It’s the time of year when some of the country’s best hockey is vaulted into the national spotlight.
The field is set for the David Johnston University Cup to be hosted in Fredericton by the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds. The eight-team, single-elimination tournament begins on Thursday, with the Championship game set for Sunday on Sportsnet.
USports Men’s Hockey is largely populated by CHL graduates using scholarship monies secured through their careers. Here’s a look at the top 10 CHL graduates participating in this year’s event:
10. Logan McVeigh, University of Saskatchewan (Kamloops/Prince Albert/Medicine Hat/Regina 2010-2015): The third-year forward finished second on the Huskies with 29 points in 27 games, including three game-winners. He was deadly on the power play where he amassed 10 of his 29 points. The WHL journeyman has become a mainstay in Saskatchewan’s offence.
9. Alex Dubeau, UNB (Shawinigan/Moncton 2010-2015): Dubeau won a Memorial Cup with Shawinigan in 2012 before being deal to Moncton where he had a successful run to the league semis in 2015. Dubeau started 21 regular season games with UNB, and posted a .894 save percentage. He raised his game to a different level in the playoffs, going 5-0, with a 1.37 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage including a 19-save shutout in the conference clincher against St. FX.
8. Jason Fram, University of Alberta (Spokane 2011-2016): The 6-foot, right-shot defenceman gave the pro ranks a try last year, getting into two games with San Jose’s AHL affiliate before settling in with the Golden Bears of Alberta. Fram put up 23 regular season points in 28 games, but his presence was best felt in the C-West final, where his two-goal, one-assist effort — including the game-winning goal — gave the Bears their fifth C-West title in the past six years.
7. Jagger Dirk, St. FX, (Kootenay 2009-2014): The son of former NHLer Robert, Jagger spent his entire WHL career in Kootenay. The fourth-year defenceman paced the X-Men with eight points in the post-season, and amassed five of those eight points in Games 4 and 5 of the AUS semis against Acadia. And yes, his dad was a fan of The Rolling Stones, hence the first name.
6. Kris Bennett, UNB, (Saginaw 2012-2017): Bennett put up a career high 51 points in his over-age CHL season in Saginaw last year. As a rookie at UNB, he scored 18 goals, which was second in the conference. He had one hat trick, scored on the power play, and his three short-handed markers ranked him tied for second in AUS regular season play.
5. Clint Windsor, Brock University, (Barrie/Saginaw/Mississauga/Ottawa 2010-2014): Windsor played on four different OHL teams before finishing his junior career in the Maritimes with AJHL Miramichi. The 24-year-old earned OUA West Goalie of the Year honours this season, compiling a .930 save percentage, best in the conference. Despite a 12-12 regular season record, Windsor’s 852 saves ranked first in the conference as well. He stepped up in the playoffs, leading the Badgers to the Queen’s Cup final with a 6-2 record, 2.52 GAA and a .937 save percentage.
4. Luke Philp, Universtiy of Alberta (Kootenay/Red Deer 2011-2016): Philp more than doubled his point totals from his rookie season a year ago. He lead Canada West with 40 points as his Alberta team was the country’s most prolific offence, averaging 4.71 goals per game. The Golden Bears featured 16 first- and second-year players en route to the program’s 27th conference title, by far the most in USports history.
3. Louis-Philip Guindon, McGill University (Drummondville/Rimouski 2012-2016): Guindon played in 199 QMJHL games, including a trip to the 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cup with Rimouski. The second-year netminder was named the OUA East Goalie of the Year with an 18-6 record, a 2.22 GAA and a .917 SP for the best defensive team in the conference. As Queen’s Cup champion, the McGill Redmen enter the University Cup as the three seed.
2. Stephen Harper, Acadia University, (Erie/Belleville/Hamilton/Niagara 2011-2016): In Harper’s final CHL season he was traded from Hamilton to Niagara in a year where he averaged a point-per-game helping the IceDogs to the OHL final. Harper took his game east to Acadia where he lit up the AUS with 46 points, including 16 multi-point efforts. His presence was felt most in the AUS consolation series where his six points paced the Axemen to a 2-1 series win over St. Mary’s to earn a berth into the University Cup. A late bloomer with size, speed and skill, Harper has pro potential.
1. Anthony Beauregard, Concordia Stingers, (Val d’Or 2012-2016): The skilled and speedy right winger helped the Foreurs to a President Cup title in 2014. After a brief stint in the ECHL, Beauregard took his talent to Concordia University, where this season he lead the nation with 60 points, 14 more than the closest competitor. A first team OUA East All-Star, Beauregard is the first Stinger to be named MVP in 30 years.