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SIJHL's Annelin nabs award

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The SIJHL announced Sunday that its director of communications, Tom Annelin, has been named the 2018-19 recipient of the prestigious Gary Cook Memorial Award.

This distinguished honour is presented annually by the SIJHL to an individual in recognition of their efforts, commitment, and contributions to the league.

“It is a privilege to work every day with a person that is so dedicated to the SIJHL,” SIJHL Commissioner Bryan Graham said in a press release.

"Tom has put in countless hours into the league since it's inception, including many late nights, updating fans with media releases, scores, and statistics in such a professional manner.

“His continued contributions to the SIJHL on a daily basis are indeed well-worthy of our recognition,” he lauded.

“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award and I know Mr. Cook would be very proud of this honour for Tom, as the two were also great friends over their many years involved in hockey together,” Graham added.

Along with his role with the SIJHL, Annelin also serves in a similar capacity with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, and the Thunder Bay Kings 'AAA' program.

He also has written a weekly hockey column in The Chronicle-Journal, that has run for the past 22 years, which continues to this day.

The Gary Cook Memorial Award is presented annually by the SIJHL in honour of the late hockey icon for his five decades of hockey-related service to the community of Thunder Bay.

An honoured member of the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, Gary Cook was the ultimate hockey executive who boasted a resume of championship clubs that was second to none in hockey circles around North America.

Among his many accomplishments as a general manager and executive with multiple Thunder Bay-based franchises was a record five Allan Cup Canadian senior hockey championships, three Colonial Hockey League crowns, a CHL executive of the year award, a trio of Bill Salonen Cup titles, and a Dudley-Hewitt Cup trophy, all the while earning the admiration and respect of the many, many people he was associated with over the years.

On Saturday, the SIJHL announced that forward Keighan Gerrie of the Thunder Bay North Stars has been named its Most Valuable Player for the 2019 playoffs.

In 10 playoff games, the 18-year-old Thunder Bay product led all SIJHL skaters in post-season production with 16 points on eight goals and eight assists, helping lead the North Stars to the Bill Salonen Cup league championship.

Gerrie was only held pointless once in the playoffs and boasted four multi-point affairs.

The highly-touted prospect is committed to attend Bowling Green State University (WCHA) on NCAA Division I scholarship in 2020.

He was also tabbed 129th overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings heading into the 2019 Draft this June in Vancouver.

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