2020 chl awards

Canadians honoured with CHL awards

Five Program of Excellence alumni receive end-of-season accolades; Lafrenière goes back-to-back as Player of the Year

Jason La Rose
June 10, 2020

In a season unlike any other in the history of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), one thing remained the same – Alexis Lafrenière was the best player in Major Junior hockey.

Lafrenière won the CHL David Branch Player of the Year award for the second year in a row, one of six Canadians and five Program of Excellence alumni who earned national recognition.

The awards, usually presented during the Memorial Cup, were presented on Twitter after the remainder of the season was cancelled March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list of winners included…

CHL Player of the Year & CHL Top Draft Prospect – Alexis Lafrenière
Océanic de Rimouski (QMJHL) | Saint-Eustache, Que. | AHM Saint-Eustache

The consensus No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft was simply dominant in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Lafrenière led the QMJHL with 77 assists and 112 points, finishing with a 13-point cushion. He recorded points in 43 of 52 games, including 10- and 13-game point streaks before leaving for the World Juniors (where he was named MVP and Top Forward), and posted 30 multi-point efforts, including a career-high seven (1-6—7) in a Feb. 16 win over Quebec. Lafrenière is just the second player to win Player of the Year in consecutive seasons, joining Sidney Crosby, who took home the honour with Rimouski in 2003-04 and 2004-05.

Team Canada experience: IIHF World Junior Championship (2019, 2020); Hlinka Gretzky Cup (2018); IIHF U18 World Championship (2018); World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2017)

Other finalists (Player of the Year): Adam Beckman (Saskatoon, Sask./Spokane, WHL)

Other finalists (Top Draft Prospect): Quinton Byfield (Newmarket, Ont./Sudbury, OHL); Kaiden Guhle (Sherwood Park, Alta./Prince Albert, WHL)

CHL Rookie of the Year – Shane Wright
Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) | Burlington, Ont. | Burlington MHA

The sixth player to be awarded exceptional status performed up to that title in his rookie season. Wright took the Ontario Hockey League by storm as a 15-year-old, leading all first-year players with 39 goals and 66 points in 58 games. He dominated after returning from his first Team Canada appearance at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, running off an 11-game point streak from mid-November to mid-December, and had another 11-game streak in February. Wright is the second player to earn exceptional status and win national rookie of the year honours, alongside John Tavares in 2005-06.

Team Canada experience: World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2019)

Other finalists: Zachary Bolduc (Bécancour, Que./Rimouski, QMJHL); Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton, WHL)

CHL Scholastic Player of the Year – Cole Perfetti
Saginaw Spirit (OHL) | Whitby, Ont. | Whitby MHA

After a record-tying performance with Team Canada at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Perfetti stayed red-hot from start to finish in the Ontario Hockey League. He finished second in the OHL scoring race with 111 points and was held off the scoresheet only eight times in 61 games – and never in consecutive games. As good as he was on the ice, Perfetti was just as prolific in the classroom; he finished the school year with a 93% average while enrolled in seven university-level courses. His class list included Analyzing Current Economic Issues; Elite Athletics; Healthy & Active Living; Leadership; and World Religions.

Team Canada experience: Hlinka Gretzky Cup (2019), World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2018)

Other finalists: Dylan Garand (Victoria, B.C./Kamloops, WHL); Rafaël Harvey-Pinard (Jonquiere, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL)

CHL Humanitarian of the Year – Xavier Simoneau
Voltigeurs de Drummondville (QMJHL) | Saint-André-Avellin, Que. | AHM Petite-Nation

The Drummondville captain was a leader on the ice, finishing fifth in QMJHL scoring with 89 points, but he was just as good – if not better – away from the rink. Simoneau started his own community program, Les amis à Simy, which rewarded good deeds, highlighted the efforts of those with learning disabilities and helped kids fighting illness or going through tough times. During the season, nearly 200 deserving kids attended Voltigeurs games for free. He was also the spokesperson for Autisme Centre-du-Québec, and worked with the local hockey association in Drummondville.

Team Canada experience: World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2017)

Other finalists: Riley Fiddler-Schultz (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta./Calgary, WHL); Jacob Ingham (Barrie, Ont./Kitchener, OHL)

CHL Coach of the Year – André Tourigny
Ottawa 67’s (OHL) | Nicolet, Que.

Tourigny will step behind the Team Canada bench at the 2021 World Juniors as the reigning national coach of the year after leading the 67’s to a franchise-record-tying 50 wins and the best record in the OHL. It is the second year in a row Ottawa reached the half-century mark in victories, this one punctuated by a 17-game win streak – another franchise best – from Nov. 16 to Jan. 10. He also helped Canada to an 18th gold medal at the World Juniors in his fourth appearance as an assistant coach.

Team Canada experience: IIHF World Junior Championship (2010, 2011, 2013, 2020); Hlinka Gretzky Cup (2018); Memorial of Ivan Hlinka (2008)

Other finalists: Stephane Julien (Shawinigan, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL); Brad Lauer (Humboldt, Sask./Edmonton, WHL)

CHL Defenceman of the Year – Noel Hoefenmayer
Ottawa 67’s (OHL) | North York, Ont. | Toronto Young Nationals AAA MHA

Hoefenmayer finished his five-year Major Junior career in style, leading all CHL defencemen with 26 goals and 82 points, and finishing second with an impressive +52 mark. He appeared on the scoresheet in 46 of 58 games this season and produced 24 multi-point performances, including 10 games of at least three points. Hoefenmayer made his mark early on offence, recording points in 13 of his first 14 games, and he was just as good in his own end, finishing as a minus only seven times as Ottawa allowed a league-low 164 goals.

Team Canada experience: none

Other finalists: Ty Smith (Lloydminster, Alta./Spokane, WHL); Jordan Spence (Cornwall, P.E.I./Moncton, QMJHL)

In addition to the six awards listed above, six Canadians were finalists for honours that went to players from outside the Great White North. That includes Beckman and Lafrenière for CHL Top Scorer, Seth Jarvis (Winnipeg, Man./Portland, WHL) and Jakob Pelletier (Quebec City, Que./Moncton, QMJHL) for CHL Sportsman of the Year, and Nico Daws (Burlington, Ont./Guelph, OHL) and Kevin Mandolese (Blainville, Que./Cape Breton, QMJHL) for CHL Goaltender of the Year.

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]


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