CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced today the finalists for the 2015 Rookie of the Year Award. This award is presented on a national level and represents one of seven league awards.
The 2015 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 2015 CJHL Rookie of the Year include:
Brandon Biro, Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL (57GP, 21G – 33A – 54PTS)
Brandon Biro was the 2014-2015 AJHL Rookie of the Year. The 16 year-old Spruce Grove Saints forward broke into the AJHL scoring an average of .95 points per game and ranked in the Top 10 in the AJHL Scoring Race with 54 points. The Sherwood Park, Alberta native led all AJHL rookies and finished second in team scoring. Brandon Biro recorded multiple 3 point games throughout his first AJHL regular season, recorded 2 game winning goals, and was selected as the Viterra AJHL Player of the Game six times for his contributions.
Dante Fabbro, Penticton Vees, BCHL (44GP, 4G – 29A – 33PTS)
Dante Fabbro had an amazing year with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL and in 44 games played, he recorded 4 goals, 29 assists, and 33 points during the Regular Season. The 16-year-old defenceman was selected to play for Team Canada Red at the World U17 Hockey Challenge in November and was selected to Team Canada West for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge in December.
Steve Harland, Powassan Voodoos, NOJHL (52GP, 42G – 53A – 95PTS)
Steve Harland was a key contributor to the Voodoos offensive numbers this past year. Harland played a part in 44% of the 213 goals Powassan scored during the course of the regular season with either a tally or assist and was also on the ice for countless others. The 18-year-old from Scarborough, Ont., paced all skaters in the NOJHL in both assists and points with 95 and 53 respectively. He also finished third in goals with 42 and had an impressive 31-game point streak during the course of the season. Was also named a NOJHL first team all-star at right wing.
Karl Malette, Saint-Jérôme Panthères, QJHL (52GP, 26G – 40A – 66PTS)
Rookie center Karl Malette led all QJHL rookies in scoring this season with 26 goals, 40 assists and 66 points in 52 games. He finished 3rd on his team in scoring. Karl was also selected on the QJHL rookie All-Star Team for 2014-2015.
Cameron Morrison, Aurora Tigers, OJHL (57GP, 16G – 23A – 39PTS)
A highly recruited minor midget prospect in 2013-14, the 16-year old chose the OJHL route and NCAA option in joining his hometown Aurora Tigers for his rookie junior season. Morrison did not disappoint and the big, strong winger used his 6'3″ frame to dominate the opposition at times, despite his young age, and became the youngest player (16 years, 7 months) to capture the Rookie-of-the-Year Award since Josh Shalla (16 years, 6 months) of the Bowmanville Eagles won East Division honours in 2007-08. Despite missing time due to appendicitis in early November, his 31 goals not only led the Tigers, but was the sixth best total among all OJHL players, while his 53 points placed him fourth in scoring on the club during the regular season. Morrison notched eight power play goals, third best on Aurora, as well as seven game-winning goals, which tied for second best total in the OJHL. Throughout the year, Morrison would post 13 multi-point games. Following the season, Morrison was also named an OJHL 1st Team All-Prospect and he is committed to join the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish beginning with the 2016-17 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:
- Bradley Belisle, Thunder Bay North Stars – SIJHL
- Mike Eskra, Weyburn Redwings – SJHL
- Curtis Hastings, County Aces – MHL
- Owen Guy, Kemptville 73’s – CCHL
- James Shearer, Steinbach Pistons – MJHL
The Top 5 finalists for all CJHL Awards will be announced over the coming week. The recipient of the 2015 CJHL Rookie of the Year and all CJHL League Awards will be announced during the week of May 4th-8th.
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.