CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced today the finalists for the 2014 Rookie of the Year Award. This award is presented on a National level and represents one of seven league awards.
The 2014 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 2014 CJHL Rookie of the Year include:
CCHL – Neil Doef, Smith Falls Bears (57GP, 16G – 23A – 39PTS)
Neil Doef is a truly local product from Smiths Falls, Doef immediately contributed this year as a 16 year old with 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points in 57 games. His success on the ice translated into him being named the 2013 – 2014 CCHL Rookie of the Year. Doef is an OHL draft selection who opted to remain in the CCHL and has accepted a scholarship to attend Princeton University in 2016.
SJHL – Ryland Pashovitz, Humbolt Broncos (30GP, 18W – 6L – 3T – 1.60GAA – .947% SA – 3SO)
Humbolt Broncos goalie Ryland Pashovitz (Saskatoon, SK) took the SJHL by storm in what was the year of the goalie. He put up some of the best numbers of all-time and his junior career is just beginning. He finished with a 1.60GAA (believed to be a single season record) and a sky high Save % of .947 (also believed to be a single season record) to go along with an 18-6-3 win-loss record. He also recorded 5 shutouts. His numbers in 2013 – 2014 were good enough for the SJHL to name him their Rookie of the Year.
AJHL – Chris Gerrie, Olds Grizzlies (60GP, 18G – 36A – 54PTS)
Forward Chris Gerrie of the Olds Grizzlys is the 2013-2014 AJHL Rookie of the Year. Gerrie led all AJHL rookies in goals, assists and points and was second in team scoring with an average of 0.9 points per game. His 19 power play assists placed him among the Top 3 AJHL Scorers. Gerrie was a unanimous choice for the 2013-2014 All-Rookie team. During the opening months of his rookie campaign, the 17 year-old committed to Michigan Tech University for the 2016-2017 season. Gerrie made an immediate impact to the line-up with 27 points in his first 28 AJHL games. Chris Gerrie (Red Deer, AB) has been selected as the Player of the Game five times in his rookie season. He becomes the fourth player in franchise history to earn the AJHL Rookie of the Year Award.
BCHL – Danton Heinen, Surrey Eagles (57GP, 29G – 33A – 62PTS)
The ultimate honour for a hockey player is to be named captain of their team. A rookie captain is almost unheard of, but that’s exactly what Surrey Eagles forward Danton Heinen accomplished this year. In his first season in the BCHL, the native of Langley, BC led all rookies in scoring with 62 points, in goals with 29 and power play goals with eight. His 33 assists were good enough for third among rookies. Heinen’s point total put him in a tie for tenth in the entire league and his goal total had him tied for ninth. In total, he had 16 multi-point games this season, including six games with more than one goal. The six-foot, 160-pound forward is committed to play for Denver University in the 2014-15 season.
OJHL – Jake Walman, Toronto Canadians (43GP, 7G – 26A – 33PTS)
The 18-year old defenceman was one of the biggest surprises on the Jr. Canadiens blueline this season and shot up the NHL scouting radar throughout the course of his rookie OJHL season. His play led him to be named the top-ranked OJHL and CJHL Prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, as well as most recently being named winner of the OJHL and CJHL Top Prospect Award. Walman recorded 7 goals, 26 assists and 33 points in 43 regular season games played, ranking him second on the club among rearguards. Other highlights of Walman’s impressive rookie campaign included being named a member of Team Canada East and competing at the 2013 World Junior 'A' Challenge and to the OJHL South-East Conference All-Star Team that would finish as runner-up at the 2013 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge. Walman is committed to join the Providence College Friars beginning with the 2014-15 Hockey East season.
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:
- Tyler Jeanson, Portage Terriers – MJHL
- Owen Headrick, Soo Thunderbirds – NOJHL
- Blade Mann-Dixon, Valley Wildcats – MHL
- Lucas Debenedet, Fort Francis Lakers – SJHL
- Joel Caron, St. Agathe Montagnards – LHJAAAQ
The Top 5 finalists for all CJHL Awards will be announced over the coming week. The recipient of the 2014 CJHL Rookie of the Year and all CJHL League Awards will be announced during the week of May 5th-9th.
The Canadian Junior Hockey League will recognize the best Junior A talent from across all 10 Junior A leagues with their national awards. The CJHL awards will include Most Valuable Player, Top Forward, Top Defenseman, Top Goaltender and Top Rookie as well as Coach of the Year and Top NHL Prospect. Each Junior A league in the CJHL submits a nominee for each award and the winner will be chosen from among those 10 national finalists. The selection panel will consist of representatives from each of the CJHL's 10 Junior A leagues and the award winners will be chosen based on a weighted-voting system.