The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Thursday March 23rd that Kurt Walsten of the Dryden GM Ice Dogs has been named the SIJHL’s coach of the year for the 2016-17 season.
Walsten edged out fellow coach of the year finalists Cole Workman of the Thief River Falls Norskies and Jeremy Adduono of the Thunder Bay North Stars in voting for the award completed by each of the league’s member clubs.
Guiding the GM Ice Dogs to a first place finish in the SIJHL regular season standings this season, Walsten saw his Dryden squad post a franchise-best 45 win campaign while finishing with a club-record 94 points overall.
Not only did the GM Ice Dogs win the SIJHL regular season title, they were also tabbed 12th overall in the final 132-team Canadian Junior Hockey League Top 20 national rankings.
This marked the third consecutive season Walsten was a finalist for the honour and he becomes the 10th coach in the 16-year history of the SIJHL to win this award.
He’s also just the third Dryden bench boss to garner league coach of the year accolades joining Clint Mylymok (2009-10) and Randy Lulashnyk (2006-07) (Co-recipient) as winners.
The following is the list of the SIJHL’s all-time coach of the year award recipients:
2016-17: Kurt Walsten, Dryden GM Ice Dogs
2015-16: Wayne Strachan, Fort Frances Lakers
2014-15: Jeremy Adduono, Thunder Bay North Stars
2013-14: Wayne Strachan, Fort Frances Lakers
2012-13: Chris Walby, Minnesota Iron Rangers (Co-winner)
2012-13: Rod Aldoff, Minnesota Wilderness (Co-winner)
2011-12: Rod Aldoff, Wisconsin Wilderness
2010-11: Wayne Strachan, Fort Frances Lakers
2009-10: Clint Mylymok, Dryden Ice Dogs
2008-09: Todd Howarth, Fort William North Stars
2007-08: Wayne Strachan, Fort Frances Jr. Sabres
2006-07: Randy Lulashnyk, Dryden Ice Dogs (Co-winner)
2006-07: Todd Howarth, Fort William North Stars (Co-winner)
2005-06: Bobby Spadoni, Schreiber Diesels
2004-05: Todd Howarth, Fort William North Stars
2003-04: Todd Howarth, Fort William North Stars
2002-03: David Vescio, Thunder Bay Bulldogs
2001-02: Wayne Strachan, Borderland Thunder