The CHL announced its 10 national award winners on Saturday and Erie Otters forward Alex DeBrincat has been named the CHL’s player of the year.
Other award winners include the Saint John Seadogs’ Thomas Chabot for defenceman of the year, the Owen Sound Attack’s Michael McNiven for goaltender of the year and Halifax Mooseheads forward Nico Hischier for rookie of the year.
DeBrincat, 19, led the OHL with 65 goals and 127 points in 63 games this season. The Chicago Blackhawks’ second-round pick in 2016 passed the 50-goal and 100-point marks for the third consecutive season. On Sunday, DeBrincat and the Otters will face the Windsor Spitfires in the Mastercard Memorial Cup final with a chance to win their first national championship in franchise history. DeBrincat has two goals and seven assists so far in the tournament.
McNiven, 19, posted a 41-9-4 record with six shutouts for the Attack this season. His 41 wins led the OHL this season and set a franchise record. He also led the OHL with a 2.30 goals-against-average and was sixth in the league with a .915 save percentage. McNiven was passed over in the 2015 NHL draft but signed an entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
Chabot, 20, scored 10 goals and 45 points in 34 games in the QMJHL this season. He started the season with the Ottawa Senators, who took him 18th overall in 2015, playing in one NHL game before being returned to the Seadogs. In 18 playoff games, Chabot scored five goals and had 23 points, leading the Seadogs to its third President’s Cup in franchise history.
Hischier, 18, led all CHL rookies with 86 points in 57 games, including 38 goals. The Naters, Switzerland native is considered one of the top prospects in the upcoming NHL draft. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek has him ranked second in his final draft rankings. He’s looking to become the first Moosehead since Nathan MacKinnon in 2013 to be drafted first overall.
Other award winners included:
Top Prospect Award: Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings
Top Scorer Award: Sam Steel, Regina Pats
Sportsman of the Year Award: Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack
Humanitarian of the Year Award: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Sasha Chmelevski, Ottawa 67’s
Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Ryan McGill, Owen Sound Attack