Just one year after being named the CHL Rookie of the Year, QMJHL’s Alexis Lafreniere of Rimouski Oceanic, took another huge leap in his development as the 17-year-old was named the Sportsnet’s Player of the Year after the CHL released its top award winners Saturday.
Lafrieniere, who is considered to be the leading candidate to be the first-overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, scored 42 goals as a 16-year-old to garner Rookie of the Year honors in 2017-18 and while his goal totals dropped to 37 this season, his playmaking skills took off. Lafreniere tallied 68 assists and 105 total points and then took his game to another level in the playoffs when he scored nine goals and 23 points in 13 games. Tampa Bay prospect Alex Barre-Boulet was the 2017-18 winner, at the age of 21. Lafreniere beat two other key players, including the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks’ Joachim Blichfeld and goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.
Defenseman Ty Smith was named the Superstore Defenceman of the Year. The 19-year-old, who will likely take the ice with the New Jersey Devils next season, posted seven goals and 69 points in 57 games this season for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. Ian Scott of the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders won the Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award. He put up 38 wins, posting a 1.78 GAA and a .932 save percentage. The 20-year-old goaltender is a product of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rookie Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves walked away with the Wawanesa Rookie of the Year Award after scoring 29 goals and 61 points in 64 games.
Here is a list of all the CHL award winners:
Player of the Year: Alexis Lafreniere
Defenseman of the Year: Ty Smith
Goaltender of the Year: Ian Scott
Rookie of the Year: Quinton Byfield
Coach of the Year: Mario Pouliot
Scholastic Player of the Year: Dustin Wolf
Humanitarian of the Year: Charle-Edouard D’Astous
Sportsman of the Year: Justin Almeida
Top Scorer: Jason Robertson
Top Prospect of Year: Bowen Byram