Penticton Vees alumni Jack LaFontaine made history in 2021 when he received the Mike Richter Award for being college hockey’s top goaltender. And one year later, the same honour can be given to another former Vee.
Never in the history of the Mike Richter Award have graduates from the same junior hockey program been named the award’s winner in back-to-back years.
In 2022, however, former Vees netminder Yaniv Perets has cracked the list of nominees. The winner of the sought-after award will be named in April during NCAA’s Frozen Four Tournament in Boston, MA.
LaFontaine recently made local news when he was signed by the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 10. The former Vee became the first B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) alum ever to receive the Mike Richter Award in 2021.
Perets, a native of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, now has a chance in 2022 to continue the Vees’ impressive streak of developing award winners.
The 21-year old netminder played in the South Okanagan for Penticton during the BCHL’s 2019-2020 season, posting a 2.19 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Today, the Vees alum plays at the University of Quinnipiac.
The Mike Richter Award was created on Oct. 3, 2013, and was later given out for the first time in the spring of 2014 when current Winnipeg Jets star goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was awarded with the honours.
Other recipients of the award include Vancouver Canucks netminder Thatcher Demko (2016).
Along with having Perets represent Penticton for this year’s top-goaltender award, four former Vees have also been nominated for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey’s top player.
The Mike Richter Award’s voting committee is expected to cut down the list of nominees to 15 within the next two weeks before the winner is announced in April.