Forward Nigel Dawes, who was recently named to the 2003-04 Western Hockey League's (WHL) Western Conference First All-Star Team and named as a finalist for the WHL's Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year Award (Brad Hornung Trophy) following a strong season with the Kootenay Ice, is expected to sign an amateur tryoyut agreement and join the Hartford Wolf Pack for the conclusion of the 2003-04 American Hockey League (AHL) season.
Kootenay was recently eliminated by the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL Western Conference Quarterfinals in four straight games. Dawes led the Ice with three points (one goal, two assists) in the four contests, while tying for second on the club with 10 penalty minutes.
The 5-8, 175-pounder, who was selected by the New York Rangers in the fifth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, led the Ice with 47 goals and 70 points in 56 games during the regular season, while placing fifth on the club with 23 assists. His 47 goals ranked fourth in the WHL and his 70 points were 20th in the league. In addition, his 15 power play goals led the club and tied for seventh in the WHL, while his three shorthanded tallies ranked first on Kootenay and sixth in the league.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native was also an integral part of Team Canada's silver medal finish at the 2004 World Junior Championship in Finland, where he led all tournament playerswith six goals and tied for first among all players with 11 points in six games. In the gold medal game, he was named Team Canada's top player.