(pictured - Luc Brown of the Wellington Dukes, who was the OJHL Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player, is now a Top Five Finalist in voting for the CJHL Top Forward Award - photo credit: Tim Bates/OJHL Images)
The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) is pleased to announce the five finalists for the 2016 CJHL Top Forward Award. The award is to be presented to the most outstanding forward in the CJHL based on individual performance during the regular season.
A candidate from each of the 10 leagues in the CJHL was nominated for the Top Forward Award. The next stage of the selection process saw representatives from all 10 Junior A leagues rank their top five players from among the 10 national nominees. Rankings were then assigned a point value and the five players with the highest point total moved on as finalists to the final round of voting.
The five finalists for the 2016 Top Forward Award are outlined below.
Bobby McMann, Bonnyville Pontiacs, AJHL (47 GP, 36 G – 32 A – 68 PTS)
The 19 year-old Pontiac Assistant Captain is tied for the lead in team scoring with 61 points (34G, 27A). McMann has scored the most game winning goals of all AJHL players (9) and the second most goals (34) with 3 games remaining. McMann has recorded 21 multi-point games in the regular season and an average of 1.4 points per game. The 3rd year Pontiac was awarded as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game 11 times this year. Bobby McMann won a Gold Medal as a member of Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. The Centre from Wainwright, Alberta has committed to Colgate University of the NCAA Division I.
Brad Bowles, Portage Terriers, MJHL (60 GP, 45 G – 57 A – 102 PTS)
Big. Strong. Powerful. Highly skilled. Brad Bowles is unarguably the best player in the MJHL: a fact supported after he was awarded the Steve “Boomer” Hawrysh Award which is given to the MJHL MVP. The Terriers’ captain is a true leader both on and off the ice. He personifies the never-say-die attitude of the Terriers, who have dominated the MJHL for the last several seasons. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he can dominate the face-off circle with his physical strength, yet has the soft hands to score 45 goals this past season. He won the MJHL scoring race this season with 102 points: 10 goals coming via the powerplay. Bowles was twice named the MJHL’s RBC Player of the Month, in addition to several Player of the Week honours. A native of Elkhorn, Mb., Bowles was one of four returning players from last year’s dominating RBC Cup champion Terriers. Thanks in large part to Bowles’ dominating play, the Terriers posted a league-best 52-6-2 record.
Tyson Jost, Penticton Vees, BCHL (48 GP, 42 G – 62 A – 104 PTS)
Jost led the BCHL in assists with 62 assists 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.
Luc Brown, Wellington Dukes, OJHL (51 GP, 42 G – 49 A – 91 PTS)
Luc Brown was at or near the top of the OJHL scoring chart for most of the season, putting in a dominant performance during his fourth full year in the league to capture the OJHL Top Scorer Award, as well as being named the OJHL's Most Improved Player and a 1st Team All-Star. The 19-year old native of Napanee, Ontario more than doubled his offensive output this season to lead the OJHL with 42 goals and 91 points, as well as 14 power play goals, 33 power play points and 11 game-winning goals, while finishing second among all scorers with 49 assists. The Dukes' alternate captain posted a league-high eight game goal scoring streak from November 21 to January 6, firing home 14 goals, while also posting the third best scoring streak this season at 15 games, stretching from November 5 to January 10, in which he recorded 36 of his 91 points on the season. Posting points in 43 of his 51 regular season games, Brown's season included 24 multiple point games and 10 multiple goal contests. Brown would earn a spot on Team Canada East for the 2015 World Junior 'A' Challenge that was held in Cobourg and Whitby, Ontario. Brown is committed to join the Union College Dutchmen beginning with the 2016-17 ECAC, NCAA Division I season.
Travis Mayan, Melfort Mustangs, SJHL (57 GP, 46 G – 47 A – 93 PTS)
Travis Mayan of Rimbey, AB has laid claim to his second straight league scoring crown, finishing his season with 46-goals and 47-assists= 93 points in 57-games played. The previous year Mayan had 84 points, was also in the top 20 in league scoring as a rookie two seasons ago and has proven to be the most offensive three year player in the SJHL this decade. Mayan ends the year on a twelve game point scoring streak, having last been held off the scoresheet January 26th. In fact, he was only blanked nine times all year (six of those nine in January).
Congratulations to all ten Forward of the Year Award nominees, which included the following CJHL forwards who are also winners of their respective league awards:
Hunter Atchison, Cochrane Crunch– NOJHL
Shawn Cameron, Cumberland Grads – CCHL
Sébastien Dubé-Rochon, Arctic de Saint-Léonard – QJHL
Dylan Robertson, Fort Francis Lakers – SIJHL
Thomas Stavert, Summerside Western Capitals – MHL
The Top 5 finalists for all CJHL Awards will be announced over the rest of the week. The recipient of the 2016 CJHL Forward of the Year and all CJHL League Awards will be announced during the week of May 9th-13th. All award recipients will receive a special ring designed by Jostens Canada the official award supplier to the CJHL.