Michael Dyck is in his first year as head coach of the Vancouver Giants, and he’s been selected as the WHL’s Western Conference coach of the year. (Chris Relke/Vancovuer Giants)

Michael Dyck is in his first year as head coach of the Vancouver Giants, and he’s been selected as the WHL’s Western Conference coach of the year. (Chris Relke/Vancovuer Giants)

Coach of the year in first season with the Giants

Michael Dyck is being lauded by the Western Hockey League for transforming the junior hockey team

It may only be his first season as head coach of the Vancouver Giants, but Michael Dyck is being recognized for his efforts with the hockey franchise.

The Vancouver Giants announced that Dyck has been named the WHL’s Western Conference coach of the year.

The Western Hockey League announced all league award finalists for both the Western and Eastern Conference Wednesday, and in doing so confirmed the title for Dyck – who joined the Langley-based team back in June.

In his first season as coach, Dyck has led the team to a Western Conference leading record of 48-15-3-2 and the second best overall record in the Western Hockey League.

READ MORE: Vancouver Giants name Michael Dyck as new head coach

The Giants winning percentage of .743 was the second highest recorded in the 18-year history of the franchise.

With Dyck at the helm, the G-Men surrendered the third fewest goals-against (162) and had the fourth-best goal differential (+66).

The Giants also finished in the top-five in both power play (24.6 per cent, fourth) and penalty kill (84.9 per cent, second). Nine different Giants either matched or surpassed their previous career highs in points this season with Dyck in charge.

For his career, Dyck’s WHL record behind the bench is 180-135-21.

Internationally, Dyck has served as Team Canada Pacific’s head coach twice (2009-10 and 2011-12) at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

He also served as Alberta’s head coach at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and as an assistant coach for Canada at the Youth Olympic Games in 2016.

Dyck’s playing career in the WHL spanned five seasons (1985-1989). He played with the Calgary Wranglers, Brandon Wheat Kings and Regina Pats.

REACTION TO THE NEWS:

The Eastern Conference coach of the year was Marc Habscheid of the Prince Albert Raiders. Either Dyck or Habscheid will receive the Dunc McCallum Trophy for WHL coach of the year at the WHL awards banquet, which will take place on Wednesday, May 1 in Red Deer, Alta.

Dyck’s Giants will take the ice for Game 1 of their first-round WHL Playoff matchup with the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday, March 22 at 7:30 PM at the Langley Events Centre.

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