Brochu is the fourth London goalie to win the Jim Rutherford Trophy, which has been handed out annually since 1987-88.
Adam Dennis, Steve Mason and Michael Houser also earned the honour during their careers in London, Ont.
An injury kept Brochu out of the Knights’ crease for almost exactly six weeks but he had built up such a brilliant stack of stats and overall resume for the season that the missed time didn’t end up hurting the 19-year-old from Tilbury, Ont., one bit.
“It’s definitely an honour and a big moment,” said Brochu. “I didn’t expect it and I was pretty pumped up when I found out.”
When Brochu suffered an ankle injury on March 8 in Kitchener, Ont., he was the league leader in wins. He was eventually passed by Luke Cavallin of the Flint Firebirds and then in the final two weeks of the season by Marco Costantini of the Hamilton Bulldogs and Leevi Merilainen of the Kingston Frontenacs — but it took that long.
Brochu ended the year with 29 victories and the third-best save percentage at .911, behind only Costantini and Barrie Colts overager Mack Guzda.
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Brochu spent 2020-21 with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League and performed well enough for the Penguins to give Brochu his first professional start in the final game of the season. He became the youngest player to appear in a game for Wilkes-Barre.
“I have some decisions to make for my plans next year,” Brochu said. “It’s exciting and hopefully the world juniors in the summertime will be a fun event and hopefully we can bring home a goal medal.”
Brochu was one of three goalies for Team Canada as the 2022 tournament got underway in December of 2021. COVID-19 issues forced the cancellation of the event after just nine games. Canada was 2-0 after victories over Czechia and Austria. Brochu played in the game against Austria, which Canada won 11-2.
The plan is to play the tournament in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., from Aug. 9 to 20.
Read more: Sam O’Reilly officially joins London Knights
Other OHL award winners so far:
Rookie of the Year: Cam Allen – Guelph Storm
Humanitarian of the Year: Mark Woolley – Owen Sound Attack
Most Sportsmanlike: Wyatt Johnston – Windsor Spitfires
Coach of the Year: James Richmond – Mississauga Steelheads