Jojo Tanaka-Campbell had already caught the eye of prestigious Yale University due to his combination of excellence.
Now, the Mill Bay hockey player and graduate of Shawnigan Lake School has attracted the attention of the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
Tanaka-Campbell, who spent the 2019-20 season with the B.C. Hockey League’s Vernon Vipers, was named the Academic Player of the Year for the entire CJHL, the umbrella organization for all junior A hockey leagues in the country.
The 19-year-old, who will head to Yale on a hockey scholarship beginning in 2021, had a strong rookie campaign with the Vipers, finishing fourth on the club with 26 points on seven goals and 19 assists in 52 games. His best month came in January, when he scored six of his seven goals and finished with 11 points, including an 11-game point streak.
Off the ice, Tanaka-Campbell is an exceptional student, who graduated from Shawnigan in 2020 with an average of 94 per cent in his Grade 12 year while also leading the entire midget prep division of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League with 55 assists and finishing seventh in overall scoring.
He also played 15 games as an AP with the junior A Cowichan Valley Capitals between 2016 and 2019, scoring one goal.
Tanaka-Campbell credits his tenacity, both on and off the ice, for his success.
“I hate not being able to do something — I’m very stubborn in that way,” he said 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.”
He will continue to take courses until he heads to Yale, where he plans to pursue an engineering degree.
“Jojo is very mature for his age,” Vipers head coach Jason McKee said. “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.”
Both Jojo Tanaka-Campbell and his younger brother, Seiya, committed to Yale a year ago, Jojo for the 2021-22 season and Seiya for 2022-23. Seiya spent this past season with Shawnigan’s midget prep team, putting up 59 points on 26 goals and 33 assists in 35 games to finish second in scoring. Seiya also played four games for the Vipers as an AP, with one goal and one assist.