The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced that defenceman Cale Makar of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits has been named its Most Valuable Player for the 2016-17 campaign. One of the runners-up was MJHL MVP/Top Defenceman Brady Keeper of OCN Blizzard.
Keeper, who hails from Cross Lake, has committed to University of Maine next season. He ended his MJHL career on a high note, helping the Blizzard reach the MJHL final against Portage Terriers.
Makar garnered the MVP laurels in voting completed by each of the 10 leagues that comprise the 132-team CJHL. The 18-year-old Calgary, Alta., native has had a tremendous campaign for the AJHL-champion Bandits, earlier being chosen as his league’s MVP and Best Defenceman Award recipient. He was also named as the CJHL’s Top Defenceman this season.
The Brooks’ D-man produced a 75-point season on the blueline where he led all AJHL rearguards in scoring and finished sixth overall among all skaters.
He previously served as captain of Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge and was selected to play for Team West at the 2017 CJHL Prospects Game held in Cornwall, Ont. Makar 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, in the final NHLCS rankings.
He is presently committed to the NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts on scholarship to begin his NCAA hockey career.