OHL Conference Final Previews

OHL Playoffs

The stage is set. The number one seed Ottawa 67’s will battle the number three seed Oshawa Generals for the Bobby Orr Trophy in the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference while the number two seed Saginaw Spirit host the number four seed Guelph Storm for the Wayne Gretzky Trophy in the Western Conference.

Before we look at how each team got to this point, here’s a look at my not so good playoff predictions to this point:

Predictions

The Guelph Storm made quick work of the Kitchener Rangers in the opening round and then fell behind 3-0 to the London Knights in round two before completing the reverse sweep. The Saginaw Spirit also made quick work of the Sarnia Sting before being taken to six games by the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. Sadly, I had both Saginaw and Guelph losing in the second round, both in 7 games.

Over in the Eastern Conference, the 67’s have yet to lose a game in these playoffs quickly taking care of business with sweeps over the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Sudbury Wolves. The Generals dispatched the Peterborough Petes in five games and after losing the first two games against the Niagara IceDogs and the leagues top offence, won 4 straight en route to the Conference Finals.

Let’s begin in the West.

Saginaw’s best chance of winning is to avoid getting into a run and gun game against the league’s second-best offence. The Storm just have too many weapons to beat you with in that type of game. If Saginaw can keep it close, then they have a chance of winning. And the head-to-head season series shows just that.

Guelph holds the advantage with the extra man, both in the regular season and the playoffs. But Saginaw’s penalty kill was superior in the regular season and has been nothing short of perfect in the playoffs to date, allowing just 2 goals in 38 shorthanded situations. Both teams are dominant at home and Saginaw has a slightly better road record. If this series comes down to specialty teams and home ice, the advantage belongs to Saginaw.

In the East, you would think the decided advantage goes to Ottawa. But most hockey pundits thought the same thing when Niagara was to face Oshawa. Kyle Keyser certainly has the ability to steal a game and a series, he did just that against Niagara and is on a record setting pace so far in these playoffs.

Much like Saginaw in the West, If Keyser and the Generals can keep it close, it is their best chance. The Generals won all the one-goal games between the two teams in the regular season – three of them in total. But when the 67’s dominated, they dominated, outscoring Oshawa 28-12 in the other five contests. I guess if you are looking for a bright light, Keyser was in the crease for two of those losses, losing both games 4-0.

Oshawa held a slight advantage on the powerplay in the regular season and while it’s been good in the playoffs clipping along at 27.7%, Ottawa’s has been out of this world at 35.9% (50% at home). Oshawa held a larger advantage on the PK in the regular season as well as the playoffs.

Here is a look at how the teams stacked up against each other, followed by my predictions:

Oshawa Generals vs Ottawa 67’s: Head To Head Stats
Summary
Description Result
Head to Head Oshawa 3-5-0-0 Ottawa 5-1-1-1
2017-2018 Oshawa 4-3-1-0 Ottawa 4-3-1-0
Last 5 Years Oshawa 15-20-1-2 Ottawa 23-9-4-2
Last 5 Years at Oshawa Oshawa 11-7-0-1 Ottawa 8-7-3-1
Last 5 Years at Ottawa Oshawa 4-13-1-1 Ottawa 15-2-1-1
Previous Meetings Ottawa 4 @ Oshawa 0
Oshawa 3 @ Ottawa 2
Oshawa 0 @ Ottawa 4
Ottawa 9 @ Oshawa 6
Oshawa 4 @ Ottawa 7
Ottawa 5 @ Oshawa 2
Oshawa 2 @ Ottawa 1 SO
Ottawa 3 @ Oshawa 4 OT
How the 2 teams match up
Ottawa Oshawa
Team Record 50-12-4-2-106 pts 44-20-4-0-92 pts
Division Ranking 1st East 2nd East
Conference Ranking 1st Eastern 3rd Eastern
League Ranking 1st 6th
Past 10 Games 6-3-1-0 7-2-1-0
Streak 3-0-1-0 3-0-0-0
Home Record 29-3-1-1 21-10-3-0
Away Record 21-9-3-1 23-10-1-0
GF 296 288
GA 183 216
PP (Overall) (60/259) 23.2% (71/290) 24.5%
PP (Home) (30/131) 22.9% (42/152) 27.6%
PP (Away) (30/128) 23.4% (29/138) 21.0%
PK (Overall) (62/276) 77.5% (49/270) 81.9%
PK (Home) (22/127) 82.7% (23/127) 81.9%
PK (Away) (40/149) 73.2% (26/143) 81.8%
PP vs. Opp. (9/29) 31% (6/36) 16.7%
PK vs. Opp. (6/36) 83.3% (9/29) 69%
Leading Rookie Rossi (29-36-65) Tullio (15-27-42)
Most PIM Clark – 98 Gross – 81
Team PIM/GM 13.1/Game 11.4/Game
Leading Scorers Felhaber (59-50-109) Saigeon (37-55-92)
Keating (22-67-89) Salinitri (48-40-88)
Maksimovich (35-46-81) Noel (34-47-81)
Chiodo (29-50-79) Neumann (45-34-79)
Chmelevski (35-40-75) McShane (34-35-69)
Leading After 1st 31-0-0-2 26-3-2-0
Leading After 2nd 40-0-2-2 32-1-0-0
Tied After 1st 17-3-2-0 12-3-0-0
Tied After 2nd 7-3-1-0 6-2-2-0
Trailing After 1st 2-9-2-0 6-14-2-0
Trailing After 2nd 3-9-1-0 6-17-2-0
Out Shooting Opponents 32-9-3-1 26-9-2-0
Out Shot by Opponents 13-2-1-1 17-9-2-0
1-Goal Games 12-5-4-2 14-4-4-0
2-Goal Games 10-1-0-0 5-5-0-0
3-Goal Games 13-3-0-0 11-7-0-0
Guelph Storm vs Saginaw Spirit: Head To Head Stats
Summary
Description Result
Head to Head Guelph 2-1-0-1 Saginaw 2-1-1-0
2017-2018 Guelph 3-1-0-0 Saginaw 1-2-1-0
Last 5 Years Guelph 12-7-0-1 Saginaw 8-9-2-1
Last 5 Years at Guelph Guelph 5-5-0-0 Saginaw 5-3-1-1
Last 5 Years at Saginaw Guelph 7-2-0-1 Saginaw 3-6-1-0
Previous Meetings Saginaw 5 @ Guelph 3
Saginaw 2 @ Guelph 8
Guelph 4 @ Saginaw 5 SO
Guelph 6 @ Saginaw 5 OT
How the 2 teams match up
Saginaw Guelph
Team Record 45-17-3-3-96 pts 40-18-6-4 — 90 points
Division Ranking 1st West 2nd Midwest
Conference Ranking 2nd Western 4th Western
League Ranking 3rd 8th
Past 10 Games 7-2-1-0 8-2-0-0
Streak 0-2-1-0 3-0-0-0
Home Record 24-7-2-1 23-9-1-1
Away Record 21-10-1-2 17-9-5-3
GF 294 308
GA 218 230
PP (Overall) (51/227) 22.5% (69/267) 25.8%
PP (Home) (24/107) 22.4% (37/146) 25.3%
PP (Away) (27/120) 22.5% (32/121) 26.4%
PK (Overall) (40/234) 82.9% (53/253) 79.1%
PK (Home) (20/118) 83.1% (28/126) 77.8%
PK (Away) (20/116) 82.8% (25/127) 80.3%
PP vs. Opp. (4/15) 26.7% (5/16) 31.3%
PK vs. Opp. (5/16) 68.8% (4/15) 73.3%
Leading Rookie Perfetti (37-37-74) Collins (6-10-16)
Most PIM Murray – 115 Ratcliffe – 105
Team PIM/GM 8.7/Game 9.9/Game
Leading Scorers Perfetti (37-37-74) Schnarr (34-68-102)
Tippett (33-41-74) Suzuki (34-60-94)
Wilde (19-51-70) Ratcliffe (50-32-82)
Coskey (31-32-63) Hawel (37-41-78)
McLeod (19-43-62) Entwistle (30-27-57)
Leading After 1st 31-3-1-0 24-3-3-0
Leading After 2nd 40-1-0-0 32-1-3-1
Tied After 1st 11-4-1-2 9-4-3-4
Tied After 2nd 4-3-2-2 4-0-1-2
Trailing After 1st 3-10-1-1 7-11-0-0
Trailing After 2nd 1-13-1-1 4-17-2-1
Out Shooting Opponents 27-8-3-2 28-8-2-2
Out Shot by Opponents 17-9-0-1 11-9-4-2
1-Goal Games 8-1-3-3 10-5-6-4
2-Goal Games 12-3-0-0 4-2-0-0
3-Goal Games 10-6-0-0 8-7-0-0

PREDICTIONS;

Saginaw in 7 games

Ottawa in 6 games

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2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series Hosts Announced

Canada Russia

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with title partner CIBC, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Western Hockey League, today announced the six Canadian host cities for the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series to be played November 4-14.

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

For the first time since 2013 the event will begin in the QMJHL, followed by two OHL matchups, and ending with a pair of contests hosted by the WHL.  The puck drops in New Brunswick with the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Moncton Wildcats hosting Game’s 1 and 2 respectively on Monday November 4 and Tuesday November 5.  When the series shifts to Ontario it will be the Kitchener Rangers hosting Game 3 on Thursday November 7 followed by the London Knights hosting Game 4 on Monday November 11.  The series will then wrap up in Saskatchewan with the Saskatoon Blades and the Prince Albert Raiders hosting Game’s 5 and 6 on Wednesday November 13 and Thursday November 14.

“The Canada and Russia rivalry is like no other in hockey and continues to ignite passion among the players competing on the ice and for the fans following along in CHL communities across the country,” said CHL President David Branch. “This is a showcase of our league’s best players and the stars who will proudly don the maple leaf at Christmas as members of Canada’s National Junior Team in pursuit of gold at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic.”

Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have played to an overall record of 63-25-2-6 and have won 12 of 16 total series despite coming up short last season in Russia’s first event win since 2014.  The competitiveness of the rivalry has grown in recent years with six of the last nine series decided in the final game including last season where Russia scored a late goal to force overtime and clinch the title in Drummondville.  20 members of Team Canada at the 2019 World Juniors previously competed in this event, while Russia’s bronze medal winning roster was largely derived from members of this team.

“No other hockey rivalry ignites passion amongst hockey fans as the one that pits Canada against Russia. Fans across the country will be on the edge of their seats cheering on the Canadian teams during the action,” said Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice President, Brand, Purpose and Marketing, CIBC. “Congratulations to the six host cities of the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series! We are looking forward to sharing in the excitement with our clients and employees in these communities, as we rally behind the team to reclaim the trophy.”

The first five cities on the tour will each be hosting this event for the third time while this marks just the second time for Prince Albert following 2008 when Team WHL earned a 2-1 victory to close out the series.  Russia has won both previous games played in Saint John including Game 2 back in 2008 by a 4-3 score, and Game 1 in 2010 by a 5-4 score.  Moncton hosted Game 2 back in 2005 with Team QMJHL skating to a 6-4 victory, then Game 6 in 2017 in likely the most dramatic finish in event history with Russia winning 2-1 in regulation followed by a Team QMJHL triumph in the first ever series deciding shootout.  Kitchener has hosted Game 3 twice before with Team OHL winning both times including 2005 by a 5-2 score and 2007 by a 5-3 score.  London hosted the very first game in event history back in 2003 where Team OHL claimed a 7-1 victory, then hosted Game 3 in 2010 where Team OHL earned a 4-0 shutout.  Saskatoon’s hosting history includes Game 5 in 2005 won 9-2 by Team WHL, and Game 1 of the 2014 series won 3-2 by Russia in a shootout.

The 2019 CIBC Canada Russia series is supported by CHL associate sponsors Kia Canada, Sherwin-Williams, Cooper Tires, and Kubota Canada.  All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:

Game 1 – Monday November 4 at Saint John, NB

Game 2 – Tuesday November 5 at Moncton, NB

Game 3 – Thursday November 7 at Kitchener, ON

Game 4 – Monday November 11 at London, ON

Game 5 – Wednesday November 13 at Saskatoon, SK

Game 6 – Thursday November 14 at Prince Albert, SK

For event information please visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca.

Wolves’ Quinton Byfield named OHL Rookie of the Year

OHL Announces First and Second All-Rookie Teams

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves is the 2018-19 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Byfield joined the league as the first overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and finished third in rookie scoring with 61 points in 64 games including 29 goals and 32 assists helping the Wolves win more than 40 games for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

“It’s super humbling,” Byfield said. “There’s a lot of good rookies this year that could have won it. I think a lot of them deserved it as well. I couldn’t have done it by myself and owe a lot to my coaches who put trust in me, gave me every opportunity to succeed, and put me in every situation. And my teammates, our off-ice chemistry was unbelievable. We had a very special group, we’re super tight, and that helped us on the ice and really helped me too.

“My billet family, since day one, welcomed me into their family and they supported me along the way,” added Byfield. “To my Mom, Dad, Sister, Oma, they all believed in me, supported me, and sacrificed everything for me just so I could go play hockey. This is just really special for me and I’m really honoured.”

The Newmarket, Ont., native, and graduate from the OMHA champion York-Simcoe Express, scored in his Wolves debut on September 21, part of a two-point performance, the first of 16 multi-point games this season.  The 2020 NHL Draft prospect also represented Canada as an alternate captain at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in November.  He finished second overall in Wolves scoring and lit the lamp more than any other 16-year-old rookie to play for ‘the Pack’ in the last 20 years following Norm Milley’s 30 goals in 1996-97.

“For Quinton coming in, being the number one pick after really wanting to be first overall, he’s done everything for us since the start of the season,” said Wolves head coach Cory Stillman, who won OHL Rookie of the Year honours himself as a member of the Windsor Spitfires in 1990-91. “He’s an extremely talented player and is a treat to come to the rink and watch every night.

Byfield, Quinton (1)
Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by OHL Images

“What makes Quinton special, to me, is how hard he plays in all areas of the game,” Stillman added. “He plays on the power play and on the penalty kill. He plays in the last minute if we’re up a goal or if we’re down a goal. I think the biggest thing with Quinton is that he’s only going to get better.”

Byfield is just the third Wolves player to win Rookie of the Year honours following Benoit Pouliot in 2004-05, and Pat Verbeek in 1981-82.  He is also the ninth player to win after also earning the Jack Ferguson Award as the league’s first overall pick following Jeff O’Neill (Guelph 1992-93), Patrick O’Sullivan (Mississauga 2001-02), Rob Schremp (Mississauga 2002-03), John Tavares (Oshawa 2005-06), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie 2011-12), Connor McDavid (Erie 2012-13), Travis Konecny (Ottawa 2013-14), and Ryan Merkley (Guelph 2016-17).  Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts was last season’s recipient.

The Emms Family Award was donated by Leighton “Hap” Emms, former owner of the Barrie, Niagara Falls, and St. Catharines OHL franchises.  The award is selected by all 20 member club General Managers.  Teams were asked to submit only one nominee from their own club for consideration on the ballot and were not permitted to vote for the player from their own hockey club.  Voting was conducted in two stages beginning with a Conference only vote followed by a Final ballot that included the top three candidates from the initial Conference phase.  Players received five points for a first vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

Byfield earned 61 points in a very close voting process just one point ahead of Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit who finished with 60 voting points.  Defenceman Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters finished in third place with 32 voting points.

All three players were also named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team with Byfield at centre, Perfetti at left wing, and Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting at right wing.  Drysdale was voted on defence alongside NHL Draft prospect Vladislav Kolyachonok of the Flint Firebirds.  Jet Greaves of the Barrie Colts was voted in goal.  Second All-Rookie Team honours were awarded to forwards Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s, Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires, and Tyler Tullio of the Oshawa Generals.  Ryan O’Rourke of the Soo Greyhounds and Daniil Chayka of the Guelph Storm were voted on defence, and Zachary Roy of the Hamilton Bulldogs was chosen in goal.

The OHL All-Rookie Teams were also selected by the OHL’s General Managers.  Players were voted on initially by position within their conference receiving five points for a first place vote, three for a second place vote, and one for a third.  Top vote getters in each position made up the final ballot that was then circulated to all 20 teams.

The Emms Family Award will be formally presented to Byfield at the OHL’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Wednesday June 5.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Rookie of the Year to be announced at the Memorial Cup presented by Kia on Saturday May 25.

2018-19 OHL All-Rookie Teams (voting points in brackets):
First Team:
Centre – Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves (87)
Left Wing – Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit (91)
Right Wing – Jacob Perreault, Sarnia Sting (89)
Defence – Jamie Drysdale, Erie Otters (95)
Defence – Vladislav Kolyachonok, Flint Firebirds (69)
Goaltender – Jet Greaves, Barrie Colts (58)
Second Team:
Centre – Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67’s (52)
Left Wing – Will Cuylle, Windsor Spitfires (52)
Right Wing – Tyler Tullio, Oshawa Generals (35)
Defence – Ryan O’Rourke, Soo Greyhounds (53)
Defence – Daniil Chayka, Guelph Storm (38)
Goaltender – Zachary Roy, Hamilton Bulldogs (39)

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Suzuki decorates the score sheet, Myskiw makes his mark

Storm’s Nick Suzuki named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Nick Suzuki of the Guelph Storm is the CHL Player of the Week for the fourth week of playoff action ending April 14 with 10 points in four games including five goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-1.

The Storm centre began his week with a two-point outing in a 7-4 loss to the London Knights in Game 3, but had better luck finding the win column two nights later in Game 4 when he put up three points en route to a 4-3 victory. The Storm then notched their second-straight victory in Game 5 thanks to Suzuki’s two-goal effort, including the game-winning tally in a 3-1 win. Finally, he capped his impressive week when he added a goal and two assists to power the Storm to a 5-3 victory in Game 6, earning him first-star recognition as Guelph recovered from a 3-0 series deficit to force a winner-takes-all Game 7. In all, the London, Ont., native has collected 17 points in 10 playoff appearances and sits just three back of the league lead in scoring.

Acquired from the Owen Sound Attack in January, Suzuki finished his fourth season in the league with 34 goals and 60 assists for 94 points split between the two squads. It also marked the second time Suzuki was traded this season, as the 2017 first-round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens in a September deal.

Also considered for the award this week was forward Olivier Garneau of the Rimouski Oceanic, who recorded four goals and two assists for six points in three consecutive QMJHL wins that resulted in a five-game elimination of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, as well as Prince Albert Raiders forward Dante Hannoun, who tallied six goals and one assist for seven points in three contests to help his squad take down the Saskatoon Blades in six games in the second round of the WHL playoffs.

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Playoffs:

Apr. 8 – Apr. 14: Nick Suzuki (Guelph Storm)

Apr. 1 – Apr. 7: Raphael Lavoie (Halifax Mooseheads)

Mar. 25 – Mar. 31: Adam Boqvist (London Knights)

Mar. 18 – Mar. 24: Evan Bouchard (London Knights)

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)

Mar. 4 – Mar. 10: Greg Meireles (Kitchener Rangers)

Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm)

Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Brayden Tracey (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Maxime Comtois (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic)

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Samuel Asselin (Halifax Mooseheads)

Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Ethan Crossman (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants)

Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters)

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Gregor MacLeod (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Peter Abbandonato (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks)

Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Dawson Davidson (Saskatoon Blades)

Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Oil Kings’ Dylan Myskiw named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Dylan Myskiw of the Edmonton Oil Kings is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the fourth week of playoff action ending April 14 with a 2-0 record, including one shutout, a goals-against average of 0.49, and save percentage of .977.

Myskiw claims the honour for the first time this year after stopping 42 shots over two WHL playoff appearances, including Games 3 and 4 versus the rival Calgary Hitmen en route to a series sweep. The product of Winnipeg, Man., began the week with a 2-1 overtime victory in which he turned aside 24 shots and earned first-star honours. He then sealed the series in Game 4 as he turned aside 18 shots to record his first career playoff shutout.

Myskiw, 20, is in his third season in the WHL and first with the Oil Kings. Through 45 games this year, he came away with a 28-11-2-3 showing alongside a .914 save percentage and 2.53 goals-against average. Through seven postseason contests, he owns a 5-2 record with a 1.93 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

Also considered for the award this week was Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals, who came away with a perfect 3-0 record versus the Niagara IceDogs as he posted a 1.67 goals-against average and .952 save percentage to lead his club to a series victory in Game 6. In the QMJHL, Sherbrooke Phoenix netminder Dakota Lund-Cornish won one of his three appearances, but was named one of the game’s three stars in each appearance against the Drummondville Voltigeurs as he posted a goals-against average of 2.33 and save percentage of .937.

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Playoffs:

Apr. 8 – Apr. 14: Dylan Myskiw (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Apr. 1 – Apr. 7: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)

Mar. 25 – Mar. 31: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)

Mar. 18 – Mar. 24: Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals)

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Mar. 4 – Mar. 10: Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)

Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)

Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Joel Hofer (Portland Winterhawks)

Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Mads Sogaard (Medicine Hat Tigers)

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Jet Greaves (Barrie Colts)

Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Ivan Prosvetov (Saginaw Spirit)

Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Mads Sogaard (Medicine Hat Tigers)

Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)

Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Kyle Jessiman (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights)

Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Emile Samson (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)

Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

128 OHL Prospects Named to 2019 OHL Gold Cup Rosters

Toronto, ON – 128 players selected in last Saturday’s OHL Priority Selection have been named to 2019 OHL Gold Cup rosters where they’ll represent their respective minor hockey associations from May 2-5 at the Activa Sportsplex in Kitchener, Ont.

OHL Gold Cup 2019

For the second straight year the Ottawa 67’s feature the most prospects in the annual showcase with 11 followed by the Kingston Frontenacs with 10 and the North Bay Battalion with nine.


The OHL Gold Cup is an annual showcase event featuring top under-16 talent in Ontario. As part of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, select players from the OHL Gold Cup will be invited to attend the National Under-17 Selection Camp, where they will have a chance to compete with other top talent from across Canada, to earn a spot at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.


“The Ontario Hockey League is proud of our partnership with the Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada that extends to great events like the OHL Gold Cup which provides players with another unique development opportunity,” said Joe Birch, OHL Senior Director of Player Development and Special Events. “Some of the very best players from across Ontario, including future OHL stars and members of Canada’s National Under-17 Teams, will be showcasing their abilities in May. It will be exciting to see how the action unfolds and which players are able to seize the moment.”


OHL Gold Cup players will receive development opportunities and training directly from Hockey Canada instructors. Throughout the week players will participate in three off-ice education sessions, dedicated position-specific practices, and a full-team game-day skate.


In addition to development opportunities, players will compete in three pool games and one crossover game on the final day, with the OHL Gold Cup champion being named from the winner of the A1 versus B1 crossover game – all games are open to the public.


HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019 OHL GOLD CUP ROSTERS INCLUDE:

• All 21 players selected in the first round of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore have been named to rosters.
• 128 of the 160 OHL Gold Cup players were picked in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore.
• Top minor hockey teams represented on rosters: Thunder Bay Kings (16), Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves (13), Toronto Marlboros (9) and Toronto Red Wings (9).
• From the 2018 event, 32 OHL Gold Cup alumni were selected to play for Hockey Canada at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.


OHL Prospects on 2019 OHL Gold Cup Rosters:


Barrie Colts (7):

Brandt Clarke (GTHL Red)*
Ryan Del Monte (GTHL Red)
Jacob Frasca (GTHL Blue)
Kai Graves (ALLIANCE)
Blake Hall (OMHA White)
Mark MacPhee (HEO)
Oliver Smith (GTHL Blue)


Erie Otters (4):

Forbes Andersen (GTHL Blue)
Ryan Forberg (GTHL Red)
Christian Kyrou (ALLIANCE)
Connor Lockhart (HEO)*


Flint Firebirds (5):

Tyler Dunbar (NOHA)
Zacharie Giroux (NOHA)
Braeden Kressler (GTHL Blue)
Brennan Othmann (GTHL Blue)*
Matthew Roy (OMHA Black)


Guelph Storm (4):

Braeden Bowman (ALLIANCE)
Jacob Maillet (OMHA White)
Marko Sikic (ALLIANCE)
Danny Zhilkin (GTHL Blue)*


Hamilton Bulldogs (8):

Matteo Drobac (OMHA White)
Ray Hamlin (ALLIANCE)
Kaleb Nelson (OMHA Black)
Dylan Richardson (OMHA Black)
Chandler Romeo (GTHL Red)
Lawson Sherk (OMHA White)
Owen Simpson (GTHL Blue)
Ryan Winterton (OMHA Black)*


Kingston Frontenacs (10):

Francesco Arcuri (GTHL Blue)
Maddox Callens (ALLIANCE)
Jake Coleman (HEO)
Cayden Faust (ALLIANCE)
Braden Haché (OMHA Black)
Barret Joynt (OMHA White)
Wil Murphy (OMHA White)
Cameron Walker (NOHA)
Owen Watson (HEO)
Shane Wright (GTHL Red)*


Kitchener Rangers (5):

Jesse Fishman (GTHL Red)
Mitchell Martin (NOHA)
Mark McIntosh (OMHA Black)
Francesco Pinelli (GTHL Blue)*
Justin Wu (GTHL Blue)


London Knights (7):

Ty Anselmini (OMHA Black)
Alex Atwill (HNO)
Connor Federkow (OMHA White)
Matteo Giampa (OMHA White)
Logan Mailloux (GTHL Blue)
Max McCue (NOHA)
Stuart Rolofs (HEO)*


Mississauga Steelheads (7):

Luca Del Bel Belluz (GTHL Red)
Ethan Del Mastro (GTHL Blue)*
Justin DiLauro (OMHA Black)
Sean Mateer (OMHA Black)
Adam O’Marra (OMHA Black)
Josh Reid (HEO)
Chas Sharpe (OMHA White)


Niagara IceDogs (6):

Bradley Brunet (NOHA)
Landon Cato (GTHL Blue)
Isaac Enright (HEO)*
Ethan Mistry (GTHL Red)
Stephen Pszeniczny (NOHA)
Josh Rosenzweig (GTHL Red)


North Bay Battalion (9):

Liam Arnsby (GTHL Red)*
Alex Christopoulos (GTHL Red)
Paul Christopoulos (GTHL Red)
Justin Ertel (GTHL Blue)
Ty Hollett (HEO)
Steven LaForme (ALLIANCE)
Devon Savignac (NOHA)
Aidan Shepard (GTHL Blue)
Joshua Ziliotto (OMHA White)


Oshawa Generals (4):

Brett Harrison (ALLIANCE)*
Patrick Leaver (HEO)
Daniel Michaud (OMHA White)
Cooper Way (ALLIANCE)


Ottawa 67’s (11):

Jack Beck (GTHL Red)
Eric Bonsteel (GTHL Red)
Gabriel Crete (HEO)
Max Donoso (ALLIANCE)
Ranvir Gill (HEO)
Parker Hendsbee (OMHA White)
Tommy Johnston (OMHA Black)
Jack Matier (NOHA)*
Giovanni Morneau (HEO)
Easton Ryan (HEO)
Brenden Sirizzotti (OMHA Black)


Owen Sound Attack (8):

Ethan Burroughs (OMHA White)
Douglas Carr (OMHA Black)
Deni Goure (ALLIANCE)*
Brayden Hislop (ALLIANCE)
Kaleb Lawrence (HEO)
Ethan Lindsay (OMHA Black)
Sam Sedley (ALLIANCE)
Nicholas Von Kaufmann (GTHL Red)


Peterborough Petes (8):

J.R. Avon (OMHA White)*
Ryan Cutler (OMHA Black)
Josh Kavanagh (NOHA)
Mason McTavish (HEO)*
Nicholas Paone (OMHA White)
Cole Patey (OMHA White)
Tucker Robertson (GTHL Blue)
Michael Simpson (ALLIANCE)


Saginaw Spirit (4):

Josh Bloom (GTHL Red)
Carter Garvie (OMHA White)
Cole Hipkin (ALLIANCE)
Connor Punnett (OMHA White)*


Sarnia Sting (6):

Nicholas Beneteau (ALLIANCE)
Nolan Dann (GTHL Blue)
Ben Gaudreau (NOHA)*
Chris Innes (NOHA)
Deven Nagra (GTHL Red)
Justin O’Donnell (GTHL Red)


Soo Greyhounds (4):

Marc Boudreau (GTHL Red)
Hunter Brown (HEO)
Luc Brzustowski (ALLIANCE)
Jacob Holmes (OMHA Black)*


Sudbury Wolves (8):

Andre Anania (GTHL Blue)
Ryan Burke (ALLIANCE)
Ryan Gillespie (GTHL Blue)
Ethan Larmand (OMHA White)
Landon McCallum (ALLIANCE)*
Alex Pineau (HNO)
Josh Simpson (OMHA Black)
Chase Stillman (NOHA)


Windsor Spitfires (3):

James Jodoin (OMHA Black)
Wyatt Johnston (GTHL Red)*
Pasquale Zito (GTHL Blue)


*first round pick


For more information including full rosters and schedule please visit ohlgoldcup.com.

Generals’ Kyle Keyser named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 14 posting a 3-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.67 and save percentage of .952.

Keyser was the backbone for the Generals last week making 100 saves in three straight wins to turn the tide in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Niagara IceDogs.  Trailing 2-0 in the second round series but headed back to Oshawa, Keyser made 28 saves in Tuesday’s Game 3 earning second star honours in the 4-1 victory.  The Generals would even the series in Game 4 on Thursday with Keyser stopping 36 shots and receiving third star honours in the 7-3 win.  Keyser made another 36 saves in Saturday’s Game 5 in Niagara and once again earned third star recognition this time in a 3-1 win to put the Generals one win away from the Eastern Conference Championship Series.  Game 6 of the series goes Monday night in Oshawa.

A 20-year-old from Coral Springs, Florida, Keyser currently leads all OHL goaltenders with a playoff goals-against-average of 2.10 while his .943 save percentage is also a top mark.  He’s in his fourth OHL season and third with the Generals after playing his rookie season with the Flint Firebirds where he was a fourth round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  Keyser went undrafted in the NHL but signed a Free Agent entry-level contract with the Bruins in October, 2017.  During the 2018-19 regular season he posted a 32-8-3-0 record with two shutouts, a 2.75 GAA, and .915 SV%, in 47 of his 120 career games as a General.

Watch video highlights of Keyser and the Generals against the IceDogs in Game 3, Game 4, and Game 5.

Also considered for the award this week was Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki who scored five goals and five assists for 10 points in four games helping the Guelph Storm force a Game 7 against the London Knights in their Western Conference Semi-Final series.  In addition, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds scored four goals and four assists for eight points in four games against the Saginaw Spirit, and Kyle Maksimovich of the Ottawa 67’s scored three goals and one assist for four points in two games against the Sudbury Wolves.

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Playoffs:
Apr. 8 – Apr. 14: Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals)
Apr. 1 – Apr. 7: Tye Felhaber (Ottawa 67’s)
Mar. 25 – Mar. 31: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 18 – Mar. 24: Evan Bouchard (London Knights)

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 4 – Mar. 10: Greg Meireles (Kitchener Rangers)
Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm)
Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Nando Eggenberger (Oshawa Generals)
Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Riley Damiani (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters)
Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Andrew MacLean (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Brett Neumann (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Kevin Hancock (Owen Sound Attack)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Lucas Chiodo (Barrie Colts)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)

Eric Ciccolini – Toronto Jr Canadiens – Player Profile

Height: 6’

Weight: 170 pounds

Date of birth: January 14, 2001

Hometown: Vaughan, Ontario

Position: Right wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 7, 122nd overall, 2017 Priority Selection / Round 8, 121st overall, 2018 USHL Draft.

NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: C Prospect. Mid-term: 95th, North America

Following in the footsteps of former teammate Jack McBain, Toronto Jr Canadiens forward Eric Ciccolini was named the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Top Prospect following the 2018-2019 season and is rightfully ranked by National Hockey League Central Scouting as the top prospect from the OJHL for the 2019 Draft in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 21 and 22.

And like McBain, Ciccolini is committed to playing NCAA hockey for the next four years (or less). But they won’t be teammates this time around as Ciccolini is heading to the University of Michigan.

Eric Ciccolini
Eric Ciccolini of the Toronto Jr Canadiens. Photo by OJHL Images

Ciccolini played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2016-2017 season with the Vaughan Kings. In 27 games, he recorded 7 goals and added 15 assists. In 6 games with the Kings at the OHL Cup, he would add 3 helpers. The Guelph Storm selected him with the 122nd pick at the 2017 Priority Selection but were unable to obtain his commitment.

Ciccolini would begin his Junior A career with the Milton Icehawks a season later. He would appear in 23 games and score 12 goals while adding 7 assists. A mid-season trade sent him to the Jr Canadiens and he would finish the season with 17 goals and 13 assists in 47 games. In 11 playoff games with the Jr Canadiens he would score 2 goals to go along with 6 helpers.

Ciccolini is an offensively gifted player who can play both the wing and center. He has good size at 6’ and very good speed – both in first steps and top speed – with a deceptive separation gear. He’s an extremely good stickhandler and seemingly has the puck on a string whenever he’s in possession. He has the ability to make things happen at top speed.

Ciccolini also has very good vision and hockey sense. He sees plays developing and has an uncanny ability to slow the play down and wait for opportunities to open up. Perhaps his greatest offensive weapon is his shot which borders on elite. He gets the puck off his stick quickly and accurately and often times catches goaltenders by surprise.

If there is anything that might be underrated about Ciccolini it is his defensive game. Coaches trust him in any situation and to go up against the opposition’s top players. He uses the same hockey senses in his own zone as he does in the O-zone. He keeps his gaps tight, gets into passing and shooting lanes quickly and is very good at creating turnovers. He battles for pucks hard and is excellent at retrieving pucks. And his transition game is excellent.

What sometimes causes a player of Ciccolini’s calibre to fall at the NHL Draft is that a lot of teams don’t want to wait four years while he finishes College.

But for those willing to wait, Eric Ciccolini could be quite the find.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

OHL Announces Disciplinary Action

Game of Friday, April 13th, 2109 – Sault Ste. Marie at Saginaw

The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results of a review of an incident which took place in a playoff game played in Saginaw on the 13th of April, 2019, involving the Spirit and the visiting Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club.

The incident reviewed was an inappropriate gesture made by player Jaden Peca of the Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club.

Based on a review of the incident, it is the position of the League that player Jaden Peca shall be suspended for two (2) games effective immediately.

Daniel D’Amico – Windsor Spitfires – Player Profile

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 178 Pounds

Date of birth: January 25, 2001

Hometown: Caledon, Ontario

Position: Center/Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 6, 109th overall, 2017 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: Not ranked. Mid-term: 164th North America

One of my favorite things when it comes to National Hockey League Central Scouting’s lists is when a player doesn’t make either of the Players to Watch Lists and all of a sudden appears on the mid-term rankings, especially when it comes to diminutive players like Daniel D’Amico of the Windsor Spitfires.

It’s not as though D’Amico didn’t have a body of work to look at when looking at pre-season players to watch. And the fact that he was a sixth-round pick at the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection should not be taken into consideration.

D’Amico played his minor midget AAA hockey during the 2016-2017 season with the Toronto Marlboros. In 32 games he posted 18 goals and 15 assists and was one of the leaders on the squad. At the OHL Cup he added 2 goals and 3 assists in 5 games.

Daniel D'Amico of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Daniel D’Amico of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Last season, D’Amico made the Spitfires roster out of camp and would play in 59 games, scoring 12 goals and 7 assists. He would also play in 6 playoff games for the Spits scoring once and adding 3 helpers.

D’Amico would make big strides in this his draft season. He appeared in 67 of the 68 regular season games and notched 21 goals and assisting on 25 others. In the 4 games loss at the hands of the London Knights in the opening round of the playoffs, he would add 3 helpers.

Among draft eligible players, his 21 goals were 10th in the league. D’Amico also holds the second longest point streak among draft eligible players, producing 14 points in 20 consecutive games from December 31, 2018 to January 20, 2019.

There are still plenty of folks in the hockey world, and this could be said about NHL Central Scouting as well, that endear themselves to “bigger bodies”, and the fact that D’Amico stands just 5’9”, well, that’s going to cause him to fall into the later rounds of the 2019 Draft in Vancouver, British Columbia come June. I’m not even sure where I will slot D’Amico come June as I finish my rankings.

At that size, you would look to skating as one of the more important things D’Amico needs to have. He doesn’t possess elite speed; his first steps are not explosive and he doesn’t have a separation gear. That said, pure effort, extraordinary work ethic and excellent hockey IQ is what puts him in areas that makes him dangerous.

Once D’Amico gets into those areas, he releases his shot quickly and accurately, something I see as underrated in his game. Overall, he had a 14.9% shooting percentage. He shot 27.3% from the high-danger zone areas, 20% from mid-danger area and 9.4% from low-danger areas.

D’Amico also has good vision. Not only does he anticipate very well which allows him to get into areas for scoring chances, he sees the ice well that he can make a very good pass to set up teammates. On the powerplay, he is more of a shooter then a playmaker with the extra space, finding the open ice to get off his shot.

Defensively, D’Amico’s game is about where you would expect it to be at this level. He understands where to position himself, how to defend with his lack of size, and is pretty good at clearing his zone. He can kill penalties and has shown he can be an offensive threat down a man.

D’Amico can play both center and wing but faceoffs are going to need some work. As he moves forward in his career, I think his game is better suited for the wing, especially with his lack of size.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

OHL Appoints Kyle Pereira Director of Player Recruitment

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the appointment of Kyle Pereira as its Director of Player Recruitment.

A 28-year-old from Brampton, Ont, Pereira will be responsible for developing and implementing league recruitment strategy and activities, and liaising with Minor Midget teams across Ontario and parts of the United States.  He will work closely with Minor Midget players and families to provide them with information and education regarding the opportunities the OHL provides. Pereira will also help further the development of the OHL Alumni Association, engage with and grow its membership, and coordinate annual events.

“The OHL provided me with an opportunity to not only develop as a hockey player, but also as a student athlete upon graduation from the league,” Pereira said. “I was very fortunate to have leveraged the OHL Scholarship Program to complete both my undergraduate and graduate degrees while still progressing my hockey career at the U Sports level.

“The OHL was certainly a springboard both athletically and educationally. It prepared me exceptionally well to make the transition into my career and I am thrilled for the opportunity to return to the OHL and work with the next generation of players and families.”

Originally a sixth round pick in the 2007 OHL Priority Selection, Pereira spent four seasons in the league including three as a member of his hometown Battalion from 2008-11 before completing his OHL experience as a member of the Guelph Storm in 2012.  That final season he not only served as alternate captain, but won the club’s Leadership Award and was the Community Hero & Humanitarian of the Year recipient.  He was also recognized at the league level as the 2012 Roger Neilson Memorial Award winner presented to the top post-secondary student in the OHL.  Pereira continued his hockey career at Saint Mary’s University where he played four seasons for the Huskies through 2015-16.  His tenure included AUS All-Rookie Team honours in 2012-13 followed by the prestigious Academic All-Canadian distinction his final season.  Pereira received a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2015 then completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in 2017. 

“We are excited to welcome Kyle back to the OHL as the newly appointed Director of Player Recruitment,” said Joe Birch, OHL Senior Director of Player Development and Special Events. “Kyle will be an excellent resource for prospective OHL players and families and will undoubtedly excel in this role given his communication skills and passion for the game. Kyle will have the ability to draw upon his own experience as an OHL and U Sports student athlete to assist players through their Minor Midget season.”

Pereira joins the league after working most recently as an Account Manager with The Delivery Group where his experience was profiled in the CHL Leaders segment on Junior Hockey Magazine.

The position was previously held by Daniel Broussard for parts of three seasons before departing in the spring to pursue new business opportunities outside of hockey.