The Canadian Junior Hockey League is proud to announce the first-ever winners of five newly created national awards. The CJHL national awards recognize individual success in the 10 Junior A leagues across Canada. The new suite of CJHL awards include Most Valuable Player, Top Forward, Top Defenceman, Top Goaltender and Rookie of the Year.
“I am thrilled to offer congratulations to this year's CJHL national award winners”, stated CJHL President Kirk Lamb. “These players represent the impressive talent across the CJHL and they, along with their families, teams and communities, can be very proud of their accomplishments this season.”
CJHL Most Valuable Player and CJHL Top Forward Award – Michael Pontarelli, Cornwall Colts, CCHL (53 GP, 52 G, 55 A, 107 PTS)
Forward Michael Pontarelli had an outstanding inaugural year of junior hockey as an Associate Captain of the Cornwall Colts. Pontarelli was the 2012-2013 scoring champion with 107 points, including tallying 50 goals and 50 assists in 50 games. He was a unanimous choice for CCHL MVP and the CCHL Sportsmanship and Ability Award. Pontarelli has committed to Union College.
CJHL Top Defenceman Award – Patrick McCarron, St. Michael's Buzzers, OJHL (52 GP, 9 G, 49 A, 58 PTS)
Patrick McCarron finished the 2012-2013 OJHL season leading all defencemen in scoring with 58 points. McCarron represented Team Canada East as an Alternate Captain at the 2012 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge and was named a member of the South Division All-Stars at the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge. The Team Captain also earned 1st Team All-Star honours this year and is committed to the Cornell University Big Red for the 2013-14 season.
CJHL Top Goaltender Award – Matt Hrynkiw, Humboldt Broncos, SJHL (40 GP, 27 W, 11 L, 2 SOL, 6 SO, 1.83 GAA, 0.939 SV%)
Matt Hrynkiw was named the SJHL Goaltender of the Year on the strength of 27 wins, 6 shutouts and a 1.83 goals against average. Hrynkiw led the SJHL in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts and was second in wins.
CJHL Rookie of the Year Award – Tristan Keck, Winkler Flyers, MJHL (60 GP, 31 G, 32 A, 63 PTS)
Forward Tristan Keck was selected as the MJHL Rookie of the Year. Keck led all MJHL rookies in scoring with 63 points on 31 goals and 32 assists. He finished 11th overall in league scoring and was one of two 17-year old players among the league's top 20 scorers.
Each of the 10 leagues in the CJHL submitted a candidate for all of the League Awards. A representative from each Junior A league then ranked their top five players from among the 10 national nominees and the five players with the highest point total moved on as finalists to the final round of voting. The winners were then selected by a second and final point-based vote cast from all 10 league representatives.