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McAllister, Bookman, Hughes and Papaioannou named finalists for AJHL Awards

The Alberta Junior Hockey League, in partnership with RBC, today announced the League Award Finalists for the 2021-22 season.

The General Managers and Coaches of the Alberta Junior Hockey League have selected a pair of finalists from each division through two phases of voting.   The award winners will be determined through a final stage of voting and announced at the completion of the AJHL regular season.

Forward Ryan McAllister is a finalist for Most Valuable Player, averaging 2.3 points/game. The Western Michigan commit leads the AJHL in scoring with 134 points (54g, 80a) in 58 games. He’s the first AJHL player to score over 130 points in a season since Mike Comrie had 138 points in the 1997-98 season. He broke the Bandits record for most points in a season on January 28th with his 100th point, and is just the second Bandit to score 50 goals in a season. He has nine game stars this season and six game-winning goals. He also has 41 multi-point games and has been named AJHL Player of the Month twice and Player of the Week five times this season. He has five hat tricks this season.

Defenceman Zach Bookman is a finalist for Outstanding Defenceman and Rookie of the Year. The Merrimack commit has 100 points (21g, 79a) in 53 games, leading all defenceman in scoring. He broke Cale Makar’s team record for most points in a season on January 7 with his 76th point. He broke the AJHL record for most assists by a defenceman with his 75th on February 19th, and broke the AJHL record for most assists by a rookie on February 21st with his 77th. He tied the AJHL record for defenceman scoring in a season on February 21st with his 100th point. He’s the third Bandit this season to record 100 points in a season.

Forward TJ Hughes is a finalist for the Top Forward Award, and is the first AJHL player to reach the 60-goal mark since the 2000-01 season. Hughes set a team record for fastest to 30 goals, doing so in 31 games on December 5th. He set the team record for most goals in a season, tallying his 50th goal on January 26th and became the first Bandit to reach 60 on February 18th. He has 122 points (63g, 59a) in 58 games, and has 27 powerplay goals, three back of the AJHL record and 10 game winning goals. He has six hat tricks this season.

Head Coach & GM Ryan Papaioannou is a finalist for Coach of the Year. Papaioannou has coached his team to first place in the AJHL, winning the Regular Season title, clinching home ice advantage throughout the playoffs and their fourth 50+ win season. The Bandits have scored 362 goals this season, which is third all-time and one back of tying second all-time.

The Inter Pipeline AJHL All-Academic Team will be announced on Thursday, February 24th, 2022.