If Brendan Shinnimin actually got to keep all of the trophies he’s won this season, his parents would have to put an addition onto their house just have a place to put them.
Shinnimin, who just finished his overage season with the Tri-City Americans, was named Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year, and also was honored as the CHL’s top scorer at the CHL awards ceremony Saturday in Shawinigan, Quebec.
“That thing was huge,” Shinnimin said of the Player of the Year trophy. “I don’t know where you’d put it if you got to keep it. It’s starting to pile up with all of these plaques. To be recognized for how you play and how much you work and put into the game, it’s nice to be honored with these awards. There are a lot of things that go into theses — coaches, teammates and management. It’s a collective group of people that win these awards.”
Also considered for the award were Yanni Gourde of the Victoriaville Tigres, and goalie Michael Houser of the London Knights.
Tri-City’s Jim Hiller was named CHL Coach of the Year after leading the Americans to their fourth U.S. Division title in five years. Hiller guided his team to a 50-18-2-2 record (104 points), had the top-ranked defense in the WHL, and the fourth-best offense, scoring 91 more goals than they allowed.
Shinnimin, 21, is the first Tri-City player to be named CHL Player of the Year, and the first to win the CHL scoring title. He had 134 points during the regular season — 58 goals and 76 assists in 69 games. He also had a plus-45 rating.
He is the first player since Alexander Radulov (2005-06) and Sidney Crosby (2004-05) to win both major awards in the same season. He also is the first undrafted player to win both awards in the same year.
“It’s neat to get these not being a drafted guy,” Shinnimin said. “It’s all about believing in yourself when you aren’t drafted — bantam or NHL. Pretty good story for persevering and not giving up. These things can happen.”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Shinnimin also picked up the Bob Clarke Trophy as the Western Hockey League’s leading scorer, then added the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL Player of the Year earlier this month.
Shinnimin, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, will remain in Shawinigan and take in the Memorial Cup championship game today between Shawinigan and the London Knights.
“These awards are nice to get, but I’d trade them in to be playing right now with the Tri-City Americans for a Memorial Cup. That would be the biggest honor.”
Shinnimin, who signed a three-year free-agent contract with the Phoenix Coyotes on March 2, has been with the Coyotes since the Americans’ season ended.
“It was a pretty neat experience,” Shinnimin said of his time in Phoenix. “I got to practice a bit and watch the playoff games. It was a great atmosphere in Phoenix with the white out. Now, I will go home and start training. There is a spring development camp sometime after the (NHL) draft. After that, I’ll be home for the summer, then rookie camp in September.”