NOJHL announces 2015-16 season award winners; 1st & 2nd all-star teams

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Thursday its regular season award winners for the 2015-16 campaign as well as its first and second all-star team recipients.

Earning the NOJHL’s Carlo Cattarello Trophy as league most valuable player is Cochrane Crunch forward Hunter Atchison.

Among the other league award winners was Kyle Fransen of the Rayside-Balfour Canadians being named the best defenceman, Rayside-Balfour’s Bradley Chenier earning rookie of the year accolades, Brett Jeffries of the Soo Thunderbirds earning his second consecutive top defensive forward honour and Cochrane Crunch bench boss Ryan Leonard being tabbed NOJHL coach of the year.

The following is the list of the 2015-16 NOJHL award winners:

CARLO CATTARELLO TROPHY – NOJHL MVP: HUNTER ATCHISON, COCHRANE CRUNCH – The 19-year-old native of Victoria, B.C. led the NOJHL in point-per-game average this season at 1.87. … He finished second overall in points with 99, just one back of the leader. … His 50 goals were the second highest in the NOJHL, again just one back of the league front runner. … Was second in power play tallies with 12. … Led the NOJHL in shorthanded markers with 11. … Was named CJHL first star of the month for September. … Was one of two players with a five-goal game this season. … Also represented the league at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

NOJHL TROPHY – BEST DEFENCEMAN: KYLE FRANSEN, RAYSIDE-BALFOUR CANADIANS – The Sudbury product topped all league defenceman in points with 49 in games played through March 10. … Fransen paced all league blueliners in assists with 36 in 52 outings while his 13 tallies were the second most in the NOJHL. … Earned Gongshow Gear defenceman of the month laurels in October.

JOHN GRIGNON TROPHY – ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: BRADLEY CHENIER, RAYSIDE-BALFOUR CANADIANS – The 17-year-old from Val Caron, Ont., led all league rookies in offensive production with 72 points. In 52 outings his 29 goals led all first-year players in the league. … Chenier also had the most assists among rookies with 43. … Was NOJHL Gongshow Gear rookie of the month in November. … Played for Team NOJHL at Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

GILLES LAPERRIERE TROPHY – MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: NATHAN HEBERT, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The veteran Thunderbirds forward doubled his point total from a year ago for league-leading Sault Ste. Marie. … Heading into the NOJHL’s final regular season contest Saturday at Elliot Lake, Hebert has 10 goals and 30 assists to his credit. … The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native has matched his tally total from 2014-15 and surpassed his career season-high in assists by 20.

MITCH TETREAULT MEMORIAL TROPHY – TOP DEFENSIVE FORWARD: BRETT JEFFRIES, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – A key cog to the continued success of the Thunderbirds is Jeffries. … The 20-year-old from Cochenour, Ont., wins the league’s top defensive forward for a second consecutive season. … A valuable two-way forward, Jeffries was instrumental in helping keep opposing players at bay with his defensive efforts with the T-Birds. … He also scored 11 times and doled out 31 assists as of March 10, including a pair of shorthanded efforts. … Also suited up for Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

WAYNE CHASE MEMORIAL AWARD – BEST GOALS-AGAINST AVERAGE: BRENDON GORDON, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Among qualified goaltenders, the 19-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., boasted the lowest goals-against average in the league at 1.53. … Heading into the T-Birds final game Saturday at Elliot Lake, Gordon’s save percentage of .926 was second best in the NOJHL. … He was also second in shutouts with four.

NOJHL TEAM GOALTENDING AWARD (FEWEST GOALS ALLOWED) – SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Despite having one game remaining on their schedule, a make-up match-up Saturday in Elliot Lake, the Thunderbirds will once again have allowed the fewest goals-against in regular season play by a large margin. … Sault Ste. Marie has only given up 84 tallies, which is 53 less than their closest rival.

JIMMY CONNERS MEMORIAL TROPHY – LEAGUE SCORING CHAMPION: BRAYDEN STORTZ, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – A big four-point night for the Welland, Ont., product, in the Gold Miners final regular season game, allowed Stortz to reach the 100-point plateau and secure the league scoring title by one. His 62 assists also paced all NOJHL skaters.

ONAPING FALLS HUSKIES TROPHY – MOST GENTLEMANLY PLAYER: BRENNAN KELLY, FRENCH RIVER RAPIDS – Skating in 45 games for French River, the veteran forward who is in his final season of junior hockey only accrued seven minutes in penalties all season. … After picking up a minor in the Rapids third game of 2015-16, the Toronto native went 38 straight contests before being called for another infraction. … Kelly also had 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points for first-year French River.

NOJHL TROPHY – BEST OVERALL TEAM PLAYER: HUNTER ATCHISON, COCHRANE CRUNCH – The 19-year-old native of Victoria, B.C. led the NOJHL in point-per-game average this season at 1.87. … Finished second overall in points with 99, just one back of the leader. … His 50 goals were the second in the NOJHL, again just one back of the league leader. … Was second in power play tallies with 12. … Led the NOJHL in shorthanded markers with 11. … Was named CJHL first star of the month for September. … Was a member of Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

MIRL “RED” MCCARTHY” MEMORIAL AWARD – NOJHL COACH OF THE YEAR: RYAN LEONARD, COCHRANE CRUNCH – In just their second season in Cochrane, Leonard guided the Crunch to the NOJHL East Division title with a 40-10-2-2 record in 54 outings. … The club’s 84 points was a 24-point improvement from last season.

THE JOE DRAGO TROPHY – NOJHL EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: JIM BRUCE, POWASSAN VOODOOS – His efforts off the ice both with the team and at the league level has helped shaped the positive fortunes of both the Voodoss and the NOJHL. … Under his guidance, Bruce and the rest of the Powassan staff have aided in the club’s success in becoming another model franchise in the NOJHL in just their second year of operation.

JAMES ASPIN TROPHY – NOJHL REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS: SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Sault Ste. Marie won their third straight NOJHL regular season title. … With a game to play the Thunderbirds sport a league-best record of 47-5-1-0 and 95 points. … The T-Birds also went unbeaten as the home team in regular season action and the No. 3 ranked team in the CJHL boast home ice advantage and the No. 1 for the upcoming NOJHL playoffs.

GARY HALL MEMORIAL AWARD – NOJHL EAST CHAMPION: COCHRANE CRUNCH – The Crunch claimed their first East Division crown in just their second season in Cochrane going 40-10-2-2.

WILLIAM SIDNEY JONES MEMORIAL TROPHY – NOJHL WEST CHAMPION: SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The T-Birds were the runaway leader in the NOJHL west finishing well ahead of second place Elliot Lake. … They have yet to lose on home ice this season as well.

T.B.A. AWARDS

NOJHL SCHOLASTIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR

NOJHL PLAYOFF MVP

NOJHL PLAYOFF CHAMPION

The NOJHL also announced Thursday its CCM Hockey first and second all-star team recipients with the players and team staff members being recognized for their efforts and contributions with their respective clubs this season.

CCM 1ST ALL-STAR TEAM

CENTRE: HUNTER ATCHISON, COCHRANE CRUNCH – The 19-year-old native of Victoria, B.C. led the NOJHL in point-per-game average this season at 1.87. … Finished second overall in points with 99, just one back of the leader. … His 50 goals were the second in the NOJHL, again just one back of the league leader. … Was second in power play tallies with 12. And shared the league lead in man advantage points with 28. … Led the NOJHL in shorthanded markers with 11. … Was named CJHL first star of the month for September and was selected the NOJHL’s most valuable player. … Was one of two players with a five-goal game this season. … Played for Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

LEFT WING: LOGAN FREDERICKS, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – The 20-year-old standout from Millstone Township, N.J. led all NOJHL skaters in goals this season with 51. … Also finished third overall in the league in total points with 89. … The NOJHL’s Gongshow Gear player of the month for February paced all skaters in power play markers with 15. … Was only held off the score sheet once in his past 20 games. … Supplied six game-winning goals in 2015-16.

RIGHT WING: TYLER PETERS, POWASSAN VOODOOS – Scored 42 times for the Voodoos this season, which was the third highest total in the league and assisted on 43 more. … His 85 points were the fifth most in the league. … The 19-year-old Powassan native tied for the NOJHL lead in power play points with 28 and tied for the most man advantage assists with 18. … Peters had 10 multi-goal games to his credit this season, including five hat tricks. … He also played for Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

DEFENCE: KYLE FRANSEN, RAYSIDE-BALFOUR CANADIANS – The Sudbury product topped all league defenceman in points with 49 in just 42 games played through March 10. … Fransen paced all league blueliners in assists with 36 while his 13 tallies were the second most in the NOJHL. … He was named chosen the league’s top defenceman in 2015-16. … Earned Gongshow Gear defenceman of the month laurels in October.

DEFENCE: CALEB BOMAN, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Enters the Thunderbirds final regular season contest Saturday sitting second in points among league defencemen with 48 in 46 outings. … His 14 goals were the second most of any NOJHL D-man. …His nine man advantage markers topped all league blueliners and he was second in power play points with 23. …  The 18-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., played for Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge and represented the NOJHL at the CJHL Prospects Game. … Has committed to attend Niagara University on NCAA D-I scholarship.

GOALTENDER: GARRETT FORREST, POWASSAN VOODOOS – Was second among NOJHL goaltenders in wins with 24 … Led all league netminders in save percentage at .926. … Forrest, who hails from Millerville, Alta., sat third in goals-against average at 2.28. … The rookie stopper faced the third-most shots at 1,196.  … He also saw the third-most minutes played at 2,148. … His five shutouts were the most in the NOJHL. … Also represented his team and the league at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

GENERAL MANAGER: CHRIS DAWSON, POWASSAN VOODOOS – A vital cog to the overall success of the Powassan Voodoos organization. … Is hands on in many facets for the club and has done a tremendous job in boosting the Voodoos success, which saw them register franchise highs in wins and points in 2015-16. … Was recognized for his efforts in team management, player recruitment, media relations, day-to-day operations and generating additional exposure for both the team and the NOJHL.

COACH: RYAN LEONARD, COCHRANE CRUNCH – Leonard guided the Crunch to the NOJHL East Division title with a 40-10-2-2 record in 54 outings. … The club’s 84 points was a 24-point improvement from last season. … He was also named the league’s coach of the year for 2015-16.

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER: LISA PARISE, RAYSIDE-BALFOUR CANADIANS – Earned first team all-star laurels for another season. … Serves an as instrumental part of Rayside-Balfour’s off-ice staff. …. Was one of the trainers for Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER: CARLA VINE, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – Joins Parise as a co-1st team all-star for her efforts with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners. … A key component of the Gold Miners organization, Vine continues to be one of the top team trainers in the league. … Also served as one of the trainers for Team NOJHL at Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.

CCM 2ND ALL-STAR TEAM

CENTRE: BRAYDEN STORTZ, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – Ended the season on a high note, capturing the NOJHL scoring title in Kirkland Lake’s final game of the season. … The 20-year-old, who called Welland, Ont., home, led the league in points with 100 and assists with 62. … His 38 tallies tied for the fifth highest in the league. … Was fifth in power play points with 26 for the Gold Miners.

LEFT WING: DUSTIN CORDEIRO, COCHRANE CRUNCH – Veteran forward from Kitchener, Ont., had another all-star season in the NOJHL in 2015-16. …Cordeiro was fourth in league scoring with 86 points on 39 goals and 47 assists. … His tally total was fourth best among teams. … Six of his markers were game-winners, which tied him for the fifth most in the NOJHL. … Was one of two players with a five-goal game this season.

RIGHT WING: ZACHARY KERCZ, TIMMINS ROCK – The 20-year-old from Aurora, Ont., made the most of his first year in the NOJHL finishing sixth in league scoring for Timmins.  … Notched 26 goals and finished second in league assists with 55. … Nine of his markers came on the power play and supplied a dozen man advantage assists. … He also had a 20-game point streak earlier this season.

DEFENCE: JOSEPH THIELEN, COCHRANE CRUNCH – Paced all rookies in points among NOJHL defencemen with 41 while suiting up for all 54 games Cochrane played in the regular season. … The Huntington Beach, Calif., native finished fifth in offensive numbers among all league blueliners. … Scored eight times and doled out 33 assists.

DEFENCE: MATTHEW BUSBY, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – A solid two-way defender, the 19-year-old Shanty Bay, Ont., product helped bolster the Thunderbirds success on both ends of the ice. … He has 38 points through 49 games for the T-Birds. … Tallied 12 times and helped set-up 26 others. … Also had 15 power play points to his credit. … Busby was the Gongshow Gear defenceman of the month for February.

GOALTENDER: BRETT YOUNG, COCHRANE CRUNCH – The 20-year-old from Livonia, Mich., led all NOJHL goaltenders in victories this season with 26. … Also played more minutes than any league netmidner at 2,351 and made the second most saves at 1,294. … Young was in the top 10 in both average and save percentage. … Was named the league’s Gongshow Gear goaltender of the month for September. … Will play NCAA hockey next season at Northland College of the NCHA.

GENERAL MANAGER: RYAN LEONARD, COCHRANE CRUNCH – A tremendous recruiter who has travelled extensively to add talent to the Crunch roster helping them win the NOJHL East and build a solid foundation in Cochrane. … Was also named NOJHL coach of the year as well as too the CCM 1st all-star team as coach.

COACH: SCOTT WRAY, POWASSAN VOODOOS – In his second year as bench boss of the Voodoos, Wray guided his club to a 40-win season and 84 points in total. … His efforts as head coach on Powassan saw his side improve by 45 points this season.

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER: KARI EVEY, SOO EAGLES – Evey earns her initial CCM Hockey NOJHL all-star honours for her work with the Soo Eagles. … Continues to play an important role in all training aspects for the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., side.

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER: WAYNE PARENT, IROQUOIS FALLS ESKIS – Also earning co-CCM second team all-star laurels is Parent. … His continued efforts with the Jr. A team in Iroquois Falls is widely respected as he does a tremendous job in looking after the player’s training and equipment needs for the Eskis.

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