With preliminary-round action concluded and the semifinal match-ups set at the 2017 RBC Cup in Cobourg, it was time to recognize individual player contributions at the annual event banquet on Friday.
Cale Makar (Calgary/Brooks, AJHL) has made event history, walking away with back-to-back MVP and top-defenceman awards at the 2016 and 2017 RBC Cup. No other player has won either of those awards twice, let alone in consecutive years. Makar also received the nod as the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) player of the year.
“Anybody in this room could have easily got it; a lot of guys played just as well as I did and were just as big a help to their teams as I was, but at the end of the day, it’s a pretty big honour to receive it,” said Makar of his second MVP award. He credits the players that surround him with helping him achieve these latest honours. “I get put on the ice every day with successful players and guys that want to play hard every day, and compete. They push me to be better, and I push them to be better, I like to think. The competition part just helps make me better every day.”
The host Cobourg Cougars’ Spencer Roberts (Stouffville, Ont.), who posted seven points in four games (four goals, three assists) to lead the tournament in scoring in the round robin, was awarded top forward and top scorer.
“It’s an honour to win those two awards, but I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my linemates, Theo Lewis and Quinn Syrydiuk; they helped me out a lot,” said Roberts.
The full list of award-recipients includes:
- Roland Mercier Award (MVP): Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits
- Top Goaltender: Stefano Durante, Cobourg Cougars
- Tubby Schmalz Award (Most Sportsmanlike): Nicholas Jones, Penticton Vees
- Top Forward: Spencer Roberts, Cobourg Cougars
- Top Defenceman: Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits
- Top Scorer: Spencer Roberts
- RBC CJHL Player of the Year Award: Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits
Thanks to the legacy from past RBC Cup events, one graduating player from each participating team is awarded a $500 grant. This year’s recipients are:
- Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, Alta./Brooks, AJHL)
- Stefano Durante (Brampton, Ont./Cobourg, OJHL)
- Taylor Sanheim (Elkhorn, Man./Penticton, BCHL)
- Kevin Laliberté (Bois-des-Filion, Que./Terrebonne, LHJQ)
- Lucas Brown (Powassan, Ont./Trenton, OJHL)
In addition, Hockey Canada’s premier partner and event title sponsor, RBC, awards a $5,000 national scholarship celebrating academic and on-ice excellence to a deserving player from the CJHL each season. This year’s RBC National Scholarship Award recipient is Owen Grant (Stittsville, Ont./Carleton Place, CCHL), who has committed to attend the University of Vermont on a hockey scholarship next season.
Action resumes Saturday at 2017 RBC Cup
The host Cobourg Cougars finished first in the preliminary-round standings at the 2017 RBC Cup, and will face the Penticton Vees in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. ET semifinal at the Cobourg Community Centre. The second semifinal, featuring the Brooks Bandits and Cobras de Terrebonne, will follow at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The winner from each semifinal will play for the 2017 RBC Cup on Sunday, May 21, at 5:30 p.m. ET.