CSSHL Announces Top Defenseman Award Winners

The Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) has announced the nine division winners of the Top Defenseman Award:

Eastern U17 Prep: Charlie Morrison – Champions Hockey Academy

With 7 goals and 10 assists in 13 games Morrison led all defensemen with 17 points. This was the Miramichi, NB product’s first season in the CSSHL.

Eastern U18 Prep: Justin Barrette – Bourget College

Barrette was fourth among defensemen with 20 points in 19 games. This was the Terrebonne, QC  product’s first season in the CSSHL.

Female U18 Prep: Gracie Graham – RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna

Graham finished second among defensemen and third among all skaters with 59 points in 29 games. The University of Minnesota commit has tallied 104 points in 81 games with RHA Kelowna over her three year career with the team. Graham has represented Team Canada twice at the U18 Women’s World Championships, winning Gold in 2023 and bronze in 2024. This is her second individual CSSHL award, having been named the Top Freshman Award winner in 2021/22.

U15: Nolan Wolitski – Northern Alberta Xtreme

Wolitski’s 45 assists were second among all skaters while his 45 assists and 53 points were tops among all defensemen. In his first CSSHL season the St. Albert, AB product added five assists in five playoff games to help NAX capture back-to-back U15 Western Championships.

U15 Prep: Brock Cripps – St. George’s School

Cripps led all U15 Prep skaters with 70 points, setting CSSHL U15 Prep defensemen records for goals (25) and points (70) in a single season. His 45 assists were 1 off the single season record held by Nashville Predators prospect Tanner Molendyk. The Victoria, BC product holds the all-time U15 Prep record among defensemen with 108 points in 52 career games, sixth all-time among all skaters.

U17 Prep Tier I: Easton LaPlante – Calgary International Hockey Academy

A second round pick by the Calgary Hitmen at the 2023 WHL Draft, LaPlante’s 34 points in 22 games gave him a Tier I best 1.55 points-per-game among defensemen. The Calgary, AB defender added four points in four playoff games to help CIHA capture a U17 Prep Tier I Western Championship in his and his teams first CSSHL season.

U17 Prep Tier II: Carson Carels – Pilot Mound Hockey Academy

The Prince George Cougars 2023 WHL Draft first round pick led all U17 Prep defensemen with 50 points in 27 games. The Cypress River, MB products 18 goals and 32 assists were also most among all U17 Prep defensemen, while his 50 points ranked 11th among all skaters. Carels played the previous three seasons with the Pilot Mound U15 Prep team, tallying 51 points in 46 games.

U17 Prep Tier III: Landen Mailhot – BWC Academy White

In 32 games Mailhot tallied 4 goals and 16 assists. The North Vancouver, BC defender has played a total of 82 games for BWC Academy at the U15, U15 Prep and U17 Prep level, tallying 47 points. Mailhot added five points in five playoff games to help BWC Academy White capture the 2024 CSSHL U17 Prep Tier III Western Championship.

U18 Prep: Landon DuPont – Edge School

Granted Exceptional Player Status ahead of the 2024 WHL Draft, the 2009 born skater recorded 62 points in 30 regular season games, a new record for defensemen in the U18 Prep division. His 62 points were third in league scoring and most on his team, 21 more points than any other Edge skater. With 16 points in 5 games he tied the U18 Prep Western Championships record set by Arizona Coyotes forward Dylan Guenther. earning him the 2024 CSSHL U18 Prep Western Championships MVP honours. In 57 career CSSHL games DuPont tallied 109 points.