Just days before his call to the NHL, Portland Winterhawk Brendan Leipsic was recognized by his home community in Winnipeg, taking home the Ida and Max Nusgart Memorial Award as Jewish Athlete of the Year at the 40th Annual “Y” Sports Dinner.
The Dinner, held on June 19, featured Mark Messier as keynote speaker and Michael Landsberg as emcee for the evening.
Leipsic was one of five finalists for the award, presented annually at the Dinner. Leipsic played in 68 regular season contests with the Winterhawks, tallying 28 goals and 30 assists. He was also instrumental in the Hawks’ run to the WHL Championship, counting 15 points in 20 post-season games. The Winterhawks fell to the Edmonton Oil Kings in the final series, with Leipsic scoring two of the three game winners for his club.
Earlier in the week, Leipsic was named to Canada’s team for the upcoming summer series against the best prospects from Russia. He has been projected to be selected in one of the middle rounds of the NHL Entry Draft, taking place this Friday and Saturday in Pittsburgh.
The evening benefited the Rady Jewish Community Centre and its programming and services for youth, seniors and members with special needs.
Jon Waldman has written about hockey for several publications over his decade-long journalism career, including The Hockey News, The Toronto Sun and Winnipeg Men Magazine. A graduate of Ryerson University’s journalism program, Jon is working on his first book on the history of hockey, to go along with two other books he has published since 2009.