HockeyNow’s Player of the Year


On July 8, 2016 I had the pleasure of teaming up with HockeyNow and SportChek to photograph Owen Lalonde, the winner of HockeyNow’s 2016 Ontario Minor Hockey Player of the Year Award.

Owen Lalonde

The shoot was a pleasure because of Owen Lalonde. Even with all this kid has going for him, he remains humble and kind. Owen is the second overall pick in the OHL priority selection draft this year, the Alliance Player of the Year, and he helped the Windsor Jr. Spitfires advance to the 2016 OHL cup by providing 37 points in 33 games.

During the photo shoot on the second floor of the Windsor SportChek in the Devonshire Mall, Owen and his mom, Elaine, were warmly greeted by literally every shopper that came up the escalator (strangers to me, a Londoner, but friends to Owen and Elaine) and yet, at the end of the photo shoot, Owen thanked me for coming out and offered to help carry my equipment to my car, something I can barely get my paid assistants to do!

Owen Lalonde Portrait

Player of the Year Award

HockeyNow has been awarding players with the Player of the Year Award in B.C. since 2000, and this year, opened up the program to Alberta and Ontario as well. They send out a selection team during the hockey season to evaluate players and then make a list of finalists “who best exemplify sportsmanship, leadership, hockey ability and performance, and school and community participation.” From this list, they pick the three winners: one from B.C., one from Alberta, and one from Ontario.

The winners get their pictures and a write-up in the HockeyNow Magazine, an awards ceremony, and a SportChek shopping spree to be fitted head-to-toe in new hockey gear. That’s where I came in. I documented Owen’s shopping spree!

Learn more about the HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year Award programs here.

The Shopping Spree

Last year, HockeyNow officially partnered up with SportChek to provide the Player of the Year Award winner’s with the generous gift of being equipped head-to-toe in hockey gear. The shopping spree includes everything from shoulder, elbow, and shin pads, pants, gloves, skates, a helmet, under clothes, a stick, to a hockey bag in which to put it all. Owen was helped along with his own personal shopper and SportChek employee, Jon.

Read what HockeyNow’s Emily Whitemarsh reported on the shopping spree and what Owen’s Mom, Elaine, had to say about the SportChek service.

SportChek Employee Jon Helps Owen Lalonde Try on an Elbow Pad

Here, Jon helps out Owen with a pair of CCM Quicklite Elbow Pads.

Owen Lalonde HockeyNow's Player of the Year on a SportChek Shopping Spree

First off, Owen gets fitted in his Under Armour Hockey Grippy before trying on equipment.

Owen Lalonde tried on Shoulder Pads in SportChek

Here’s Owen fastening the arm strap on his new CCM QuickLite Shoulder Pads.

Owen Lalonde Waits to Try on Skates in SportChek

Now it’s on to the skates! Here Owen patiently waits to see what Jon picks out for him.

Owen Lalonde Tests the Skates for Comfort

Owen tries on the Bauer Supreme s180 skates.

Owen Lalonde Trying on Shin Pads in SportChek

This time Jon brought over the CCM QuickLite Shin Pads…I’m sensing a CCM theme!

Owen Lalonde Trying on a Helmet in SportChek

The shopping spree wouldn’t be complete without a bucket!

Owen Lalonde Picks out a Stick at SportChek

The last item for Owen to pick out was a stick. He chose the CCM Ultra Tacks Hockey Stick.

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About Julie Whelan

Julie Whelan, professional photographer of over fifteen years, has had the opportunity to shoot all over the globe--from capturing portraits in Vanuatu to shooting off rooftops in Maui to photographing products in Calgary. She now finds herself in Ontario photographing outdoor adventures and the active lifestyles of athletic individuals and athletes in competition & training. Julie has also worked with professional athletes such as Don Cherry, Darryl Sittler, and Roberto Alomar. When not behind the lens, Julie likes to unwind with a good book or spending time in the garden.

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