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Finalists unveiled for the Coach of the Year Award

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The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today announced the three head coaches considered for this year’s Ron-Lapointe Trophy. The 2020-2021 nominees are Steve Hartley (Drummondville Voltigeurs), Jim Hulton (Charlottetown Islanders) and Daniel Renaud (Val-d’Or Foreurs).

The award is named after Ron Lapointe, who coached the Montreal Juniors, the Quebec Remparts and the Shawinigan Cataractes before graduating to the National Hockey League. While he was head coach of the Quebec Nordiques, he was forced to resign halfway through the 1988-89 season because of a kidney tumour. He died at the age of 42 after a three-year battle with cancer.

Former recipients of the award include several current pro coaches, including Joël Bouchard, Dominique Ducharme, Gerard Gallant and Pascal Vincent.

Steve Hartley is nominated for the second year in a row. Among the league’s pleasant surprises, the Voltigeurs posted a 18-11-4-1 record under his watch. The 35-year-old head coach established a solid foundation to develop young players and find consistent success, despite the departure of key pieces and overage players in the past off-season.

Jim Hulton had a terrific season behind the Charlottetown Islanders’ bench. The 52-year-old from Kingston, Ont. coached in his sixth season on the Island. Charlottetown registered a very impressive record of 35-5-0-0 to capture the Jean-Rougeau Trophy as regular season champion. The team also finished the campaign with the most goals scored (197) and the league’s best power play efficiency (31.5%).

Daniel Renaud’s Val-d’Or Foreurs were dominant in the Quebec Division this season. With many talented elements in his lineup, the 39-year-old head coach managed to lead his team to a stunning 29-3-2-2 record to finish second in the overall standings. The Abitibi-based squad ended the campaign in the top-5 in many statistical categories such as goals for (141-4th), goals against (78-3rd) and penalty killing efficiency (85.5%-2nd).

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