CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced today the finalists for the 2016 Rookie of the Year Award. This award is presented on a national level and represents one of seven league awards. The 2016 Rookie of the Year Award will be presented to the most outstanding rookie based on regular season individual performance. A CJHL rookie is defined as a player with fewer than 20 games in any Junior A or Major Junior league in previous seasons, and must be 18 or younger as of December 31st of the current season.
Each of the 10 leagues within the CJHL selected a nominee for the Rookie of the Year honour. Following the initial round of voting, five players qualified as finalists for the award and will now advance to the final stage of the selection process. The finalists for the 2016 CJHL Rookie of the Year include:
Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits, AJHL (54GP, 10G – 45A – 55PTS)
The 17 year old defenceman was second overall among AJHL rookie scorers with 55 points. “Based on Cale's exceptional play in last year’s playoffs as an affiliate, our staff expected him to have an outstanding rookie season,” said Bandits GM / Head Coach Ryan Papaioannou. “His abilities with the puck are second to none and he sees the ice extremely well. Cale loves to jump into the rush and push the pace offensively. He is a key component you our team success and this recognition as rookie of the year is a great vote of confidence from opposing coaches.” Makar dressed in all 20 playoff games as an affiliate player last season, and has averaged 1.0 points per games in his first full season with the Bandits.
Nick Henry, Portage Terriers, MJHL (50GP, 26G – 35A – 61PTS)
Sometimes, you have to remind yourself that Nick Henry is only 16 years old, and a rookie. He’s poised like a seasoned vet; mature beyond his years and a key member of a veteran club. Henry is truly living the hockey dream, playing for his hometown Terriers. It was just a year ago he was watching them win the RBC Cup….and now he’s very much a part of the Terrier machine. The slick forward led all MJHL rookie scorers with 61 points (26-35) in 50 games. He’s quickly building up his trophy collection: MJHL top rookie and MJHL all-star rookie team. While he may be in his freshman season, Henry is on the ice for all situations: powerplay, penalty kill and when protecting a lead.
Kohen Olischefski, Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL (57GP, 13G – 35A – 48PTS)
Olischefski missed just one game on the season, on the way to posting 13-35-48 in his first BCHL campaign. His assist total was third-best on his team. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound forward had a multiple-point game on nine occasions and had two six-game point streaks. Olischefski provided secondary scoring and played a clean game, being assessed just 16 minutes in penalties on the season. The Abbotsford, B.C. native is committed to the University of Denver for the 2017-18 season.
Jack Jacome, Georgetown Raiders, OJHL (54GP, 23G – 44A – 67PTS)
After playing seven games as an affiliate out of the Brampton 45's Midget 'AAA' program in 2014-15, Jacome joined his brother Brendan full-time with the Raiders this season and surprised many with his offensive skills that saw him lead the club in scoring during the regular season. The Caledon, Ontario native's totals of 44 assists, 67 points and 18 power play points were all tops on the club, while he finished second with 23 goals and 6 game-winning goals. Not only were his totals tops on the Raiders, but he led all rookies in scoring and ranked among the league's elite, finishing fifth in assists, sixth in scoring and ninth in game-winning goals. Jacome's award-filled season saw him finish as runner-up for OJHL Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month honours in January, recording 20 points in 13 games played and following the season, he was named both a 1st Team All-Prospect, as well as a 2nd Team All-Star for his performance. Most recently, Jacome confirmed a commitment to join the Clarkson University Golden Knights beginning with the 2017-18 season.
Charles Levesque, Hawkesbury Hawks, CCHL (62GP, 19G – 42A – 61PTS)
The 98’ born rookie finished 9th overall in CCHL scoring with 61 points in 62 games. He was named CCHL Rookie of the Month in both November and December. Not the biggest guy but has a never-ending motor and doesn’t shy away from the corners or the front of the net where he scores most of his goals.
Congratulations to all ten CJHL Rookie of the Year Award nominees, which included the following CJHL rookies who are also winners of their respective league awards:
- Joey Brennan, Flames de Gatineau – QJHL
- Bradley Chenier, Rayside-Balfour Canadians – NOJHL
- Michael Dill, Pictou County Weeks Crushers – MHL
- Cole Tymkin, Fort Francis Lakers – SIJHL
- Layne Young, Battleford North Stars – SJHL
The Top 5 finalists for all CJHL Awards will be announced over the coming week. The recipient of the 2016 CJHL Rookie of the Year and all CJHL League Awards will be announced during the week of May 9th-13th. All award recipients will receive a special ring designed by Jostens Canada the official award supplier to the CJHL.