The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) has announced it will recognize the best junior A talent from all 10 leagues with national awards.
The new CJHL awards will include most valuable player, top forward, top defenceman, top goaltender and top rookie as well as coach of the tear and top NHL prospect.
“The CJHL is always looking for new ways to showcase our players and raise the profile of the Junior A game,” said CJHL president Kirk Lamb in a release. “The adoption of national awards is an important step in recognizing CJHL athletes while at the same time providing exposure for our players and Junior A leagues across the country.”
The MVP will be awarded annually to the player judged to have contributed most to his team’s regular season success while the top player awards will be given out to the most outstanding player in that category based on regular season individual performance. The coach considered to have contributed the most to his team’s regular season success will be named the coach of the year.
Each league in the CJHL will submit 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 10 junior A leagues and the award winners will be chosen based on a weighted-voting system.
Also being honoured by the CJHL will be three players for stars of the month. This monthly award will recognize outstanding on-ice achievement with the first CJHL three stars to be chosen for the month of January being announced on Feb. 7. In addition, the highest-rated CJHL player on NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings will be named the CJHL Top NHL Prospect.
The new national awards will complement the RBC CJHL Player of the Year Award and the RBC Junior A Scholarships. “The new CJHL awards are a great addition to the RBC CJHL Player of the Year Award and the RBC Junior A Scholarships, both of which have a proud tradition of recognizing some of Junior A hockey’s best and brightest athletes and students,” said Lamb.
The RBC CJHL Player of the Year award is given to the player who best combines on-ice performance with off-ice social responsibility while the RBC National Junior A Scholarship program provides an opportunity for junior A players to receive scholarships based on academic accomplishments and community service.