MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens and Molson/Coors introduced wednesday the recipients of the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence and Merit for the 2013-14 season. The awards are presented annually to hockey players at the amateur level who best combined hockey performances with academic excellence.
|From left to right: Cedrick McNicoll (McGill), Daniel Dufresne (Molson Coors), Guy Lafleur, Jeremy Gregoire (LHJMQ), Philippe-Alexandre Vinette (LHJAAAQ). |
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 Interuniversity Sports in Quebec (CIS) and the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League (QJAAAL). Honorees are selected by a jury made of representatives from the sports media, the hockey and education communities. Molson/Coors awards recipients of the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence a $6,000 scholarship over a three-year period, and the beneficiary of the Guy Lafleur Awards of Merit earns a $1,000 scholarship.
Recipients of the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence 2013-14
QUEBEC INTERUNIVERSITY SPORTS
Cédric McNicoll (McGill Redmen)
A 25-year-old native of Boucherville, Quebec, Cédric McNicoll completed his sophomore year at McGill’s Management Faculty achieving a grade-point average of 3.75, the equivalent of 93.6%. A former player in minor professional hockey having played in the AHL and the ECHL, Cédric had to wait one full year before he could suit up for the McGill Redmen. In his first year of CIS play, the 5-foot-10, 174-pound centreman scored a team-leading 55 points in 36 games, ranking 16th on the OUA scoring list. McNicoll capped off the season by earning OUA East all-star status and receiving the team’s Molson Cup award, presented annually to the player with the most three-star selections. A talented player with exceptional offensive skills, a great anticipation and quick hands, McNicoll quickly became an important part of the Redmen’s offense. A dedicated student who merited the CIS Academic All-Canadian honours and qualified for the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll, he always managed to find time to volunteer for school and hospital visits whether he played in the QMJHL, the AHL, or the ECHL regularly meeting young hospital patients and handing out school stationary to local pupils. As a McGill Redmen, he took it upon himself to provide hockey clinics to young hockey players in St-Bruno and novice players in Shawinigan. An elite player in the CIS, he is also an elite student and most certainly a role model to the up and coming generation thanks to his personal values and his sense of responsibilities.
QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Jeremy Grégoire (Drakkar de Baie-Comeau)
Jeremy Grégoire hails from Sherbrooke, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and is a three-year QMJHL veteran, including the last one as a member of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar after beginning his junior hockey career with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. With 69 points, including 35 goals, in 2013-14, he ranked second among all Drakkar players. An important piece of his team’s offense, Jeremy enjoyed a productive post-season with 23 points in 22 playoff games, helping the Drakkar reach the QMJHL finals. The 6’0’’ and 188 lbs forward is not only praised for his on-ice achievements but also for his dedication, perseverance and determination to succeed at the rink and in the classroom. His hard work on the ice was rewarded when he was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Jeremy is equally devoted when it comes to reaching his scholastic goals, earning an 87.3% grade point average at Baie-Comeau Cégep where he is enrolled in the Human Sciences programme. Despite busy academic and hockey schedules, he finds time to get involved in various charitable initiatives as a volunteer. He is a regular at some hockey clinics for kids and lends a helping hand with the Grégoire-Perron Foundation and the Fondation des jeunes bègues du Québec. Jeremy Grégoire is a talented athlete and a devoted student, but first and foremost his remarkable demeanour is that of an exceptional young man.
Recipient of the Guy Lafleur Award of Merit 2013-14
QUEBEC JUNIOR AAA HOCKEY LEAGUE
Philippe-Alexandre Vinette (Le Titan de Princeville)
Not only is Philippe-Alexandre Vinette one of the top young netminders of the QAAAJHL, he is also an outstanding student. In 2013-14, the 6’3’’ and 195 lbs goalie had a stellar year with a 3.12 GAA and a .902 save percentage along with a 25-8-3 record and one shutout with the Princeville Titan. The Victoriaville native was also selected to mind the net for the St-Louis-Lalime Division at the Central Canada Cup and earned a berth on the QAAAJHL All-Star Team. A solid goalkeeper, Philippe-Alexandre was the only QAAAJHL player selected in the USHL Draft when he was chosen by the Muskegon Lumberjacks. A gifted hockey player, Vinette is also proud of his academic achievements. Despite a busy schedule with team practices and traveling, he achieved average grades of 90% at Victoriaville Cégep where he is enrolled in the Nature Sciences programme. Leisure moments are few and far apart for Vinette who managed to volunteer his time at the Victoriaville Novice Hockey Tournament and help out kids with their homework at a local school. A fine looking young man he traded his goal crease for a catwalk at some fundraising fashion shows to benefit charitable organizations.