CHL Announces Top 10 Rankings

Top 10

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week 22 edition of the CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2017-18 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 22

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (47-6-2-2) 1 22
2 Moose Jaw Warriors (44-11-1-2) 2 20
3 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (40-9-4-2) 3 22
4 Swift Current Broncos (42-13-4-1) 5 19
5 Sarnia Sting (40-13-4-0) 4 19
6 Halifax Mooseheads (37-13-6-1) 7 11
7 Kitchener Rangers (38-17-2-0) 6 7
8 Everett Silvertips (39-17-2-3) 10 3
9 Rimouski Oceanic (36-14-6-1) 8
10 Acadie-Bathurst Titan (34-14-7-2) 3
Honourable Mention:
Hamilton Bulldogs (35-16-3-3) 9 11
Kelowna Rockets (36-18-4-2) 6
Kingston Frontenacs (32-17-5-3) 0

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Matthew Struthers – North Bay Battalion – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 210 pounds

Date of birth: December 26, 1999

Hometown: Milton, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 3, 55th overall, 2015 Priority Selection (Owen Sound Attack)

As the captain of the minor midget Halton Hurricanes during the 2014-2015 season, Matthew Struthers provided the Canes with 20 goals and 20 assists in 36 games. He added a goal and an assist for the Canes in 4 games at the OHL Cup. And he represented Team OMHA White at the OHL Gold Cup scoring 2 goals and adding 3 assists in 5 games.

The Owen Sound Attack would select Struthers with the 55th overall pick at the 2015 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

Matthew Struthers of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Matthew Struthers acquired from the Owen Sound Attack on January 3, 2018. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

During his 2015-2016 rookie season, Struthers would score 5 goals and 8 assists in 47 games. He would win a gold medal with Team Canada White at the 2016 World Hockey Challenge Under-17 scoring once and add an assist in 6 games.

During his second season with the Attack, Struthers would appear in 66 games in which he scored 10 goals while assisting on 9 others. He would add 2 goals and 3 assists in 17 playoff games.

This season Struthers’ offense wasn’t really where it should have been after scoring 9 goals and 9 assists for the Attack despite being named our draft eligible player of the month in September.  On January 3, 2018, the North Bay Battalion came calling and acquired Struthers and picks in a deal for Brett McKenzie.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Since being acquired by the Battalion, Struthers has averaged a point-per-game on 8 goals and 10 assists. With the exception of a 4-game pointless streak, he’s been a model of consistency putting up points in 11 of the remaining 14 games.

So, what does Struthers bring to the table?

Well, for beginners, at 6’2” he has pretty good size. I don’t project Struthers to be an offensive stalwart at the next level, but more a bottom-six forward who plays hard on pucks drives the net and will park himself there and will end up being a decent faceoff guy.

Struthers has a long, powerful stride in his skating and is extremely strong on his skates. But he lacks an explosiveness in his first few strides and really doesn’t possess a separation gear. So, he relies on his hockey smarts and very good vision to make plays or to put pucks in areas where his teammates are more likely to retrieve them. His passing is slightly underrated and most of his goals will come from going to those dirty areas.

Scouts will like Struthers because of his size and because he plays the game the right way in all three zones, with or without the puck. He plays hard down low at both ends and wins more battles than not for pucks. His defensive awareness is pretty high and positioning excellent- exactly what you’d expect from a Stan Butler coached team.

Struthers was ranked as a C prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List. A C prospect is typically a 4th, 5th or 6th round candidate. On their mid-term rankings, Struthers was ranked 108th among North American Skaters.

Struthers is the highest ranked Battalion, ahead of draft re-entry candidates Justin Brazeau, Luke Burghardt and Adam Thilander.

OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Minor Midget Top-10 Rankings

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the fourteenth edition of the weekly minor midget rankings for the 2018 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament powered by Under Armour and hosted by the Greater Toronto Hockey League.

OHL Cup

The 2018 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour and hosted by the GTHL is scheduled for March 13-19 and will feature 20 teams from across Ontario and the United States showcasing many of the top players eligible for the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.  All games will be played at Scotiabank Pond in Toronto until the Championship Final moves to the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Monday March 19 where it will be broadcasted nationally on Sportsnet.

The weekly rankings are determined by a panel of OHL Central Scouting staff and represent the top teams that are competing to play in the annual year-end championship tournament.

Minor Midget Rankings for the 2018 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour – Week 14

RANK TEAM LEAGUE LAST WEEK WEEKS RANKED
1 Toronto Marlboros* GTHL 1 14
2 Oakville Rangers OMHA 2 14
3 Mississauga Reps* GTHL 3 14
4 Vaughan Kings* GTHL 4 14
5 Toronto Jr. Canadiens* GTHL 5 8
6 York-Simcoe Express OMHA 7 12
7 Detroit Little Caesars U15 USA 6 14
8 Barrie Colts OMHA 8 10
9 Don Mills Flyers GTHL 9 14
10 Cambridge Hawks ALLIANCE 10 11
   
  Honourable Mention  
  Peterborough Petes OMHA 4
  Guelph Gryphons OMHA 1
  Mississauga Rebels GTHL
  London Jr. Knights ALLIANCE

Holding a 4-0 lead in points in their GTHL Championship Final series against the Mississauga Reps, the Toronto Marlboros are the top-ranked team in the province for the 14th straight week. The York-Simcoe Express rise one spot to number six in this week’s rankings as they hold a 4-0 series lead in points over the Peterborough Petes in their OMHA ETA Semi-Final matchup. The London Jr. Knights make their honourable mention debut as they sit one win away from the ALLIANCE Championship Series, currently leading the Sun County Panthers 4-0 in points in a Semi-Final matchup.

Tournament Structure:

16 of the 20 spots in the 2018 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour are guaranteed through league competition.  The 16 guaranteed spots continue to include all four GTHL Semi-Finalists, and the top four teams that place at the OMHA Championship.  Three teams from the ALLIANCE will still be guaranteed a spot in the tournament including the Champion and Finalist, along with the winner of a best-of-three Semi-Final Wild Card Series to be played between the losers of the two league Semi-Finals.  Also as in past years, two tournament entries are reserved for United States competition, while both an HNO and NOHA representative will also compete.  For the second straight season the final guaranteed spot will be awarded to HEO but represented by their previous year Bantam Championship team who will be reassembled for tournament competition.  This season, HEO’s entry will be members of the 2017 Bantam Champion Ottawa Jr. 67’s.

Wild Card Games:

The final four entries at the 2018 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour will be Wild Cards determined among eight teams that will play a one game ‘win and in’ scenario.  The eight competing teams aiming for the final four tournament spots will continue to include the fifth place team at the OMHA Championship, and the loser of the ALLIANCE Semi-Final Wild Card Series.  As introduced in 2016, two spots in Wild Card games will be reserved for GTHL teams.  The two competing GTHL teams will be determined through a pair of Wild Card Play-In Series matchups involving the four GTHL teams who qualified for the playoffs but lost in the first round.  As introduced in 2017, one spot in a Wild Card will also be reserved for the winner of an OMHA SCTA Consolation Game that features both teams who lost in the SCTA Tournament Semi-Final.  The OMHA teams eligible for this matchup will be determined annually based on the league not hosting the OMHA Championship.  Finally, the three remaining teams who will compete in the Wild Card matchups will be named by the Tournament Selection Committee.  The Committee will evaluate and review a team’s post-season success as the first criteria for selection, with additional criteria to include regular season play and tournament play.  All four Wild Card games will take place on Tuesday March 13 with specific matchups and times of play to be determined by random draw among the eight competing teams on Tuesday March 6.

History:

Last season the Mississauga Reps captured their first OHL Cup title, defeating the Toronto Nationals 3-2 on Dennis Golovatchev’s late game winner with nine seconds remaining in the third period.  Current Kitchener Rangers forward Mike Petizian led the showcase with 13 points (5-8—13) in seven games to earn the Tim Adams Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP.

The 2017 OHL Priority Selection featured 15 players chosen in the first round who competed for the OHL Cup including Ryan Suzuki (London Jr. Knights – 1st overall Barrie Colts), Tag Bertuzzi (TPH Hockey – 2nd overall Guelph Storm), Brandon Coe (Toronto Nationals – 3rd overall North Bay Battalion), Nicholas Porco (Vaughan Kings – 4th overall Saginaw Spirit), Philip Tomasino (Mississauga Rebels – 5th overall Niagara IceDogs), Graeme Clarke (Toronto Marlboros – 6th overall Ottawa 67’s), Blake Murray (Whitby Wildcats – 7th overall Sudbury Wolves), Jack Hughes (Toronto Marlboros – 8th overall Mississauga Steelheads), Jamieson Rees (Mississauga Reps – 9th overall Sarnia Sting), Ethan Keppen (Toronto Nationals – 10th overall Flint Firebirds), Connor McMichael (Ajax-Pickering Raiders – 11th overall Hamilton Bulldogs), Cody Morgan (Toronto Jr. Canadiens – 12th overall Kingston Frontenacs), Thomas Harley (Vaughan Kings – 14th overall Mississauga Steelheads), Nathan Staios (Vaughan Kings – 17th overall Windsor Spitfires) and Lucas Rowe (Mississauga Reps – 18th overall London Knights).

Notable OHL Cup graduates currently playing in the NHL include Travis Konecny (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs/Philadelphia Flyers), Mitch Marner (Vaughan Kings/Toronto Maple Leafs), Connor McDavid (Toronto Marlboros/Edmonton Oilers), Max Domi (Don Mills Flyers/Arizona Coyotes), Sean Monahan (Mississauga Rebels/Calgary Flames), Taylor Hall (Greater Kingston Frontenacs/New Jersey Devils), Tyler Seguin (Toronto Nationals/Dallas Stars), John Tavares (Toronto Marlboros/New York Islanders), P.K Subban (Markham Islanders/Nashville Predators), and Steven Stamkos (Markham Waxers/Tampa Bay Lightning).

For more information, please visit ohlcup.ca.

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Luchuk and Lamb lead CHL’s best 

Colts’ Aaron Luchuk named CHL Player of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Ottawa Senators prospect Aaron Luchuk of the Barrie Colts is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 18 after recording nine points in three games including three goals and six assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. 

Luchuk produced three straight multi-point performances last week that led the Colts to three straight victories officially securing a playoff berth and maintaining their lead atop the OHL’s Central Division standings with a current record of 34-20-2-1.  He earned back-to-back first star honours on the road including Wednesday against the Flint Firebirds with a goal and two assists in an 8-5 Valentine’s Day victory, and Thursday in his return to Windsor facing his former Spitfires where he scored the overtime winner and added three assists in a 5-4 triumph.  His week wrapped up Saturday scoring a goal and an assist claiming third star honours in a 3-1 win over the Niagara IceDogs.  Luchuk is the first two-time recipient of the award this season earning the honour with both the Spitfires and the Colts. 

A 20-year-old from Kingston, Ont., Luchuk is playing in his fourth full OHL season after being chosen in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection by the Spitfires.  He played 236 career games in Windsor and scored the game-winning goal in the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup before joining the Colts in December.  Luchuk leads the OHL in scoring with 95 points in 57 games including a league-high 43 goals and is currently riding a 15-game point-streak.  He was signed by the Senators to an entry-level contract as a free agent in December. 

Also considered for the award this week was Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Victoriaville Tigres who scored six goals and three assists for nine points in four games, and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Jordy Bellerive of the Lethbridge Hurricanes who scored five goals and five assists for 10 points in five games. 

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week:

Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Aaron Luchuk (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Ty Ronning (Vancouver Giants)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Peter Abbandonato (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Taylor Raddysh (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: Ivan Kosorenkov (Victoriaville Tigres)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Alex Barr
é-Boulet (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Drake Batherson (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Tyler Soy (Victoria Royals)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets)
  

Rebels’ Riley Lamb named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Riley Lamb of the Red Deer Rebels is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending February 18 after posting a 4-0-0-0 record including one shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .957. 

Lamb turned aside an impressive 133 shots last week backstopping the red hot Rebels to four straight road victories.  He began the week by recording his first shutout of the season last Monday on British Columbia’s Family Day with a 25-save performance against the Prince George Cougars earning second star honours in the 4-0 win.  His strong holiday play continued on Valentine’s Day with a first star performance on Wednesday in Kelowna making 36 saves in a 4-1 win over the Rockets.  Continuing the west coast road trip into the weekend, Lamb made 33 saves and was named second star of a 4-3 victory over the Victoria Royals on Friday, then wrapped up his week with 39 saves in a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Giants on Sunday.  The Rebels have now won eight of their last 10 games and are third in the WHL’s Central Division with a record of 21-26-10-3. 

A 19-year-old from Rivers, MB, Lamb is playing in his second WHL season with the Rebels and carries an 8-9-3-2 record including seven straight wins in 24 appearances this season.  His goals-against-average of 3.24 and save percentage of .905 are improved marks over his 2016-17 figures of 3.39 and .899 across 41 games. 

Also considered for the award this week was Los Angeles Kings prospect Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds who posted a 2-0-0-0 record with one shutout making 44 saves overall for a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .978.  In the QMJHL, Samuel Harvey of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies posted a 1-1-0-0 record with one shutout stopping 55 shots for a goals-against-average of 1.01 and save percentage of .965. 

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:

Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Riley Lamb (Red Deer Rebels)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Brody Willms (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Zachary Bouthillier (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Mario Culina (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Stuart Skinner (Swift Current Broncos)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: James Porter (Kelowna Rockets)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Tristan
Bérubé (Gatineau Olympiques)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Anthony Morrone (Victoriaville Tigres)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranada Huskies)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Logan Flodell (Swift Current Broncos)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Dereck Baribeau (Quebec Remparts)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

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OHL Announces Disciplinary Action

Press Release

Game of Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – Kingston at Ottawa 

The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results of a review of an incident which took place in a game played in Ottawa on the 14th of February, 2018, involving the 67’s and the visiting Kingston Frontenacs Hockey Club. 

The incident reviewed was a match penalty for checking to the head assessed to player Shaw Boomhower of the Ottawa 67’s Hockey Club.

Based on a review of the incident, it is the position of the League that player Shaw Boomhower shall be suspended for twelve (12) games, dating from but not including the game of Wednesday, February 14, 2018. 

Click here to watch video and rationale of the Shaw Boomhower suspension.

Colts’ Aaron Luchuk named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Ottawa Senators prospect Aaron Luchuk of the Barrie Colts is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending February 18 after leading the league with nine points in three games including three goals and six assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. 

Aaron Luchuk of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Aaron Luchuk of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Luchuk earns the award for the second time this season but first as a member of the Colts.  His three-straight multi-point performances led Barrie to a trio of victories last week officially clinching a berth in the 2018 OHL Playoffs with a 34-19-2-1 record atop the Central Division standings.  His week began by earning first star honours on Wednesday with a goal and two assists in an 8-5 Valentine’s Day victory over the Flint Firebirds.  On Thursday night Luchuk received a warm welcome back to Windsor facing the team he helped capture the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup title.  Following a pre-game video tribute, the former Spitfires captain took over recording four points in the 5-4 Colts triumph including the overtime winner and first star honours bringing a storybook end to a special night.  His week wrapped up Saturday with a goal and an assist extending his personal point-streak to 14 games and claiming third star honours in a 3-1 win over the Niagara IceDogs. 

A 20-year-old from Kingston, Ont., Luchuk is playing in his fourth full OHL season.  He was chosen in the fourth round by the Spitfires in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection and played 236 career games with the club before joining the Colts in December.  In 26 games with Barrie he’s produced 15 goals and 28 assists for 43 points and is currently tied for the OHL scoring lead with 94 points overall.  Luchuk was signed by the Senators to an entry-level contract as a free agent in December. 

Watch video highlights of Luchuk and the Colts against the Firebirds, Spitfires, and IceDogs. 

Minnesota Wild prospect Dmitry Sokolov also had a strong week for the Colts scoring four goals and four assists for eight points in three games, while Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack scored four goals and three assists for seven points in three games.  In goal, Los Angeles Kings prospect Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds posted a 2-0-0-0 record with one shutout making 44 saves overall for a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .978.

2017-18 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week:

Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Aaron Luchuk (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Kenny Huether (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Taylor Raddysh (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: Ben Jones (Niagara IceDogs)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Joseph Garreffa (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Cam Hillis – Guelph Storm – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 163 pounds

Date of birth: June 24, 2000

Hometown: Enniskillen, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 2, 29th overall, 2016 Priority Selection

As the captain of the York Simcoe express, Guelph Storm center Cam Hillis scored 25 goals and 47 assists in 33 games during his minor midget AAA season. He would lead the Express to an OHL Cup Championship with a goal and 7 assists in 7 games.

The Storm would select Hillis in the second round of the 2016 Priority Selection with the 29th overall pick. He would also be selected at the United States Hockey League’s Futures Draft in the 4th round, 56th overall in 2016 by the Youngstown Phantoms.

Cam Hillis of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Cam Hillis of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Following those drafts, Hillis would go on to play a season for St. Andrew’s College. There, he helped St. Andrews win the CISAA (Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association) championship scoring 9 goals and 13 assists in 15 games and then adding 2 goals and 5 assists in 5 games en route to the title.

Hillis would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 but was held pointless in 5 games.

Hillis’ transition to the Ontario Hockey League this season was rather seamless and has shown he can produce at this level. He sits tied for second among Storm players in goals (19), assists (33) and trails only Ryan Merkley (56) in points. His 52 points leads all rookies.

Hillis’ 19 goals come on just 93 shots, making for an impressive 20.4% shooting percentage. Even more impressive is that 9 of his 19 goals have come with the man advantage. Faceoffs, where he has 425 wins on 863 opportunities for 49.2%, continue to be a work in progress.

His pre-draft OHL Central Scouting report read as follows:

Cameron is an undersized center that plays the game with a lot of energy. He is very good skater that uses his speed to gain advantages in the offensive zone by getting to loose pucks or beating players to the net. He competes hard every shift and is not afraid to go to the dirty areas against any player. He has very good puck skills, good vision with the puck and was the leading scorer in the ETA. He is used in all situations and is very effective on the penalty kill. 

Hillis has added some size since then as he’s playing at 5’11”. As for his skating, he possesses an explosive first step with above average top-end speed. He works his edges extremely well and has excellent lateral movement making him hard to contain. It also helps Hillis defensively. He back checks hard, quickly gets into lanes with his body or sick and combined with his high-end hockey smarts, regularly breaks up plays.

Offensively, Hillis has an ability to gain the zone, and when he does he is able to keep possession. He can slow the play down and be patient, waiting for the play to develop. He uses those assets wisely and when paired with his very good vision and passing abilities, makes him a dangerous playmaker. Those skills come to the forefront on the powerplay.

Hillis was ranked as a B prospect (2nd or 3rd round pick) on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List. On their midterm rankings, Central Scouting had Hillis 59th among North American skaters.  He was 56th overall on Bob McKenzie’s mid-season rankings.

Cameron Hillis

Stat page of Cam Hillis from Elite Prospects

 

 

Akil Thomas – Niagara IceDogs – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 170 pounds

Date of birth: January 2, 2000

Hometown: Brandon, Florida

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 12th overall, 2016 Priority Selection

For Brandon Florida native and Niagara IceDogs pivot Akil Thomas, there are some bloodlines in the hockey family. While they never carved out a National Hockey League career, his father Kahlil Thomas carved out a hockey career while getting a cup of coffee in the American Hockey League and the International Hockey League. Ditto for his uncle Leo Thomas, who finished his hockey career two years ago in the East Coast Hockey League.

Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Thomas played his minor midget hockey with the Toronto Marlboros during the 2015-2016 season. In 56 games with Toronto he notched 33 goals while setting up 39 others.

Thomas is an OHL Gold Cup Champion. He led the tournament with 11 points on 6 goals and 5 assists during the 2015-2016 season. In the same year, he won silver at the OHL Cup, again leading all scorers with 13 points with 6 goals and 7 assists in 7 games and being named to the OHL Cup All-Star Team.

With dual citizenship, Thomas chose to represent Canada. He hit the international stage a season ago at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 as a leader for Canada White, where he scored twice and added an assist in 6 games. Later that season, he was kept off the score board at the World Junior Championships Under-18.

Last season was also Thomas’ rookie Ontario Hockey League season where he finished third in goals (21), assists (27) and points (48) in 61 games. He was named to the OHL All-Rookie squad.

This season began in August 2017 for Thomas when he represented Canada once again at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. He won gold with the Canadians and helped the cause with 2 goals and 4 assists in 5 games.

Thomas has led the IceDogs offense for most of the season, until a trade with the London Knights brought Sam Miletic in. Thomas has 16 goals and 48 assists in 55 games to date. 4 of his goals and 21 assists have come with the man advantage making him a dangerous offensive threat with the extra man. He’s firing at a 9.8 shooting percentage and has won 496 of 920 faceoffs for a 53.9 winning percentage.

There is a lot to like about Thomas. He has excellent leadership qualities having worn a letter in the past and wearing one for the IceDogs this season. His tenacity and work ethic go unmatched on most nights and his teammates seem to follow his lead.

Thomas possesses excellent puck handling skills, vision and passing abilities. He’s also a very good skater with very good speed and works his edges extremely well. When combined, he is difficult to contain in the o-zone, making him one of the better playmakers in the draft class.

Thomas is also a very good three zone player who puts as much pride and effort on the defensive side of the game as he does on the offensive side. He skates hard on the back check, puts his body or stick into lanes, doesn’t shy away from physicality and is a key cog on the IceDogs penalty kill.

Thomas was on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List as an A prospect – typically a first-round pick. On their mid term rankings, Thomas was ranked tenth among North American Skaters. On Bob McKenzie’s mid-term rankings, Thomas was ranked 29th among all skaters.

Akil Thomas

Stat page of Akil Thomas from elite prospects

 

OHL This Week for Feb. 15-19, 2018

Toronto, ON – The Family Day long weekend is upon us which means an extra full day of Ontario Hockey League action this coming Monday.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening around the league this week.

OHL Logo

OHL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY – HOCKEY DEVELOPMENT INTERN:

The Ontario Hockey League is now accepting applications for the position of Hockey Development Intern. This is an eight month paid internship under the Bill Hay Future Leaders Internship Program. Full Details

U SPORTS EDUCATING OHL PLAYERS ON LIFE AS STUDENT ATHLETES:

Throughout the 2017-18 season, OHL overage players have had the opportunity participate in a number of information sessions, better familiarizing them with their options as they pursue their career and academic goals. All graduates are able to compete for U SPORTS’ 35 men’s hockey programs spread across three conferences and receive their education paid for by utilizing the leagues’ Scholarship Programs, funded by OHL member clubs. Last season, the OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 301 OHL Alumni with a total scholarship payment in excess of $3.17 million. Since the 2007-08 season, OHL Scholarship payments have totaled more than $18.8 million. Learn more about the great opportunities awaiting OHL graduates in the U SPORTS Men’s Hockey circuit over at USPORTS.ca.

OHL MOURNS THE LOSS OF EARL MONTAGANO:

The Ontario Hockey League family is deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Earl Montagano who passed away Monday after a battle with cancer at the age of 91. Montagano was a former owner of the Ottawa 67’s Hockey Club for 23 years alongside partner Howard Darwin. During his tenure in the OHL, Montagano served as Chairman of the Board and was a longtime member of the league’s Executive Council.  In 1989 his contributions to the game and to the league were recognized through the presentation of the prestigious Bill Long Award for distinguished service. Read more

GREYHOUNDS, STING, RANGERS AND BULLDOGS IN CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:  

The Kitchener Rangers rise two spots in the 21st edition of the weekly CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds hold steady in top spot while the Sarnia Sting remain at four and the Hamilton Bulldogs are the ninth-ranked team in the CHL. Kitchener and Hamilton both clinched spots in the 2018 OHL Playoffs this past week. Full Rankings

KNIGHTS’ LIAM FOUDY NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Liam Foudy of the London Knights is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending February 11 after scoring five goals and two assists for seven points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-9. Foudy produced a trio of multi-point performances that helped the Knights win three straight games to maintain their hold on fourth place in the Western Conference standings with a 29-20-2-2 record. Read more

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK:

The 20th edition of the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week for the 2017-18 season feature another collection of the league’s Top-5 goals scored in the week ending February 11. This week’s segment begins with a trio of players completing their hat-tricks in dramatic highlight reel fashion.  Dmitry Sokolov of the Barrie Colts tucks one under the bar, Mathew MacDougall of the Windsor Spitfires caps off the comeback he started with the overtime winner, and Gabriel Vilardi of the Kingston Frontenacs circles the zone and rips home his third.  Also featured in this week’s highlights are Riley Damiani of the Kitchener Rangers who steals one shorthanded, and Nikita Korostelev of the Peterborough Petes who lets his skill take over. Watch

VOTE NIKITA KOROSTELEV IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Peterborough Petes forward Nikita Korostelev not only headlines the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week, but is also the OHL representative featured in this week’s #CIBCShowdown which showcases one great play from all three leagues allowing fans the opportunity to choose their favourite play. See all the plays and vote at chlshowdown.ca.

OHL GOALTENDERS BREAK HEARTS IN LATEST EDITION OF JANES SAVES:

Valentine’s Day love is in the air but OHL goaltenders are breaking hearts in the latest edition of #JanesSaves. This week features Mario Culina of the Kitchener Rangers, Christian Propp of the North Bay Battalion, Kaden Fulcher of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Colton Incze of the Niagara IceDogs, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads, Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals, Olivier Lafreniere of the Owen Sound Attack, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires, and Anand Oberoi of the Erie Otters. Watch

BABER, HENRY AND DUFF SCORE FIRST HIT CAREER MILESTONES:

Rookie forward Camaryn Baber of the Saginaw Spirit and Erie Otters defencemen Kurtis Henry and Jack Duff all scored their first career OHL goal this past week. Revisit those milestone moments here! Watch

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS RELEASED:

The 13th edition of the weekly Top 10 rankings sees the OMHA’s York-Simcoe Express and Barrie Colts both on the rise after winning their respective first round playoff series. The Express eliminated the Richmond Hill Coyotes in three straight games while the Colts prevailed in a sweep of the North Central Predators. The Toronto Marlboros remain the top-ranked team in the province this week. Full Rankings

This week’s Road to the OHL Cup instalment takes a closer look at what’s happening in the ALLIANCE circuit. Read more at ohlcup.ca.

STING’S FAZIO SETS NEW FRANCHISE SINGLE-SEASON WINS RECORD:

With his 30th win of the season on Saturday, Sarnia Sting netminder Justin Fazio set a new franchise mark for most single-season victories by a goaltender. Fazio turned aside 37 shots to backstop the Sting to a 5-4 overtime win over the visiting Niagara IceDogs at Progressive Auto Sales Arena. His 30th wins surpasses the previous mark of 29 set by Dan Spence during the 2008-09 season. Read more

MITCH ELIOT COMMITS TO STING:

The Sarnia Sting have received a commitment from 20-year-old former 11th round pick Mitch Eliot. Eliot was in the midst of his sophomore season with the Michigan State Spartans and played two seasons with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL prior to that. He has also played on the International stage serving as the Team USA Captain at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ HAYTON FEATURED ON LATEST EDITION OF JUNIOR HOCKEY MAGAZINE:

2018 NHL Draft prospect Barrett Hayton of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is featured on the latest edition of Mastercard Junior Hockey Magazine with Adam Scully. A solid two-way forward drawing comparisons to Patrice Bergeron, Hayton shares his experience with the CHL’s top-ranked Greyhounds this season. Listen

GREYHOUNDS, FROST, NYMAN INCLUDED IN TOP STREAKS FROM ACROSS CHL:

Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino took the opportunity to get a closer look at some of the top streaks from across the CHL this season. Included are Morgan Frost’s 20-game point streak, Linus Nyman’s 18-game road point streak and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds’ 29-game point streak. Get the full read at sportsnet.ca.

SPORTSNET CHL ACTION FEATURES MOOSE JAW AT REGINA ON SUNDAY:

The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup host Regina Pats take on the CHL’s second-ranked Moose Jaw Warriors for a special Sunday edition of the CHL on Sportsnet. The Pats continue to hold down top spot in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race while the Warriors continue to lead the East Division on a current four-game winning streak. RJ Broadhead and Sam Cosentino provide the call at 3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT on Sportsnet.

COMMUNITY CORNER:

CMHA Talk Today Night in three OHL cities: The OHL, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association and Teachers Life are teaming up to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during games throughout the month of February. All 20 OHL teams are hosting a Talk Today awareness game with the support of their local CMHA Ontario Branch. This week, the CMHA visits Windsor on Thursday, Sudbury on Friday and Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday. Full details

Grain Farmers of Ontario visiting four OHL venues: Grain Farmers of Ontario are coming to four OHL rinks this week, making stops in North Bay on Thursday, Guelph and Kingston on Friday and Owen Sound on Saturday. The Good in Every Grain team has a surprise for kids in attendance. Keep an eye out for them this weekend! For more details visit goodineverygrain.ca.

Generals get a visit from Animal Guardian Society: For Valentine’s Day 2018, the Gens decided to show some love to our furry friends from Animal Guardian Society. Animal Guardian visited the Tribute Communities Centre with newly rescued puppies from a reserve in Manitoba who are all up for adoption or who will be up for adoption soon. For a closer look at the visit with Generals players, visit oshawagenerals.com.

Firebirds host Flint Tropics Night on Saturday: It’s Flint Tropics Night on Saturday. Inspired by the movie “Semi-Pro” starring Will Ferrell, the Firebirds will be wearing special themed jerseys, pants and socks throughout the game that are sure to impress everyone in attendance. Immediately following the game, there will be a live jersey auction, giving fans an opportunity to take home the game-worn Flint Tropics jersey of their choice. Proceeds will be donated to the Firebirds Charitable Foundation which benefits local youth organizations throughout Flint, Genesee County and Mid-Michigan. Read more at flintfirebirds.com.

Wolves host Superhero Night on Saturday: The Sudbury Wolves will don special Superhero themed jerseys for the third season in a row in support of local children’s charities. Saturday February 17th when the Wolves host the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:05pm, the Wolves will wear Incredible Hulk themed jerseys which will be auctioned off throughout the game with proceeds going to Camp Quality Northern Ontario. Visit sudburywolves.com for more details.

Spitfires host Mickey Renaud Night on Sunday: The Windsor Spitfires salute former captain Mickey Renaud on Sunday afternoon against the Flint Firebirds. The game marks the 10th anniversary of Renaud’s sudden passing on February 18, 2008. The Spitfires will be donating $5 from each ticket sold to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Skate with the Storm on Family Day: The Guelph Storm host their annual Family Day tradition, inviting fans to skate with the team following Monday’s matinee against the Erie Otters. For full details visit guelphstorm.com.

Steelheads host ‘Family Day for United Way’: The Mississauga Steelheads are raising money for United Way of Peel at their Family Day Game on Monday. For just $15, fans will receive a ticket to the Family Day game on Monday February 19, and a limited-edition Steelheads t-shirt! Thanks to the generosity of our partners, the entire $15 will benefit United Way of Peel Region. Get more info at mississaugasteelheads.com.

Frontenacs fight cancer on Family Day: The Kingston Frontenac are teaming up with the Canadian Cancer Society on Family Day to host a Hockey Fights Cancer Game at home to the Barrie Colts.

ALUMNI NOTES:

31 OHL grads in action at 2018 Winter Olympics: A total of 31 OHL graduates are representing their respective countries at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Eleven of the twelve nations competing include at least one OHL graduate on their roster with Canada leading the way with six. Read more

Tavares records 600th NHL point: Scoring the lone goal in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, OHL graduate John Tavares recorded his 600th career NHL point. The 27-year-old has 29 goals, 34 assists and 63 points in 58 games with the New York Islanders this season and a total of 264 goals and 336 assists over 645 career regular season contests. The first overall pick of the 2009 NHL Draft, Tavares is currently in his ninth NHL season after a standout four-year OHL career between the Oshawa Generals and London Knights from 2005-09.

Chappell, Ling, Peroff, Van Laren featured as OHL Alumni of the Month: The OHL Alumni Association is pleased to continue the OHL Alumni of the Month program again this season. This five part web series is designed to recognize former players from all 20 member clubs achieving success in the corporate, business, or professional world. The first edition for the 2017-18 season includes Chris Chappell (Saginaw Spirit), Chris Van Laren (Guelph Storm), David Ling (Kingston Frontenacs), and Ken Peroff (Brampton Battalion). Read more

Peterborough products Swift and Young representing South Korea at Olympics: OHL graduates Michael Swift (Mississauga IceDogs), Bryan Young (Peterborough Petes) and Eric Regan (Oshawa Generals) are representing South Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympics now underway in PyeongChang. The two second cousins played minor hockey together throughout childhood. Visit gopetesgo.com for a closer look at the two liftlock lads.

Cramarossa dealt to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: OHL graduate Joseph Cramarossa is on the move after the AHL’s Stockton Heat dealt him the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday. A fifth-year pro, Cramarossa has 10 points (3-7–10) in 37 games with Stockton this season and is a 201-game AHL veteran. The 25-year-old Toronto native played in 59 NHL games with Anaheim and Vancouver last season. He played four OHL seasons between Mississauga and Belleville from 2009-13, recording 138 points (51-87–138) over 235 regular season games.

U SPORTS Men’s Hockey Playoffs get underway: OHL grads in both the OUA and AUS Men’s Hockey ranks are embarking on postseason play this week. In the OUA, Cody Thompson (Mississauga Steelheads) and Scott Simmonds (Belleville Bulls) helped guide the Guelph Gryphons to a first place finish in the West Division while Michael Cramarossa (Hamilton Bulldogs) and Nathan Chiarlitti (Owen Sound Attack) guided the McGill Redmen to the top of the East Division. Moving eastward, Niagara IceDogs graduate Stephen Harper led the AUS in scoring with 46 points (14-32–46). Kris Bennett (Saginaw Spirit) and the UNB Varsity Reds finished in first place with a record of 24-2-4.

KEY MATCHUPS:

Mississauga Steelheads (24-27-0-2) vs. Peterborough Petes (19-29-3-3) Thursday February 15th at Peterborough

The battle for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference heats up on Thursday in Peterborough as the Petes look to make good on a golden opportunity to bring themselves closer to contention.

Entering action six points back of eighth place Mississauga, the Petes have an opportunity to go head-to-head with the Steelheads and reverse a run of recent struggles.

Leading scorer Nikita Korostelev has produced steadily for Peterborough while Logan DeNoble and Pavel Gogolev join him in the 20+ goal category.

The Steelheads have received an offensive boost from Mathieu Foget, who has 22 points in 16 games since joining Mississauga. Blueliner Nicolas Hague leads the team in scoring with 28 goals, 31 assists and 59 points in 58 games.

Niagara IceDogs (26-19-5-3) vs. Barrie Colts (32-19-2-1) Saturday February 17th at Barrie

The Barrie Colts are widening the gap on their Central Division lead, but the Niagara IceDogs have a chance to trim that down on Saturday in Barrie.

The Colts have won seven of their last 10 with Aaron Luchuk and Andrei Svechnikov both on lengthy point streaks. The Eastern Conference’s leading offence has benefitted from the addition of Russian shooter Dmitry Sokolov who has 15 goals in 15 games as a Colt.

Niagara has cooled off of late, losing seven straight games entering the weekend. Overage addition Sam Miletic leads the team in scoring and has 22 points (12-10–22) in 15 games since being acquired from the London Knights. Edmonton Oilers prospect Kirill Maksimov has points in nine of his last 10 games.

SCHEDULE:

Thursday February 15: Oshawa at North Bay – 7:00pm

Mississauga at Peterborough – 7:05pm

Barrie at Windsor – 7:05pm

Friday February 16:

Peterborough at Kingston – 7:00pm

Owen Sound at Niagara – 7:00pm

Sarnia at Saginaw – 7:05pm

Oshawa at Sudbury – 7:05pm

Hamilton at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm

Ottawa at Guelph – 7:30pm

Kitchener at London – 7:30pm

Saturday February 17:

London at Erie – 7:00pm Saginaw at Flint – 7:00pm

Hamilton at Sudbury – 7:05pm

Sarnia at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm

Niagara at Barrie – 7:30pm

Ottawa at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday February 18:

Kitchener at Kingston – 2:00pm

Mississauga at North Bay – 2:00pm

Flint at Windsor – 2:05pm

Guelph at Erie – 5:00pm

Moose Jaw at Regina – 3:00pm (CHL on Sportsnet)

Monday February 19:

Erie at Guelph – 2:00pm

Owen Sound at Hamilton – 2:00pm

Barrie at Kingston – 2:00pm

Windsor at London – 2:00pm

Flint at Mississauga – 2:00pm

Kitchener at Ottawa – 2:00pm

North Bay at Oshawa – 2:05pm

Niagara at Peterborough – 2:05pm

Saginaw at Sarnia – 2:05pm

Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com.

 

CHL Announces Top 10 Rankings

Top 10

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week 21 edition of the CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2017-18 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 21

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (45-6-2-1) 1 21
2 Moose Jaw Warriors (42-9-1-2) 2 19
3 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (39-9-3-2) 3 21
4 Sarnia Sting (38-12-4-0) 4 18
5 Swift Current Broncos (40-13-3-1) 5 18
6 Kitchener Rangers (37-15-2-0) 8 6
7 Halifax Mooseheads (35-13-6-1) 6 10
8 Drummondville Voltigeurs (36-15-2-1) 7 12
9 Hamilton Bulldogs (34-14-3-3) 9 11
10 Everett Silvertips (36-17-2-2) 10 2
Honourable Mention:
Rimouski Oceanic (33-14-5-1) 7
Portland Winterhawks (35-18-1-3) 13
Acadie-Bathurst Titan (32-14-6-2) 2

CHL Leagues