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CHL announces 2016-17 award finalists

Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier, Gabriel Vilardi nominated for top prospect @NHLdotcom

Brandon center Nolan Patrick, Halifax center Nico Hischier and Windsor center Gabriel Vilardi, three of the top prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft, are the finalists for the Canadian Hockey League's Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award.

The award will be one of 10 presented during the CHL Awards Ceremony in Windsor, Ontario, on Saturday. The ceremony is being held in conjunction with the 2017 Memorial Cup.

Patrick (No. 1), Hischier (No. 2) and Vilardi (No. 4) are among the top four players on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.

Despite being limited to 33 games because of injuries, Patrick (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) had 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists). His 1.39 points-per-game average was 10th in the Western Hockey League.

Hischier (6-1, 176) led Quebec Major Junior Hockey League rookies with 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games and won the league's Mike Bossy Trophy as the best professional prospect and the Michel Bergeron Trophy as offensive rookie of the year. He also led all draft-eligible players at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship with seven points (four goals, three assists) in five games for Canada.

Vilardi (6-3, 201) had 61 points (29 goals, 32 assists) in 49 games. He missed Windsor's first five games recovering from a knee injury sustained while practicing with Canada for the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in August, and he had an appendectomy Nov. 21 that sidelined him for five weeks.

Hischier also is a candidate for the CCM Rookie of the Year award. Joining him as a finalist is Swift Current forward Aleksi Heponiemi and Guelph defenseman Ryan Merkley. Heponiemi is No. 26 on Central Scouting's final ranking while Merkley is eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft.

Owen Sound center Nick Suzuki, No. 10 on Central Scouting's final ranking, is a finalist for the BRP Sportsman of the Year Award, along with Swift Current center Tyler Steenbergen and Sherbrooke center Hugo Roy. Steenbergen is No. 70 on Central Scouting's list.

Ottawa center Alexander Chmelevski, No. 43 in Central Scouting's final ranking, is a finalist for the CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award, along with Everett center Brian King and Baie-Comeau goaltender Antoine Samuel.

The Sportsnet Player of the Year Award also will be announced. The finalists are Regina forward Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks), Erie forward Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks) and Gatineau forward Vitaly Abramov (Columbus Blue Jackets).

Steel, DeBrincat and Abramov also are finalists for the Chrysler Top Scorer Award.

Everett's Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers), Owen Sound's Michael McNiven (Montreal Canadiens) and Blainville-Boisbriand's Francis Leclerc are the finalists for the Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award. Hart won it last year.

Seattle's Ethan Bear (Edmonton Oilers), Erie's Darren Raddysh and Saint John's Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators) are the finalists for the Superstore Defenseman of the Year Award.

Lethbridge forward Tyler Wong, Guelph forward Garrett McFadden and Rimouski defenseman Samuel Laberge are the finalists for the Mastercard Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Regina's John Paddock, Owen Sound's Ryan McGill and Saint John's Danny Flynn are the finalists for the Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award.

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