Kootenay Ice forward Nigel Dawes was named to the 2003-04 Western Hockey League's (WHL) Western Conference First All-Star Team, joining goaltender Kelly Guard (Kelowna Rockets), defensemen Braydon Coburn (Portland Winter Hawks) and Josh Gorges (Kelowna Rockets) and forwards Adam Courchaine (Vancouver Giants) and Ryan Kinasewich (Tri-City Americans).
The 5-8, 175-pounder was also named as a finalist for the WHL's Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year Award (Brad Hornung Trophy).
The winners of the league's awards, including WHL Player of the Year honors, will be announced at the 2003-04 WHL Awards Luncheon on April 28, 2004.
Dawes, 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 this 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.
Kootenay opens the 2004 WHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (B.C. Division) with a best-of-seven game series against the Kelowna Rockets beginning on Friday at Kelowna.
Be sure to follow the progress of Dawes and the other Blueshirt prospects participating in the Canadian Hockey League playoffs on newyorkrangers.com.