D-Man Hicketts earns prestigious hockey award
The rewards for a stellar hockey season keep on coming for defenceman Joe Hicketts, who captained the bantam tier 1 Kamloops Jardine’s Blazers last season.
Hicketts has won the 2011 Hockey Now/B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame Minor Hockey Player Achievement Award, which is handed out annually to the B.C. Amateur Hockey Association player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, hockey ability/performance and school/community participation.
“I was shocked,” said Hicketts, who received the good news from Hockey Now’s editor, Andrew Chong.
“I didn’t really know what to say. I was just shocked.”
Hicketts, who was drafted 12th overall by the Victoria Royals in this year’s WHL Bantam Draft, scored 25 goals and 86 points in 68 games for the Blazers last season.
He also blocked 51 shots, was a plus-128 and had 393 hits in the 2010-2011 campaign.
The 15-year-old led Kamloops to championship victories at the Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament (he was also named the tourney’s top blueliner), the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds’ major bantam tournament (Hicketts was named a first-team all star) and the St. Albert John Reid Memorial (the five-foot-eight, 170-pound D-man was that tourney’s most valuable player).
“This last award has really capped off a fantastic season for myself and the team,” the young blueliner said.
Hicketts, a Westsyde secondary student who boasted a grade-point average of more than 90 per cent last school year, is following in the footsteps of some big hockey names.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who was drafted first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, won the minor hockey achievement award in 2008, Karl Alzner of the Washington Capitals won it in 2003 and Gilbert Brulé of the Oilers was a co-winner of the award in 2002.
“It’s a real honour to be in with those names, and a lot has come to me so far, but I’ve got to keep pushing forward,” said Hicketts, who plans on playing major midget hockey next season and hopes to get a taste of action in the Dub with the Royals.
Hicketts will accept the award at the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton on July 22.
The class of 2011 includes Joe Sakic, Jack McIlhargey, Rob Schick and Duncan Wray.
Hicketts, who in August will attend the NHLPA’s Allstate All-Canadians program as one of the 42 best bantam prospects in Canada, grew up playing in the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association system.