Nick Donofrio – Player Profile – Hamilton Bulldogs

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 204

Date of birth: November 19, 1999

Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan

Position: Goaltender

Catches: Left

OHL Draft: Round 5, 96th overall, 2015 Priority Selection

The goaltenders eligible for the 2018 National Hockey League Draft plying their trade in the Ontario Hockey League this season is unlike a season ago. It’s a class that includes names like Mario Peccia (Kingston), Jordan Kooy (London), Jacob Ingham (Mississauga) and Marshall Frappier (Sudbury) among others.

And then there is Nick Donofrio of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

I know there will be readers out there that think “why is he beginning with Donofrio?”

Well, the answer is simple. If I can take everything I’ve seen in his limited playing time in Hamilton and apply one word, that word is “impressive”. Occasionally, a goaltender seems to come out of nowhere, one that few seem to be talking about early during the season and impresses me so much that I won’t stop talking about him. And if you followed along here a season ago or followed me on Twitter, you know that to be the case with a stopper named Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (Los Angeles Kings – 3rd round, 72nd overall in 2017).

Nick Donofrio of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Nick Donofrio of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

That’s not to suggest that there was no chatter on Donofrio coming into this season. There definitely was. But a lot of that chatter when talking top goaltenders for the draft went to Ingham in what I believe is a class that is wide open.

As the backup to Kaden Fulcher, who signed as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Red Wings prior to the start of the NHL season, Donofrio is going to have very limited starts this season so you’d better make your viewings of him count, or you may just miss out.

Donofrio has only had three starts to date. After losing his first start in a shootout to the Niagara IceDogs, he’s beaten the North Bay Battalion and shutout the defending Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires. He’s stopped 68 of 73 shots he’s faced and has an excellent .932 save percentage to go along with his 1.62 goals against average.

Donofrio played Midget Hockey for the Compuware Under 15 squad during the 2014-2015 season and in 34 games posted an impressive 2.28 goals against average. He was equally impressive at the OHL Gold Cup for the TPH Thunder Minor Midgets with 1.00 goals against average in 2 games with a shutout. The Bulldogs would use their fifth-round selection and select him 96th overall at the 2015 draft.

Don’t let the fifth-round selection influence your opinion. As an American born player, there is always the possibility that a player could go the USHL route with an eye on the NCAA, thus dropping him a little in the draft. He was selected in the 10th round, 147th overall by the Des Moines Buccaneers at the USHL Futures Draft in 2015.

A season ago, Donofrio would continue his development with the Philadelphia Revolution of the EHL. Once again, his stats would be impressive posting a 2.00 goals against average and .921 save percentage in 25 appearances. He was ready for the OHL.

Donofrio has good size that NHL scouts seem to appreciate. He is a technically sound goaltender who relies more on that technique then pure athleticism. He is positionally sound, controls his rebounds extremely well, tracks the puck well, fights through traffic to find the puck, and rebounds quickly for second chance opportunities. His demeanor is that of an extremely calm netminder who never seems to get rattled. He plays with his emotions in check.

Donofrio gets to the top of his paint well. He plays his angles extremely well and remains square to the shooter. He’s not overly quick, but far from slow. His post to post movement is sufficient, but it’s more his technique that makes him stand out. He plays big in his crease and even when in his butterfly position he stands tall. And I love that he has the old school poke-check in his repertoire.

Speaking to those around him, Donofrio is a team first guy who is more concerned about team success than personal success, and at this level that speaks volumes. He knows and accepts his role and knows his time will eventually come. By all accounts, he has a very good relationship with Fulcher and he works hard to be ready when he’s called upon.

I asked good friend and the play-by-play voice of the Hamilton Bulldogs Reed Duthie to share his thoughts on Donofrio with me.

“Nick Donofrio has been a picture perfect backup for the Hamilton Bulldogs combining his tremendous sense of positioning with starter Kaden Fulcher’s outstanding athleticism. Donofrio is the type of netminder who will keep teammates and coaches at ease while frustrating opponents with his no frills style” he said. 

Reed went on to say “Donofrio has an incredible sense of the net combined with quick reflex and clock like timing that make beating the OHL rookie very difficult. Nick’s biggest win of the season, a 2-0 shutout of the defending Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires, showed just what kind of upside the Ypsilanti native carries. Standing his ground under intense pressure from the like of Logan Brown, Aaron Luchuk & co, Donofrio made several key and timely saves to keep the Dogs out in front.”

Reed concluded “Nick will only continue to grow as his OHL time mounts, he has a keen awareness of how to use his 6’4” frame which goaltenders of his age usually haven’t developed & his sound fundamentals will mean that Head Coach John Gruden and the Bulldogs staff will have no issues relying on him to put in solid starts moving forward.”

This isolation video from his days with Compuware back in 2014 shows some of the qualities he possesses, even back then.

Nick Donofrio

Eliteprospects.com Stat page of Nick Donofrio,

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CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Top clubs produce top stars of the week including Broncos’ Heponiemi and Sting’s Fazio 

 

Broncos’ Aleksi Heponiemi named CHL Player of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Florida Panthers prospect Aleksi Heponiemi of the Swift Current Broncos is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 12 after recording nine points in two games including two goals and seven assists. 

Heponiemi produced a pair of multi-point performances last week for the Broncos who picked up two wins to keep pace in the competitive WHL East Division where they rank second with a 13-3-1-0 record.  On Friday night he collected his third five-point effort of the season with a goal and four assists as part of a 6-4 road win against the Saskatoon Blades, then scored once with three assists on Saturday earning third star honours in a 6-0 win against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. 

An 18-year-old from Tampere, Finland, Heponiemi is playing in his second WHL season after being selected by the Broncos tenth overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft.  The second round pick by the Panthers in the 2017 NHL Draft is now tied atop the WHL’s scoring race with teammate Tyler Steenbergen with 46 points including 14 goals and a league-high 32 assists in 15 games. 

Also considered for the award this week were a pair of defencemen including Nicolas Beaudin of the Drummondville Voltigeurs with two goals and four assists for six points in two games, and 2018 NHL Draft prospect Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm with one goal and five assists for six points in two games. 

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week:

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)

Sting’s Justin Fazio named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Justin Fazio of the Sarnia Sting is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending November 12 after posting a 1-0-1-0 record including one shutout with a goals-against-average of 1.98 and save percentage of .926. 

Fazio stopped 72 shots last week helping the Sting earn three of a possible four points against tough OHL Western Conference competition to maintain first place in the league’s overall standings with a 16-3-1-0 record.  On Friday night Fazio turned aside 33 shots despite a 4-3 overtime loss to the second place Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, then rebounded Sunday to earn his first shutout of the season with 39 saves as third star of a 7-0 win against the Owen Sound Attack.

A 20-year-old from Sarnia, Ont., Fazio is playing in his fifth career season with his hometown Sting after being chosen by the club in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  The overage netminder became the club’s all-time wins leader earlier this season and now has 67 in his tenure powered by a league-high 12 victories so far in 2017-18.  In 15 appearance this season he carries a goals-against-average of 2.64 and save percentage of .929.   

Also considered for the award this week was Mark Grametbauer of the Moncton Wildcats who went 2-0-0-0 with 60 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .952, and Brody Willms of the Moose Jaw Warriors who posted a 2-0-0-0 record making 54 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .947. 

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:

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)

Storm’s Ryan Merkley named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2018 NHL Draft prospect Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending November 12 after scoring one goal with five assists for six points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-4.

Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL  Images.
Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Merkley becomes the first defenceman to earn the award this season after recording two multi-point performances last week helping the Storm to a pair of victories.  On Friday night he scored once and added an assist as part of a 6-2 win over the North Bay Battalion, then collected a career-high four assists on Sunday as first star of a 5-1 win over the Sudbury Wolves.  The two weekend wins give the Storm three straight lifting them into a second place tie in the OHL’s Midwest Division with 22 points from a 10-7-0-2 record.

A 17-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., Merkley is playing in his second season with the Storm after being chosen first overall in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection and earning OHL Rookie of the Year honours.  The first round candidate in NHL Central Scouting’s October ‘Players to Watch’ list leads the Storm in scoring and is currently second among OHL defencemen with 24 points in 19 games including six goals and 18 assists.

Watch video highlights of Merkley and the Storm against the Battalion and Wolves.

Also considered for the award this week were a pair of Philadelphia Flyers prospects including Matthew Strome of the Hamilton Bulldogs who scored three goals and three assists for six points in two games, and Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds with three goals and two assists for five points in two games.  In goal, Justin Fazio of the Sarnia Sting posted a 1-0-1-0 record including a shutout victory making 72 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.98 and save percentage of .926.

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

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)

 

Don Cherry named Honourary Chairman of CHL’s 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup Celebration

Memorial Cup to visit 17 CHL communities beginning November 18 in Barrie – Schedule Below

Commemorative Coin unveiled, on sale November 22 – Attached

CHL launches first video in Champions series – Watch

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced details regarding several of the league’s 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup initiatives including the appointment of Canadian hockey icon Don Cherry as Honourary Chairman of the CHL’s 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup celebrations.

memorial-cup-100-years

“This is a very special season in Canadian Hockey League history as we commemorate the 100th presentation of the Memorial Cup,” said CHL President David Branch. “As we aim to fulfill our goals to capture, preserve, and enhance the legacy of this prestigious trophy while honouring the brave men and women who served and continue to serve our country, it is only fitting that Don Cherry be at the forefront of our celebrations.”

Before establishing his legacy as the star of Hockey Night in Canada, Cherry was a Memorial Cup champion as a member of the 1953 Barrie Flyers.  The Kingston, Ont., native’s longstanding and unwavering support of Canadians in uniform have earned him Honourary Lifetime Membership into the Royal Canadian Legion and the appointment as an Honourary Patricia by the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.  Cherry was also instrumental in bringing the CHL to the Greater Toronto Area as part of the Mississauga IceDogs ownership group in 1998, and is recognized with Bobby Orr as a builder of the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which began as an annual showcase in 1996.

As part of the CHL’s 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup celebrations, the league has also announced the 17 CHL communities that will comprise the Memorial Cup Tour which begins November 18 in Barrie.  The Memorial Cup will visit various military bases and legions and provide fans the opportunity to see major junior hockey’s top prize as part of a unique game day experience.

The 17 CHL communities are spread across eight provinces with 13 of the stops coinciding with Sportsnet’s new CHL Saturday Showcase national broadcasts.

2017-18 Mastercard Memorial Cup Tour Schedule:

November 18 – Barrie, ON: Barrie Colts vs Kitchener Rangers*

November 25 – Calgary, AB: Calgary Hitmen vs Red Deer Rebels*

December 2 – Ottawa, ON: Ottawa 67’s vs Barrie Colts*

December 9 – Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Giants vs Kootenay Ice

December 16 – Moncton, NB: Moncton Wildcats vs Acadie-Bathurst Titan*

December 30 – Brandon, MB: Brandon Wheat Kings vs Moose Jaw Warriors*

January 6 – Quebec, QC: Quebec Remparts vs Sherbrooke Phoenix

January 13 – Kingston, ON: Kingston Frontenacs vs Oshawa Generals*

January 20 – Chicoutimi, QC: Chicoutimi Sagueneens vs Gatineau Olympiques

January 27 – Swift Current, SK: Swift Current Broncos vs Regina Pats*

February 3 – Sarnia, ON: Sarnia Sting vs London Knights*

February 10 – Edmonton, AB: Edmonton Oil Kings vs Red Deer Rebels*

February 18 – Regina, SK: Regina Pats vs. Moose Jaw Warriors**

February 24 – Halifax, NS: Halifax Mooseheads vs Gatineau Olympiques*

March 3 – Owen Sound, ON: Owen Sound Attack vs Guelph Storm*

March 10 – Bathurst, NB: Acadie-Bathurst Titan vs Halifax Mooseheads*

March 17 – St. Catharines, ON: Niagara IceDogs vs Mississauga Steelheads*

*Sportsnet Saturday Showcase Broadcast

A number of the CHL’s additional 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup celebration initiatives are taking shape.

To mark this special anniversary the CHL has partnered with CIBC, Official Bank of the CHL, to create a commemorative coin in remembrance of all those who have served.  Coins will go on sale November 22 available online at www.cibc.com/preciousmetals and beginning November 23 can be purchased at CHL club stores.

While the 100th celebration logo has been proudly displayed on rink boards across the country since the launch of the 2017-18 campaign, the logo has been converted to a sweater patch that will be worn by all clubs as well as on-ice officials for the duration of the season beginning with today’s Remembrance Day games.

The league has also launched the first segment of the champions video series designed to highlight past winners.  Get to know some of the names engraved on the cup and enjoy the moments of glory from some of history’s most memorable victories beginning with the 2010 Windsor Spitfires.  The weekly videos will debut online and play on video boards in arenas across the CHL.

The centennial celebration at the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup will take place May 17-27, 2018, and will feature the host Regina Pats who competed in the very first Memorial Cup championship in 1919, along with the 2018 champions from the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Memorial Cup has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America.  The trophy was original 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 Wold War.  In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel.

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.  All games will be broadcast by Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

For more information please visit www.mmc100.ca or join the conversation on social media using #MMC100.

 

CHL Announces Top 10 Rankings

Top 10

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week eight 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 8

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Sarnia Sting (15-3-0-0) 1 5
2 Swift Current Broncos (11-3-1-0) 2 5
3 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (12-3-2-0) 3 8
4 Moose Jaw Warriors (13-4-0-0) 4 6
5 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (13-3-2-0) 6 8
6 Portland Winterhawks (12-4-0-0) 9 8
7 Victoria Royals (13-5-1-0) 7 6
8 Quebec Remparts (13-5-1-0) 8 6
9 Rimouski Oceanic (12-4-2-0) 1
10 Tri-City Americans (11-4-2-0) 3
Honourable Mention:
Barrie Colts (10-4-1-1) 0
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (10-3-3-2) 5 2
Halifax Mooseheads (11-5-3-0) 10 3

 

Steelheads’ Tippett and McLeod added to Team OHL for Game 3 of 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League, in association with the Canadian Hockey League, today announced that forwards Owen Tippett and Ryan McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads have been added to Team OHL’s roster for Game 3 of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series, scheduled for Thursday November 9 in Owen Sound. 

The Steelheads pair replace forwards Jonah Gadjovich of the Owen Sound Attack and Givani Smith of the Guelph Storm both unable to compete due to injury.

Canada Russia

Thursday will mark Tippett’s first game in an OHL sweater this season since returning from the NHL’s Florida Panthers on Monday.  The 18-year-old from Peterborough skated in seven NHL contests with the Panthers who selected him 10th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft.  He made his NHL debut on October 17th in Philadelphia and scored his first career NHL goal on October 26th against the Anaheim Ducks.  Last season in Mississauga he scored 44 goals, the most in all-time franchise history since 2006, adding 31 assists for 75 points in 60 games.  As a member of Team OHL last November, Tippett earned Player of the Game honours in North Bay recording two assists in a 4-3 loss to Team Russia. 

McLeod, an 18-year-old from Mississauga, is a top rated prospect for the 2018 NHL Draft competing in his first CIBC Canada Russia Series for Team OHL.  He is currently second on the Steelheads in scoring with six goals and 16 assists for 22 points through 17 games.  Ryan’s older brother Michael McLeod was a member of Canada’s National Junior Team last season and represented Team OHL in both 2016 and 2015 events.  Along with Tippett, McLeod joins fellow Steelheads in goaltender Jacob Ingham and defenceman Nicolas Hague competing Thursday night in Owen Sound.  

The 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series shifts to Ontario tied 3-3 in points following a pair of games in the Western Hockey League.  Team WHL won the opener by a 7-0 score in Moose Jaw on Monday, with Team Russia evening the series Tuesday with a 4-3 triumph in Swift Current.  Team OHL carries an all-time record of 23-4-1 in Canada Russia Series action. 

2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – Monday November 6 at Moose Jaw, SK: WHL 7, Russia 0 – Game Summary | Highlights
Game 2 – Tuesday November 7 at Swift Current, SK: Russia 4, WHL 3 – Game Summary | Highlights
Game 3 – Thursday November 9 at Owen Sound, ON (Sportsnet East, Ont, Pacific, 360, TVA Sports 2)
Game 4 – Monday November 13 at Sudbury, ON (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific, TVA Sports 2)
Game 5 – Tuesday November 14 at Charlottetown, PE (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific, TVA Sports 2)
Game 6 – Thursday November 16 at Moncton, NB (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific, TVA Sports 2)
 

All games of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series will be available online through NeuLion’s CHL streaming platform at http://chl.neulion.com/chl/.  

All games of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series will also be broadcast on the NHL Network U.S the following day at 10:00 am Eastern. 

The 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series is supported by title sponsor CIBC, the Official Bank of the CHL, along with associate sponsors Cooper Tires and Sherwin-Williams.

Join the conversation on social media @CHLHockey using #CANvsRUS

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

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Michnac’s goals and Kehler’s saves produce CHL honours 

 

Steelheads’ Albert Michnac named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Albert Michnac of the Mississauga Steelheads is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 5 scoring eight goals in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Michnac’s eight tallies were spread across three multi-goal performances that helped the Steelheads earn five of a possible six points last week.  He received first star honours in all three games beginning Friday night with his first career hat-trick despite a 5-4 shootout loss to the Owen Sound Attack, then scored twice including the game-winner in Saturday’s 4-3 road win over the Sudbury Wolves.  Michnac finished the week with another hat-trick as part of a 9-2 victory over the first place Eastern Conference Peterborough Petes.

Albert Michnac of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Albert Michnac of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

A 20-year-old from Prague, Czech Republic, Michnac is now tied for tenth overall in OHL scoring with 23 points in 17 games including 12 goals and 11 assists.  He joined the Steelheads as the club’s first round pick (37th overall) in the 2017 CHL Import Draft after competing last season as a member of the Guelph Storm where he tallied 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points in 65 games.

Also considered for the award this week was Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques who scored five goals and three assists for eight points in four games, and forward Jermaine Loewen of the Kamloops Blazers with four goals and one assist for five points in two games.

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week:

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)

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 November 5 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .976.

Kehler receives the honour for the second time this season after turning aside 120 shots across a trio of victories for the Winterhawks who move into a first place tie in the WHL’s U.S Division with a 12-4-0-0 record.  Kehler earned first star honours in all three of his games last week beginning Wednesday night against the Prince George Cougars with 30 saves in the 2-1 victory.  On Friday night he stopped a season-high 47 shots in a 4-1 road win against the Spokane Chiefs, then stopped 43 shots on Saturday in Everett as part of a 3-1 triumph over the Silvertips playing in his 100th career game.

A 19-year-old from Altona, MB, Kehler is playing in his first season in Portland after being acquired from the Kamloops Blazers in the off-season.  The third year netminder currently holds a 10-2-0-0 record including one shutout with a league-best goals-against-average of 2.09 and save percentage of .935.

Also considered for the award this week was Etienne Montpetit of the Val-d’Or Foreurs who posted a 2-1-0-0 record including a shutout victory making 118 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.97 and save percentage of .952.  In the OHL, Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jeremy Helvig backstopped the Kingston Frontenacs to a 3-0-0-0 record making 76 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .962.

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:

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)

Steelheads’ Albert Michnac named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Albert Michnac of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending November 5 after scoring eight goals in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Albert Michnac of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Albert Michnac of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Michnac recorded a trio of multi-goal performances for the surging Steelheads contributing to nearly half of the team’s total offensive output and earning first star honours in three straight contests.  On Friday night he scored his first career hat-trick despite a 5-4 shootout loss to the Owen Sound Attack, then scored twice including the game-winner in Saturday’s 4-3 road win over the Sudbury Wolves.  His week wrapped up Sunday with another hat-trick, this time against the Eastern Conference leading Peterborough Petes, helping the Steelheads to a 9-2 victory.  The Trout have now earned 11 of a possible 12 points over the past two weeks and are currently tied for eighth place in the East with an overall record of 7-9-0-1. 

Michnac, a 20-year-old from Prague, Czech Republic, is now tied for tenth overall in league scoring with 23 points in 17 games including 12 goals and 11 assists.  He joined the Steelheads as the club’s first round pick (37th overall) in the 2017 CHL Import Draft after competing last season as a member of the Guelph Storm where he tallied 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points in 65 games.

Watch video highlights of Michnac and the Steelheads against the Petes. 

Also considered for the award this week was St. Louis Blues prospect and OHL top scorer Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting who led the league with nine points in three games including three goals and six assists, while 2017 NHL Draft prospect Blade Jenkins helped the Saginaw Spirit win three straight games collecting five goals and one assist.  In goal, Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jeremy Helvig backstopped the Kingston Frontenacs to a 3-0-0-0 record making 76 stops for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .962

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

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)

Team Russia Roster Announced for 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the roster for Team Russia that will compete in the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series which begins on Monday November 6 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Canada Russia

A team of 24 Russian players including three goaltenders, nine defencemen, and 12 forwards will travel across Canada as part of the 15th annual series playing six games against CHL competition from November 6-16 in preparation for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship taking place this season in Buffalo, New York.

This year’s Team Russia is a mature group with all 24 players born in 1998.  Five players have NHL affiliations including goaltender Mikhail Berdin who was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets and defenceman Egor Zaitsev who was a seventh round pick of the New Jersey Devils in 2017.  On forward Mikhail Maltsev was a fourth round pick of the Devils in 2016, Andrey Altybarmakyan was a 2017 third round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Vladislav Kara was a 2017 fourth round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Of the 24 players, only Zaitsev and goaltender Vladislav Sukhachev return from last year’s event.  The netminder made four appearances and posted a 1-1-0 record with a goals-against-average of 3.55 and save percentage of .885 and later represented Russia at the 2017 World Junior earning a bronze medal.

Team Russia is led once again by head coach Valery Bragin making his sixth appearance and fourth straight year behind the bench at this event.  In his tenure as head coach of the Russian National Junior Team the program has earned World Junior gold (2011 in Buffalo), three silver medals (2016 in Finland, 2015 in Toronto, 2012 in Calgary), and one bronze (2017 in Montreal).

An additional eight Russian-born CHL players will compete in various games of the series including three from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, three from the Ontario Hockey League, and two from the Western Hockey League.

The WHL players competing in Moose Jaw on November 6 and in Swift Current November 7 include forward Alexander Alexeyev of the Red Deer Rebels and Broncos defenceman Artyom Minulin who will compete before his home crowd in Game 2.  For OHL games in Owen Sound on November 9 and in Sudbury November 13, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Alexey Lipanov of the Barrie Colts will compete alongside Edmonton Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov of the Guelph Storm and Minnesota Wild prospect Dmitry Sokolov of the Game 4 host Wolves.  In the QMJHL games taking place November 14 in Charlottetown and November 16 in Moncton, Columbus Blue Jackets prospect and reigning QMJHL Player of the Year Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques will compete for Russia with Nashville Predators prospect Pavel Koltygin of the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Philadelphia Flyers prospect German Rubtsov of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

Rubtsov competed in the duration of the series last year scoring two goals in five games and was also a member of the bronze medal team in Montreal.  Minulin, Sokolov, and Abramov also return for a second straight year having competed against their regional leagues in 2016.

Team Russia has captured three series victories in 2014, 2012, and 2010.

2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series – Team Russia:

Most recent club team listed in brackets


Goaltenders:
Mikhail Berdin (Sioux Falls Stampede – USHL)
Alexey Melnichuk (SKA-Neva St. Petersburg – VHL)
Vladislav Sukhachev (Chelmet Chelyabinsk – VHL)

Defencemen:
Dmitry Alexeyev (Chelmet Chelyabinsk – VHL)
Anatoly Elizarov (Toros Neftekamsk – VHL)
Alexander Kalinin (Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk – MHL)
Nikolay Knyzhov (SKA-Neva St. Petersburg – VHL)
Daniil Kurashov (Admiral Vladivostok – KHL)
Nikita Makeyev (CSKA Moscow – KHL)
Artyom Maltsev (Dizel Penza – KHL)
Alexander Shepelev (Chelmet Chelyabinsk – VHL)
Egor Zaitsev (Dynamo Moscow – KHL)

Forwards:
Andrey Altybarmakyan (SKA-Neva St. Petersburg – VHL)
Georgy Ivanov (Loko Yaroslavl – MHL)
Vladislav Kara (Bars Kazan – VHL)
Mikhail Maltsev (SKA St. Petersburg – KHL)
Artyom Manukyan (Avangard Omsk – KHL)
Danila Moiseyev (Vityaz Podolsk – KHL)
Alexey Polodyan (SKA-Neva St. Petersburg – VHL)
Damir Rakhimullin (Lada Togliatti – KHL)
Maxim Rasseykin (Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg – KHL)
Ivan Romanov (Loko Yaroslavl – MHL)
Maxim Tsyplakov (Spartak Moscow – KHL)
Daniil Veryaev (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod – KHL)

WHL players on Team Russia:
Alexander Alexeyev (Red Deer Rebels)
Artyom Minulin (Swift Current Broncos)

OHL Players on Team Russia:
Alexey Lipanov (Barrie Colts)
Dmitri Samorukov (Guelph Storm)
Dmitry Sokolov (Sudbury Wolves)

QMJHL Players on Team Russia:
Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)
Pavel Koltygin (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
German Rubtsov (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)

Staff:
Head Coach – Valery Bragin
Assistant Coach – Oleg Bratash
Assistant Coach – Yury Babenko
Goalie Coach – Vladimir Kulikov
Video Coach – Vladislav Krutskikh
Analyst – Alexander Kadykov
Administration – Sergey Zatsarenko
General Manager – Alexei Kochetkov
Doctor – Valery Egorov
Physiotherapist – Artem Timofeev
Equipment Manager – Alexander Rezepov
Media Manager – Petr Tereshchenkov

The 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series is supported by title sponsor CIBC, the Official Bank of the CHL, along with associate sponsors Cooper Tires 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.

Where Greatness Begins: CHL 2017-18 Broadcast Schedule on Sportsnet

Where Greatness Begins: CHL 2017-18 Broadcast Schedule on Sportsnet

– Coverage features weekly Saturday games, plus marquee CHL events including the 100th annual Mastercard Memorial Cup in Regina –

Action gets underway Monday with Game 1 of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series 

Join the conversation: #WhereGreatnessBegins

CHL Sportsnet

TORONTO (November 2, 2017) Shining the spotlight on hockey’s future stars, Sportsnet is set to deliver exclusive national coverage of the 2017-18 Canadian Hockey League season, beginning Monday, Nov. 6. In addition to weekly CHL Saturday Showcase broadcasts from across the league, CHL coverage on Sportsnet features three marquee events – the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series, the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup.

Exclusive English-language Canadian coverage of the CHL kicks off on Sportsnet this coming Monday when the Canadian World Junior hopefuls of the Western Hockey League host Team Russia in the first game of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Sportsnet East, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet NOW.

Following the six-game series, Sportsnet’s weekly CHL Saturday Showcase afternoon broadcasts deliver coverage of must-see action from across the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League throughout the regular season. (Full broadcast details below)

TV – Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW

Bringing CHL action to fans across the country, Sportsnet’s coverage of the 2017-18 season includes:

  • Veteran broadcast team of play-by-play announcer R.J. Broadhead, game analyst Sam Cosentino and host Rob Faulds
  • Regular editions of The Next Ones, Sportsnet’s new show that takes an in-depth look at the CHL’s top prospects. Hosted by Jeff Marek and Cosentino, The Next Ones is also available as a podcast and on Sportsnet 590 The FAN

In addition to regular season coverage, the CHL on Sportsnet season includes:

  • 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series (Nov. 6-16, 2017) – The 15th annual best-on-best showdown sees the CHL’s regional teams of Canadian World Junior candidates face off against the Russian National Junior Team
  • 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospect Game (Jan. 25, 2018) The CHL’s top-40 NHL draft eligible players compete in front of scouts at the 23rd annual showcase live from Guelph, ON
  • 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup (May 18-27, 2018) – Marking a league and national milestone, the 100th edition of the celebrated championship will be hosted by the Regina Pats and feature champion teams from the OHL, WHL, QMJHL

 

Digital – Sportsnet.ca

The ultimate destination for Canadian fans, the Junior Hockey page on sportsnet.ca is home to exclusive CHL articles, videos and content throughout the season, including:

  • 2018 NHL Draft Prospect Rankings – monthly articles by Cosentino and Marek that rank the NHL Draft eligible players from across the CHL and the globe
  • 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship coverage – Wall-to-wall coverage from Buffalo, covering the players and teams that matter most to Canadian fans
  • Ongoing news, videos, features and profiles from Sportsnet’s roster of hockey experts, including monthly prospect reports and live coverage from marquee events

 

As Canada’s Home of Hockey, Sportsnet is now in its fourth season of a 12-year partnership with the Canadian Hockey League. Featuring a comprehensive suite of multimedia rights including television, online and mobile, Sportsnet is the exclusive English-language broadcaster of the CHL and Mastercard Memorial Cup in Canada. The deal also includes a 12-year sub-licensing agreement with TVA Sports for exclusive French-language multiplatform rights for CHL games

2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series Broadcast Schedule on Sportsnet

*All games available on Sportsnet NOW

  • Monday, Nov. 6, Russia @ WHL, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, West & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 7, Russia @ WHL, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Thursday, Nov. 9, Russia @ OHL, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific & Sportsnet 360)
  • Monday, Nov. 13, Russia @ OHL, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Pacific)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, Russia @ QMJHL, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Pacific)
  • Thursday, Nov. 16, Russia @ QMJHL, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario & Pacific)

2017-18 CHL Regular Season Broadcast Schedule on Sportsnet

*All games available on Sportsnet NOW

November 2017

  • Saturday, Nov. 18, CHL Saturday Showcase: Kitchener @ Barrie, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, Nov. 25, CHL Saturday Showcase: Red Deer @ Calgary, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

December 2017

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, CHL Saturday Showcase: Barrie @ Ottawa, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9, CHL Saturday Showcase: Oshawa @ Barrie, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16, CHL Saturday Showcase: Acadie-Bathurst @ Moncton, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, Dec. 30, CHL Saturday Showcase: Moose Jaw @ Brandon, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

January 2018

  • Saturday, Jan. 6, CHL Saturday Showcase: Kitchener @ Owen Sound, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Saturday, Jan. 13, CHL Saturday Showcase: Oshawa @ Kingston, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospect: Team Cherry vs. Team Orr, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific & Sportsnet 360)
  • Saturday, Jan. 27, CHL Saturday Showcase: Regina @ Swift Current, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

 

February 2018

  • Saturday, Feb. 3, CHL Saturday Showcase: London @ Sarnia, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, Feb. 10, CHL Saturday Showcase: Red Deer @ Edmonton, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Sunday, Feb. 18, Moose Jaw @ Regina, 3 p.m. ET / Noon PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific & Sportsnet 360)
  • Saturday, Feb. 24, CHL Saturday Showcase: Gatineau @ Halifax, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific & Sportsnet ONE)

March 2018

  • Saturday, March 3, CHL Saturday Showcase: Guelph @ Owen Sound, 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, March 10, CHL Saturday Showcase: Halifax @ Acadie-Bathurst, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
  • Saturday, March 17, CHL Saturday Showcase: Mississauga @ Niagara, 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

*schedule subject to change

Broadcast details for the CHL Playoffs and the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup will be announced at a later date

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Like Sportsnet www.Facebook.com/Sportsnet

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About Sportsnet Sportsnet is Canada’s #1 sports media brand, uniting Canadians through sport with the content they love, accessible from anywhere.  Delivering world-class storytelling on a local, regional, national and global level, the multiplatform brand consists of Sportsnet, sportsnet.ca, Sportsnet 590 The FAN, Sportsnet 960 The FAN, Sportsnet 650, Sportsnet NOW, and the Sportsnet app.  Sportsnet consists of four regional channels (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific), and the nationally-distributed Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360, and Sportsnet World. Sportsnet is the official Canadian NHL national multimedia rights holder, and is also the official regional television broadcast rights holder for the Calgary Flames (including radio rights on Sportsnet 960 The FAN), Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs (including radio rights on Sportsnet 590 The FAN) and Vancouver Canucks (including radio rights on Sportsnet 650). Sportsnet also has exclusive TV & radio coverage of all 162 Blue Jays games, as well as other MLB games, Toronto Raptors, NBA, Grand Slam of Curling, Rogers Cup, CHL, IndyCar, and extensive soccer programming including Premier League, Bundesliga, FA Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup European Qualifiers.