Outgoing North Okanagan Knights captain Steve Pantazopoulos.

Outgoing North Okanagan Knights captain Steve Pantazopoulos.

Knights retire Pantazopoulos’ No. 51

North Okanagan Knights host annual team awards banquet.

The North Okanagan Knights enjoyed their most successful season to date, and they recently honoured some of the players who helped them achieve it.

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League club held its annual awards banquet following an impressive run to the championship final, where they fell to the Castlegar Rebels in five games.

Not only did outgoing captain Steve Pantazopoulos, a Kelowna product, earn the Fan Favourite Award, he will become the first-ever Knight to have his jersey (No. 51) retired in the Nor-Val Sports Centre rafters.

Graduating forward Derek Andrews, who led the team in post-season scoring with 5-13-18 in 20 games, and was second in the regular season with 17-43-60 in 51 games, was named MVP.

Sniper Matty Saharchuk claimed Rookie of the Year after leading North Okanagan in scoring 32-28-60 in 50 games. He and Andrews ranked 12th and 13th overall in KIJHL scoring respectively.

Other North Okanagan players collecting hardware include forward Anthony Ruggerio (Scholastic Award), defenceman Dryden Profeit (Unsung Hero) and Josh Klein (Community Award).