CALGARY, Alta. – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday the names of the five finalists for its Top Forward Award for the 2021-22 campaign.
Each of the finalists were determined through a voting process completed by the CJHL’s nine-member leagues, for their respective contributions over the course of the regular season.
The following are the five nominees for the CJHL’s Top Forward, which are listed alphabetically, by league:
T.J. HUGHES, (F) BROOKS BANDITS (AJHL): Hughes was first recipient of the newly created AJHL Top Forward award after recently earning the AJHL Leading Goal Scorer award. … The award recognizes the player who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season. … The 20-year-old forward scored a remarkable 66 goals and 127 points as well as a league leading 10 game-winning goals in the regular season. Hughes (Hamilton, Ont.) is the first AJHL player to reach the 60-goal mark since the 2000-01 season and set a team record for most goals in a season. … The third-year Bandit was second overall in the AJHL Scoring Race with 127 points and an average of 2.1 points per game with seven hat tricks. … He will enter the AJHL Record Book with the eighth most goals scored in a single season and third in the category of powerplay goals in a single season with 28. … In November 2021, Hughes was selected as the Alberta Ford Dealers AJHL Player of the Month and the CJHL 2nd Star of the Month as he recorded 30 points in 12 games and extended a 28-game point streak. … He was recognized as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game 15 times in 2021-22. Hughes was also the recipient of the Brooks Bandits Top Forward award.
With files from Charla Flett, V.P., Communications (AJHL)
MAXIME GAGNÉ, (F) COLLÈGE FRANÇAIS DE LONGUEUIL: Finished the regular season as the leading scorer in the LHJAAAQ. … He finished the campaign with an impressive 94 points, in just 39 games played. … In all, he scored 40 goals and dished out 54 assists. … He also led the LHJAAAQ in both point-per-game average (2.41) and in plus-minus (+60). … His 40 tallies were the most of any player in the league while his 54 assists were the second-most of any skater. … Other accomplishments saw Gagné end up second-best in power play goals (13) and he tied for second overall in game-winning goals (6). … He was twice named LHJAAAQ offensive player of the week in the league during the 2021-22 season.
With files from Francis Dupont, Director of Communications (LHJAAAQ)
JUSTIN SVENSON, (F) WINKLER FLYERS (MJHL): The 20-year-old forward was the MJHL’s Top Forward nominee after leading the league in scoring during the 2021-22 regular season. … Svenson was one of 29 players in the league to play in all 54 regular season games. … Svenson and his linemates found immediate chemistry, with him finishing the season with 82 points in 54 games. … Svenson’s 1.52 point-per-game average was the highest among players who played 50-plus games. … Svenson finished third overall in the MJHL in goals scored (33) and was second in assists (49). … He also scored the second-most powerplay goals (11) in the league. … Svenson received the Mike Ridley Trophy for leading the league in scoring and was named a MJHL Second Team All-Star.
With files from: Kyle Prystupa, Programming & Communications (MJHL)
DALTON BANCROFT, (F) TRENTON GOLDEN HAWKS (OJHL): Dalton Bancroft played in 100% of his Trenton Golden Hawks’ games this season and pretty much led the OJHL in scoring from wire-to-wire. … The winger led the 21-team OJHL during October – the opening month on the schedule – with 26 points (8 goals/18 assists) in 13 games. … Two of his tallies were game-winners. … He was named Warrior OJHL South/East Conference player of the month. … He was no one-month wonder however. … The son of former NHLer Steve Bancroft finished tied for the OJHL scoring title with 92 points (37 goals/55 assists) while playing in all of his team’s aforementioned 54 games. … His goals included five while shorthanded and five on the Trenton power play. … Bancroft committed to the NCAA D-I Cornell University Big Red in Ithaca, N.Y., beginning with the 2022-23 season in late October. … Most valuable? “Dalton has done everything we have asked of him,” said Trenton GM/Head Coach Peter Goulet.
With files from Jim Mason, Director of Communications (OJHL)
CONNOR MCGRATH, (F) HUMBOLDT BRONCOS (SJHL): The Ferris State University NCAA Division I commit was listed as the 146th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting in their final draft rankings. … McGrath was dominant this season right from the start. … He was the SJHL’s leading scorer with 84 points in 56 games. … The 2003-born sniper had the two-longest point-scoring streaks during the regular campaign, with a 14-game heater from late November to mid-January as well as a 12-gamer from late October to mid-November. … From LeRoy, Sask., a town 20 minutes from Humboldt, McGrath was dealt from the Weyburn Red Wings to his near-hometown club in the last off-season. … McGrath’s 22 power play assists and 33 power play points were both tops in the SJHL, while his points (84) were the most among SJHL rookies and he tied for top spot in assists (49) and game-winning goals (6) among first-year players.
With files from Logan Fraser, Director of Marketing & Communications (SJHL)
Earning honourable mention status for the CJHL Top Forward Award in 2021-22 were the following:
Sean James, (F) Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL); Josh MacDonald, (F) Summerside Western Capitals (MHL); Cooper Foster, (F) Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) & Ryan Hunter, (F) Red Lake Miners (SIJHL)
Photo credit: Chad Goddard Photography