Beavers’ Tegelaar named finalist for CJHL Top Rookie Award

TORONTO – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced Monday the names of the five players that have been selected as finalists for its Top Rookie Award in the 2023-24 campaign.

Each of the finalists were determined through a voting process completed by the CJHL’s nine-member leagues, for their respective efforts during the course of the regular season.

The following are the five nominees for CJHL Top Rookie honours:

Carson Olsen, (D) Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) – Was the 2023-24 SJHL Rookie of the Year, in his first season with Battlefords. … A commitment to NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Olsen finished the season with 30 points and an impressive plus-23 rating. … The 2006-born Warman, Sask., native was also only one of two rookie defencemen to hit double digits in goals this season. … Wrapped up the regular season with 10 tallies and 20 assists in 51 games played.

With files from Clark Munroe & Jamie Neugebauer, Co-Directors of Media (SJHL)

Grady Hoffman, Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) – Hoffman stormed out of the gate in his 18-year-old rookie season in the MJHL with Steinbach. … The 2005-born forward led all rookies in scoring with 28 goals and 21 assists in 53 games. … His 28 goals were good enough to finish sixth in the league, which included five game-winners. … He was voted as the Kim Davis Award recipient as the MJHL’s Rookie of the Year and was named to the MJHL’s Rookie All-Star Team for his strong performance this season.

With files from Eric Swar, Director, Marketing & Partnerships (MJHL)

Noah Tegelaar, (G) Blind River Beavers (NOJHL) – A tremendous inaugural campaign featured the 17-year-old Beavers’ netminder leading the NOJHL in wins (27); goals-against average (2.02); save percentage (.928) and shutouts (6). … Hailing from Georgetown, Ont., Tegelaar posted a 27-4-0-0 overall record in 33 appearances and at one point won 14 straight starts, along with 19 of 20. … The NOJHL’s Goaltender of the Month for December was tabbed a league Eastlink TV 3 Stars of the Week honouree on three occasions. … Was selected a NOJHL 1st Team All-Star and also earned league Top Goaltender laurels.

With files from Scott Marshall, Statistician (NOJHL)

Matthew Manza, (F) Toronto Patriots (OJHL) – Manza, who is committed to join the NCAA Division I Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio beginning with the 2025-26 season, was earlier named the OJHL’s Rookie of the Year. … Manza, who turned 16 on Sept. 22, joined the Patriots this season from his hometown Mississauga Senators under-16 team. … He scored 26 goals and had 23 assists in 49 OJHL games. … Six of his goals were game-winners while seven were scored on the power play. … He was named to the OJHL’s First Prospect team this spring. Patriots’ coach Vince Bellissimo is excited about Manza’s ceiling: “From the first day of training camp, it was evident that Matthew had high next-level potential,” said Bellissimo. “He is a great kid and is a pleasure to work with every day. We are committed to spending the next two years furthering his development in detail, to prepare him for his next steps. There is a lot of work to be done here individually and as a team, and I know Matthew is committed to doing what it takes to be successful.”

With files from Jim Mason, Director of Communications (OJHL)

Jaeden Nelson, (G) Navan Grads (CCHL) – Hailing from the nation’s capital, the Ottawa product made waves in his rookie campaign as a 16-year-old. … Leading all CCHL goaltenders with 25 wins, Nelson boasted impressive stats overall. … He ranked second among CCHL netminders with a .921 save percentage; fourth with a 2.56 goals-against average; and was third in shutouts with three … His stellar performance was instrumental in guiding the Navan Grads to the CCHL’s regular season title, solidifying his status as a solid presence between the pipes.

With files from CCHL Communications

Earning honourable mention status for the CJHL Top Rookie Award in 2023-24 were:

Joey Melo, (F) Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL); Noah Razon, Rangers de Montreal (LHJAAQ); Spencer Caines, (F) Valley Wildcats (MHL) & Easton Mikus, (F) Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL).


Olsen: Martin Martinson / battlefordsNOW

Hoffman: Jonathan Kozub

Tegelaar: Helene Rancourt

Manza: Shawn Muir / OJHL Images

Nelson: Robert Lefebvre /