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Drouin named CHL Player of the Year

by Adam Kimelman

All of the attention heading into the 2013 NHL Draft has been focused on Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones and Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon.

Halifax left wing Jonathan Drouin accomplished something neither of them could.

CHL Player of the Year Jonathan Drouin

Drouin, No. 3 in NHL Central Scouting's their final ranking of North American skaters for this year's draft, on Saturday was named Canadian Hockey League CCM Player of the Year. He's the first player to win the award in his first NHL draft-eligible season since Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic in 2005. He's also the first QMJHL player to win the award since Alexander Radulov of the Quebec Remparts in 2006.

The CHL handed out its full slate of awards for the 2012-13 season Saturday at the Remai Arts Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The 5-foot-10.5, 186-pound Drouin finished second in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season with 105 points while playing 49 games; he was five points behind the league leader despite playing 19 fewer games. His 41 goals were tied for seventh and he also had a league-best 29-game scoring streak, during which he had 26 goals and 39 assists. He won the QMJHL MVP award and was voted the league's top professional prospect.

He also excelled with or without MacKinnon, his frequent linemate and Central Scouting's No. 2 North American skater. MacKinnon had 40 goals and 75 points in 44 games.

Other nominees for the award were 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.

"My expectations [for the season] weren't this high," Drouin told the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. "[There have been] a lot of trophies this year; it's just been a great year. My teammates deserve a lot of credit; same for the coaching staff and the GM."

Jones didn't leave the awards show empty-handed. The 6-3.5, 205-pound defenseman edged Drouin and Darnell Nurse, a defenseman with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, to be named the Jack Link's Top Prospect of the Year.

In his first season with the Winterhawks, Jones finished fourth among WHL defensemen with 56 points in 61 games, and his plus-46 rating was seventh among all players, third among defensemen. He also is Central Scouting's top-ranked skater, and the favorite to be the first pick of this year's draft, to be held June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Jones and his Portland teammates will face Drouin, MacKinnon and Halifax in the championship game of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup on Sunday at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet).

Another top draft prospect, Valentin Zykov of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL was named BMO Rookie of the Year, finishing ahead of Jones and Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Zykov led all first-year CHL players with 40 goals and 75 points. He's No. 7 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.

Joshua Morrissey, a defenseman with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL and No. 27 on Central Scouting's list, was named the Subway Scholastic Player of the Year. Nurse, No. 4 on the list and the second-rated defenseman, also was a finalist for this award.

Tyler Graovac of the Belleville Bulls of the OHL, a Minnesota Wild prospect, was named the FRAM Sportsman of the Year; Portland teammates Brendan Leipsic, a Nashville Predators prospect, and Nicolas Petan, ranked No. 33 for this year's draft, shared the Chrysler Dodge Top Scorer of the Year award after each posting 120 points; Ben Fanelli of the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL was named the Home Hardware Humanitarian of the Year; Patrik Bartosak of the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL won the Vaughn Goaltender of the Year award; and Sault Ste. Marie's Ryan Sproul, a 2011 second-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, was named Post Defenseman of the Year.

Halifax's Dominick Ducharme was named Old Dutch Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year.


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