Top Defenceman: Max Chakrabarti


This week the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announces its overall award winners in seven categories – Most Valuable Player, Top Scorer, Top Defenceman, Top Goaltender, Rookie of the Year, Most Sportsmanlike Player and Coach of the Year. 

Next is Top Defenceman – Max Chakrabarti of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. Thunder Cats associate coach-assistant general manager Gianni Mangone says like his brother Luke, Max had a breakout year in his second season.

Chakrabarti led all KIJHL defencemen with 55 points in 40 games, while playing 23:13 a game (3:30 on the power-play and 1:11 on the penalty-kill). Chakrabarti had two game-winners, a short-handed goal and 15 power-play points. He recorded a season high seven points against Spokane. The Surrey native was a plus-15 this season and blocked nearly two shots a game. Chakrabarti was named the Hudl Instat KIJHL Top Defenceman three times.

“It was fun to have a kid that talented on the back end. I played defence my whole life so it was fun to see someone produce offensively, but not give up too much defensively as well,” says Mangone, who played two years professionally after three years in NCAA Division 3 with Marian University. “The biggest jump from year one to year two was his ability to shoot from the point, get pucks through on net and score. 

“What really made him stand out was his breakout passing, his zone exits and joining the rush,” added Mangone. “His skill with the puck and vision was very high level. It was pretty easy to coach, sometimes you just gotta let him loose. When you have a stallion, you let him run, and at other times you would have to reel him in.” 

Chakrabarti’s big improvement came from making his shot better and stronger, as well as his quickness. Chakrabarti’s season also included a second selection to Team KIJHL for the B.C. Hockey Conference Prospects Game in Kamloops last November.