The Saskatoon Blades capped off the 2022-23 season with their annual end of year banquet and awards on Wednesday night.
Rosetown's Vaughn Watterodt was recognized twice, as he continues to make a name for himself in the Blades organization.
One of two awards to begin the night, Watterodt was named the winner of the Blades Community Minded Award.
After that, the Rosetown Wrecking Ball was given the title of "Hardest Hitter" for the Blades.
Anyone who watches the west-central product play knows that his energizer style often ends up along the boards where he can lay the body and provide a spark for his team.
Off the ice, his impact is just as noticeable. Watterodt talked to us about what he felt was the greater of the two awards.
"It's just a nice award to win because I like being out in the community, and I think it's really important to have the Blades be around Saskatoon to see the fans, and season ticket holders. It's just really cool to be able to win that award." he said before describing some of the different volunteer opportunities he has been apart of. "Went to schools and did reading. A bunch of fundraisers during the summer. Just things like that around the community going to help out."
A fan favourite in the community, Watterodt made just as many fans with his play on the ice. His season included a stretch of 16 goals in 20 games and a solid run in the playoffs as one of the top seeds in the WHL's Eastern Conference.
His play opened the eyes of NHL scouts as well. Watterodt talked about the exciting news of being named to NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings for next months draft.
"I thought it was pretty cool. I've put in a lot of hard work the past couple of years, this year especially, and just to be recognized is really nice." said Watterodt about the big news, even though he isn't putting too much stock into last month's announcement, "Whatever happens happens, you know? It doesn't really affect me that terribly much if nothing happens. If I don't get drafted, I will just stay on the course and do what I have been doing the past couple of years."
Watterodt shared that he is already back home in Rosetown. He will be commuting to Saskatoon four days a week to continue training. Watterodt admitted it will be a lot of driving, but that is the only choice if he wants to get stronger and faster for next season.
The awards were a great way to cap off the season for Watterodt, but what would really put a stamp on this year's campaign would be a phone call in late June during the upcoming NHL Draft.