BROOKS, AB (May 12, 2016) – Brooks Bandits defenceman Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) has been named the 2015-16 Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Rookie of the Year, it was announced today, as the top first-year player among all 126 teams at the Canadian Junior A level.
Makar is the first Bandit in franchise history to win the award since it was introduced in 2013, and the first-ever AJHL player to be its sole winner. He is the second Bandit to win one of the CJHL’s new national awards, following head coach Ryan Papaioannou who was named 2013 CJHL Coach of the Year.
The 5’10”, 175lb defenceman was the second-highest scoring rookie player in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) this season, with 55 points (10 goals, 45 assists) in 54 games played. That total also ranked him second among all defencemen in the league, and ninth among all players in the AJHL in assists.
The 17-year old also scored 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) in 13 playoff games, the sixth-most of any AJHL player. At the recent Western Canada Cup, Makar scored 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists) in 6 games, and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
The award is the latest in a long line of accolades for Makar in his first full Junior A season. He won gold with Team Canada West at the recent World Junior A Challenge in Cobourg, Ontario, was named AJHL Rookie of the Year, was a unanimous selection to the AJHL South All-Rookie Team, and was one of two defencemen on the AJHL South All-League Team.
Makar is committed to the University of Massachusetts, one of a CJHL-high 16 Bandits committed to an NCAA Division I institution, and a graduate of the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association Midget AAA Flames organization.