, — The Vancouver Canucks announced today the winners of their annual player awards for the 2008-09 season. Ryan Kesler
earned the Cyclone Taylor Award as the Canucks MVP, as selected by the fans, for the first time in his career.
In just his fourth NHL season with the Canucks, Kesler is enjoying a career year in goals (25), assists (33) and points (58) through April 8, 2009. While posting career bests in all offensive categories, Kesler also leads all Canucks forwards with shorthanded-time on ice and is the team leader in takeaways.
In addition to being named Canucks MVP, Kesler is currently tied with Roberto Luongo
in leading the Molson Cup standings; the award will be determined at the end of the regular season.
Alex Burrows is the recipient of the Most Exciting Player award as voted by fans this season. It is the second straight season in which Burrows was named the team’s Most Exciting player. This season, Burrows set new career highs in goals (28), assists (23) and points (51) through April 8, 2009.
For the second consecutive year, Burrows is also leading the team in shorthanded goals (4), and is second on the Canucks roster in goals (28) and takeaways (62).
Willie Mitchell is the recipient of the Walter (Babe) Pratt Trophy (voted by the fans) for being the Most Outstanding Defenceman for the second consecutive year. In his third season with the Canucks, Mitchell is having a career year in the offensive categories with 22 points (3-19-22) in 80 games. Mitchell also leads all Canucks in plus/minus (28) and TOI (1,830:00). Mitchell was named alternate captain on September 30, 2008.
Steve Bernier is the recipient of the Fred J. Hume Award for being the Canucks “Unsung Hero” as chosen by the Canucks Booster Club. This is Bernier’s first year with the Canucks and his first team award. He leads all Canucks in hits this season with 145 through April 9, 2009.
In his fourth season in the NHL, Bernier set career highs in assists (17) and points (32). Bernier was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in the offseason. Bernier was San Jose's first round draft choise (16th overall) in 2003.Summary of 2008-09 Vancouver Canucks Awards
Cyclone Taylor - "Most Valuable Player": Ryan Kesler
Walter (Babe) Pratt - "Best Defenceman": Willie Mitchell
Most Exciting Player: Alex Burrows
Fred J. Hume - "Unsung Hero ": Steve Bernier
Molson Cup Trophy - “Most Molson Cup Selections” : TBD at the end of the regular season
Cyrus McLean - "Leading Scorer ": TBD at the end of the regular season