May 26, 2012
Shinnimin CHL's player of the year
By Ryan Pyette, QMI Agency
When Brendan Shinnimin arrived in the Western Hockey League, he was undrafted, too small and largely anonymous.
He was under the gun to do something to get noticed.
“I fought a lot my first year,” the 21-year-old Winnipeg native said. “I felt like I had to make a name for myself. But I worked as hard as I could to stay with the team.”
On Saturday afternoon in Shawinigan, the Tri-City Americans' overage forward was named the Canadian Hockey League's player of the year and its top scorer after recording 58 goals and 134 points in his final junior season.
He has signed an entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.
“All it shows is if you stick with it and someone gives you a chance, it can work out,” the 5-foot-9, 168-pounder said. “Being drafted isn't everything. I was probably 5-foot-5 and 150 pounds when the bantam draft in the WHL is held. No one is developed that young. I was able to find a place to play, then after every season, I worked hard in the summer to be better than I was the year before.”
His linemates Adam Hughesman and Patrick Holland also topped the 100-point plateau for the 50-win Americans.
“This was a pretty special year for me, Adam and Mason Wilgosh to play on the same team together as overagers,” Shinnimin said. “We've been playing on the same line since we were six-years-old (in Winnipeg's East St. Paul community), so it was a lot of fun to finish our junior careers with two of my best friends.”
And a trophy bigger than he was when he was 14.