Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Brett Brochu of the London Knights is the 2021-22 recipient of the Jim Rutherford Trophy, given annually to the recipient of the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award presented by Real Canadian Superstore.
Brochu backstopped the Knights to the franchise’s third consecutive Midwest Division title, going 29-11-2-0 with a 2.75 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and two shutouts in 43 games. He stopped 15 of the 17 shootout opponents he faced, going 4-0 in shootouts on the campaign. Brochu represented Canada at the abbreviated 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.
“It’s a huge honour receiving this award,” said Brochu. “It was a big goal of mine to achieve and I’m really grateful to have been able to play behind such a great team. I’m grateful to have been able to grow my game as much as I have throughout my season playing in the OHL.”
A 19-year-old native of Belle River, Ont., Brochu rounded out his second OHL season with an impressive career mark of 61-17-2-0, owning a 2.59 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and four shutouts over 85 regular season games. The former F.W. Dinty Moore Trophy recipient and 2019-20 OHL First All-Rookie Team member made his pro debut with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins during the 2020-21 campaign, suiting up in one game. Brochu is the 31st-ranked North American goaltender on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings. He was originally London’s sixth round (114th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.
“It’s well deserved and well earned,” said Knights Owner, Vice-President and General Manager Mark Hunter of the honour. “We are very proud of Brett and glad he is being recognized with this award.”
Announced in August 2019, the Jim Rutherford Trophy is presented by the League in honour of former OHL goaltender, General Manager, Chairman of the Board and two-time Executive of the Year Jim Rutherford. The current President of Hockey Operations of the Vancouver Canucks, Rutherford played 13 seasons as an NHL netminder and was the architect behind Stanley Cup championships for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2019.
The Jim Rutherford Trophy is awarded to the league’s most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club.
Brochu follows Michael Houser (2012), Steve Mason (2007) and Adam Dennis (2006) as the fourth Knights netminder to earn the distinction of being the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year. The award was first presented in 1988 to Rick Tabaracci (Cornwall), with other notable winners including Manny Legace (Niagara Falls 1993), Andrew Raycroft (Kingston 2000), Craig Anderson (Guelph 2001), the League’s only back-to-back winner Mike Murphy (Belleville 2008 & 2009), along with current NHL goaltenders Jordan Binnington (Owen Sound 2013), Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth 2014) and MacKenzie Blackwood (Barrie 2016).
Brochu is the OHL’s nominee for CHL Goaltender of the Year honours. He edged out Eastern Conference finalist Marco Costantini of the Hamilton Bulldogs in the voting process.