NOJHL names its Players of the Month for January

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) announced Wednesday that Emile Pichette (Hearst Lumberjacks); Ranon Joseph (Soo Thunderbirds); Jacob Brown (Timmins Rock) and Gavin Rocha (Blind River Beavers) have been named its Forward; Defenceman; Goaltender and Rookie of the Month, respectively, for January.

FORWARD OF THE MONTH: EMILE PICHETTE, (F) HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Etching his name on the game sheet in every contest he appeared in last month, Pichette averaged over two points-per-game for Hearst.

In all, the 20-year-old from St-Eustache, Que., had 14 points on four goals and eight assists in six appearances, for the Lumberjacks.

Currently riding a six-game point streak, Pichette has amassed 20 tallies and helped set-up 24 others for his side in his first 36 NOJHL outings.

Honourable Mention: Caleb Minns, (F) Blind River Beavers; Dharan Cap, (F) Soo Thunderbirds

Monthly recipients
September: Zachary Demers, (F) Hearst Lumberjacks

October: Billy Biedermann, (F) Greater Sudbury Cubs
November: Nicolas Pigeon, (F) Timmins Rock
December: Zachary Demers, (F) Hearst Lumberjacks
January: Emile Pichette, (F) Hearst Lumberjacks

DEFENCEMAN OF THE MONTH: RANON JOSEPH, (D) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Leading all league skaters in offensive production, the Thunderbirds blueliner racked up 18 points in his initial nine NOJHL contests.

Hailing from Sherwood Park, Alta., Joseph, who is 19, made an immediate impact with the T-Birds, scoring four times, while doling out 14 assists, with two of his markers having been game-winners.

He enters February on a nine-game point streak, while having registered six multi-point affairs.

Honourable Mention: Jack Ginocchi, (D) French River Rapids; Mitch Wilkie, (D) Powassan Voodoos

Monthly recipients
September: Kenyon Nyman, (D) Timmins Rock

October: Kenyon Nyman, (D) Timmins Rock
November: Alex Little, (D) Powassan Voodoos
December: Nicholas Toffolli, (D) Greater Sudbury Cubs
January: Ranon Joseph, (D) Soo Thunderbirds

GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH: JACOB BROWN, (G) TIMMINS ROCK – Unbeaten in January, Brown boasted a sizzling .067 goals-against average and an equally stellar save percentage of .963.

Included the efforts of the 16-year-old rookie netminder from Yarker, Ont., during the time frame was his fifth shutout of the season, which ties him for the league lead in that department.

Brown, who has won each of his past seven starts and sports an overall record of 12-1-1-2, leads all NOJHL goalkeepers in average at 1.55 and sits second-best with a save mark of .928.

Honourable Mention: Gavin Disano, (G) Blind River Beavers; Daniel Dirracolo, (G) Powassan Voodoos

Monthly recipients
September: Logan Raffaele, (G) Soo Eagles

October: Noah Beaulne, (G) Greater Sudbury Cubs
November: Charlie Burns, (G) Blind River Beavers
December: Kolton Bourret, (G) Soo Thunderbirds
January: Jacob Brown, (G) Timmins Rock

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH: GAVIN ROCHA, (F) BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – A solid start to 2023 saw Rocha pace all first-year players in league rookie scoring.

Through nine matchups, Rocha racked a dozen points as he scored three times, including a game-winner, and dished out nine helpers. Meanwhile, a trio of his assists came on deciding markers by the Beavers.

In his past 25 games, the 17-year-old forward from Bradford, Ont., has collected 27 points, with nine goals and 18 assists.

Honourable Mention: Jordan Bax, (F) French River Rapids; Jacob Brown, (G) Timmins Rock

Monthly recipients
September: Andrew Gaulton, (G) Espanola Paper Kings
October: Jackson Truchan, (F) Soo Thunderbirds
November: Brodie McConnell-Barker, (D) Soo Thunderbirds
December: Brandan Tronchin, (F) Hearst Lumberjacks
January: Gavin Rocha, (F) Blind River Beavers


Pichette: Gary Rosevear

Joseph: Northern Exposures Photography

Brown: Thomas Perry / Timmins Daily Press

Rocha: Bob Davies