Ryan Botterill is the 2022-23 Frank McKinnon Memorial Award winner. This award is given out each year by the Manitoba Junior Hockey League to a player for a combination of their skill and sportsmanship.
"I just found out through Instagram after the game the other day," says Botterill. "I thought it was pretty cool. I was pretty excited to get that."
This is the Portager's first end-of-season award since he played in the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League, winning league MVP in his final year with the Central Plains Capitals. In the 2019-20 season, Botterill picked up 45 goals and 32 assists for 77 points.
"They both feel good but I think this award, this year, feels extra special because it's in the moment right now."
Ryan Botterill 🚨— #theMJ (@mjhlhockey) March 2, 2023
He can’t be stopped! Botterill’s 3rd hat-trick over his last 8 games for the @PortageTerriers gives him 38 on the year, good enough for 2nd in the MJHL. pic.twitter.com/pvTPRr4Gzt
Not only did Botterill receive this award on Sunday, he also hit a major milestone against the Winnipeg Freeze. The Portager became the first Terrier since 2016 to reach the 40-goal mark after putting a pair past Freeze goaltender Michael O'Sullivan.
"It just felt like another at first but it felt great to get 40," Botterill explains. "After the game, on the bus, we had a little bit of a celebration. (45 goals) is the goal now, so we're going to push for that."
Botterill would need to average a goal per game to hit 45 as the Terriers have five games left in the regular season. If Botterill can get to 46, he would be the first Terrier to do so since 2009.
Ryan Botterill 🚨— #theMJ (@mjhlhockey) February 17, 2023
The @PortageTerriers sniper has 20 goals in the first 17 games of 2023, including a pair last night to reach 34 on the season. pic.twitter.com/7UOYBSa6ct
While it's been a big week for Botterill individually, he and the Terriers' main focus is still preparing for the playoffs. They have a tough task tonight as they welcome the Winkler Flyers to Stride Place.
"We're going to have to stay good in the D-zone, get hard on the forecheck, and play a full 60 minutes."
The Terriers will need to win three of their final five games to secure home-ice advantage for the entirety of the postseason. The Dogs will search for their tenth straight victory tonight at Stride Place with puck drop set for 7:30.