A young Vancouver Island hockey player has won a national honour.
Vernon Vipers forward Jojo Tanaka-Campbell has been named the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Academic Player of the Year for 2019-20.
Hockey Canada made the announcement Thursday, May 7, as part of their CJHL year-end awards.
The 19-year-old enjoyed a solid rookie campaign with the Vipers, notching seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points in 52 regular-season games. Tanaka-Campbell really came into his own when the calendar flipped to 2020 as he potted six of his seven goals in January and racked up 11 points in the month, including a seven-game point streak.
Off the ice, the native of Mill Bay, near Duncan, is an exceptional student who graduated high school in June 2019 with a Grade 12 average of 94 per cent and earned a scholarship to play hockey at Yale University.
One of the keys to his success in the classroom is bringing that same tenacity he shows on the ice.
“I hate not being able to do something – I’m very stubborn in that way,” said Tanaka-Campbell in a release from Hockey Canada. “In the classroom, if I don’t get a mark I want, I will keep practicing at what I didn’t do right until I get it.”
Tanaka-Campbell continues to enroll in courses and take on academic challenges since graduating high school and hopes to pursue engineering when he gets to Yale for the 2021-22 season.
“Jojo is very mature for his age,” said Vipers head coach Jason McKee. “He always treats people extremely well and is very driven and goal-oriented. He has an unwavering work ethic and always brings a positive energy to the rink.”
He is the second BCHL player to win a 2019-20 CJHL year-end award after Trail’s Kent Johnson was named Top Forward. Tanaka Campbell also won the Vipers’ Bill Brown Academic Excellence Award and was voted the team’s most improved player.