MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens announced on Tuesday the recipients of the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence and Merit for the 2017-18 season. The awards are presented annually to hockey players at the amateur level who best combined hockey performances with academic excellence.
The program was introduced in 1985 with the objective of encouraging sports and academic excellence for players competing in all three major amateur hockey leagues in the province of Quebec; the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), member schools of the Canadian university Sports in Quebec (U Sports) and the Quebec Junior Hockey League (QJAAAHL). Honorees are selected by a jury comprised of representatives from the sports media as well as the hockey and education communities. The winners of the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence each receive a $6,000 scholarship over a 3-year period while the beneficiary of the Guy Lafleur Award of Merit, to the selected candidate from the Quebec collegiate level or the Quebec Junior League (LHJAAAQ), is awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
Recipients of the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence 2017-18
QUEBEC INTERUNIVERSITY SPORTS
Carl Neill (Concordia Stingers)
An intelligent athlete with outstanding offensive skills, Carl Neill distinguished himself in his freshman year with the Stingers. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound rearguard recorded 31 points in 28 games, finishing the season atop the league's defensemen in scoring. His offensive contributions earned him a selection to the U-SPORTS all-rookie team and as a OUA 1st team All-Star. Invited to Buffalo Sabres training camp last September, he returned to Concordia to help the Stingers reach the national championship tournament for the first time since 1984. Academically, Carl was equally successful, earning a 3.06 GPA towards a Certificate in Arts and Sciences. Named assistant captain of the Stingers for the upcoming season, Carl gets involved in several community or charitable events with minor hockey teams and youth.
QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Alexandre Alain (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)
A forward who completed the 2017-18 season with 87 points - including 44 goals - in only 65 games, Alexandre Alain was instrumental in the Armada's success in reaching the QMJHL finals. In the playoffs, Alain continued to shine, recording 30 points in 22 games. Following his first appearance in an NHL training camp in July 2017, he continued where he left off the previous season with outstanding results both on and off the ice. A student at CÉGEP Saint-Jerome, he achieved 34.581 R-score, which is the equivalent of a 93% grade average. Not surprisingly, his hockey and scholastic accomplishments earned him the Marcel Robert Award as the QMJHL's top student-athlete. Alexandre firmly believes in giving back to the community and as such, he gets actively involved in different types of community work. Going back to his Gatineau Olympiques days, he takes the time to visit schools to make kids aware of the importance of getting an education giving them a taste of what is required to become a strong student-athlete.
Recipient of the Guy Lafleur Award of Merit 2017-18
MEN'S COLLEGIATE HOCKEY LEAGUE
William Lemay (Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe Lauréats)
An assistant captain with the CÉGEP de Saint-Hyacinthe Lauréats in the men's collegiate hockey league, William Lemay has proven to be not only a talented hockey player, but an exceptional individual as well. In his rookie season with the Lauréats, Lemay recorded 73 points - including 23 goals - in just 35 games, finishing atop the league's scoring race. Lemay's offensive prowess isn't his only asset. The Marieville native demonstrated without a doubt that he has character, finishing the year with a plus-31 differential. His prolific stats earned him a selection on the 1st all-star team and the award as this years' Top Athlete in the RSEQ. William also distinguished himself in the classroom as well as in the community. Enrolled in the Nature Sciences program at CÉGEP Saint-Hyacinthe, he completed the past year with an excellent 32.484 mark. His community involvement included coaching minor hockey teams in Saint-Hyacinthe and attending various fundraising efforts for his team. He was also active with the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec.