JANESVILLE, WI – In partnership with Best Events, Forward Janesville, and Whiton House, the Janesville Jets held their annual end-of-season banquet on Tuesday night at the historic Armory in downtown Janesville. Adam Burish, who won the 2006 NCAA Championship with Joe Pavelski and the Wisconsin Badgers, and was also a 2010 Stanley Cup Champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, served as the evening’s keynote speaker. More than 120 season ticket holders, sponsors, billets, and fans attended the event.
To close the festivities, the Jets named the winners of seven individual player awards, as voted on by the players. Fourth-year head coach Joe Dibble announced the recipients.
Defensive Player of the Year – LordAnthony Grissom
2015: Zach Yoder (Air Force)
Grissom used his 6’4” frame all season to clear pucks and opposing players from in front of his own net. The former Keystone Ice Miner skated to a +12 mark in 56 games during the regular season, and particularly excelled in a stretch from late January through early March. Grissom posted a +12 in those 11 games, and in nine of those, the Jets earned at least a point. The Detroit native excelled as the season progressed, displaying dominant defensive play in front of the net, in the corners, and in the neutral zone.
Offensive Player of the Year – Adam Winborg
2015: Zach LaValle (Miami)
This season, much as he has for his three-year Jets career, Winborg used his size and skill to consistently make plays and generate scoring chances. Playing in 56 games, the Swede posted 55 points, a mark that came close to tying the franchise’s single-season scoring mark of 61, set last year by Zach LaValle. Winborg’s offensive prowess was especially notable on the man advantage, when he clicked nine times and added 11 assists for 20 total points on the power play.
Most Improved Player – Cole Paskus
2015: Zach Solow (Dubuque Fighting Saints)
Paskus, a Madison native, struggled at times to begin his first season in the North American Hockey League. Through his first 24 games, Paskus tallied seven points, hardly a paltry mark, but markedly different than the production he found towards the end of the season. As Paskus moved around in the lineup and began to find his groove, the responsibilities and the playing time increased. He finished with points in eight of the last nine games, including a pair of game-winning goals in a three-game home series versus the Springfield Jr. Blues.
Rookie of the Year – Jack LaFontaine
2015: Matt Jurusik (Wisconsin)
The Jets’ starting goaltender began and finished the season on the NHL’s Central Scouting list, ending as the 13th-ranked North American goaltender. Last year, his final season playing in his home province Ontario, LaFontaine won 20 of 30 games for the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League at a .923 save percentage. The Mississauga native was a late summer addition from Dibble and his hockey operations staff, and began the season on fire, posting a 13-5-3 record in his first 20 games. LaFontaine, who committed to Michigan in December, finished the regular season on an even better streak. He has not been tagged with a regulation loss since February 6th.
Ironman Award – Cullen Munson
2015: Nils Rygaard (Alaska-Anchorage)
The second-year Jet from Edina, Minnesota, host of the 2016 Robertson Cup Final Four, was the only Jets player to play in all 60 regular season games. Munson is neither big nor small at 5’11” and 181 pounds, but he regularly goes to the dirty areas and is unafraid to block shots. Munson, who missed just one game last season, also finished with 30 points, tied for fourth on the team.
Community Service Award – Alex Smith
2015: Alex Smith
The Janesville Jets organization understands its role in supporting the community that supports them. To that end, the Jets devote about 2000 total hours per season to community service projects, and have made in-kind donations of over $1700 in value. Regular community partners and events include Mercy Health System, the Salvation Army and its bell ringing project, the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Toys for Tots project. Smith, who is finishing his third year in Janesville, exemplifies the Jets’ commitment to community not only how much time he gives, but in how he gives it. Smith is consistently the first to arrive and the last to leave community appearances, and demonstrates an understanding of the importance of giving back.
Most Valuable Player – Adam Winborg
2015: Matt Jurusik (Wisconsin)
This season becoming the Janesville Jets’ all-time leading scorer, Winborg’s offensive production and dedication to improving his play away from the puck earned him the Most Valuable Player title. Dibble also stressed Winborg’s commitment to team excellence as a key factor for this recognition, emphasizing that Winborg has shown all season a passion for the advancement of his teammates in all spheres of life. Whether it’s helping someone with homework, pushing someone the extra mile in the gym, or offering support to rookies in practice, Winborg’s positivity and energy, combined with his on-ice production, earned him MVP honors.
Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on playoff ticket information. Stay connected to the Jets on their Road to the Robertson Cup through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).