MONTREAL – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday that Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) forward Rieger Lorenz has earned its fifth annual John Grisdale Top Prospect Award, for being the first CJHL player taken in the 2022 NHL Draft.
The award, which is named after the CJHL Life Member, saw Lorenz garner the accolades after being selected by the Minnesota Wild in the second round, 56th overall, at the 2022 NHL Draft at the Bell Centre, in Montreal.
The 18-year-old Calgary, Alta., product had a tremendous initial campaign in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, leading all first-year skaters there in offensive production with 85 points, on 38 goals and 47 assists.
His efforts saw him set new Oilers’ rookie marks in both tallies and points.
Lorenz’s totals helped him finish fifth overall in AJHL scoring.
A NCAA Division I commitment to the University of Denver, he will attend school there and compete with the Pioneers men’s hockey program, who will enter the 2022-23 season as defending Frozen Four national champions.
Lorenz was also tabbed the CJHL’s highest rated player in the National Hockey League Central Scouting’s final draft rankings among North American skaters.
The AJHL rookie of the year was named a game star, in league play, on 13 occasions and was selected their player of the month for December.
He also collected league rookie of the week laurels four times.
With files from Charla Flett, Executive Director (AJHL)
Photo credit: Chad Goddard Photography
JOHN GRISDALE AWARD RECIPIENTS (Highest CJHL player selected in NHL Draft)
2022: Rieger Lorens, (F) Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) – 2nd round, 56th overall (Minnesota Wild)
2021: Corson Ceulemans, (D) Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 1st round, 25th overall (Columbus Blue Jackets)
2020: Michael Benning, (D) Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) – 4th round, 95th overall (Florida Panthers)
2019: Alex Newhook, (F) Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) – 1st round, 16th overall (Colorado Avalanche)
2018: Jacob Bernard-Docker, (D) Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) – 1st round, 26th overall (Ottawa Senators)
Other CJHLers taken in the draft were defencemen George Fegaras and Jack Sparkes, who both compete in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Fegaras, a member of the North York Rangers, was chosen in the third round, 83rd overall, by the Dallas Stars while the Los Angeles Kings tabbed St. Michael’s Buzzers D-man Jack Sparkes in the sixth round, 180th overall.