Red Deer’s Adam Sandstrom, captain of the Whitecourt Wolverines was named a finalist for the AJHL’s most outstanding defenceman. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Baker Photography/AJHL)

Red Deer’s Adam Sandstrom earns AJHL scholarship

Although his final year in the Alberta Junior Hockey League was cut short, Adam Sandstrom collected another honour Thursday.

The 21-year old defenceman from Red Deer, who was captain of the Whitecourt Wolverines this season is already up the league’s most outstanding defencemen award, was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Merit AJHL Scholarship.

The $2,000 scholarship is presented to a player prepared to attend a post-secondary institution the next year. Drumheller Dragons Captain Derrick Budz was the other recipient.

“The dedication Derrick and Adam have made to their athletics, academics and community is worthy of recognition and deserving of the Merit scholarship,” said AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk in a press release.

Sandstorm, who put up 10 goals and 29 assists in 59 games this year with the Wolverines, was also a big contributor to the local community. He was the Wolverines’ RBC Community Ambassador and volunteered with various community initiatives.

“I believe Adam to be an exemplary student-scholar as well as a person of tremendous character with significant leadership skills,” said Wolverines General Manager & Head Coach Shawn Martin.

“Adam has a refreshing style of leadership that is not commonly seen in 20-year-old hockey players these days. His enthusiasm and energy have been matched over the course of the season with a discipline that is truly remarkable for someone his age. His discipline is a commitment to personal growth. It is this discipline and maturity that allows me to have full confidence in his academic endeavors next fall.”

The blueliner will attend NAIT next year and suit up for the Ooks in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association.

“I have adapted and learned how to motivate and lead a group of players towards a common goal and help everyone to stay focused on the tasks at hand,” Sandstrom said.

“Being captain has assisted me in establishing and building relationships with people of different backgrounds and perspectives.”

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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