Riley Vanee is the top player’s player in Fort Macleod Minor Hockey.
The first-year Bantam Outlaw received the Clint Jordan Memorial Award on March 29 at Minor Hockey’s annual awards banquet at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
“It’s a very prestigious award,” said Becky Baker of the Fort Macleod Minor Hockey Association executive. “This award is presented to the player who represents the attributes of a player’s player.”
The Clint Jordan Award recognizes players who lead in the dressing room and on the ice and who stick up for teammates.
The award also honours sportsmanship, hard work, dedication and team play.
The award is named for a former Minor Hockey player who died suddenly.
In addition to Riley Vanee, nominees for the Clint Jordan Award were George Wollersheim of the Novice Wolf Pack, Jason Stockton of the Atom All Stars, Stanley Morning Bull of the Pee Wee Rebels and Willy David of the Midget Tropics.
“Just being nominated, your coaches feels you are your team’s player’s player,” Baker told the nominees. “You guys should be very honoured just to be nominated.”
Baker said Riley Vanee was an obvious choice for the Bantam Outlaws coaches.
“This individual was an inspiration to his teammates and coaches,” Baker said.
People close to the Outlaws easily recognized the respect Riley showed for both teammates and opponents.
He speaks with clarity, respect and sincerity to all who cross his path,” Baker said.
Riley was often spotted giving his goalie an encouraging tap on the pads, Baker said.
He was also quick to point out good plays made by others — on both teams.
At one point in the season Riley turned to a teammate who had given an opponent a cheap shot and asked if it was necessary, and how his teammate would feel if it happened to him.
Riley’s concern for other players did not temper his drive on the ice.
“He does play with fire, intensity and passion,” Baker said. He’s the player’s player.”
Riley finished 12th in league scoring and fourth on his own team. He had just 10 penalty minutes.
“He can play any position,” Baker noted. “He is very versatile.”
That versatility includes being able to perform well when matched with teammates of any skill level.
“He is truly respected by all, not only for his playing but all he brings to the great game of hockey,” Baker said.