CHL Eye on Awards: Top Scorer
The race to claim the CHL Top Scorer Award promises to be an exciting finish in the closing weeks of the Canadian Hockey League regular season. A handful of players are in contention for the award this year with no less than three players from the WHL, three from the QMJHL, and four from the OHL all closing in on the century mark for points.
Tye Felhaber (Ottawa, OHL) – 54 GP, 53 G, 40 A, 93 P
The undrafted overager with the 67’s sits tied for top spot in the scoring race with a CHL-leading 53 goals and 93 points on the season, already surpassing last year’s totals when he finished with 31 goals and 39 assists in 68 games. Felhaber’s most impressive performance this season came in early January when he put up back-to-back four-point outings over the Oshawa Generals and Sarnia Sting. The 20-year-old is most dangerous in the early goings as he leads the OHL with 13 game-opening goals.
Joachim Blichfeld (Portland, WHL) – 55 GP, 45 G, 48 A, 93 P
A seventh-round draft pick by the San Jose Sharks in 2016, the Danish left-wing has provided exciting early returns to the club’s scouting staff as he leads the WHL with 93 points. Now in his third season with the Winterhawks, Blichfeld has taken his game to the next level after wrapping the 2017-18 campaign with 56 points in as many games. The 20-year-old forward has impressed with three separate five-point games this season, including a five-assist night against the Edmonton Oil Kings in early October.
Peter Abbandonato (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) – 55 GP, 26 G, 64 A, 90 P
The 20-year-old centre is in his fourth season with the Huskies, a breakthrough campaign for the budding playmaker as he leads the entire CHL with 64 assists, including 23 on the man advantage, the most in the QMJHL. Abbandonato’s top performance this season came in mid-November when he combined for 10 points over two games, including back-to-back hat-tricks against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and Victoriaville Tigres. He’s currently riding a six-game point streak in which he has amassed one goal and 10 assists.
Justin Brazeau (North Bay, OHL) – 52 GP, 48 G, 41 A, 89 P
The Battalion right-wing is making a name for himself this season after going unselected in the NHL Draft as he leads his squad in scoring and sits just four points from top spot in the OHL. The overage forward has been dominant since September, and has twice been recognized this season with CHL Player of the Week honours. Brazeau’s best offensive showing this year came in October when he tormented the Kingston Frontenacs with a seven-point night in which he finished with a hat-trick and four assists.
Jason Robertson (Niagara, OHL) – 47 GP, 39 G, 49 A, 88 P
A midseason trade from the Kingston Frontenacs to the IceDogs didn’t put a crimp in Jason Robertson’s scoring touch this season – in fact, he’s upped his production since joining his new club. After notching 38 points across 24 games with the Frontenacs, Robertson is firing at more than two points per game since being shipped to Niagara, where he’s amassed 16 goals and 34 assists in just 23 appearances. A second-round pick by the Dallas Stars in 2017, Robertson has notched at least one point in all but one of his last 31 outings.
Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) – 46 GP, 34 G, 54 A, 88 P
A first-round pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2017, Frost is competing in his fourth season with the Greyhounds. After finishing last year with 112 points – just three shy of the OHL lead – Frost is on pace to surpass those totals this season. Frost’s five-goal night against the Sudbury Wolves in late January saw him finish just one short of the franchise record for goals in a game. The Aurora, Ont., native was also Canada’s top producer at this year’s world juniors, where he finished with a team-leading eight points in five games.
Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski, QMJHL) – 47 GP, 32 G, 55 A, 87 P
The projected top pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Lafreniere continues to bring fans to the edge of their seats in his second season with the Oceanic. He’s already topped last season’s 80 points, while he continues to shine as a sophomore. The Quebec native is currently riding an 11-game point streak in which he has tallied 13 goals and 14 assists. Perhaps most impressive about Lafreniere is his knack for finding the win column, as his eight game-winning goals sit tied for first in the QMJHL.
Tristin Langan (Moose Jaw, WHL) – 51 GP, 39 G, 46 A, 85 P
With 85 points on the season, Langan has already more than doubled last season’s production (42 points), while doing so in 19 fewer games. The undrafted left-wing is in his fourth season with the Warriors where he has proven to be as dangerous as a shooter as he is in setting up linemates. The Manitoba native has notched four hat-tricks on the season, with his most recent coming in a win over the Victoria Royals in mid-January. Langan’s nine game-winning goals are also tied for top spot in the WHL.
Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) – 51 GP, 36 G, 49 A, 85 P
Another keen selection by the Sharks, the Russian left-wing heard his name called by San Jose in the seventh round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Ever since, he’s continued to shine with the Drakkar, as this season he’s already notched a career-high 36 goals and 85 points. Chekhovich has also been a two-time recipient of CHL Player of the Week honours this season, while his most impressive outing came on New Year’s Eve when he notched seven points, including two goals and five assists, against the Shawinigan Cataractes.
Trey Fix-Wolansky (Edmonton, WHL) – 52 GP, 29 G, 55 A, 84 P
Oil Kings right-wing Fix-Wolansky has no trouble finding the scoresheet despite his smaller size, as evidenced by his 84 points this season. A seventh-round selection by the Columbus Blue Jackets in last year’s NHL Draft, Fix-Wolansky is just five points shy of last year’s finish (89 points) despite playing in 19 fewer games. On three occasions this year he has come away with season-high four-point outings, including a combined eight points (one goal and seven assists) in back-to-back games against the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Regina Pats.