Silverbacks’ forward Matthew Verboon won the MVP and Top Scorer awards, also sharing the Fan Favourite award with Nick Unruh for the 2018-19 season. Seen here making a pass from behind the Alberni Valley net during their Oct. 19 game. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks award players for performance and commitment

Matthew Verboon claims player of the year, top scorer after stellar season

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have wrapped up another season, and with it comes another lineup of awards for members of the team who excelled on and off the ice.

Hosted at the Elk’s Hall in Salmon Arm, the awards night banquet is a yearly tradition for Silverbacks’ players to reflect on the past season and recognize key performers from the year. Awards range from the coveted MVP and top scorer to recognizing community involvement and academic efforts.

Read More: Two Silverbacks alumni finalists for prestigious award

During the awards ceremony, five players were wished the best of luck during their future endeavours in the hockey world as they hit the age limit for playing in the BCHL this season. Andy Stevems, Sam MacBean, Justin Wilson, Darren Rizzolo and Jack Sampson played their last junior A season with the Silverbacks, and were recognized for their commitment to excel on the ice during their final season in the BCHL.

This season was full of ups and downs for the Silverbacks, showcasing some big winning streaks and a record-breaking performance in away games despite being plagued with injuries. Several players landed scholarships and future opportunities in university hockey during the season, and a number of alumni skaters started their career in the NHL.

Read More: Silverbacks’ goalie receives BCHL praise after playoffs

Their division was widely proclaimed as the toughest in the league, but the Silverbacks pushed through to the first playoff round, facing the Vernon Vipers as they did the year before. Their playoff series was a nail-biter from start to finish, with a majority of games ending in overtime – including the longest playoff game in Silverbacks history which ran for over four hours.

Read More: Vernon Vipers eliminate Salmon Arm in third overtime

The 2018-19 Silverbacks awards were given to the following players:

Most Valuable Player: Matthew Verboon

Top Scorer: Matthew Verboon

Scholastic Player of the Year: Justin Wilson

Most Improved Player: Nick Unruh

Most Dedicated Player: Trevor Adams

Rookie of the Year: John Little

Fan Favourite Award: Matthew Verboon and Nick Unruh

Top Defenceman: Akito Hirose

Unsung Hero: Ethan Langenegger

Hit Man of the Year: Sol Siebel

Most Sportsmanlike Player: Andy Stevens

Outstanding Citizen Award: Logan Shaw

Wellness in Action Award: Sam MacBean

Score for School Scholarship: Andy Stevens

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Silverbacks’ forward Justin Wilson won the Scholastic Player of the Year award for the 2018-19 season, pictured here Cowichan Valley Capitals’ zone during their Dec. 15 game. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks’ forward Nick Unruh won the Most Improved Player award for the 2018-19 season, and split the Fan Favourite award with teammate Matthew Verboon. Pictured here, Unruh dangles around the Langley Rivermen during their Nov. 28 game at the Shaw Centre. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks forward Trevor Adams won the Most Dedicated Player award for the 2018-19 season. Pictured here, Shaw grapples for the puck against a Merritt player during their game at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm Sept. 15. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks’ forward John Little picked up the Rookie of the Year award for his performance in the 2-18-19 season. Picture here as he skates the puck out of the Salmon Arm zone during the Jan. 12 game against the Powell River Kings at the Shaw Centre. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Akito Hirose won the Defenceman of the Year Award for the 2018-19 season. Pictured here, Hirose chases the puck behind the Silverbacks net against the Vernon Vipers. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks’ goalie Ethan Langenegger won the Unsung Hero award for the 2018-19 season, owing to his stellar performance in net that tagged him for three honourable mentions as BCHL Player of the Week. Pictured here, Langenegger slides to block a shot during the Silverbacks’ Pro Am game. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks’ captain Sol Seibel won the Hit Man of the Year award for his physicality during the season. Pictured here, Seibel keeps his eyes up for a an angle around the Langley Rivermen’s Ethan Leyh during their Nov. 28 game in Salmon Arm. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks’ forward Logan Shaw won the Outstanting Citizen award for the 2018-19 season for his work connecting with the community. keeps his eyes up, looking to make a move around a group of Merritt players during their game at the Shaw Centre Nov. 16. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks’ defenceman Andy Stevens won the Score for School award for the 2018-19 season, pictured here as he moves up the boards, against the Chilliwack Chiefs during their Feb. 13 game. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

(From left) Silverbacks’ head coach Scott Atkinson, Andy Stevens, Sam MacBean, Justin Wilson, coaches Tyler Shattock and Tanner Cochrane, Darren Rizzolo and Jack Sampson. These five players are moving on to new hockey opportunities now that their time in the BCHL has come to an end. (Chris Fowler/Pure Life Photography)

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