The Cincinnati Cyclones, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Buffalo Sabres and the American Hockey League's (AHL) Rochester Americans, and in conjunction with the ECHL, have announced that forward Justin Danforth has been named the CCM ECHL Rookie of the Year. This is the third postseason award for Danforth, who was also named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team as well as the All-ECHL Second Team.
Currently skating with the Americans, and despite not skating in a ECHL game in nearly two months, Danforth ranks third amongst ECHL rookies with 28 goals and 31 assists, along with a team-leading plus-24 on-ice rating, through 44 games with the Cyclones this season. Before his recall on February 13, Danforth was riding a seven-game point streak totaling seven goals and 10 assists in that time, and he also enjoyed an 11-game point streak from November 18-December 15, accounting for seven goals and 10 assists in that span. Additionally, he has appeared in 15 games with the Americans this season, accounting for a pair of goals and three assists.
He was also the Cyclones' representative in this season's CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, recording a goal and emerging victorious in the Fastest Skater Competition, setting a new ECHL record with a lap of 12.75 seconds. Danforth joins current New York Ranger David Desharnais (2007-08) as the only other Cyclone to earn ECHL Rookie of the Year honors.
"We are happy to see Justin get this award, it is a great accomplishment", remarked Cyclones Head Coach Matt Macdonald. He was a top end player in his first season in the ECHL and we are glad to see him excel is Cincinnati".
A native of Oshawa, ON, Danforth turned pro late in 2016-17, skating in nine games between the ECHL's Reading Royals and the Americans and AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers, totaling three goals and two assists in that time. Prior to turning pro, Danforth had an outstanding career at Sacred Heart University where he amassed 124 points (42g, 82a) in 147 games. He also served as assistant captain during his senior season.