EVERETT — Joshua Winquist was momentarily at a loss for words.
The Everett Silvertips star winger needed a moment to collect himself when he was informed he’d been named a second-team WHL Western Conference all-star following Thursday afternoon’s practice at Comcast Arena.
“I’m kind of stunned right now,” Winquist said after being informed of the honor.
But while Winquist may have been taken aback, there’s no question his season was worthy of recognition.
Winquist had arguably the greatest offensive season in Everett’s 11-year history. The 20-year-old from St. Albert, Alberta, set a franchise record for goals in a season with 47, besting the previous mark of 42 set by Shane Harper in 2009-10. Winquist also tied the franchise record for points in a season, matching the 93 Zach Hamill amassed in 2006-07. Winquist finished tied for fourth in the league in goals and 10th in the league in scoring.
“(The season) went pretty well,” Winquist said. “I scored some goals this year, but I had a lot of good linemates. Guys were looking for me all year, which was nice.”
Winquist became the 11th player in Everett’s history to receive all-star honors, and the first since defenseman Ryan Murray was named a second teamer in 2011-12.
“That’s a pretty big honor,” Winquist said as he fumbled for an immediate reaction to being named an all-star. “I’m proud of myself, I guess.
“It’s pretty cool,” Winquist added. “It’s something my parents will be really proud of. Mostly I think my family will be more proud and care a little more than I will. But it’s still a cool honor.”
Winquist was the only member of the Silvertips organization to be recognized Tuesday as the league released its all-star teams and award nominees.
The Western Conference’s first-team all-stars were forwards Nicolas Petan (Portland), Mitch Holmberg (Spokane) and Oliver Bjorkstrand (Portland), defensemen Derrick Pouliot (Portland) and Shea Theodore (Seattle), and goaltender Jordon Cooke (Kelowna). The rest of the second team consisted for forwards Todd Fiddler (Prince George) and Mike Aviani (Spokane), defensemen Damon Severson (Kelowna) and Madison Bowey (Kelowna), and goaltender Eric Comrie (Tri-City).
The Eastern Conference’s first-team all-stars were forwards Sam Reinhart (Kootenay), Leon Draisaitl (Prince Albert) and Curtis Lazar (Edmonton), defensemen Josh Morrissey (Prince Albert) and Ryan Pulock (Brandon), and goaltender Tristan Jarry (Edmonton). The second team was forwards Curtis Valk (Medicine Hat), Jaedon Descheneau (Kootenay) and Chandler Stephenson (Regina), defensemen Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton) and Julius Honka (Swift Current), and goaltender Patrik Bartosak (Red Deer).
The league’s awards were narrowed down to two finalists, one from each conference. The nominees for Rookie of the Year were Saskatoon forward Nikita Scherbak and Kelowna forward Nick Merkley; for Goaltender of the Year they were Jarry and Cooke; for Defenseman of the Year they were Morrissey and Pouliot; for Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year they were Sam Reinhart and Holmberg; for Coach of the Year they were Medicine Hat’s Shaun Clouston and Victoria’s Dave Lowry; and for Executive of the Year they were Calgary’s Mike Moore and Victoria’s Cam Hope.
The nominees for Player of the Year will be announced at a later date.
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.