MONTREAL — It has been a banner season for centre Mike Hoffman and the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Hoffman was named most valuable player and most sportsmanlike player of the year and Gerard Gallant took coach of the year honours in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Wednesday night at its annual Golden Puck awards.
The 20-year-old Hoffman, drafted 130th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2009, took the Michel Briere Trophy as league MVP after a season of 46 goals and 39 assists in 46 games. The Kitchener, Ont., native had only 38 minutes in penalties to win the Frank Selke Trophy as most sportsmanlike player.
Hoffman helped the Sea Dogs to first place overall in the QMJHL this season with a 53-12-3 record and a league-high 309 goals scored.
"We have a lot of depth on our team," said Gallant. "Our three 20-years olds — Hoffman, (Nicholas) Petersen and (goaltender Marco) Cousineau — that’s a big part of our club.
"But we had a great draft last year. Seven of our kids 17 or younger are playing on our club and they’re good players, so our depth is amazing and a big reason we won so many games."
Both Hoffman and Cousineau were members of the Drummondville Voltigeurs team that won the league championship last season.
"We were fortunate to have them because they probably could have had NHL contracts or an AHL job this year," said Gallant.
The Western Hockey League will announce its award winners on April 28, while the Ontario Hockey League will make its winners known over several dates in April starting next week.
The Sea Dogs ousted the P.E.I. Rockets in five games in the opening round of the playoffs last week and will face the Gatineau Olympiques in the quarter-finals.
Second-place overall Drummondville also had a big night as 17-year-old Sean Couturier got the Jean-Beliveau Trophy as league scoring champion with 96 points, including 41 goals, in 68 games and goaltender Jake Allen received the Jacques Plante Trophy for posting the league’s best goals-against average of 2.20.
The Volts’ Dominic Ricard got the Maurice Filion Trophy as general manager of the year.
Allen was traded to Drummondville by the Montreal Juniors after playing for Canada at the world junior tournament in Saskatoon in mid-season.
"It’s a great award," he said. "It’s something I didn’t start looking at until the final stretch of the season, so it was something to push for at the end."
In the league quarter-finals, the Voltigeurs will play the Rimouski Oceanic, who had draft-eligible Petr Straka of the Czech Republic take the RDS Cup as rookie of the year after a season of 28 goals and 36 assists in 62 games.
David Savard of the Moncton Wildcats, a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, took the Emile Bouchard Trophy as top defenceman.
Dominic Jalbert of the Chicoutimi Saguneens was named scholastic player of the year, Joel Chouinard of the Victoriaville Tigres was personality of the year and Nick McNeil of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles took the humanitarian award for his work with local youths.
Defenceman Brandon Gormley of the Wildcats, ranked in the top 10 by many scouts heading into the 2010 draft, got the Mike Bossy Trophy as the top professional prospect.
The first all-star team had Allen in goal, Savard and Joel Chouinard on defence, and Hoffman, Luke Adam of Cape Breton and Gabriel Dumont of Drummondville at forward.
The second team had Kevin Poulin of Victoriaville in goal, Gormley and Mark Barberio of Moncton on defence, and Couturier, Petersen and Moncton’s Nicolas Deschamps up front.
The all-rookie team had Robin Gusse of Chicoutimi in the net, Adam Polasek of P.E.I. and Xavier Ouellet of Montreal on defence, and Straka, Alexandre Comtois of Victoriaville, and Stanislav Galiev of Saint John at forward.
Former players Yanic Perreault, Gilbert Delorme and Richard Leduc were inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame, as well as builder Maurice Tanguay.
Perreault starred for three seasons for the defunct Trois-Rivieres Draveurs, where he had 87 goals and 185 points in 1990-91 before moving onto the NHL. During his pro career, he played for Toronto (three times), Montreal, Los Angeles, Nashville, Phoenix and Chicago.
"It makes me feel a bit older, but it reminds you that time goes fast," the 38-year-old said.
Perreault spends most of his time these days helping to raise his four children and working at a hockey training centre in Sherbrooke, Que.
He said he thought about trying to find an NHL club after his last season in Chicago in 2007-08, but opted against it.
"I had offers to go to training camp, but I didn’t feel like going for a tryout," said Perreault, a versatile centre who was strong on faceoffs. "Maybe I didn’t have the energy I had before.
"But I don’t miss the game that much. I’m really involved with my family and I like what I do now."
Delorme, 47, set a record for Chicoutimi defencemen with 111 points before he was drafted in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens in 1981.
"I had a lot of help from the Sagueneens," said Delorme, who owns a Tim Horton’s franchise in St-Basile-Le Grand, Que., and coaches a minor hockey team. "They picked me when I was 15 and I had a chance to play for a coach who really believed in me, Orval Tessier.
"He gave me a lot of confidence by playing me quite a bit. When you play a lot, you’re bound to get points."
Leduc, 58, had 117 goals and 166 assists in two QMJHL seasons. He was drafted by the defunct California Golden Seals in 1971 and had a 10-year pro career.
Tanguay bought the Oceanic in 1995 and since then, the club has won two league championships as well as a Memorial Cup in 2000. The Oceanic have sent 30 players in the NHL, including first-overall draft picks Vincent Lecavalier and Sidney Crosby.
A taped message of congratulations by Crosby, speaking in French, to Tanguay was aired at the gala.
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