Photo: Scott Stroh
TORONTO – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced Friday the names of the five finalists, for its Most Valuable Player 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 individuals who earned selection for CJHL MVP laurels in 2022-23, which are listed alphabetically, by league:
Aiden Fink, (F) Brooks Bandits (AJHL): Fink was voted the 2022-23 AJHL Most Valuable Player (MVP) and recipient of the Top Forward Award. … The NHL Top Prospect led the AJHL in points (97) and goals (41) after 54 regular season games, averaging 1.8 points per game. … From Calgary, he was listed No. 63, among North American Skaters, in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings for the upcoming 2023 NHL Entry Draft. … The 2004-born Bandit was also selected to represent the AJHL as a member of Team Canada West at the 2022 World Junior A Challenge in December. … His season was been filled with accolades including two Alberta Ford Dealers Player of the Month awards, two Pizza 73 AJHL Player of the Week selections, the Brook Bandits Top Forward award, and he was named the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game seven times. … “We are fortunate to have been a part of Aiden’s development over the past two seasons, his growth on and off the ice has been significant,” said Bandits GM / Head Coach Ryan Papaioannou. … “He was in a great position last year to learn from some highly skilled veteran players and was able to play a key role for us in the late stages of the season. This year Aiden picked up where others left off and has been dominant from the first exhibition game, right through the regular season. He’s handled the internal pressures of leading our team from a scoring perspective along with all of the outside pressures of the NHL Draft with maturity and focus. We are proud of his accomplishments and are all looking forward to his playoff season.” … He is an alternate captain for the Bandits this season and is committed to the University of Wisconsin (NCAA).
With files from Charla Flett, Executive Director (AJHL)
Alexandre Marchand, (G) Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ): A 2003 birth year, Marchand led the LHJAAAQ in 2022-23 with a 2.08 GAA. … He also boasted an impressive record of 30-1-0-1 in 32 decisions on the season. … Incurring only one defeat in regulation time during the campaign, Marchand helped the Cobras collect 61 of a possible 64 during the regular season in his appearances in net. … He registered the best save percentage in the league at .929, during over 1,900 minutes of game action. … His 30 victories were the most among all netminders in the 13-team LHJAAAQ…Had three regular season shutouts in 2022-23, second among all LHJAAAQ goaltenders. … Appeared in 33 regular season games in 2022-23. … Among league goaltenders, who appeared in 25, or more, games, allowed the fewest goals-against at 66. … Also collected three assists on the year. … Hails from Trois-Rivières, Que.
With files from Francis Dupont, Director of Communications (LHJAAAQ)
Lucas Brennan, (F) Selkirk Steelers (MJHL): The Steelers’ second-year forward from Winnipeg, who was born in 2004, enjoyed a breakout season with Selkirk, recording 41 goals and adding 43 assists to lead the league in scoring with a 1.58 points-per-game average. … This achievement earned him the Mike Ridley Trophy as the MJHL’s Top Scorer in 2022-23. … In November, Brennan announced his commitment to play NCAA Division I Hockey for the Bemidji State University Beavers. … This season, Brennan was also named the MJHL’s Most Valuable Player, First Team All-Star and was an MJHL star of the week three times and MJHL player of the month once. … Brennan 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 Erik Swar, Director, Marketing & Partnerships (MJHL)
Tyler Fukakusa, (F) Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL): Fukakusa was the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s 2022-23 scoring champion. … The 2002-born second-year forward from Mississauga, Ont., scored 35 goals and added a league-high 70 assists for the regular season champion Jr. Canadiens. …His 105 points was 11 more than the second-best point-getter, Rhys Chiddenton of the Georgetown Raiders. … During his 88-point rookie campaign in the OJHL, the now 20-year-old Fukakusa committed to NCAA Division I RIT in Rochester, NY. The 5-foot-10 forward from Mississauga joined the Toronto Jr A Canadiens in the fall of 2021 after playing with the Toronto Red Wings U18 program in 2019-20. After wearing an A in 2021-22, Tyler was named captain of JRC last July. …“Tyler Fukakusa was an easy choice for us to take over the reins as our captain,” said Head Coach Vince Bellissimo. “Tyler embodies the exact type of person and player that we build our program on. We know that Tyler will lead and guide our players in their day-to-day both physically and mentally.”
With files from Jim Mason, Director of Communications (OJHL)
Kian Bell, (F) Battlefords North Stars (SJHL): It has been an unforgettable season for Battlefords North Stars forward Kian Bell. … The 2003-born Fall River, N.S., product played a major role in the Stars not just being the first-place team in the SJHL, but one of the top teams in the country. … Bell surpassed the 50-goal plateau before hitting the 50 games played mark. … He finished the regular season with 54 goals and 48 assists, totalling 102 points in 51 games played. … Averaging two points per game, his 11 game-winning goals also topped the 12-team SJHL. … Bell was named SJHL Player of the Week five times this season, and SJHL Player of the month on two occasions.
With files from Jeromy Corrigan, Director of Media (SJHL)
Collecting honourable mention recognition for CJHL MVP were the following:
Sean James, (F) Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL); Olivier Columbe, (F) Edmundston Blizzard (MHL); Nicolas Pigeon (F), Timmins Rock (NOJHL) and Ryder McMillen, (F) Wisconsin Lumberjacks (SIJHL).