OHL Writers’ Final Draft Rankings

If you’ve followed us in the past, you’ll notice a couple of different things we’ve done for the 2018 National Hockey League Draft. In the past, we’ve only ranked Ontario Hockey League players.

But, for the first time ever, we are including players that played in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and three players make our list. They are Jack McBain, Mason Snell, Dustyn McFaul and goaltender Jett Alexander.

Andrei Svechnikovof the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

In previous years that we’ve done these lists, we’ve only included players eligible for the National Hockey League Draft for the first time. Usually, the number of players re-entering the draft (and getting drafted) are few, but in 2018, there are as many as half dozen with a legitimate chance of being selected on day two in Dallas.

Beginning with goaltenders, there are two netminders re-entering the draft that make NHL Central Scouting’s list: Christian Propp and Anthony Popovich but do not make our list.

Five skaters re-entering the draft made our OHL players list. We had two, Linus Nyman (26th) and Sean Durzi (32nd) ranked a season ago.

Two other re-entry players were ranked on our 2016 list. Brandon Saigeon and Justin Brazeau were on our list at 48th and 50th respectively two summers ago. Four others made Central’s list of top 50 OHL players but not ours: Albert Michnac, Mac Hollowell, Joey Keane and Hugo Leufvenius. Adam Mascherin re-entered the draft after Central Scouting released it’s final list.

Six first time eligible players are on Central’s top 50 OHL players, Riley McCourt, Oliver True, Andrew Bruder, Hunter Holmes, William Ennis and Adam Liska. However, they too are on the outside looking in. Tyler Tucker does not make Central’s top 50 but makes the cut on this list.

As much as Andrei Svechnikov is the consensus top player from Ontario, and may I add from start to finish, Evan Bouchard is the consensus number two pick and Barrett Hayton is the consensus third pick. But from there on, lists are going to vary.

You can click on most of the player’s names to read their profile, written at different points throughout the season.  This season, we’ve done the top 46 skaters and top 4 goaltenders. These are the players we feel should be drafted.

Players with an asterisk (*) are re-entering the draft for the second time. Players with two asterisks (**) are re-entering for the first time. The NHLCS column is the player’s rank (North American) on Central Scouting’s final ranking.

1 Andrei Svechnikov RW Barrie Colts 1
2 Evan Bouchard D London Knights 4
3 Barrett Hayton LW Soo Greyhounds 9
4 Serron Noel RW Oshawa Generals 10
5 Ty Dellandrea C Flint Firebirds 25
6 Rasmus Sandin D Soo Greyhounds 11
7 Akil Thomas RW Niagara Ice Dogs 15
8 Ryan McLeod C Mississauga Steelheads 16
9 Liam Foudy C London Knights 19
10 Jack McBain C Toronto Jr Canadiens- OJHL 35
11 Kevin Bahl D Ottawa 67’s 29
12 Ryan Merkley D Guelph Storm 45
13 Sean Durzi** D Owen Sound Attack 37
14 Allan McShane C Oshawa Generals 50
15 Kody Clark RW Ottawa 67’s 34
16 Alec Regula D London Knights 72
17 Cam Hillis C Guelph Storm 67
18 Adam Mascherin* Kitchener Rangers *
19 Nico Gross D Oshawa Generals 56
20 Blade Jenkins C Saginaw Spirit 26
21 Giovanni Vallati D Kitchener Rangers 57
22 Aidan Dudas C Owen Sound Attack 68
23 Mitchell Hoelscher C Ottawa 67’s 62
24 Curtis Douglas C Windsor Spifires 63
25 Declan Chisholm  D Peterborough Petes 52
26 Pavel Gogolev RW Peterborough Petes 79
27 Semyon Der-Arguchintsev C Peterborough Petes 82
28 Carter Robertson D Ottawa 67’s 78
29 Caleb Everett D Saginaw Spirit 84
30 Merrick Rippon D Ottawa 67’s 85
31 Linus Nyman ** Kingston Frontenacs 89
32 Maxim Golod LW Erie Otters 97
33 Billy Moskal C London Knights 99
34 Riley Damiani C Kitchener Rangers 100
35 Sam Bitten C Ottawa 67’s 106
36 Nathan Dunkley LW London Knights 109
37 Mason Snell D Wellington Dukes – OJHL 173
38 Dustyn McFaul D Pickering – OJHL 164
39 Tyler Tucker D Barrie Colts 171
40 Matthew Struthers C North Bay Battalion 124
41 Connor Corcoran D Windsor Spifires 123
42 Peter Stratis D Sudbury Wolves 139
43 Brandon Saigeon* Hamilton Bulldogs 147
44 Justin Brazeau* North Bay Battalion 142
45 Connor Roberts C Flint Firebirds 146
46 Dennis Busby D Flint Firebirds NR
1 Jacob Ingham G Mississauga Steelheads 13
2 Jordan Kooy G London Knights 15
3 Nick Donofrio G Hamilton Bulldogs 31
4 Jett Alexander G North York Rangers 30

Dustyn McFaul – Pickering Panthers – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 185 Pounds

Date of birth: August 4, 2000

Hometown: Waterdown, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 13, 259 overall, 2016 Priority Selection; Round 3, 37 overall, USHL Entry Draft 

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 196 North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: 164 North American Skaters

Like fellow Ontario Junior Hockey League defenceman Mason Snell, Pickering Panthers blue-liner Dustyn McFaul has gained some attention as a potential late round find for the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

With an August 4, 2000 birthdate, McFaul is one of the younger players eligible for the NHL Draft. He attended the training camp of the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League, but that was a tough roster to crack. When he didn’t make the cut with the Frontenacs, he needed a place to play and the Panthers came calling.

Dustyn McFaul
Dustyn McFaul of the Pickering Panthers. Photo by Ray MacAloney/OJHL Images

McFaul was named to the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Top Prospect Game, Junior A’s version of the CHL and USHL Top Prospects Game but an injury prevented him from taking part. Being named to participate, along with the improvements he’d shown throughout the season, led to an offer from Clarkson University and a full scholarship from the Division 1 NCAA school. But it is said that it was at the Annual Governors Showcase in Buffalo N.Y. that he first caught the attention of Clarkson.

That commitment and scholarship doesn’t take effect until the 2019-2020 season leaving McFaul to make a decision for next season. He’s likely to return to the Panthers and one more season of Junior A hockey. But the USHL is still an option for him.

McFaul appeared in 38 games for the Panthers – missing 16 games due to injury and a suspension. He scored 4 goals and 15 assists during the regular season and adding a goal and a helper in 7 playoff games. He received the Ryan Annesley Award as the team’s Defenceman of the Year and named to the OJHL First All-Prospect Team.

What McFaul accomplished as a rookie in the OJHL came as quite a surprise. He quickly became a player who could eat up large minutes, averaging 28 minutes per game when I saw him. As a youngster, he was thrown into every situation, be it penalty killing, powerplay and 5v5 against the top players the opposition could throw out there.

Not only was McFaul a leader on the blue line, but he showed excellent leadership qualities on a young Panthers squad. He is very coachable and seems to absorb what the coaches are telling him. He’s also very humble and puts aside any personal achievements and goals for those of his teammates.

At 6’2”, McFaul has good size, but will need to put in some work to add much needed bulk to his frame, something that he is aware of. It can only help him in the defensive zone when it comes to battling in those hard areas. He has an above average wing span for a player of his size and he uses it effectively. His mobility is very good and in combination with his stick skills and size, keeps players from getting to the danger areas.

Offensively, McFaul is very good at joining the rush, making very good first passes and has shown he can quarterback a powerplay. He needs to improve his shot, but it can also come along when he adds some muscle.

Above all else, the thing that stood out to me most, and talking to those around his game, it is his work ethic. It may have been a blessing in disguise for McFaul not to make the Frontenacs and the OHL at the time, and he realized that he needed to put some work in and he did. And his attitude tells him just making it isn’t good enough, he’ll continue to put that work in to improve throughout his career.

McFaul, like Snell, isn’t one of those guys that you draft hoping he can make your squad in a couple of years. He’s a project that you will need to put in some time with and realistically, if he develops into his full potential, you’re looking at 5 or 6 years away. If you are a team with a deep prospect pool, he’s the type of player you look for in the late rounds.

OHL Announces 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule

Opening Week 2018-2019

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the regular season schedule of games for 2018-19. 

#OHLOpeningWeek begins on Wednesday September 19 when the Saginaw Spirit host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and continues with a trio of games on Thursday September 20, seven games on Friday September 21, five games on Saturday September 22, and two games on Sunday September 23 featuring a total of 14 home openers to launch the new campaign. 

Among the highlights in 2018-19 are home openers for the league’s four division winners including the Central Division’s Barrie Colts on September 20 against the Owen Sound Attack, the West’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds against the Sarnia Sting and the Midwest’s Kitchener Rangers against the Flint Firebirds both on September 21, and the East’s Hamilton Bulldogs who will also celebrate their OHL championship season when they host the Ottawa 67’s on September 30. 

The schedule includes five days that feature special morning starts for a total of eight School Day games.  On Wednesday November 7 the Firebirds host the Sting and the 67’s host the Kingston Frontenacs both at 11:00 am, then on Remembrance Day, Wednesday November 14, the Bulldogs host the Colts at 10:30 am while the Erie Otters host the Rangers and the Mississauga Steelheads host the Guelph Storm both at 11:00 am.  On Wednesday November 28 the Frontenacs host the 67’s at 10:30 am, followed by Thursday February 7 when the Bulldogs host the Oshawa Generals at 10:30 am, and Wednesday February 27 when the Steelheads host the Rangers at 11:00 am. 

YourTV’s sixth annual Hockey Day in the OHL takes place this year on Sunday January 27 with a broadcast tripleheader that includes the Niagara IceDogs at the Windsor Spitfires at 1:00 pm, the Frontenacs visit the North Bay Battalion for a 4:00 pm start, and the Bulldogs visit the Sting to close out the day at 7:00 pm. 

The busiest day on the OHL calendar this season is Friday December 27 when the league resumes play following the holiday break and features all 20 teams in action.  The schedule also includes eight days where nine games will be played including Friday October 12, Saturday November 10, Friday November 23, Friday December 14, Sunday January 6, Friday February 1, Saturday February 2, and most notably Monday February 18 with nine matinee matchups to celebrate Ontario’s Family Day. 

For the second straight season, the schedule includes 681 games due to another interleague series between the 67’s and the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques.  The teams will play their home-and-home series on Friday December 7 in Gatineau and Saturday December 8 in Ottawa. 

Milestone seasons in 2018-19 include the Sting playing their 25th campaign in Sarnia, while it also marks the 30th season for the OHL in Owen Sound. 

The regular season wraps up on Sunday March 17 with six games scheduled before the top eight teams in each conference will compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup in the 2019 OHL Playoffs. 

Divisional alignment remains the same for 2018-19 with the same 68-game unbalanced schedule. Teams continue to play out of conference opponents a minimum of two times (one home, one away) while the majority of teams play interconference teams a minimum of four times including two games at home and two on the road. Interdivisional teams will play each other up to six times and in a number of cases, closest rivals will play each other up to eight times. 

The OHL continues the tradition of being primarily a weekend league in order to accommodate the student athlete with over 87% (597) games scheduled between Thursday and Sunday.  Friday continues to be the busiest night during the season with 191 games scheduled, followed by 165 on Saturdays, and 143 on Sundays.   

Day – No. of Games (Percentage)

Monday: 16 games (2.4%)

Tuesday: 11 games (1.6%)

Wednesday: 56 games (8.2%)

Thursday: 98 games (14.41%)

Friday: 191 games (28.09%)

Saturday: 165 games (24.26%)

Sunday: 143 games (21.03%) 

CHL Special Events not listed within the official schedule but should be noted include the CIBC Canada Russia Series in OHL markets on Thursday November 8 in Sarnia, and Monday November 12 in Oshawa.  The 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game takes place this season in Red Deer, Alberta, on Wednesday January 23, while the 2019 Memorial Cup will be played for May 16-26 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and will feature the OHL champion along with the host Mooseheads, the Western Hockey League champion, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion. 

Full schedule can be found online at www.ontariohockeyleague.com. 

Help promote the launch of the 2018-19 OHL Regular Season on social media by using #OHLOpeningWeek.

53 OHL Draft Picks Invited to Team Canada Camp for 2018 World Hockey Challenge Under-17

Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada released the list of 111 players invited to the Team Canada Camp for the 2018 World Hockey Challenge Under-17 tournament held from November 3, 2018 through November 10, 2018 in New Brunswick, Canada. The players will be competing for spots on one of three Canadian Teams in the tournament.

Of the 111 players invited to attend, almost half (53) are from the Ontario Hockey League. And 53 of the 111 players are first round draft picks in the Canadian Hockey League’s respective drafts in 2018. 19 of the 53 OHL players were first round picks at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. All but 7 of the 53 OHL players invited are eligible for the 2020 National Hockey League Draft, with those 7 being eligible for 2021. Players born before September 15, 2002 are eligible for 2020.

Four of the 53 OHL draft picks are goaltenders. Another seventeen are defencemen and thirty-two are forwards. Four players invited have dual citizenship (American and Canadian). Because the World Hockey Challenge is not an International Ice Hockey Federation sanctioned tournament, those four can choose to play for Canada or the USA in future IIHF tournaments. Under IIHF rules, once you play for one country in one of their tournaments, you can no longer play for the other country in future tournaments.

Here are the 53 OHL drafted players invited to camp:

Name Catches HT WT DOB Hometown 2017-2018 Team OHL Draft
Tye Austin L 6’3¾” 171 05/28/02 Dunrobin, Ont. Kanata (HEOMAAA) PBO 2018 (3/43)
Will Cranley L 6’1¾” 160 02/26/02 Peterborough, Ont. Peterborough (OMHA-ETA) OTT 2018 (2/35)
Tristan Lennox L 6’2” 173 10/21/02 Mississauga, Ont. Mississauga Reps (GTHL) SAG 2018 (2/26)
Joe Vrbetic L 6’4” 164 10/24/02 Dunvegan, Ont. Don Mills (GTHL) NB 2018 (2/31)
Name Shoots HT WT DOB Hometown 2017-2018 Team OHL Draft
Kyle Aucoin L 5’9½” 142 07/02/02 Hinsdale, Ill. Chicago Mission (USU16) SUD 2018 (7/121)
Jack Bar R 6’2” 175 10/07/02 Newmarket, Ont. York Simcoe (OMHA-ETA) PBO 2018 (3/52)
Alec Belanger L 5’11½” 181 05/29/02 Barrie, Ont. Barrie (OMHA-ETA) OTT 2018 (3/44)
Michael Bianconi L 5’11¼” 152 05/19/02 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL) FLI 2018 (3/48)
Nolan Dillingham-Morelli R 6’1” 196 06/22/02 Mississauga, Ont. Mississauga Rebels (GTHL) SAR 2018 (4/68)
Jamie Drysdale R 5’11” 157 04/08/02 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) ER 2018 (1/4)
Lleyton Moore L 5’7¼” 159 02/27/02 Woodbridge, Ont. Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) NIA 2018 (1/12)
Jake Murray L 6’2½” 188 04/11/02 Oakville, Ont. Oakville (OMHA-SCTA) KIN 2018 (1/13)
Ryan O’Rourke L 6’0½” 165 05/16/02 Pickering, Ont. Vaughan (GTHL) SSM 2018 (1/20)
Owen Power L 6’4½” 207 11/22/02 Mississauga, Ont. Mississauga Reps (GTHL) FLI 2018 (2/22)
Michael Renwick R 5’10¾” 160 01/26/02 Mississauga, Ont. Mississauga Reps (GTHL) HAM 2018 (2/34)
Ben Roger R 5’11” 128 11/03/02 Brighton, Ont. Quinte (OMHA-ETA) LDN 2018 (4/74)
Pacey Schlueting L 6’0½” 176 01/02/02 Corbeil, Ont. North Bay (GNML) NB 2018 (1/9)
Donovan Sebrango L 5’10¾” 162 01/12/02 Kingston, Ont. CIHA White (HEOMAAA) KIT 2018 (2/40)
Nolan Seed L 5’11½” 152 04/24/02 Newboro, Ont. Smiths Falls (HEOMAAA) OS 2018 (1/15)
Zack Terry L 6’1” 177 04/05/02 Oakville, Ont. Oakville (OMHA-SCTA) GUE 2018 (2/36)
Jack Thompson R 5’11” 161 03/19/02 Courtice, Ont. Clarington (OMHA-ETA) SUD 2018 (2/30)
Name Shoots HT WT DOB Hometown 2017-2018 Team OHL Draft
Colby Ambrosio R 5’7” 147 08-07-02 Welland, Ont. Buffalo (USU16) OTT 2018 (4/66)
Josh Barnes L 5’9” 155 09/27/02 Cornwall, Ont. Cornwall (HEOMAAA) OS 2018 (2/24)
Cameron Butler R 6’4” 190 06/09/02 Gloucester, Ont. York Simcoe (OMHA-ETA) PBO 2018 (2/27)
Quinton Byfield L 6’3½” 202 08/24/02 Newmarket, Ont. York Simcoe (OMHA-ETA) SUD 2018 (1/1)
Ethan Cardwell R 5’9½” 157 08/30/02 Courtice, Ont. Clarington (OMHA-ETA) SAG 2018 (2/33)
Ty Collins R 6’0” 156 06/11/02 Newmarket, Ont. York Simcoe (OMHA-ETA) GUE 2018 (2/38)
Will Cuylle L 6’2” 187 02/02/02 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) PBO 2018 (1/3)
George Diaco L 5’5” 140 02/14/02 London, Ont. London (MHAO) HAM 2018 (6/101)
Luke Evangelista R 5’9¾” 149 02/21/02 Oakville, Ont. Oakville (OMHA-SCTA) LDN 2018 (1/14)
Jean-Luc Foudy R 5’10” 153 05/13/02 Scarborough, Ont. Toronto Titans (GTHL) WSR 2018 (1/10)
Stephen Halliday L 6’2½” 203 07/02/02 Glenwood, Md. Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) NIA 2018 (3/41)
James Hardie L 5’10¾” 154 01/18/02 Innisfil, Ont. Barrie (OMHA-ETA) MIS 2018 (1/8)
Isaac Langdon L 5’11½” 170 05/22/02 Belleville, Ont. Quinte (OMHA-ETA) KIT 2018 (2/32)
Matthew Maggio R 5’8¾” 162 11/25/02 Tecumseh, Ont. Sun County (MHAO) OTT 2018 (5/86)
Kyle McDonald R 6’3” 176 02/05/02 Ottawa, Ont. Ottawa (HEOMAAA) WSR 2018 (2/25)
Sean McGurn R 5’9¼” 150 07/20/02 Ottawa, Ont. Ottawa (HEOMAAA) LDN 2018 (3/53)
Dawson McKinney R 6’0” 183 06/23/02 Binbrook, Ont. Hamilton (OMHA-SCTA) OSH 2018 (4/64)
Logan Morrison R 5’9½” 144 07/09/02 Guelph, Ont. Guelph (OMHA-SCTA) HAM 2018 (1/18)
Sahil Panwar L 5’11½” 177 01/26/02 Troy, Mich. Detroit Honeybaked (USU16) LDN 2018 (2/23)
Cole Perfetti L 5’9¼” 170 01/01/02 Whitby, Ont. Vaughan (GTHL) SAG 2018 (1/5)
Jacob Perreault R 5’10” 195 04/15/02 Hinsdale, Ill. Chicago Mission (USU16) SAR 2018 (1/19)
Cameron Peters L 6’0¾” 167 07/09/02 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) NB 2018 (2/29)
Riley Piercey L 6’2½” 184 03/20/02 Mississauga, Ont. Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) BAR 2018 (1/16)
William Portokalis L 5’9¾” 173 04/04/02 Mississauga, Ont. Don Mills (GTHL) MIS 2018 (2/39)
Dylan Robinson L 6’1” 163 07/02/02 Simcoe, Ont. Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL) OSH 2018 (2/28)
Eric Russell L 6’1½” 178 03/26/02 Oakville, Ont. Vaughan (GTHL) BAR 2018 (3/56)
Spencer Smith L 5’8” 152 05/20/02 St. Catharines, Ont. Niagara North (OMHA-SCTA) GUE 2018 (3/47)
Cameron Tolnai L 6’0” 166 02/14/02 Oakville, Ont. Oakville (OMHA-SCTA) OTT 2018 (1/6)
Tyler Tullio R 5’7½” 140 04/05/02 Lakeshore, Ont. Vaughan (GTHL) OSH 2018 (1/11)
Reid Valade R 5’10” 160 03/14/02 Caledon, Ont. Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) KIT 2018 (1/17)
Evan Vierling L 5’11½” 148 06/20/02 Aurora, Ont. York Simcoe (OMHA-ETA) FLI 2018 (1/2)
Davis Young L 5’10¾” 162 01/03/02 Mississauga, Ont. Mississauga Reps (GTHL) HAM 2018 (2/37)

OHL announces exhibition schedule

OHL Logo

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Exhibition Game Schedule for the 2018-19 season. 

The schedule includes 46 games from Friday August 31 through Sunday September 16 and features a pair of showcase events in Buffalo and Kitchener taking place during the opening weekend of exhibition play August 31 to September 2. 

The second annual HarborCenter OHL Showcase brings four teams together in Buffalo for a round-robin trio of games each to be played between the host Erie Otters, the Flint Firebirds, Hamilton Bulldogs, and Windsor Spitfires.  Kitchener’s Preseason Showcase will also feature four teams and a total of six weekend games played between the host Rangers, the North Bay Battalion, Saginaw Spirit, and the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. 

Additional interleague games highlight the pre-season schedule including a September 14 matchup between the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Sudbury Wolves to be played in Timmins.  The Ottawa 67’s will also play a pair against the Gatineau Olympiques across the river on September 14 and in Orleans on September 16.   

All OHL clubs are currently scheduled to play between two and five exhibition contests with the potential for additional games still to be added in the coming months. 

The 2018-19 OHL Regular Season Schedule will be announced in full on Tuesday June 12. 

2018 OHL Exhibition Game Schedule:                                                                                                                                                                                               

Fri. Aug 31 Saginaw vs. North Bay 2:00 (Kitchener Preseason Showcase)

Fri. Aug 31 Hamilton vs. Flint 4:00 (OHL Showcase at Buffalo’s HarborCenter)

Fri. Aug 31 Moncton (QMJHL) vs. Kitchener 7:00 (Kitchener Preseason Showcase)

Fri. Aug 31 Windsor vs. Erie 7:00 (OHL Showcase at Buffalo’s HarborCenter)

Fri. Aug 31 Oshawa at Mississauga 7:00 (Hershey Rink 2)

Fri. Aug 31 Barrie at Niagara 7:00

Fri. Aug 31 Ottawa at Sudbury 7:05

Fri. Aug 31 Sarnia at London 7:30


Sat. Sept 1 Moncton (QMJHL) vs. North Bay 2:00 (Kitchener Preseason Showcase)

Sat. Sept 1 Windsor vs. Hamilton 2:30 (OHL Showcase at Buffalo’s HarborCenter)

Sat. Sept 1 Saginaw vs. Kitchener 7:00 (Kitchener Preseason Showcase)

Sat. Sept 1 Flint vs. Erie 7:00 (OHL Showcase at Buffalo’s HarborCenter)

Sat. Sept 1 Peterborough at Guelph 7:00

Sat. Sept 1 London at Sarnia 7:05


Sun. Sept 2 Moncton (QMJHL) vs. Saginaw 11:00 (Kitchener Preseason Showcase)

Sun. Sept 2 Flint vs. Windsor 12:30 (OHL Showcase at Buffalo’s HarborCenter)

Sun. Sept 2 Ottawa at Kingston 2:00

Sun. Sept 2 Sudbury at Owen Sound 2:00

Sun. Sept 2 North Bay vs. Kitchener 2:00 (Kitchener Preseason Showcase)

Sun. Sept 2 Oshawa at Peterborough 2:05

Sun. Sept 2 Hamilton vs. Erie 3:15 (OHL Showcase at Buffalo’s HarborCenter)


Mon. Sept 3 Mississauga at Guelph 2:00

Mon. Sept 3 Kingston vs. Ottawa 2:00 (Cornwall)

Mon. Sept 3 Owen Sound at Barrie 6:00


Thurs. Sept 13 Kingston at Peterborough 7:05

Thurs. Sept 13 Sault Ste. Marie at Sudbury 7:05

Thurs. Sept 13 Sarnia at Windsor 7:05

Thurs. Sept 13 Niagara  at Barrie 7:30


Fri. Sept 14 Guelph at Mississauga 7:00

Fri. Sept 14 Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) vs. Sudbury 7:00 (Timmins)

Fri. Sept 14 Ottawa at Gatineau (QMJHL) 7:00

Fri. Sept 14 Saginaw at Flint 7:00

Fri. Sept 14 Windsor at Sarnia 7:05

Fri. Sept 14 Niagara at Kitchener 7:30

Fri. Sept 14 Erie at London 7:30


Sat. Sept 15 Owen Sound at North Bay 2:00

Sat. Sept 15 Hamilton at Guelph 7:00

Sat. Sept 15 Flint at Saginaw 7:00

Sat. Sept 15 Kitchener at Niagara 7:00

Sat. Sept 15 London vs. Erie 7:00 (Location-TBA)

Sat. Sept 15 Mississauga vs. Oshawa 7:05 (Ajax Community Centre)

Sat. Sept 15 Peterborough at Barrie 7:30


Sun. Sept 16 North Bay at Owen Sound 2:00

Sun. Sept 16 Gatineau (QMJHL) at Ottawa 2:00 (Orleans)

Sun. Sept 16 Sudbury at Sault Ste. Marie 2:07

Sun. Sept 16 Peterborough vs. Oshawa 6:00                  

Mason Snell – Wellington Dukes – Player Profile

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 185 Pounds

Date of birth: June 18, 2000

Hometown: Clarington, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

Junior Draft: Round 3, 54th overall, 2016 OHL Priority Selection: Round 8, 123rd 2017 USHL Draft

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 185 North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: 173 North American Skaters

There is an impressive list of OJHL alumni who, although weren’t drafted out of the OJHL, kicked off their junior careers in the OJHL (or the previously known as OPJHL). The list includes the likes of John Tavares, Brent Burns, Corey Perry, Ryan O’Reilly, Mark Giordano, James Neal, Mike Fisher, Josh Bailey and many more.

The OJHL is a stepping stone to other, higher leagues, usually prior to their draft years. But a few do get drafted right out of the OJHL.

Which brings me to Wellington Dukes’ defenceman Mason Snell.

Snell is committed to play NCAA Hockey with Penn State University for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. As you are all aware, the NCAA considers Major Junior players professionals, so the OHL was not an option for him and his desire to get an education. His only other alternative would have been to play with Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League, who drafted him in 2017.

Mason Snell
Mason Snell of the Wellington Dukes. Photo by Ed McPherson/OJHL Images

Snell played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2015-2016 season with his hometown Clarington Toros. He appeared in 28 games and put up impressive numbers with 5 goals and 24 points and 96 penalty minutes. That was impressive enough for the North Bay Battalion to use the 54th overall pick at the 2016 OHL Draft to select him. That’s a high pick in the OHL and for a defenceman on a Stan Butler team.

The following season, Snell made the jump to the OJHL and the Whitby Fury. He appeared in 45 games as a rookie and scored 3 goals while assisting on 13 others. He would add another goal and two helpers in seven playoff games.

This season, Snell scored a goal and 3 assists in 13 games with the Fury before the Dukes, who were poised to make a championship run came calling and made a three-for-one deal to acquire the blueliner.

And the rest as they say, is history.

Snell led the Dukes from the back end and in 30 games scored 5 goals and 13 helpers to go along with 62 penalty minutes. But it was during the Dukes big game playoff runs that Snell stood out the most. In 25 playoff games he scored once while adding twelve assists and finished tied for fifth among blueliners during the playoffs en route to an OHA Buckland Cup Championship.

Next up was the Dudley Hewitt Cup. The three Junior A Champions in Ontario and a host team compete in a tournament to determine the champion with the winner moving on to the RBC Cup and the national Junior A Championship. The Dukes steamrolled their way through to a championship with Snell setting up four goals in six games. He was named to the All Tournament Team.

The Dukes made it to the final, losing 4-2 to the host Chilliwack Chiefs. Snell made quite the impression on watchers with his play. He scored twice in six games at the championship, but it was his all-around game that drew the attention and thus nominated for best defenceman at the RBC Cup.

So, what does Snell bring to the table?

He’s a bit of a project, and with potentially four years at Penn State and a couple more in the American Hockey League, he could be the perfect example of a late-round find for a team who has plenty of time and other options in their system already to allow him to develop at his own pace. It’s just my opinion, but I would rather spend a pick on someone like that then one you hope develops quicker, if at all.

Snell is a smooth skating blueliner who plays the game with a lot of confidence. He doesn’t rattle under the pressure of the opposition forecheck. Instead, he surveys his options and can skate the puck out of danger or deliver the puck with a perfect pass up ice. He’s not afraid to jump up into the play and he picks his opportunities well.

Snell has been an excellent powerplay quarterback at the OJHL level. He possesses a very good shot that is hard and accurate and he delivers with a purpose – putting it in spots for a rebound opportunity or where his teammates can get a stick on it. But he is most dangerous setting up teammates. He finds open lanes and delivers the pass quickly, sometimes without looking.

On the defensive side, Snell positions himself well. His skating allows him to keep players to the outside. He gets his stick into lanes quickly but relies on his skating to get there. At 6’ he’s not small but needs to add some strength for those 50-50 battles along the walls. He boxes out opponents well and gets plenty of PK duty because of his abilities. He can also create offence from the backend on the PK.

When it comes to Snell, NHL teams are going to have to have some patience.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

Enter to Win an Authentic, Signed Jack Studnicka Jersey

This is something we at OHL Writers have been doing since 2010. This year we are happy to announce we are teaming up with Mark Allred and the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast team to put a different spin on it.

We are giving you the opportunity to win an authentic Jack Studnicka Oshawa Generals jersey signed by “Captain Jack” himself. The jersey will be shipped to the winner directly by the Oshawa Generals.

All you have to do is correctly guess how many goals and assists Jack Studnicka will score during the 2018-2019 regular season. In the event of a tie, a random draw will take place from all the correct entries. In the event that no one correctly guesses the amount of goals and assists Jack Studnicka scores during the 2018-2019 regular season, a random draw will take place among all entries received.

Jack Studnicka of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jack Studnicka of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

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Goals Jack Studnicka will score:

Assists Jack Studnicka will register:

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Contest Rules:



  1. Eligibility: This Campaign is open only to those who email their entries (winjacksjersey@gmail.com) and who are 18 as of the date of entry. The Campaign is only open to legal residents of Canada, USA, and is void where prohibited by law. Employees of OHL Writers, Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of Employees are not eligible to participate in the Campaign. The Campaign is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
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  3. Campaign Period: Entries will be accepted by email beginning June 2, 2018and ending on October 1, 2018. All entries must be received by October 1, 2018​.
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  5. Prizes: The Winner(s) of the Campaign (the “Winner”) will receive Signed Jack Studnicka Jersey. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by OHL Writers and Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted. The prize is non-transferable. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for OHL Writers and Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast to use Winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
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  15. The Ontario Hockey League official stats are the only stats to be used for official scoring information.

2005 London Knights voted Canadian Hockey League Team of the Century

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that the 2005 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion London Knights have been appointed the CHL Team of the Century following a fan vote in celebration of the 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

After thousands of votes for history’s 99 Memorial Cup champions, a final four ballot consisting of representatives from each league plus a wildcard was formed and included the Knights, the 1995 Kamloops Blazers, the 2000 Rimouski Oceanic, and the 2013 Halifax Mooseheads.

The 2005 London Knights began their 40th season with a CHL record 31-game unbeaten streak compiling an OHL record 59 wins and 120 points.  The tournament hosts entered through the front door winning their first OHL title with a 16-2 record before sweeping the national competition including two wins over the Rimouski Oceanic led by Sidney Crosby.  Coached by Dale Hunter, the Knights featured tournament MVP Corey Perry and future NHL talent like David Bolland, Dan Girardi, Marc Methot, and Brandon Prust.

The online voting platform hosted at http://chlteamofthecentury.ca featured photos, rosters, and tournament recaps for all 99 Memorial Cup champions.

The CHL Team of the Century vote is the latest initiative to commemorate the historic 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup celebration.  Other initiatives this season have included the creation and sale of a Commemorative Coin in partnership with CIBC, a Memorial Cup Trophy Tour that visited 17 CHL communities in eight different provinces from November 18 through March 17, and a Champions Video Series to share stories and highlight moments of glory from some of history’s most memorable victories.

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, Cooper Tires, and Real Canadian Superstore.

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

Riley Damiani – Kitchener Rangers – Player Profile

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 164 pounds

Date of birth: March 20, 2000

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

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

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 119th North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: 100th North American Skaters

Kitchener Rangers center Riley Damiani completed his second season in the Ontario Hockey League and will be on his way to Dallas for the 2018 National Hockey League Draft next month.

Damiani has always been known as an offensive threat. He played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2015-2016 season with the Mississauga Rebels, posting 34 goals and 41 assists in 71 games. At the end of his season, he appeared in 4 Ontario Junior Hockey League games with the Georgetown Raiders, scoring twice and adding an assist. During the prior season, he scored 25 goals and 21 assists in 34 games in Bantam AAA with Mississauga.

The scouting report from OHL Central Scouting at the time of his OHL Draft read as follows:

Riley is a skilled center that never takes a shift off and is constantly working. He is a very good skater and is extremely quick off the mark with good explosive stops and starts. He uses his skating and skill set to generate offense each and every shift. You always know what you are going to get with him because of his work ethic and compete level. Riley is not a physical player, but he will go up against anyone at any time. He battles hard for pucks and wins a lot of races for loose pucks.

During the 2016-2017 season, Damiani appeared in 62 games for the Rangers. He scored 9 goals while adding 13 assists. He would add one more goal and a helper in 5 playoff games. He would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17, where he scored once and added two assists in 5 games.

Riley Damiani of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Riley Damiani of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

During his just completed draft year, Damiani scored 19 goals and 18 assists in 64 games. This came while playing predominantly third line minutes. In 19 playoff games, he scored 5 goals and 7 assists for the Rangers, who came within a game 7 in double overtime from reaching the OHL Championship. He was considered by many to be one of the Rangers’ best players in the postseason.

Whether you go by the OHL listing him at 5’10”, or NHL Central Scouting listing him at 5’9”, Damiani is small in stature. But he has an impressive skill-set.

First and foremost, Damiani’s skating stands out. His first steps and acceleration are almost at an elite level. Once he gets that jump, he’s hard to catch which makes him a shoe-in to get to loose pucks first. If you are lucky to catch him, he will never shy away from taking the hit to make a play.

Secondly, there are few players that play with the intensity and work ethic that Damiani does. With the size disadvantage he has, he knows he needs to outwork his opponents at every opportunity. While he will never be mistaken for a physical player, he will never shy away from battling along the walls for possession. Surprisingly, he wins many of those battles.

Finally, you can’t help but be impressed with his hockey smarts, which include his vision and anticipation skills. His ability to see plays developing make him a threat on the offense. He’s just okay at keeping possession, but when pressured he finds teammates with accurate passing abilities. Combines with his skating, he jumps into open areas quickly so that teammates can find him. And he can beat a goaltender with his deceptively good shot and quick release.

Damiani uses those same attributes in the defensive zone. His anticipation and skating allow him to be in excellent position while defending. He closes lanes quickly and will not shy away from putting his body in front of shots. Add that to a very active stick, and he’s above average at creating turnovers. And all that combined, makes him one of the best penalty killers, if not the best, the Rangers have.

Obviously, getting bigger and stronger will be important for Damiani. He can’t control his height, but he can control adding some much-needed bulk and muscle. Knowing his work ethic, he’ll put in the necessary work needed to achieve that.

The other thing Damiani needs to work on, if NHL teams see him as a center at the next level, is faceoffs. He was just 46% on the dot during the regular season. That number took a huge hit in the playoffs where he went 90 for 256 or 35.2%.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

CHL Announces 2017-18 Award Winners

Regina, SK – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the 10 national award winners for the 2017-18 season including Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Alex Barré-Boulet of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada who earned Sportsnet CHL Player of the Year honours.

The awards were presented as part of the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities in Regina.

2017-18 CHL Award Winners: Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award: Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts

Barrie Colts forward Andrei Svechnikov is listed number one in NHL Central Scouting’s Final North American Rankings for the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas.  The 18-year-old forward from Barnaul, Russia, registered 40 goals, 32 assists and 72 points in an injury-shortened 44-game rookie season.  He becomes the first OHL player to win the award since first overall NHL Draft pick Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters did so in 2014-15. Finalists for the award include Filip Zadina of the Halifax Mooseheads who was listed third by NHL Central Scouting, and Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs ranked 14th.

CCM Top Scorer Award: Jayden Halbgewachs, Moose Jaw Warriors

San Jose Sharks prospect Jayden Halbgewachs led the CHL with 70 goals and 129 points in 72 games, helping the Moose Jaw Warriors capture the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as WHL regular season champions for the first time in franchise history. The 21-year-old product of Emerald Park, Sask. became the first WHL player to reach the 70-goal plateau since 1998-99 when Pavel Brendl did so with the Calgary Hitmen. The offensive outburst earned Halbgewachs a free agent contract with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. He follows Regina Pats forward Sam Steel as the second straight WHL player to earn the distinction. Finalists for the award were Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Alex Barré-Boulet of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada with 53 goals, 63 assists and 116 points in 65 games, and Ottawa Senators prospect Aaron Luchuk of the Barrie Colts with 50 goals, 65 assists and 115 points in 68 games.

Bumper to Bumper Sportsman of the Year Award: Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos

Florida Panthers prospect Aleksi Heponiemi of the Swift Current Broncos was one of the most proficient passers in the WHL during the 2017-18 season, recording a single-season franchise record 90 assists along with 28 goals and 118 points in only 57 games. Heponiemi recorded just 28 penalty minutes in the process to earn the Brad Hornung Trophy as WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year. A product of Tampere, Finland, Heponiemi represented Finland at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship before helping his Swift Current Broncos claim the Ed Chynoweth Cup as 2018 WHL Champions. Heponiemi becomes the first WHL player to claim the award since Kelowna’s Rourke Chartier did so in 2014-15. Finalists for the award were Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada forward Joel Teasdale.

CHL Award Winners
Humanitarian of the Year Garrett McFadden of Guelph Storm, Defenceman of the Year Nicolas Hague of Mississauga Steelheads, Coach of the Year Drew Bannister of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Top Prospect Andrei Svechnikov of Barrie Colts at the Brandt Centre on May 26, 2018 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/CHL Images)

TVA Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award: Garrett McFadden, Guelph Storm

Guelph Storm captain Garrett McFadden is the CHL’s Humanitarian of the Year after being named a finalist for the award last season, establishing himself as an exceptional ambassador for his team and the league both on and off the ice. The 20-year-old native of Kincardine, Ont. continued his tremendous work with ‘McFadden’s Movement’ in support of youth mental health awareness.  The initiative took new heights in 2017-18 with the introduction of an Ambassadors Program along with fundraising efforts that totaled $20,000 to local mental health resources. The $20,000 raised by McFadden’s Movement fundraising programs and corporate partnership support more than triples his donation from 2016-17, and has been split between WES for Youth Online (a free youth online counseling service created in memory of McFadden’s family friend), and the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo-Wellington Branch. On the ice, the fifth-year veteran recorded six goals, 38 assists and 44 points in 68 games. McFadden is the first OHL player to win the award since Saginaw’s Will Petschenig did so in 2015-16. Finalists for the award were New York Rangers prospect Ty Ronning of the Vancouver Giants and forward Vincent Tremblay-Lapalme of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens.

CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Alexandre Alain, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

Montreal Canadiens prospect Alexandre Alain excelled in Natural Sciences studies at Cégep St-Jérôme this past season while also serving as captain of the QMJHL regular season champion Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. The 21-year-old native of Québec, Que. recorded 44 goals, 43 assists and 87 points in 65 games, earning an NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens in his overage season.  Alain is the first QMJHL player to earn the award since Shawinigan’s Alexis D’Aoust in 2015-16. Finalists for the award included 2018 NHL Draft prospects Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs and Barrett Hayton of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Janes Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Drew Bannister, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Drew Bannister led the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to an all-time franchise best record of 55-7-3-3, topping the CHL Top-10 Rankings throughout much of the 2017-18 season. The 44-year-old from Belleville, Ont. helped the Greyhounds earn a Western Conference crown, capturing their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as OHL regular season champions.  They set a franchise record 23-game winning-streak from October 28 to December 30 which ranks third best in OHL history, and generated a run of 29 consecutive contests without a regulation loss.  The Hounds also went on a 27-game home winning-streak from October 20 to March 14 which stands as the second-longest in OHL history following the club’s undefeated season at home in 1984-85.  The 116 points and .853 winning-percentage are both tied for second best all-time under the 68-game schedule. Bannister is the OHL’s second straight recipient of the award following Owen Sound’s Ryan McGill in 2017. Finalists for the award were Manny Viveiros of the Swift Current Broncos and Joel Bouchard of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Wawanesa Rookie of the Year Award: Alexis Lafrenière, Rimouski Océanic

2020 NHL Draft prospect Alexis Lafrenière of the Rimouski Océanic turned in a dominant 16-year-old season, leading CHL underage rookies with 80 points including 42 goals and 38 assists in 60 games. The product of St-Eustache, Que. was the QMJHL’s first overall pick in 2017 and didn’t disappoint, becoming the first Quebec-born CHL Rookie of the Year since Rimouski star Vincent Lecavalier back in 1997. He follows in the footsteps of another prominent Océanic forward in 2003-04 recipient Sidney Crosby. Finalists for the award were Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts and Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award: Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips Philadelphia

Flyers prospect Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips becomes the first two-time recipient of the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Year Award after winning 31 of his 41 appearances, logging a 1.60 goals-against average and .947 save percentage with seven shutouts. The Sherwood Park, Alta. product earned his third consecutive Del Wilson Trophy as WHL Goaltender of the Year and represented Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, backstopping his nation to a gold medal before taking his Everett Silvertips to Game 6 of the 2018 WHL Championship. Hart also tied a CHL record, recording his 26th career shutout this past season. Finalists for the award were Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies netminder Samuel Harvey.

Superstore Defenceman of the Year Award: Nicolas Hague, Mississauga Steelheads

Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nicolas Hague of the Mississauga Steelheads earns Superstore CHL Defenceman of the Year honours after setting an all-time franchise record for goals by a defenceman with 35, adding 43 assists for 78 points in 67 games. His 35 tallies were the most by an OHL defenceman since 1998 as he finished the season with 26 multi-point performances. Hague becomes the first OHL recipient of the award since Sault Ste. Marie’s Anthony DeAngelo claimed the honour in 2014-15. Finalists for the award were Los Angeles Kings prospect Kale Clague of the Moose Jaw Warriors and fifth-year veteran Olivier Galipeau of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Sportsnet Player of the Year Award: Alex Barré-Boulet, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Alex Barré-Boulet led the QMJHL with 53 goals and 63 assists for 116 points in 65 games. The recently turned 21-year-old native of Montmagny, Que. wrapped up his four-year career with 337 points (140-197–337) in 263 games, earning an NHL contract in his overage season. Barré-Boulet led the Armada to a QMJHL regular season title before steering them to Game 6 of the President Cup Final.   He is the first Armada player to win the award and the QMJHL’s first recipient since Val-d’Or’s Anthony Mantha claimed the honours in 2013-14. Finalists for the award were Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips and St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting.