MONTREAL — Conor Garland of the Moncton Wildcats won big at the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s most prestigious event.
With 129 points in 67 games this season, Garland was given the Michel Briere Trophy as the league’s most valuable player at the Golden Puck Awards on Wednesday night.
The five-foot-eight Garland, who finished the season with a plus-21 rating, also took home the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the league’s top scorer. The late Beliveau’s wife, Elise Couture was on hand to give Garland the award.
Garland’s 35 goals and 94 assists — 27 more points than the league runner-up — led the Wildcats to the top of the Maritimes division, and second place overall.
On the heels of his most successful season, the 18-year-old is not cooling off in the post-season. Garland currently leads his team with one goal and five assists after Moncton’s 4-1 series victory over Chicoutimi in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs.
The QMJHL inducted five former members into the league’s Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday, including Martin Brodeur (formerly of the St. Hyacinthe Laser) and Michel Therrien (as head coach for the Laval Titan and Granby Predateurs).
Martin Gelinas (Hull Olympiques), Billy Campbell (Montreal Junior and Verdun Junior) and Jean Rougeau, posthumously (former President of the QMJHL), were also inducted.
Rimouski Oceanic’s Dan Kostalek, who finished the season with a league-best plus-55 rating, was named the league’s best defenceman. The Czech Republic native signed an entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets two weeks ago.
Both Garland and Kostalek were elected to the QMJHL’s first All-Star team. Joining them were Marvin Cupper (Shawinigan), Daniel Walcott (Blainville-Boisbriand), Danick Martel (Blainville-Boisbriand) and Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax).
Kostalek’s teammate Philippe Desrosiers won the Jacques Plante Trophy for the goaltender with the best goals-against-average. Desrosiers recorded five shutouts and posted a 2.50 goals-against-average in 44 games.
Blainville-Boisbriand Armada bench boss and former NHLer Joel Bouchard won the Ron Lapointe Trophy for coach of the year. Bouchard guided the Armada to 91 points and a 41-18-2-7 record, good for first in the West Division.
Dmytro Timashov of the Quebec Remparts was named rookie of the year. He finished the season with 19 goals and 71 assists in 66 games.
Martin Mondou, the General manager for the Shawinigan Cataractes, won the Maurice-Filion Trophy for manager of the year.
Cape Breton’s Kyle Farrell was named the most sportsmanlike player, and Timo Meier of the Halifax Mooseheads won best professional prospect.
Jeremy Gregoire of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar was awarded the Marcel Robert Trophy as the league’s most scholastic player for the second consecutive season, while the Armada’s Martel won the league’s Humanitarian and Community Involvement Trophy.