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Canucks honour top players

Forward-turned-defenceman Adam Loncan has had a couple of surprises this hockey season. The first was when the Dawson Creek Canuck was selected as the North Peace Hockey League's top defenceman.

Forward-turned-defenceman Adam Loncan has had a couple of surprises this hockey season.

The first was when the Dawson Creek Canuck was selected as the North Peace Hockey League's top defenceman.

The second was when he won the senior men's hockey team's most valuable player award at the team's recent wind-up dinner and awards ceremony.

"It surprised me. With the team that we had this year we had a lot of players with a lot of skill and talent and a lot of guys brought a lot to the table and to be chosen from any of those guys - it could have gone to several guys - so I was definitely honoured," said Loncan, who started the season up front, but was moved back to the blue-line to cover some holes and ended up staying there.

Loncan was consistently solid on the back end whether it be covering the front of the net, carrying the puck out of his own end or working the point on the power play.

Loncan has Jr. A and university experience as well as some pro experience in the U.S. and a couple of seasons with the Fort St. John Flyers before joining the Canucks in their first season back in the North Peace Hockey League after a three-year hiatus.

He had five goals and 30 assists in helping the Canucks to a 12-7-1-0 regular season record and two goals and eight assists in the 10 playoff games the Canucks were in.

Along with the NPHL's top blue-liner award, he was also picked as a defenceman for the NPHL West's all-star team.

Meanwhile, Chris Stevens won both the team's top scorer award and the top playoff performer award.

He led the team in 16 regular season games with 23 goals and 18 assists and was also voted to the NPHL's West Division team as the top left winger.

Stevens was fifth in the playoff scoring race despite playing fewer games than the other top seven players. He had 15 goals (including two game winners) and 12 assists in the Canucks' 10 playoff games before the Grande Prairie Athletics went on to eliminate them and take the NPHL title.

Kris Desjarlais won the rookie of the year award. The former Junior Canuck was second on the team's scoring list with 26 goals and 13 assists.

The Chetwynd winger also had four goals and a pair of assists for seventh place among Canuck scorers in the playoffs.

Ryan Walker, another former Junior Canuck who just finished his Jr. B career a year ago, won the most improved player award. Walker earned himself more ice time and after 17 regular season games had four goals and three assists with one goal in the playoffs.

Jeff Taylor, a Dawson Creek product with experience at the Jr. A, Jr. B and senior hockey levels, won the team's top forward award. The speedy centreman recorded 19 goals and 19 assists in 20 regular season matches and one goal and five assists in the post-season.

Defensively speaking, Spirit River's loss was the Canucks' gain after Dawson Creek picked up Evan Boire.

Boire has played for the Rangers, but the club took a year's leave of absence because it couldn't recruit enough players. He joined the Canucks and was a solid defensive player for which he received the team's best defensive player award.

He recorded 13 points this season and a couple of helpers in nine playoff games.

And Cory Dostal, who quietly but skillfully patrolled the blue-line in 18 regular season games and nine playoff matches, won the James Kyle award for the player who contributes the most with the least recognition.