CALGARY, Alta. – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday the five finalists for its Most Valuable Player Award, which is presented annually and determined through voting by the 10 leagues that comprise the CJHL.
Earning CJHL MVP finalist laurels are defenceman Cale Makar (Brooks Bandits – AJHL); forward Brendan Harris (Wenatchee Wild – BCHL); forward Grant Hebert (Cumberland Grads – CCHL); defenceman Brady Keeper (OCN Blizzard – MJHL) and forward Jack Jacome (Georgetown Raiders – OJHL).
Listed below you will find information on each of the finalists:
AJHL: Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits: The Brooks’ blueliner was named AJHL MVP and the league’s top defenceman. … The 18-year-old from Calgary, Alta., is projected by NHL Central Scouting as a potential first round draft pick in the upcoming 2017 NHL Entry Draft as he was slotted ninth overall among North American skaters. … Had a 75-point season on the blueline for the AJHL champion Bandits. … Led all league D-men in scoring and was sixth in sixth overall among all skaters. .. Also served as captain of Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge and was selected to Team West for the 2017 CJHL Prospects Game. … Makar is currently committed to the NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts on scholarship to begin his NCAA hockey career.
With files from Charla Flett, Vice-President, Communications (AJHL)
BCHL: Brendan Harris – Wenatchee Wild: Harris led the BCHL in scoring with 23 goals and 75 assists for 98 points in 57 games while amassing just 14 penalty minutes. … An assistant captain during the 2016-17 season, Harris posted 32 multiple-point games, helping Wenatchee win the Ron Boileau Memorial trophy as regular-season champions. … Earlier in the 2016-17 campaign, the 20-year-old Henderson, Nev., native boasted an impressive 14-game point streak. … Harris is an active volunteer with the Learning with the Wild program in Wenatchee. He is also committed to attend Bemidji State University on scholarship for 2017-18.
With files from Brent Mutis, Communications Director (BCHL)
CCHL: Grant Hebert – Cumberland Grads: As the leading scorer of the CCHL, Hebert showed he can play in all on-ice scenarios, including both the power play and penalty kill. … The 19-year-old St. Andrews West, Ont., product is a very powerful skater, who boats great vision, hands, and ability to carry the puck. … Has committed to NCAA Robert Morris University for 2018-19 so still has another season of junior ahead of him. … In 60 games, Hebert notched a CCHL-best 91 points on 27 Goals and 64 Assists.
With files from Sean Marcellus, Operations Manager (CCHL)
MJHL: Brady Keeper, OCN Blizzard: Keeper established himself as one of the premier players in the league that saw him earn two major MJHL awards. … He was awarded both the league MVP and Top Defenceman honours. … He was also named a first-team all-star blueliner helping OCN advance all the way to the MJHL’s Turnbull Trophy Finals. … He was twice selected the MJHL Defenceman of the Month as his play was a model of consistency at both ends of the ice. … Keeper led all MJHL defenceman in goals with a total of 23 and finished with 48 points in as many games. Keeper, 20, hails from Cross Lake, Man., and is also a positive role model for other Indigenous youth. His play has earned him a NCAA scholarship to the University of Maine next season.
With files from Brian Smiley, Media Relations Officer (MJHL)
OJHL: Jack Jacome – Georgetown Raiders: Winner of the OJHL’s Top Scorer Award, the 18-year old native of Caledon, Ont., was also selected an OJHL 1st Team All-Star. … Jacome topped all OJHL scorers with 57 assists and 91 points in 53 regular season games while finishing third in the league with 34 goals. … Tied for the league lead with 31 power play points and added seven game-winning goals. Serves as an alternate captain on the Raiders and posted two scoring streaks that surpassed 10 games. … Jacome recorded points in 44 of his 53 games this season, never going more than two consecutive games without at least a single point, while notching multiple points in 26 games and 5 multi-goal outings. Twice this season he was named the OJHL’s South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month. … Was also member of Team OJHL Hawerchuk at the 2016 Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge and is committed to join the Clarkson University Golden Knights on scholarship in the fall.
With files from Izak Westgate, Director of Operations (OJHL)
The CJHL would also like to recognize the five honourable mentions for its MVP Award: