Christian Finch Named 2012 RBC CJHL Player of the Year
Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) Leading Scorer and Most Valuable Player, Christian Finch of the Stouffville Spirit, has been named the Canadian Junior Hockey League's (CJHL) RBC Player of the Year.
The former defenceman, who made the move up front two seasons ago, had a career year in leading the Spirit throughout the 2011-12 OJHL season. The native of the Unionville, Ontario, who will be heading to Clarkson University next season, led the OJHL in scoring by an 18 point margin over the second place finisher with 104 points. Finch's totals earned him OJHL Most Valuable Player honours, as well as 1st Team All-Star, while also being named runner-up to teammate Andrew Doyle in voting for the first-ever Fan Favourite Award.
Finch becomes the second consecutive OJHL player to win the award, joining Zach Hyman of the Hamilton Red Wings who won last season, and the third player in league history, also joining Trent Walfort of the Newmarket 87's. This marks just the third time in the awards 24-year history that one league has won back-to-back Player of the Year honours (joining the AJHL in 1998-1999 & 2003-2004).
Congratulations to Christian and thank you for a fantastic four year OJHL career!
Zach Hyman Named 2011 RBC CJHL Player of the Year
Hamilton Red Wings forward Zach Hyman was presented with the Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year Award at the 2011 RBC Cup Awards Banquet in Camrose, Alberta.
Hamilton‟s captain for a second season, Hyman earned a spot on the OJHL‟s North-West Conference First All-Star Team after finishing second in league scoring with 102 points in just 43 games, leading all Canadian Junior A players with a 2.37 points/game average. He becomes just the second player from the OJHL to win the prestigious award, joining Trent Walford of the Newmarket Hurricanes, who was honoured in 1995-96.
"I made the decision to return to the OJHL this year after being drafted by Florida as I knew that I would be able to develop into a more complete player if I dedicated myself to working hard everyday," stated Hyman who was in Camrose to accept the award. "This is a tremendous honour for me and I would like to thank the Hockey Canada Life Members for selecting me for this prestigious award. I also must thank my teammates and coaches back in Hamilton as they all played a major role with the success that I enjoyed this season."
The CJHL Player of the Year is selected by Life Members of Hockey Canada from nominations submitted by each of the 10 CJHL member leagues. It is awarded based on the player‟s hockey playing ability, combined with academic achievement and off-ice community involvement.
"The OJHL would like to congratulate Zach on being awarded the 2011 CJHL Player of the Year," said OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy. "Zach had a tremendous season that included being selected in the NHL Entry Draft and representing Team Canada East at the World Junior „A‟ Challenge. Sharing an award with previous winners such as Dany Heatley and Paul Kariya is another great accomplishment he can now add to that list. He is a player that competes hard and it is a credit to both Zach and our league that he chose to come back en route to a very promising future."
Hyman, a 5th round draft pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, returned to the OJHL this season after committing to play for Princeton University in the ECAC starting this fall. Finishing second in OJHL scoring with 102 points, Hyman earned North-West Conference 1st All-Star Team honours, as well as being named the OJHL‟s Most Gentlemanly Player.
Hyman also excelled off the ice, spending countless hours committed to charitable endeavours and has already published his first children‟s book, with the second on the way. He has donated many of his books to various schools and often spends time encouraging children to read through his presence.