St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin said skipper Ben Hunt "led from the front" when presenting him with the club's Player of the Year gong announced on Monday.
Leg and arm fractures kept Hunt to just 15 games this season, but he was still a runaway winner of the Dragons' major individual prize.
The 31-year-old led the club in try assists and carried that form into State of Origin, starring in the Maroons face-saving victory in Game III of the series.
"Obviously the season hasn't gone our way but I've really enjoyed this year," Hunt said when accepting the award.
Much-maligned coming into 2021, Hunt thrived after being handed the captaincy with his running game a feature of his play. He bravely played on through a broken leg in a round four victory over the Sea Eagles in Wollongong, missing the next four matches.
The Dragons looked rudderless without their halfback over the back end of a season that ended with eight straight losses.
Potential scrumbase partner for next season Talatau Amone picked up the prestigious Geoff Selby Memorial Trophy, awarded to the best emerging talent at the Dragons in any given season in honour of former player Selby who tragically passed away in 1989.
The rookie five-eighth made the jump to the NRL just one week after the Illawarra Steelers' under-19s SG Ball grand final appearance.
Veteran hooker Andrew McCullough was awarded the Immortals Trophy.
Formerly selected by the club's living Immortals, the award is now handed out by the coaching staff to the player deemed to best epitomise the Immortals criteria: demonstrating outstanding commitment and dedication in all aspects of rugby league.