Dante Fabbro is the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s (CJHL) top defenceman for 2016.
He found out he won the award via Twitter.
“It’s pretty cool. I was pretty shocked but I mean there are a lot of good guys that were nominated,” said Fabbro, the former Penticton Vees defenceman. “I’m just blessed to be nominated with that group. To be named the top defenceman is something pretty cool.”
Fabbro put up 67 points, including 14 goals, 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 product is committed to Boston University next season and is expected to be a first-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
“I was pretty fortunate to go play with Team Canada. I had a pretty good outing there,” said Fabbro. “I know (Tyson Jost) Josty could say the same. It was definitely a good experience.”
Fabbro said earning that award is something that all defencemen work and strive for.
“Having it happen to me, it’s something that I’m very humbled about. I know that I still have a lot of work ahead of me,” he said.
Fabbro wasn’t the only Vee to win as Jost (GP 48, 42 goals, 62 assists) was named the CJHL’s most valuable player and top forward.
Jost (48 GP, 42 G – 62 A – 104 PTS) led the BCHL in assists with 62 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 Goaltender Award is Matthew Murray of the Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL).
Matthew Murray, Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL (29 GP, 23 W – 4 L – 2.59 GAA – .910 S% – 3 SO) – Matthew Murray had a season filled with awards and recognitions 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 Mid-Term 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. 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. Through the month of November 2015, Murray recorded 7 consecutive wins for the Saints. Last season Matthew backstopped Spruce Grove to their second consecutive AJHL Championship as a rookie, while also sharing in the AJHL Top Goaltender 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).
Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits, AJHL (54GP, 10G – 45A – 55PTS) – The 17 year old defenceman is second overall among AJHL rookie scorers with 50 points and 43 assists, and leads all Bandits players in assists. He is currently on an 8 game point streak. “Based on Cale’s exceptional play in last year’s playoffs as an affiliate, our staff expected him to have an outstanding rookie season,” said Bandits GM / Head Coach Ryan Papaioannou. “His abilities with the puck are second to none and he sees the ice extremely well. Cale loves to jump into the rush and push the pace offensively. He is a key component you our team success and this recognition as rookie of the year is a great vote of confidence from opposing coaches.” Makar dressed in all 20 playoff games as an affiliate player last season, and has averaged 1.0 points per games in his first full season with the Bandits.
Each of the the 10 leagues in the CJHL submitted a candidate for all of the 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