The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce the three finalists for the 2019-20 CHL Rookie of the Year Award presented by Wawanesa Insurance.
Since 1988 the award has been presented annually to the top rookie from across the CHL.
Representing the Western Hockey League for award consideration is Dylan Guenther of the Edmonton Oil Kings, from the Ontario Hockey League is Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs, and from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is Zachary Bolduc of the Rimouski Oceanic.
Guenther earned the WHL’s Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy following a 59-point season with 26 goals and 33 assists in 58 games for his hometown Oil Kings who captured a second straight Central Division title. The 17-year-old was selected first overall in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft and will be a top prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft.
Wright claimed the OHL’s Emms Family Award a year after being the first overall pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection having been granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada as a 2004-born player. The now 16-year-old from Burlington, Ontario, led all rookies with 66 points in 58 games scoring 39 goals and 27 assists and will be a top prospect in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Bolduc earned QMJHL honours after scoring a league-high 30 goals while adding 22 assists for 52 points in 55 games played. The 17-year-old from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, was chosen by the Oceanic 14th overall in the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft and will be a top prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft.
Last season Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves was the award recipient scoring 61 points including 29 goals and 32 assists over 64 games played following his first overall selection in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. Oceanic captain and reigning CHL Player of the Year Alexis Lafreniere was the QMJHL’s last national award winner in 2017, while Brett Connolly of the Prince George Cougars was the WHL’s last representative on the national stage back in 2009. Beyond Lafreniere, additional Oceanic to win the award include Sidney Crosby in 2004 and Vincent Lecavalier in 1997. Petr Straka was also a nominee for the award in 2010. Chris Gratton was the last Frontenacs player nominated for the award back in 1992, while Guenther is the first in Oil Kings history.
The 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Rookie of the Year Award presented by Wawanesa Insurance will be announced in the coming weeks.