Five Canadian Junior Hockey League defenceman have been selected as finalists for the 2013 CJHL Top Defenceman Award. The award will recognize the most outstanding defenceman in the CJHL for the first time and is one of five newly created CJHL awards. The award criteria is based on individual performance in the 2012-2013 regular season.
Each of the 10 leagues in the CJHL submitted a candidate for the Top Defenceman Award. A representative from all 10 Junior A leagues then ranked their top five players from among the 10 national nominees and the rankings were assigned a point value. The five players with the highest point total moved on as finalists to the final round of voting. The finalists for the 2013 Top Defenceman Award are outlined below.
Tanner Butler, Dauphin Kings, MJHL (60 GP, 7 G, 51 A, 58 PTS)
Tanner Butler was selected as the MJHL Top Defenceman in voting conducted by the league's Coaches. He led all defencemen in scoring this season with 58 points on 7 goals and 51 assists in 60 games. Tanner was selected as a First All-Star Team defenseman.
Josh Healey, Sherwood Park Crusaders, AJHL (53 GP, 10 G, 13 A, 23 PTS)
Josh Healey of the Sherwood Park Crusaders is the recipient of the 2012-2013 AJHL Outstanding Defenceman Award. He represented the AJHL at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge and won a silver medal as a member of Team West. Healey was selected to the 2012-2013 AJHL North Division All League Team. Josh Healey has committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes for the 2013-2014 season.
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.
Josh Roach, Flin Flon Bombers, SJHL (53 GP, 13 G, 41 A, 54 PTS)
Josh Roach 9th overall in league scoring with 13 goals and 41 assists in 52 games. He averaged a point per game and led all defensemen in goals, assists, and points. Roach is evaluating several NCAA opportunities.
Troy Stecher, Penticton Vees, BCHL (52 GP, 8 G, 39 A, 47 PTS)
Troy Stecher was selected as Best Defenceman in the BCHL Interior Conference. While playing in 52 games, Troy notched 8 goals and 39 assists for 47 points earning him a 1st All-Star Team selection. For the 2nd straight season Troy was selected to represent Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge. Troy is committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2013-2014 season.
Congratulations to the following honourable mentions for the CJHL Top Defenceman Award:
- Rodney Mahoney, Yarmouth Mariners, MHL
- Adam Newkirk, Blind River Beavers, NOJHL
- Len Pelletier, Dryden Ice Dogs, SIJHL
- Vincent Scopelleti, Lachine Maroons, LHJAAAQ
- Curtis Watson, Kanata Stallions, CCHL
On February 6, 2013, the Canadian Junior Hockey League announced that it will recognize the best Junior A talent from across all 10 Junior A leagues with a new suite of national awards. The new CJHL awards include Most Valuable Player, Top Forward, Top Defenceman, Top Goaltender and Rookie of the Year. Every Junior A league in the CJHL has submitted a nominee for each award and the winner will be chosen from among those 10 national nominees. The selection panel consists 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.
The Top 5 finalists for the CJHL player awards will be announced over the week of April 22nd-26th, followed by the announcements of the award winners during the week of May 6th-10th.