The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday that Cale Makar of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits has been named its Top Defenceman Award honouree for the 2016-17 campaign. OCN Blizzard MVP defenceman was a finalist in the voting.
Makar produced a 75-point season on the blueline for the AJHL champion Bandits where he led all league rearguards in scoring and finished sixth overall among all skaters. Makar previously served as captain of Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge and was selected to Team West for the 2017 CJHL Prospects Game.
The 18-year-old from Calgary, Alta., 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. Makar is currently committed to the NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts on scholarship to begin his NCAA hockey career. Keeper, who hails from Cross Lake, has committed to University of Maine for next season.
The CJHL would also like to recognize the five other finalists for its Top Defenceman Award in 2016-17.