CALGARY, Alberta – Five Canadian Junior Hockey League defenceman have been selected as finalists for the 2014 CJHL Top Defenceman Award. The award recognizes the most outstanding defenceman in the CJHL. The award criteria is based on individual performance during the 2013-2014 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 choices 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 2014 Top Defenceman Award are outlined below.
Victor Beaulac, Smith Falls Bears, CCHL (62GP, 21G – 50A – 71PTS)
Victor Beaulac joined the Bears for his first season in the CCHL as an overage player and led all defencemen in scoring with 21 goals and 50 assists for 71 points while appearing in all 62 regular season games. The nationally ranked Bears excelled on the power play with Ste-Hyacinthe, QC native Beaulac scoring 15 times and collecting 24 assists with the man advantage.
Chase Norrish, Yorkton Terriers, SJHL (56GP, 9G – 36A – 45PTS)
Chase Norrish ended up with nearly a double-digit lead in the defensemen scoring race, finishing with 9 more points than his closest competition in the SJHL. Chase, whose twin brother Brady was named Yorkton's MVP a year ago, really cranked it up down the stretch, putting up 23 points over his last 14 games. During that stretch, the 5’10” 175lbs Norrish, who hails from Strongfield, SK, had the second most points in the league, and one could easily make the case that he was the most valuable skater to any SJHL team this year.
Trey Phillips, Canmore Eagles, AJHL (58GP, 25G – 40A – 65PTS)
Defenceman Trey Phillips of the Canmore Eagles is the 2013-2014 AJHL MVP and Outstanding Defenceman. The 20 year-old averaged 1.12 points per game to lead the Eagles in scoring, including 12 power play goals and 4 game winning goals. This is his fourth and final season with the Canmore Eagles, during which time he has scored 119 points in 200 regular season games. Trey Phillips was the AJHL Player of the Month and the Canadian Junior Hockey League 1st Star of the Month for January 2014. He was also selected as the Player of the Game 12 times in the regular season. Trey Phillips (Okotoks, AB) is committed to the University of Vermont for the 2014-2015 season.
Brett Beauvais, Penticton Vees, BCHL (57GP, 13G – 45A – 58PTS)
Brett Beauvais became the fourth straight Penticton Vees blueliner to be named as the BCHL’s top defenceman, following in the footsteps of Troy Stecher, Mike Reilly and Joey LaLeggia. Beauvais led all defencemen in scoring with 58 points and assists with 45, which was good enough for fifth among all BCHL skaters and his 13 goals tied him for third among defenders. He had the second most power play assists in the BCHL with 25 and his 33 power play points tied him for third in the league. Beauvais’ best stretch came in November when the native of Summerside, P.E.I. racked up 19 points in 11 games. Beauvais had 15 multi-point games this year, which included a two-goal game in a 4-2 win over trail on February 21. The six-foot-one, 185-pound Beauvais received big-league recognition when he was ranked 190th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting final report. Beauvais, who was also named as a BCHL First-Team All Star, has committed to attend Bimiji State.
Michael Prapavessis, Toronto Lakeshore Patriots, OJHL (47GP, 5G – 50A – 55PTS)
Michael Prapavessis becomes the first defenceman in franchise history to win the league's Top Defenceman Award after leading all rearguards in scoring with 55 points, while also finishing second among all OJHL skaters with 50 assists. Logging heavy minutes, the 6'1″, 180 lbs. native of Oakville, Ontario finished second among all skaters with 25 power play assists, factoring-in on almost half the club's power play goals (51). Named the OJHL's Most Gentlemanly Player, Prapavessis finished tied for second on the Patriots in scoring, while topping the OJHL defensive scoring charts in assists, points and power play points. Prapavessis was a member of Team Canada East that competed at the 2013 World Junior 'A' Challenge, recording two assists in four games played, and led all OJHL rearguards in scoring with four points at the 2013 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge. Following the season, Prapavessis became just the second player in four years to be named both a 1st Team All-Star and 1st Team All-Prospect in the same season. He was ranked 108th overall among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft and is committed to join the RPI Engineers next season.
Congratulations to all ten Defencemen of the Year Award nominees, which included the following CJHL defencemen who are also winners of their respective league awards:
• Joel Messner, Selkirk Steelers – MJHL
• Mathieu Roy, Princeville Tigers – LHJAAAQ
• Austin Frank, Minnesota Iron Rangers – SIJHL
• Tyler Jones, Soo Thunderbirds – NOJHL
• Trey Lewis, Miramichi Timberwolves – MHL
The Canadian Junior Hockey League recognizes the best Junior A talent from across all 10 Junior A leagues with a suite of national awards. The 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 28nd- May 2nd, followed by the announcements of the award winners during the week of May 5th-9th.