in 49 games. He kicked off the season with a hat-trick and four points. He had two five-point games, the first on Oct. 26 against Revelstoke and the other against Golden on Nov. 25. What he’s loved about the season is the group in the dressing room, who he spends a lot of time with.
Stuart is the other Dynamiter to claim a league-wide award, taking the Coach of the Year honours, to add to his divisional award. Stuart guided the team to first overall with 40 wins.
“Our biggest unexpected challenge was how good our division was this year,” says Stuart. “Four of the top 11 teams are from our division. There weren’t any “easy” points like there had been in years past. We had to earn every divisional point we got.”
Hunter Young of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks earned the Top Goalie Award. Princeton Posse veteran blueliner Noah Brusse, earned the Top Defenceman Award.
Rookie of the Year honours went to Kelowna Chiefs forward Porter Dawson, who put up 23 goals and 63 points in 47 games, which led all KIJHL rookies in scoring.
With files from