Christian Djoos, the 22-year-old 2nd year defenseman out of Gothenberg, Sweden, has been named the winner of the Dan Sernoffsky Award for the most improved player.
Drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 draft (195th overall), Djoos’ offensive numbers have soared this season from last when he was one of three rookie defensemen on a team that made it all the way to the Calder Cup Finals.
In 62 regular season games last season, he scored 8 goals and 14 assists and finished at +7. This year, to date, he has appeared in 66 games and tallied 13 goals and 45 assists. He ranks third on the team in points this season and is +9. His shot attempts have increased from 74 to 85 this season. Ranking 13th in the league in points, he has, by far, the fewest shot attempts of the Top 20 scorers.
In addition to improving his offensive game this season, Djoos had to overcome a facial injury. He took a puck to the face, lost a few teeth, but returned to the ice wearing a cage, but that didn’t keep him sidelined for long.
One thing that did not increase this season were his shootout goals and attempts, but the primary reason for that was the lack of games that made it to a shootout this year.
A season ago, Djoos was 4 for 6 in shootout attempts, but this season he was 1 for 3.
While those numbers may have decreased, Djoos has been one of the most consistent blue-liners for the Bears.
He was honored as the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for March after a 2-goal/5-assist week. Head coach Troy Mann frequently mentions Djoos in his post game press conferences and did once again after the final regular season game, saying that the team felt Djoos also deserved All-Star recognition.
He was profiled by NoVa Caps in February. That interview and article can be found here.
The award, which is given annually, is given in memory of the late Dan Sernoffsky, who covered the Bears extensively for years as a sports reporter for The Lebanon Daily News.
By Julie Beidler
— Beids (@juliebeidler) April 16, 2017