The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce the three finalists for the 2019-20 CHL Scholastic Player of the Year Award presented by CIBC.
Since 1988 the award has been presented annually to the CHL player who is best able to combine success on the ice with success in school.
Representing the Western Hockey League for award consideration is Dylan Garand of the Kamloops Blazers, from the Ontario Hockey League is Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit, and from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is Rafael Harvey-Pinard of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
Garand earned the WHL’s Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy maintaining an overall academic average of 96.5% and is set to graduate high school with honours this June. That’s not the only milestone expected next month for the 17-year-old Blazers goaltender from Victoria, British Columbia, who hopes to hear his name called in the 2020 NHL Draft. Between-the-pipes this season the sixth ranked North American goaltender posted a 28-10-2-1 record in 42 games maintaining a 2.21 goals-against-average and a .921 save percentage with four shutouts.
Perfetti won the OHL’s Bobby Smith Trophy achieving academic excellence that included an overall average of 93% across seven University level courses between Heritage High School in Saginaw and All Saints Catholic Secondary School back home in Whitby, Ontario. On the ice the 18-year-old finished second in OHL scoring and set a Spirit single season record with 111 points including 37 goals and 74 assists over 61 games. He’s also a top prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft and is the fifth ranked North American skater.
Harvey-Pinard is the recipient of the QMJHL’s Marcel-Robert Trophy after being nominated for the award in 2018-19. The 20-year-old captain of his hometown Sagueneens maintained a 92% average in Natural Sciences and will obtain his CEGEP diploma this summer. The seventh round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 2019 NHL Draft finished 12th in league scoring with 78 points in 62 games and graduates with an impressive resume that includes 262 career points over 248 games with 2019 QMJHL and Memorial Cup titles as a member of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Last season Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips was the award recipient maintaining a 100% average across a Grade 12 workload. Alexandre Alain of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada was the last CHL winner from the QMJHL in 2018, with Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s winning on behalf of the OHL in 2017. The Blazers have had three other nominees for the national award since 1988 including Colin Smith (2011), and winners Devan Dubnyk (2004) and Scott Niedermayer (1991). The Sags have also had three past nominees in that time period but just one winner, Dominic Jalbert (2010), with Nicolas Therrien (2011) and Marc Denis (1996) considered. Perfetti is the first Spirit player to win the OHL award and become a national finalist.
The 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year Award presented by CIBC will be announced in the coming weeks.