Toronto Patriots (OJHL) Manza named CJHL’s Top Rookie for 2023-24

TORONTO – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Wednesday that Toronto Patriots (OJHL) forward Matthew Manza has been named its Top Rookie Award recipient for the 2023-24 campaign.

In garnering the accolades, the 2007-born, Mississauga, Ont., product earned the honour over fellow Top Rookie finalists Jaeden Nelson, (G) Navan Grads (CCHL); Grady Hoffman, (F) Steinbach Pistons (MJHL); Noah Tegelaar, (G) Blind River Beavers (NOJHL) and Carson Olson, (D) Battlefords North Stars (SJHL), following a voting process completed by the CJHL’s nine-member leagues, for their respective efforts during the course of the regular season.

A NCAA Division I commit to the Ohio State Buckeyes (BIG 10), beginning with the 2025-26 season, Manza was earlier named the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year.

He scored 26 goals and had 23 assists in 49 OJHL games.

Six of his tallies were game-winners while seven were scored on the power play.

Manza was previously selected to the OJHL’s First Prospect team.

Patriots’ head coach Vince Bellissimo is excited about Manza’s ceiling: “From the first day of training camp, it was evident that Matthew had high next-level potential.”

Bellissimo went on to add: “He is a great kid and is a pleasure to work with every day. We are committed to furthering his development in detail, to prepare him for his next steps. There is a lot of work to be done here individually and as a team, and I know Matthew is committed to doing what it takes to be successful.”

With files from Jim Mason, Director of Communications (OJHL)

Photo credit: Shawn Muir / OJHL Images