DALLAS - Prior to the start of the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas, the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League were presented with the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence, the National Hockey League announced this evening. Broncos president Kevin Garinger accepted the engraved crystal from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on the team's behalf.
Created in 2015, the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence is given annually by the League to the candidate who exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism.
On April 6, the Humboldt Broncos were involved in a tragic bus accident on their way to a playoff game. Sixteen lives were lost, 13 others were critically injured. The global hockey community, along with the NHL and its 31 Member Clubs, were devastated and have since been inspired by the perseverance of the team, its families and the Humboldt community.
"The Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Club, including its families and its community, is honored by the recognition provided by the NHL through the presentation of the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence," said Broncos President Kevin Garinger. "The Humboldt Broncos have always been committed to showing leadership and excellence in all things on and off the ice. Since the unthinkable tragedy that devastated our organization, those efforts have been amplified. However, as we rebuild, we could not be where we are today without the people and organizations from all over the world which have supported us, including the NHL. To them we say, we hear you, we feel your love, and we are truly humbled and grateful."
"From this tragedy, the hockey world has come to learn more about the Humboldt Broncos organization and players, their role in the fabric of their community, and their commitment to the pursuit of excellence both on and off the ice," said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. "The stories we have heard about those who were lost and those who continue to heal have been truly inspirational and serve as great examples of all the characteristics this award was meant to recognize."
After many years of coaching and scouting at various levels of hockey, McGuire joined the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau in 2002 and assumed day-to-day responsibility for the department in 2005. McGuire spearheaded an operation that provided scouting and evaluation of draft-eligible players to NHL Member Clubs. He led a team of eight full-time and 15 part-time scouts throughout North America. Just as he brought innovation to the coaching profession throughout his career, McGuire was responsible for several advancements in the area of scouting during his nine years at the League, including the development of a new scouting technology system that brought the "art" of scouting to a whole new level. He was instrumental in raising both the effectiveness and profile of the League's annual scouting combine. McGuire lost his short, but courageous battle with cancer in April 2011.
2017: Nico Hischier
2016: Neil Doef
2015: Travis Konecny