Sting’s Brady Hinz named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Brady Hinz of the Sarnia Sting is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending October 15 with nine points in four games including six goals and three assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-6.

Hinz led the league in scoring last week as the Sting climbed atop the OHL standings winning all four of their games to extend their win-streak to eight and improve their overall record to 9-1-0-0.  He scored in all four contests and recorded a trio of multi-point performances including Thanksgiving Monday with a goal and an assist in the Sting’s 6-5 overtime win against the Hamilton Bulldogs.  Hinz then powered Sarnia’s offense to three straight weekend wins beginning Friday with two goals and an assist as second star of an 8-1 victory over the Mississauga Steelheads, Saturday with one goal as part of a 6-1 defeat of the Guelph Storm, and Sunday with two goals and an assist as first star of a 3-2 road triumph over the Windsor Spitfires.

Brady Hinz of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Brady Hinz of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

A 17-year-old from Stratford, Ont., Hinz is playing in his second OHL season with the Sting who chose him in the third round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  The former Huron-Perth Laker has already surpassed his rookie goal output of five with nine tallies through 10 games.  He finished 2016-17 with 25 points in 61 games and currently has 12 points through 10 contests to open 2017-18 play.  The 5’8’’, 160lb winger is eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of Hinz and the Sting against the Bulldogs, Steelheads, Storm, and Spitfires.Spitfires

Also considered for the award this week was defenceman Mac Hollowell of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds with eight points in three games including three goals and five assists, while Bulldogs forward Brandon Saigeon scored four times with four helpers for eight points in four games.  In goal, Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro backstopped the Spitfires to a 2-1-0-0 record making 106 saves with a goals-against-average of 1.69 and save percentage of .955.

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

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)

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2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Logo Unveiled

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Regina Pats and the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Organizing Committee are proud to unveil the official logo of the historic 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup which represents the 100th edition of the league’s prestigious national championship.

Memorial Cup Logo

The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup logo has been designed with official event colours and includes a large ‘100’ in recognition of the historic presentation of the Memorial Cup, with the wheat sheaves emblematic of Regina’s proud prairie heritage.  The logo continues to feature the traditional likeness of the Memorial Cup trophy atop logos for the CHL and Mastercard, entering their 20th straight year as title sponsor of the event.  The poppy also remains a fixture of the logo positioned at the centre and symbolic of the event’s longstanding support of Canadian Armed Forces.

“We’ve worked closely with the CHL to create a symbol that is consistent with the longstanding visual brand of the Memorial Cup, but that still reflects the unique nature of this 100th anniversary event,” says Shaun Semple, President and CEO of the Brandt Group of Companies and co-owner of Queen City Sports & Entertainment Group.

The unveiled logo will be the primary branding for the 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup from May 17-27, 2018, at Regina’s Brandt Centre, featuring the host Pats along with the champions of the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  The CHL will continue to use the 100th celebration branding for all national initiatives and historical recognition.

The event returns to the city of Regina for the first time since 2001, an event that featured the host Pats, the Ottawa 67’s (OHL), and champion Red Deer Rebels (WHL) defeating the Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL) 6-5 in overtime.  Regina also hosted the 1980 event with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Named for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the WHL’s Pats are the CHL’s oldest franchise beginning operations in 1917 and celebrating their 100th anniversary this season.  The club has competed in a record 12 Memorial Cup Championship games including the inaugural final back in 1919 before winning major junior hockey’s prize three times in 1925, 1930, and 1974.

The Memorial Cup has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. The trophy was originally known as the OHA Memorial Cup and was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in March, 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in the First World War.  In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel killed in combat serving our country.

The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup is proudly supported by Mastercard, title sponsor of this event for 20 straight years.  Associate sponsors include CIBC and Cooper Tires.

For more information please visit www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

CHL Announces Top 10 Rankings

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week four 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 4

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Victoria Royals (7-0-0-0) 5 2
2 Swift Current Broncos (7-0-0-0) 1
3 Victoriaville Tigres (5-1-0-0) 1 4
4 Quebec Remparts (6-1-0-0) 4 2
5 Portland Winterhawks (6-1-0-0) 6 4
6 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (5-1-1-0) 10 4
7 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (5-1-0-0) 7 4
8 Sarnia Sting (6-1-0-0) 1
9 Moose Jaw Warriors (5-1-0-0) 3 2
10 Drummondville Voltigeurs (5-1-0-0) 1
Honourable Mention:
Kingston Frontenacs (5-1-0-0) 0
Kelowna Rockets (4-1-0-1) 8 2
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (5-1-0-1) 0

2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series Coaching Staffs

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, today announced the coaching staffs for the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series to be played November 6-16.

Canada Russia

The six-game series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team and is an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

Leading the CHL’s regional teams in November will be members of Canada’s National Junior Team coaching staff including head coach Dominique Ducharme who will work behind the bench for Team QMJHL, and Team Canada assistants Tim Hunter and Trevor Letowski who will serve as Team WHL and Team OHL head coaches respectively.

Ducharme, now in his second season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, is returning to Canada’s National Junior Team staff for the third consecutive year having acted as assistant coach in 2015-16 and head coach in 2016-17 helping Canada earn a silver medal.  During that time period he also served as Team QMJHL head coach in the CIBC Canada Russia Series carrying a 3-1 record against Team Russia.  Ducharme’s Hockey Canada coaching resume also includes Summer Under-18 gold at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament just months after leading the Halifax Mooseheads to a Mastercard Memorial Cup title.  Team QMJHL will take on Team Russia November 14 in Charlottetown and November 16 in Moncton where Ducharme will be assisted behind the bench by Islanders head coach Jim Hulton and Wildcats head coach Darren Rumble.

Hunter, now in his fourth season with the Moose Jaw Warriors, is also returning to Canada’s National Junior Team staff having served as an assistant and earning silver in 2016-17.  Hunter led Team WHL in the CIBC Canada Russia Series a year ago winning once and falling in overtime against Team Russia.  Working with Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, Hunter also won bronze as head coach of the Under-18 team at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship.  Team WHL will host Team Russia November 6 in Moose Jaw and November 7 in Swift Current where Hunter will be assisted behind the bench by Regina Pats head coach John Paddock and Broncos head coach Manny Viveiros.

Letowski, in his first full season as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires, joined Canada’s National Junior Team staff following the departure of Kris Knoblauch to the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.  Letowski began his tenure with the Spitfires as an associate coach in 2015-16 and helped the club capture the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup title.  He previously served as an assistant coach for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship and won Under-18 bronze as an assistant in 2014.  In this event, Letowski worked behind the bench in 2015 assisting Team OHL to a 2-0 record against Team Russia.  Team OHL will face the Russians November 9 in Owen Sound and November 13 in Sudbury.  Attack head coach Todd Gill will serve as an assistant coach for Letowski in Owen Sound, with Wolves head coach Cory Stillman assisting for the contest in Sudbury.

Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have played to an overall record of 58-19-1-6.  The competitiveness of the rivalry has grown in recent years with four of the last seven series decided in the final game, and with Russia earning three series wins since 2010 compared to the CHL’s four series triumphs over the same period including last season by a 13-5 margin in points.

The 2017 CIBC Canada Russia series is supported by CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tires, autoTRADER.ca, and Sherwin-Williams.  All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:

Game 1 – Monday November 6 at Moose Jaw, SK

Game 2 – Tuesday November 7 at Swift Current, SK

Game 3 – Thursday November 9 at Owen Sound, ON

Game 4 – Monday November 13 at Sudbury, ON

Game 5 – Tuesday November 14 at Charlottetown, PE

Game 6 – Thursday November 16 at Moncton, NB

For event information including how to purchase tickets please visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca.

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

WHL’s Clague and Kehler earn CHL top honour

Wheat Kings’ Kale Clague named CHL Player of the Wee

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Los Angeles Kings prospect Kale Clague of the Brandon Wheat Kings is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending October 8 after recording eight points in three games including five goals and three assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-9.

Clague recorded a trio of multi-point performances for the Wheat Kings who won all three games of their weekend Alberta road trip.  Starting off in Edmonton Friday night, the defenceman netted his first career hat-trick which featured an even strength, power play, and shorthanded marker, earning first star honours in the 7-3 win over the Oil Kings.  Clague was named first star again Saturday night in Red Deer with two goals and one assist in a 5-2 win over the Rebels, and finished the weekend with two assists as part of a 5-3 win over the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday.

A 19-year-old from Lloydminster, Alta., Clague is playing his fourth season with the Wheat Kings who selected sixth overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.  The second round pick of the Kings in the 2016 NHL Draft has produced at a rate of 2.40 points-per-game since returning from his NHL Camp collecting 12 points through five contests.  Clague was a member of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship and in just 48 games of WHL action last season tallied five goals and 35 assists.

Also considered for the award this week was Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack with three goals and four assists for seven points in two games, and Anthony Poulin of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada who recorded seven points in three games with four goals and three assists.

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week:

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)

Winterhawks’ Cole Kehler named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Cole Kehler of the Portland Winterhawks is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending October 8 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .945.

Kehler stopped 52 shots last week in a pair of victories over U.S Division rivals the Spokane Chiefs helping the Winterhawks take over first place with a 5-1-0-0 record.  On Friday night Kehler’s 30-save performance earned him first star honours in the 6-1 win at Spokane, then on Sunday he made 22 saves as part of a 7-2 win over the Chiefs on home ice for his fourth straight victory to open the 2017-18 season.

A native of Altona, Man., Kehler turns 20-years-old in December and is competing in his fourth and final WHL season.  He played his first two seasons with the Kamloops Blazers who selected him in the sixth round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft before joining the Winterhawks for the 2016-17 campaign where he posted a 32-17-0-3 record with two shutouts along with a goals-against of 3.10 and save percentage of .910.  So far this season he carries a 4-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 2.25 and save percentage of .907.

Also considered for the award this week was Samuel Harvey of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies who posted a 1-0-0-1 record with 49 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.44 and save percentage of .942, and Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes who made 84 saves with a 1-0-0-1 record along with a goals-against-average of 1.92 and save percentage of .955.

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:

Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)

Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Dereck Baribeau (Quebec Remparts)

Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

CHL Leagues

Attack’s Nick Suzuki named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending October 8 with seven points in two games including three goals and four assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Suzuki recorded a pair of multi-point performances last week helping the Attack earn three of a possible four points.  On Wednesday night he scored two goals plus an assist and was named first star despite a 6-5 shootout loss to the Sarnia Sting, then scored once with three assists on Saturday as second star of a 9-2 win over the Windsor Spitfires.  Suzuki now has 10 points in five games as the Attack remain the league’s only team without a regulation loss carrying a record of 3-0-0-2 heading into a Thanksgiving Monday matchup against the Kitchener Rangers.

An 18-year-old from London, Ont., Suzuki is playing in his third OHL season with the Attack who chose him 14th overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  In 2016-17 he finished fifth in league scoring with 45 goals and 51 assists for 96 points in 65 games helping Owen Sound to their best season in franchise history with 49 wins and 102 points.  He was voted the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year and was later recognized at the national level earning CHL Sportsman of the Year honours.  Suzuki was selected 13th overall by Vegas in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of Suzuki and the Attack against the Sting and the Spitfires.

Also considered for the award this week was Calgary Flames prospect Adam Ruzicka of the Sarnia Sting with four goals and one assist for five points in two games, and 2018 NHL Draft top prospect Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts with five goals in three games.  In goal, Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes posted a 1-0-0-1 record with 84 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.92 and save percentage of .955.

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

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)

CHL Announces Top 10 Rankings

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week three 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 3

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Victoriaville Tigres (4-0-0-0) 2 3
2 Owen Sound Attack (2-0-0-1) 3 3
3 Moose Jaw Warriors (4-0-0-0) 1
4 Quebec Remparts (4-0-0-0) 1
5 Victoria Royals (4-0-0-0) 1
6 Portland Winterhawks (2-1-0-0) 4 3
7 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (2-1-0-0) 5 3
8 Kelowna Rockets (2-0-0-1) 7 2
9 Halifax Mooseheads (4-1-0-0) 8 2
10 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (3-1-1-0) 10 3
Honourable Mention:
Flint Firebirds (3-0-0-0) 0
Swift Current Broncos (3-0-0-0) 0
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (4-1-0-0) 0

Pair of OHL Goaltenders Sign Free Agent Contracts in the NHL

Kaden Fulcher of the Hamilton Bulldogs and Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals signed National Hockey League contracts yesterday with the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins respectively. Both goaltenders were eligible to re-enter the NHL Draft in June of 2018, but because they were invited to the squads on a professional tryout, the Wings and the Bruins had until 5:00 pm today to sign the goaltenders as undrafted free agents.

In a case where there is no PTO, NHL teams have until 5:00 pm on the first day of the Canadian Hockey League season to sign players as undrafted free agents.

Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Unconfirmed reports say the two goaltenders signed similar entry level contracts of $925,000 (the maximum allowed under the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement) and signing bonuses of $92,500 (again, the maximum allowable). Under the CBA, both are eligible to earn $10,500 per year from the Wings and Bruins while playing Major Junior, but it is unknown at this time if that was negotiated into their contract.

In my final draft rankings for 2017, Keyser was my third ranked goaltender from the OHL behind Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires (64th overall, Vancouver Canucks) and Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (72nd overall Los Angeles Kings). Fulcher was fifth behind Jake McGrath of the Sudbury Wolves (undrafted).

You can check out my thoughts on Keyser and Fulcher from last season

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Steenbergen and Baribeau lead undefeated Broncos and Remparts

Broncos’ Tyler Steenbergen named CHL Player of the Wee

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Arizona Coyotes prospect Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending October 1 after recording nine points in two games including six goals and three assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-5.

Steenbergen’s two multi-point performances launched him into a tie atop the CHL scoring race and helped the Broncos continue their winning ways opening the 2017-18 season with a perfect 3-0-0-0 record.  On Wednesday night Steenbergen scored twice and picked up two assists in a 5-3 road win over the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup host Regina Pats, then collected five points on Friday night in Brandon including a career-high four goals as first star of a 7-2 win over the Wheat Kings.

A 19-year-old from Sylvan Lake, Alta., Steenbergen is playing his fourth season with the Broncos who selected him 12th overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.  Last season he tied for the WHL lead in goals with 51, while his 90 points in 72 games tied for ninth best and helped earn him a fifth round selection by the Coyotes in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Also considered for the award this week was overage forward Yvan Mongo of the Drummondville Voltigeurs who scored twice with five assists for seven points in two  games, and Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Ang of the Peterborough Petes with three goals and four assists for seven points in three games.

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week:

Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos)

Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets)

Remparts’ Dereck Baribeau named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Minnesota Wild prospect Dereck Baribeau of the Quebec Remparts is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending October 1 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .973.

Baribeau backstopped the Remparts to a pair of victories last week extending his personal winning-streak to four games as the club remains a perfect 4-0-0-0 to start the 2017-18 season.  His week included a 17-save effort on Friday night in a 3-1 victory over the Shawinigan Cataractes, followed by a 19-save shutout performance on Saturday where he earned first star honours in the 3-0 win against the Gatineau Olympiques.

The 18-year-old Quebec native is playing in his third QMJHL season and first full campaign with his hometown Remparts after beginning his career with the Val-d’Or Foreurs who selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft.  He played 12 games with Quebec after joining the club midway through last season posting a 5-4-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 3.19 and save percentage of .900.  So far this season he leads the league with a goals-against-average of 0.75 along with a save percentage of .965 which ranks second overall.  Baribeau joined the Wild organization just prior to this season signing with the club as a free agent on September 18.

Also considered for the award this week was recently signed Detroit Red Wings prospect Kaden Fulcher of the Hamilton Bulldogs who posted a 2-0-0-1 record including a shutout victory with 82 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.26 and save percentage of .953, and Prince George’s Tavin Grant who helped the Cougars earn their first win of the season with a 47-save performance shutting out the Portland Winterhawks.

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:

Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Dereck Baribeau (Quebec Remparts)

Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

CHL Leagues

OHL Writers Draft Eligible Player of the Month for September: Matthew Struthers

The 2017-2018 Ontario Hockey League season is in full swing and as I have done in previous years, each month I selected the player of the month among those eligible for the 2018 National Hockey League Draft.

And the first player selected this season is Matthew Struthers of the Owen Sound Attack.

Matthew Struthers of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Matthew Struthers of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

The 6’2, 194-pound center from Milton Ontario appeared in three games for the Attack scoring 2 goals and adding 3 assists with a plus/minus +4 while going 17 for 29 on the faceoff dot, good for a 58.6 percentage, and helping the Attack to a 2-0-0-1 record and second place in the Midwest Division.

The season began with a 4-3 shootout loss against the Flint Firebirds with Struthers notching an assist. He followed that with a single assist in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Kitchener Rangers.

He saved his best performance for a 6-4 victory over the Mississauga Steelheads in which he scored twice (including the game winner) and added an assist and was named the game’s second star.