No NHL Draft-eligible player has won the Canadian Hockey League player of the year award since 2008, but that could change when the CHL announces its award winners for the 2012-13 season.
Halifax Mooseheads left wing Jonathan Drouin, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, is one of three finalists for the CCM Player of the Year award. He was second in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 105 points in 41 games. He scored 41 goals, and had a league-best 29-game streak with at least a point. He was named the league's MVP and top professional prospect.
Other nominees for the award are Vincent Trocheck of the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, a Florida Panthers prospect, and Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League, a Winnipeg Jets draft pick.
The previous draft-eligible player to win it was Justin Azevedo of the Kitchener Rangers in 2008, but he was 20. The last first-time draft-eligible player to win it was Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic in 2005.
Drouin also is a finalist for the Jack Link's Top Prospect of the Year. Joining him as finalists are two other players likely to hear their names called early when the 2013 draft is held June 30 -- defensemen Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) and Darnell Nurse of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL).
Jones, Central Scouting's top-rated North American skater, was fourth among WHL defensemen with 56 points in 61 games, and his plus-46 rating was seventh among all players, third among defensemen. Nurse, No. 4 on Central Scouting's final ranking, had 12 goals, 29 assists, a plus-15 rating and 116 penalty minutes in 68 games.
Jones also is a finalist for the BMO Rookie of the Year award. Also nominated is left wing Valentin Zykov of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, No. 7 on Central Scouting's list. He led all first-year QMJHL players with 40 goals and 75 points. Also nominated for the award is Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, who won't be NHL draft eligible until 2015.
In addition to the top prospect award, Nurse is a finalist for the Subway Scholastic Player of the Year award along with two other 2013 draft prospects -- defensemen Joshua Morrissey of the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL), No. 27 on Central Scouting's ranking, and Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) blueliner Charles-David Beaudoin.
The awards will be presented Saturday at the Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon. Here is the full list of awards and the nominees:
Home Hardware Humanitarian of the Year: Konrad Abeltshauser, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL); Ben Fanelli, Kitchener Rangers (OHL); Cody Sylvester, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)