By Matt Stefano
The 2022-2023 Ontario Hockey League regular season is now officially over, but this season was one that saw two former Soo Thunderbirds win Rookie of the Year awards with their OHL clubs.
This season, former Soo Thunderbirds forward Cooper Foster was named the Rookie of the Year for the Ottawa 67’s while former Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Andrew Gibson was named the Rookie of the Year with the Soo Greyhounds.
Foster, who is in his rookie season with the Ottawa 67’s, finished tenth in OHL rookie scoring during the regular season with 36 points, including 19 goals and 17 assists.
This season, Foster also helped lead the Ottawa 67’s to their best regular season in franchise history, as they set new team records for most wins during a regular season with 51, and most points during a regular season with 107.
Before playing with the Ottawa 67’s this season, Foster played the 2021-2022 season with the Soo Thunderbirds, where he finished first in team scoring with 18 goals and 60 points.
In 2021-2022, Foster was also named the NOJHL’s Most Valuable Player.
Gibson, who just completed his rookie season with the Soo Greyhounds, led all Hound rookies in scoring during the regular season with 7 goals and 21 points in 45 games played.
Before playing with the Soo Greyhounds this season, Gibson played the 2021-2022 season with the Soo Thunderbirds, where he finished first in team goals with 21 and second in team points with 51.
In 2021-2022, Gibson was also named the NOJHL’s Best Defenceman of the Year.
Gibson, who was named this year’s Rookie of the Year with the Soo Greyhounds, became the first Soo Thunderbird graduate to win the Soo Greyhounds Rookie of the Year Award since Boris Katchouk did back in 2016.
Before making the Ontario Hockey League this season, Gibson and Foster both helped the Soo Thunderbirds win the Copeland Cup McNamara Trophy last season in 2021-2022.
Both Gibson and Foster are also eligible to get drafted by NHL teams at this year’s NHL Entry Draft, which will take place in Nashville, Tennessee from June 28 – June 29.