Rob Brent | April 9, 2019 | 1:00pm
JANESVILLE, WI – In partnership with Best Events, the Janesville Jets held their annual Player Awards Banquet Monday night, at the historic Armory in downtown Janesville. The event served as an opportunity to recognize players, staff, billets, and fans as another successful regular season came to a close.
At the conclusion of the night, player awards were announced by head coach Corey Leivermann, and assistant coach Lennie Childs. The awards were for the players, voted on by the players.
COMMUNITY SERVICE: CARTER HOTTMANN
(2018: Sean Driscoll, Carter Ekberg, Logan Ommen, & Erik Palmqvist )
“Serve and Represent the Community”
This goal is stated as a core tenant of the Janesville Jets’ mission and purpose. We are so very proud that all of our players have taken the initiative to carry out this goal. This year, no one exemplified this commitment to the community like Carter Hottmann. Hottmann participated in a myriad of community events such as:
- Running Carnival games at Enchanted Forrest and Madison Middle School’s Fall Festivals
- Teaching a Junior Achievement class to 1st graders at Monroe Elementary
- Visiting sick children at Javon Bea Hospital and delivering Teddy bears to their rooms
- Hours of Salvation Army bell ringing
Shelton Tripp, director of sales and community outreach, had nothing but glowing things to say about Hottmann, saying “Carter’s dedication and willingness to go above and beyond exemplify what it means to be a Jet. His class and character shine through to everyone he meets and this community is better for him.”
The Jets take our commitment to the city of Janesville very seriously, and we thank Hottmann for putting in the work to bring us closer to our great community.
UNSUNG HERO: LOGAN OMMEN
(2018: Kip Hoffman)
The first of our repeat award winners, Logan Ommen took home honors last year for his work in the community. Ommen was once again recognized for his contributions to the Jets, this year as the teams’ unsung hero.
Ommen became a fan favorite this year for his hard work and obvious dedication to the game that is displayed every time he puts on the Jets’ sweater. Ommen missed a month of the season after an injury, but has since returned and has become a pivotal part of the lineup. Despite this time missed, the forward from Bolingbrook, Illinois still surpassed his point total from last season with a mix of skill and grit that has lead to progress in his game.
Ommen plays on the powerplay, the penalty kill, and is trusted to produce in key situations. Although he stands just 5’8 and weighs 160 pounds, it is impossible to overlook the contributions that make Logan Ommen the unsung hero of the 2018-19 season.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: ANDREW HICKS
(2018: TJ Polglaze)
Andrew Hicks took home the award for most improved player this season, capping off a strong rookie season with the Jets. The Minnetonka, Minnesota native played his first year of junior hockey this season.
The defenseman started hot, recording a goal in each of his first three games with the Jets and although the scoring did not continue at prolific rates, Hicks continued to improve the rest of the season. Hicks has been a consistent member of the Jets defensive core and has worked diligently to improve his game all season. The defenseman ended his season with 6 goals and 6 assists, making an appearance in 37 games. Hicks has steadily improved his game week after week, allowing him to make a name for himself as a presence on the Janesville blue line.
Hicks may not always be the flashiest player on the ice, but his hard work and dedication have been recognized by the team as they voted him the most improved player over the course of the season.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: MATT HANEWALL
(2018: Jakov Novak)
Matt Hanewall takes home the honors for the Jets’ offensive player of the year. Hanewall served as the teams’ alternate captain, leading by example in his final year of junior eligibility. Hanewall also lead the team in goal scoring as well as tying for the lead in overall points.
The story of Hanewall’s season can not just be told by numbers though. The forward from Chicago proved to be the “go to guy” in clutch situations as he netted some of the most important goals of the Jets’ season. Twice this season, Hanewall went on goal scoring tears that served as crucial turning points in the 2018-19 campaign.
The first of these occurred in a stretch in which Hanewall scored the game winning goal in three straight Jets’ victories in February. The forward continued to be a scoring presence the rest of the year and once again has broken out over the last couple of weeks.
With the Jets needing a strong finish to the season, Hanewall has delivered. The forward has scored 6 goals over his last 4 games including a hat trick in the first period against the Minnesota Magicians on March 29th.
Overall, Hanewall earned this award not just for the amount of goals he scored or assisted on, but the magnitude of his offensive prowess in important situations.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: SEAN DRISCOLL
(2018: Carter Ekberg)
This award serves as another superlative in a season full of them for the veteran defensive presence. Driscoll also earned his D1 commitment this season (he will continue his hockey career at Boston University), suited up for the NAHL top prospects showcase, served as an alternate captain for the team, and lead all Jets defenseman in scoring. This is the second year in a row Driscoll has received an end of the year award as he also took home a recognition for his work in the community last season.
Driscoll was a model of consistency for the Jets, suiting up in 59 of the teams’ 60 games. Consistency is a key aspect of Driscoll’s game. The Mequon native can easily be plugged into the powerplay, penalty kill, and is always among the team leaders of in minutes in any given game. With all of this, Driscoll is a stabilizing presence for the Jets who can be depended on in any situation.
Driscoll’s last year of junior hockey proved to be an eventful one and this award is well deserved. He is an integral part of the team’s success this season and he has all the tools to continue being that at the next level.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: BRENDEN OLSON
(2018: Sam Renlund)
Brenden Olson may have been a late addition to the team, joining the Jets in December, but he wasted no time at all making his presence felt. In his first 3 games, Olson recorded 3 goals and 3 assists. Olson started hot and never looked back, as he has continued an impressive rookie campaign.
The rookie ties for the team lead in points per game, registering a .75 scoring rate. Apart from his scoring acumen, the forward from Eau Claire also earned several honors this season. Olson suited up for the Midwest Division team at the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects showcase, and earned a D1 commitment all in his first junior season. Olson has committed to play at perennial power Minnesota State University-Mankato.
This recognition for Jets’ rookie of the year caps off a banner season for Olson.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: COLE BRADY
(2018: Jakov Novak)
For the first time since 2015, the Janesville Jets MVP award will go to the teams’ goaltender. Cole Brady takes home the honors after his first season in America. The Pickering, Ontario native came to Janesville after spending last year in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. The vaunted goaltending prospect lived up to expectations, almost immediately stepping into the starting role.
The young goaltender is already committed to play D1 hockey, as he will take his talents to a budding power at Arizona State. He also was recognized as a top prospect, taking part in the 2019 Top Prospects showcase. Perhaps most impressively, Brady was listed as the 10th best North American goaltending prospect by NHL central scouting, making him a strong candidate to have his name called at the upcoming NHL entry draft.
The Jets needed Brady to be consistent and he delivered, stabilizing a goaltending situation that was in turmoil after Garret Nieto missed this season with an injury.
Brady gives the Jets a chance to win any given night, and that’s what a team needs out of an elite goaltender. A title that Cole Brady has earned this season along with the distinction of being the Jets’ most valuable player.
Though this event and these awards served as an opportunity to honor the teams’ success of this regular season, the year is not over. The Jets have more hockey to play as they will head to Fairbanks Alaska to take on the first place Ice Dogs in the first round of the Midwest division playoffs. Janesville has come together recently, playing some of their best hockey of the season. The playoffs begin this Friday, April 12th.