The Ontario Junior Hockey League today announced that Adam Shibuya (photo credit - Brian Watts/OJHL) of the Toronto Junior Canadiens has been named the inaugural recipient of the OJHL Scholastic Player-of-the-Year Award and has been selected as the league’s nominee for the annual RBC Junior ‘A’ Scholarship awarded by RBC in conjunction with Hockey Canada.
Along with receiving one of the newest OJHL Awards, Shibuya will receive a $1,000 scholarship from RBC and will be one of 10 finalists (one from each member of the CJHL) in the running for an additional $5,000 national scholarship award that will be presented during the 2012 RBC Cup in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
Shibuya played his minor midget season with the North York Rangers in 2008-09 while attending Upper Canada College. His combination of on and off-ice achievements earned him the St. Michael’s Majors Minor Midget Scholarship Award and following the season, he was selected in the 12th round, 237th overall, by the Brampton Battalion in the OHL Priority Selection.
As a 16-year old year old in 2009-10, the Upper Canada College Varsity Blues netminder would play five games for the North York Rangers, earning his first two junior hockey wins. Last season, Shibuya spent the majority of the year with the LaSalle Vipers Junior ‘B’ club of the GOJHL, but would also make his first appearance with the Jr. Canadiens, playing three games for the team early in the season. While in LaSalle, he would post an impressive 12-3-4 record during the season and continue his hot streak into the playoffs, going 4-1 with a league-leading 2.13 goals against average, before an injury ended his season. Joining the Canadiens full-time this season, Shibuya would post a 5-8-2 record with a 3.72 goals against average and .896 save percentage, while also recording his first Junior ‘A’ shutout, a 35 save, 5-0 victory over the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots on September 25, 2011.
Even more impressive than Shibuya’s on-ice performance, are his efforts in the classroom. The 18-year old native of Toronto, Ontario attended the prestigious Upper Canada College in Toronto from grades 5-11 and then completed his secondary school career last year at the PEAC School for Elite Athletes. After graduating as an Ontario Scholar with a 96% academic average and a 2020 SAT score, Shibuya’s list of academic accomplishments is lengthy and include receiving Honours with Distinction all three years at UCC. Having been accepted into McGill University’s Commerce program last year, Shibuya deferred his enrollment until the fall of 2012 and was unable to take any post-secondary courses this season. However, he has since been recognized by many U.S. based institutions as an elite student athlete and has also applied to many other prominent universities. His future plans include receiving both a Bachelor and Masters Degrees before using his training with the goal of becoming an entrepreneur.
If not busy enough between his academic and hockey careers, Shibuya also spends much of his spare time volunteering countless hours and sitting on various committees. Throughout school, he would find time to play Junior Varsity Football and was Rookie of the Year in Senior Varsity Rugby. As well, he spent time as a House Prefect, helped organize the 2010 World Affairs Conference, tutored grade nine students, organized fundraisers as a member of the Free the Children Club and was elected by the student government to the Upper Canada College Student Disciplinary Council after being nominated by the school faculty.
One of his true passions, however, is his work at the Geneva Centre for Autism in Toronto, as well as at the Teddington Park Retirement Residence. After spending all of last season volunteering at the Geneva Centre, Shibuya would find the work so rewarding personally that he continues to assist and has contributed approximately 140 hours as a volunteer working directly with autistic children.
Rob Simpson of the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots is runner-up to Shibuya for the OJHL Scholastic Player-of-the-Year. The 20-year old defenceman was a member of the Mississauga Chargers from 2009 to this year, before a mid-season trade would see him moved to the contending Patriots. The Ontario Scholar and Honour Roll student in Secondary School is currently taking courses at York University and is planning on continuing his academic and hockey career in the NCAA.
The OJHL Most Improved Player Award will be announced later in the week.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)