CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) today announced the winners of five CJHL National Awards. The CJHL National Awards are awarded each season and recognize individual success in the 10 Junior A leagues in the CJHL. They include Most Valuable Player, Top Forward, Top Defenceman, Top Goaltender and Rookie of the Year.
The winner of the 2016 CJHL Top Goaltender Award is Matthew Murray of the Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL).
Matthew Murray had a season filled with awards and recognition beginning in December as he won a Gold Medal with Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. In January, Murray was selected to participate in the 2016 CJHL Prospects Game and soon after was identified in the NHL Central Scouting Rankings. In addition, Murray was awarded the Alberta Ford Dealers AJHL Goaltender of the Week in November 2015 and was selected as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game twice for the Saints. Through the month of November 2015, Murray recorded 7 consecutive wins for the Saints. In his second year with the Saints, Matt has compiled a record of 23-4-0 with 3 shutouts, a 2.59 GAA and .910 Save Percentage. Last season Matthew backstopped Spruce Grove to their second consecutive AJHL Championship as a rookie, while also sharing in the AJHL Top Goaltends award, which is awarded to the AJHL team with the lowest GAA. The 18 year old from St Albert, Albert has committed to the University of Massachusetts of the NCAA Division I.
The winner of the 2016 CJHL Rookie of the Year Award is Cale Makar of the Brooks Bandits (AJHL).
With a 55-point season (10 goals, 45 assists) in 54 games played, Makar ranked second among all rookies in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in points, second among all defencemen in points, as well as ninth among all players in assists. He also added 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) in 13 playoff games, ranking third on the team and sixth in the league. Makar was not only named the 2015-16 winner of the AJHL’s Dick White Trophy as Rookie of the Year, but was also a unanimous selection to the AJHL South All-Rookie Team, and selected to the AJHL South All-League Team. Makar is committed to the University of Massachusetts, one of a CJHL-high 16 Bandits committed to an NCAA Division I institution. The award is given annually to the top first-year player in the ten member leagues of the CJHL, with five nominees each year.
The winner of the 2016 CJHL MVP Award and the 2016 CJHL Top Forward Award is Tyson Jost of the Penticton Vees (BCHL).
Tyson Jost, Penticton Vees, BCHL (48 GP, 42 G – 62 A – 104 PTS) – Jost led the BCHL in assists with 62 assists and was one of three players to reach the 100-point plateau. This despite playing in only 48 games as he was away in December to captain Team Canada West to a gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge. Jost’s 2.17 points per game was tops in the BCHL, his best stretch being a 19-game point streak where he picked up 17 goals and 42 points. Jost is committed to the University of North Dakota for next season and is expected to be a first-round selection at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The winner of the 2016 CJHL Top Defenseman Award is Dante Fabbro of the Penticton Vees (BCHL).
Dante Fabbro, Penticton Vees, BCHL (45 GP, 14 G – 53 A – 67 PTS) – Fabbro put up 67 points to lead all BCHL blueliners and his 31 power-play points helped the Vees to a league-best 30.7 per cent success rate. Fabbro played in just 45 BCHL games as he spent part of December with gold-medal-winning Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge. Playing in all situations, Fabbro was assessed just 30 minutes in penalties. The Coquitlam, B.C. product is committed to Boston University for next season and is expected to be a first-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Each of the the 10 leagues in the CJHL submitted a candidate for all of the CJHL National Awards. Each 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 point-based and final vote cast from all 10 leagues.
Award winners will each receive a uniquely designed award ring courtesy of Josten's Canada the official awards supplier to the CJHL.