CALGARY, Alta. – As recipient of the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player and Top Forward awards for the 2017-18 campaign, Chris Van Os-Shaw (Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL), certainly boasted a multitude of accomplishments.
Now having wrapped up a successful Jr. A career, Van Os-Shaw now prepares to commence his time in the NCAA Division I ranks at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn.
The 21-year-old Regina, Sask., product earlier garnered CJHL MVP and Top Forward laurels through voting completed by each of the 10-member Jr. ‘A’ leagues that comprise the CJHL.
Van Os-Shaw’s stellar 2017-18 campaign saw him crowned AJHL scoring champion this past season after wrapping up the year with an impressive 97 points, including 51 goals.
His tally total marked the first time in over a decade that an AJHL player reached the 50-plus goal plateau.
In all, Van Os-Shaw topped his league in goals, points, point-per-game average and game-winning markers while also being chosen AJHL MVP and helping lead Spruce Grove skate to a league championship.
Van Os-Shaw recently took time out of his summer schedule to offer his thoughts in this, a CJHL Q&A:
CJHL: What were the feelings you had after being named the CJHL’s MVP and Top Forward in 2017-18?
CHRIS VAN OS-SHAW: It was a huge honour. I am very thankful to even have been nominated for both of these significant awards. At the same time, it was humbling, especially when you look at some of the previous MVP recipients like Cale Makar and Tyson Jost. It makes the recognition that much more special.
CJHL: Can you describe what your CJHL experience was like as you prepare to head off to Minnesota State and the NCAA?
CVOS: My CJHL experience was great. I learned so much from all the teams (Weyburn Red Wings, SJHL); Humboldt Broncos, SJHL); Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL) I played for. I was fortunate enough to play for two great leagues in the SJHL and AJHL. They are both excellent leagues that develop your game and help get you to the next level. I have met so many great people that have been there to help me and get better, both on and off the ice.
CJHL: What made you decide to commit to Minnesota State in Mankato of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association?
CVOS: I had meetings with various schools and although they are all great in their own ways. While I appreciated their interest, nobody caught my attention like Mankato. The coaching staff and facilities are top notch. They truly care about their players. The recruiting process was unbelievable and they take so much pride in the program.
CJHL: What do you feel you can offer the Mavericks’ hockey program?
CVOS: I am big body that can play many roles. I play a high-tempo game, relying on my speed and shot to get pucks to the net.
CJHL: You were invited to attend the Toronto Maple Leafs Development Camp in late June. How did that go for you? What was the calibre of competition like and what were some of the parts of it that impressed you the most?
CVOS: The Maple Leafs Development Camp was awesome. I learned a lot about what it takes to become a pro. The competition was great. Everyone was the best where they come from and that’s what made all of us at camp work that much harder. The thing that impressed me the most is that all the players were very talented and skilled at everything.
CJHL: Getting to this level takes a lot. Who are some of the people that were pivotal in aiding to your success.
CVOS: I would like to thank my parents for all the hard work and efforts they put in for me to play hockey along the way. Also, to all of my coaches and billets I have had over the years; thank you all.
Photo credit: Dave Watling