The Canadian Junior A Hockey League (CJAHL) has announced the eight finalists for the 2007 RBC Financial Group CJAHL Player of the Year. One finalist was chosen from eight of the CJAHL’s member leagues.
The 2007 RBC Financial Group CJAHL Player of the Year will be announced on Friday, April 20th.
British Columbia Hockey League – Kyle Turris (Burnaby Express)
Turris, who will be attending the University of Wisconsin beginning in the fall, finished second in BCHL scoring in 2006-07, scoring a league-leading 66 goals (including 50 in 39 games), and finishing with 121 points in 53 games. He put up another 26 points (12g, 14a) in 14 playoff games as the Express advanced to the seventh game of the conference semi-final.
Off the ice, Turris represents the Express at various functions, serving as a guest coach at minor hockey practices and going to elementary schools to read to children and tell them about the importance of school. As for his own schooling, the Grade 12 student at St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby will be enrolling in the business program at Wisconsin, with the goal of obtaining a business degree.
Alberta Junior Hockey League – Dustin Sather (Grande Prairie Storm)
Sather, who will attend the University of Alaska-Fairbanks next season, finished his AJHL career as the Storm’s all-time leader in games, goals, assists, points and power play goals, and sits 8th on the AJHL’s all-time scoring chart.
A participant in the ‘Read Up A Storm’ program in Grande Prairie, Sather traveled to local schools to read to students and explain how important an education is. He also worked with numerous Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association teams, helping coach aspiring players.
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League – Kyle Reed (Notre Dame Hounds)
While in Yorkton, SK for the WJAC, Reed kept the rest of Canada updated on Canada West’s progress, writing a daily diary that was posted on the SJHL’s website, as well as Hockey Canada’s.
Despite having a year of Junior A eligibility remaining, Reed will move on to Ohio State University for the 2007/08 season and continue his hockey career with the Buckeyes while pursuing an education.
Manitoba Junior Hockey League – Brant Hilton (Winnipeg South Blues)
Hilton turned in a 31-15-2 record, with a league-leading 2.60 goals against average, a league-leading .925 save percentage and a league-leading seven shutouts in 48 games, helping the Blues to a second-place finish in the MJHL’s Addison Division, although they were upset in the opening round of the playoffs by their cross-town rivals, the Winnipeg Saints.
Away from the Blues, Hilton works as an instructor at the Starbuck Hockey Academy, and values giving advice to young goaltenders, sharing some of his experiences with the hope it will help them in their careers. He aspires to have a career in communications, possibly in writing or broadcasting.
Superior Int’l Junior Hockey League – Jordan Smith (Fort William North Stars)
Smith has led the North Stars to another SIJHL regular season championship, with a 41-6-3 record, and has helped them into another SIJHL Championship Series, as they look for league title number four in a row.
A student at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, ON, Smith has aspirations of becoming a high school teacher and having the same influence on his students that teachers had on him. He is currently majoring in History and Kinesiology, and has plans to graduate in the spring of 2010.
Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League – Anthony Libonati (Blind River Beavers)
Off the ice, Libonati volunteered his time with a Novice team in the Blind River Minor Hockey Association, going out to practices and doing what he could to help the team. His leadership skills and positive attitude are just two of the reasons he was chosen as the Beavers’ captain for a second consecutive year.
With a number of NCAA scholarships available to him, Libonati will go to school in the fall and work towards a degree in business management, with a minor in graphic design and/or music. He already has his mind set on what he wants as a career: creating custom drum sets that can combine his love of art with his love of music.
Central Junior Hockey League – Doug Jewer (Kanata Stallions)
As a player with NCAA experience, Jewer stepped up in the dressing room, becoming more vocal both on and off the ice and taking a leadership role. For his efforts, both this season and the two previous years he spent in Kanata, Jewer will have his jersey retired by the team in 2007/08.
Jewer looks forward to returning to an NCAA school in 2007/08 and continuing the college education he began at Northeastern University.
Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League – Nicolas Lafontaine (Action de Joliette)
Being a three-year vet of the QMJHL, Lafontaine brings a lot of experience and leadership qualities to the Action. Just because Lafontaine does not wear a letter on his jersey does not mean to him that he cannot speak up and be a leader in the dressing room and on the ice. He is constantly talking with the younger players, giving advice and making them better players.
An Actuarial/Finance Mathematics student at Concordia University, Lafontaine will continue his hockey career with the Stingers while getting his education. He has his sights set on being an actuarial analyst once his playing career is over.
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