BRANDON — It wasn’t the trophy Brandon Kozun wanted to be leaving with.
But he wasn’t about to leave it behind, either.
The Calgary Hitmen sniper took home the CHL’s top scorer award at Saturday’s awards banquet at Brandon University.
It eased, ever so slightly, the pain from the previous night’s overtime loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Memorial Cup semifinal.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get to win the one we wanted but, on the other hand, we had a great year,” Kozun said.
“This award shows a lot about my teammates. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
There was no drama surrounding Kozun’s award. He knew he’d won the award two months ago after putting up 107 points during the regular season.
“Yeah, there wasn’t really any,” Kozun said. “But it’s a huge honour to be on the trophy with some of the names on there.”
Moncton Wildcats blueliner David Savard, the only other awards recipient from one of the four teams at the Memorial Cup, was in the same boat as Kozun.
The defenceman-of-the-year award wasn’t the grand prize, but it was certainly a nice consolation trophy.
“We came for the Memorial Cup,” the Columbus Blue Jackets prospect said.
“But to go home with this honour is pretty huge for me. It shows in my stats that everybody on the team had a great year.”
Savard, like the rest of his Wildcats teammates, was sporting a blonde-dyed mohawk that he said would disappear shortly.
“It’s going to be gone as soon as possible.”
Regina Pats star Jordan Eberle won the player of the year award but was unable to accept the trophy as he’s still making his way back from Germany, where he was playing for Team Canada at the world championships.
Drummondville Voltigeurs goaltender Jake Allen beat out his Team Canada world junior teammate Martin Jones of the Calgary Hitmen for the CHL’s top goaltender honours.
Matt Puempel, who had 33 goals and 64 points in 59 games with the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, was named rookie of the year.
Other award winners included Gerard Gallant (Saint John Sea Dogs, top coach), Dominic Jalbert (Chicoutimi Sagueneens, scholastic), Ryan Hayes (Plymouth Whalers, humanitarian), Jason Bast (Moose Jaw Warriors, sportsmanlike) and Tyler Seguin (Plymouth Whalers, top draft prospect).