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Canmore Eagles defenceman a finalist for national award

Mortensen one of five nominees for CJHL defenceman of the year

CANMORE – Brody Mortensen is looking to double-up on major Junior A hockey awards this year.

The 19-year-old blueliner, who played the past two seasons with the Canmore Eagles, is a finalist for 2023-24 defenceman of the year in the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).

On the national nomination, Mortensen said it’s rewarding in itself.

“I think it definitely takes it to a different level,” said Mortensen. “When I got the AJHL top defenceman award, I thought it was pretty cool and I got a lot of congratulations from people who helped me along the way … then I was nominated for this one and that’s when I started realizing like, 'wow, this is a pretty big deal.’”

Already named the top defenceman of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Mortensen evolved his game to become an effective two-way defender. 

Scoring a career-high in goals with the birds, Mortensen mixed in his new found nose for offence while playing shut-down D, often tasked with taking on opposing teams’ top players each game.

In Mortensen’s most recent campaign, the Eagles blueliner scored 12 goals and 34 points. In the Eagles’ deep playoff run, where they took the Whitecourt Wolverines to Game 7 before losing in the semifinals, Mortensen scored two goals and had seven points in 16 games.

“Playing both sides of the game, it really just excels my game and my game took off for me this year,” said Mortensen.

The five finalists were selected through a voting process by the CJHL’s nine-member leagues.

The other finalists are Noah Houle of the Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL), Noah Szabo of the Steinbach Pistons (MJHL), David Green of the St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL) and Olivier Beaudoin of the West Kent Steamers (MHL).

On Mortensen's nomination, Eagles head coach and general manager Andrew Milne said it's proof that if you put in the work that you can be rewarded.

“He is very deserving,” said Milne. “He works so hard at his craft [and] being rewarded with the nomination is a feather in the cap. He is a great leader and role model for our players.”

This upcoming season, after spending the past two years on the Eagles, Mortensen is heading south of the border to attend Lindenwood University in Missouri, where he will play for the Lions in NCAA Division I action.

He’ll be joined by fellow Eagles alumni Tyler Loughman and fellow CJHL defenceman of the year finalist Noah Houle on the ice.

Like his big jump in Junior A, the Humboldt, Saskatchewan-native is looking to take his game to another level with the Lions.

“I’m just excited for the challenge,” he said. “It’s going to be a really cool, different experience playing in some cities I’ve never been to in my life and playing against guys who are signed or NHL draft picks.

“I’m really excited to play against them and then see where my game is at and measure my game to theirs and see how I can improve.”

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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