TORONTO – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Thursday the list of the five netminders who have been selected finalists for its Top Goaltender Award for the 2022-23 season.
Each of the nominees were determined through a voting process completed by the CJHL’s nine-member leagues, for their respective efforts during the course of the regular season.
The following are the five finalists for CJHL Top Goaltender honours in 2022-23, which are listed alphabetically, by league:
Connor Mackenzie, Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL): Mackenzie of the Grande Prairie Storm was the recipient of the Friends of AJHL Trophy as the Top Goaltender for the 2022-23 season. … The annual award is presented to the goalie who demonstrated the greatest ability in his position throughout the season. … Mackenzie, from Toronto co-led the AJHL with a .929 save percentage in his second season with the Storm and was selected as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game 13 times. … The 2002-born goaltender had a 2.86 GAA and two shutouts. … Mackenzie was nominated by the Storm as the RBC AJHL Community Ambassador in recognition of his exemplary commitment to the community. His ‘Lift the Mask’ initiative has raised awareness about mental health and $30,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association Alberta Northwest Region.
With files from Charla Flett, Executive Director (AJHL)
Alexandre Marchand, Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ): The 2003-born Marchand led the LHJAAAQ in 2022-23 with a goals-against average of 2.08. … Had a record of 30-1-0-1 in 32 decisions during the regular season. … Also had a league-best save percentage in 2022-23 at .929. … Recorded the most wins among all LHJAAAQ netminders with 30. … Had three regular season shutouts, which placed him second second among all LHJAAAQ goaltenders. … Appeared in 33 regular season contests.
With files from Francis Dupont, Director of Communications (LHJAAAQ)
Kobe Grant, Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL): Grant (’02) enjoyed a standout season in the Stampeders crease, leading the MJHL in wins (26), save percentage (.933) and minutes played (2,699). He helped Swan Valley to their first division title in franchise history and led his team to win 14 of their last 15 games. Grant posted a 26-14-3-0 record to go along with a 2.69 goals-against average and three shutouts. … For his performance this season, Grant was named the recipient of the Ed Belfour Trophy as the MJHL’s Top Goaltender and was also named a MJHL First Team All-Star. Not only was Grant named the league’s top goaltender, he earned a nod as a finalist for the MJHL’s MVP award. … Grant was named to both the MJHL Top Prospects Showcase in November and was selected to play for Team MJHL at the MJHL-SJHL Showcase in January.
With files from Eric Swar, Director, Marketing & Partnerships (MJHL)
James Norton, Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL): Norton (’03) led OJHL goaltenders in nearly every major netminding category by going wire-to-wire this season. … He was named its Goaltender of the Month for September and by season’s end he still led all netminders in the 21-team league in the most important of categories. … His goals-against average was 1.88 and his save percentage was .934. …. In all, his record was 28-5-1 and included six shutouts. … The 19-year-old also helped lead his team to their second straight Brant Snow Memorial Trophy, emblematic of regular season supremacy. … A rookie at the Jr. A level, Norton played Jr. B last season.
With files from Jim Mason, Director of Communications (OJHL)
Josh Kotai, Battlefords North Stars (SJHL): You couldn’t ask for a better first season in the SJHL for the 2003-born Josh Kotai of the Battlefords North Stars. … His record speaks for itself, going 32-4-2-1 for the league-leading North Stars. … Kotai finished the season with the best goals-against average in the SJHL at 2.39 and was also tops in terms of save percentage, at .935. … His solid and consistent play also played a major role in him earning an NCAA Division I commitment to Augustana.
With files from Jeromy Corrigan, Director of Media (SJHL)
Earning honourable mention for the CJHL Top Goaltender Award in 2022-23 were:
Sami Molu, Brockville Braves (CCHL); Thomas Boucher, Edmundston Blizzard (MHL); Patrick Boivin, Timmins Rock (NOJHL) and Jake Manners, Sioux Lookout Bombers (SIJHL).
Photo credit: Michael Hall