OHL THIS WEEK: JANUARY 16 TO 19, 2020

OHL This Week

THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2020

Toronto, Ont. – It’s a special Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game edition of the OHL This Week. Here’s the scoop on what’s happening Thursday in Hamilton into a full weekend of OHL action with nine games on both Friday and Saturday.

KUBOTA CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME SET FOR THURSDAY IN HAMILTON:
The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game returns to Ontario on Thursday January 16th in Hamilton as 40 of the Canadian Hockey League’s top draft eligible players bring fans and scouts out to see a best-on-best competition.
READ MORE / PHOTO GALLERY – TOP PROSPECTS ARRIVE IN HAMILTON

THE BOOK ON THE OHL’S TOP PROSPECTS WITH NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING DIRECTOR DAN MARR:
NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr provides his insights on four of the OHL’s top prospects ahead of the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He takes a closer look at Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, Erie’s Jamie Drysdale, Saginaw’s Cole Perfetti and Ottawa’s Marco Rossi.
WATCH

RISING STARS BYFIELD AND DRYSDALE ENJOYING THE RIDE TOGETHER:
NHL Central Scouting’s second and third ranked North American skaters Quinton Byfield and Jamie Drysdale are enjoying the journey to the 2020 NHL Draft together. The two Canadian National Junior Team gold medalists are competing in the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
READ MORE

STING’S PERREAULT DRAWING FROM PRO INFLUENCES:
It’s amazing what kind of wisdom can be drawn from a combined 43 years of National Hockey League experience, just ask Sarnia Sting forward Jacob Perreault, who continues to benefit from a well-travelled trifecta of hockey influencers.
READ MORE

PERFETTI DOING BIG THINGS IN SAGINAW:
Coming off a tremendous rookie campaign, Saginaw Spirit sophomore Cole Perfetti has an opportunity to be the first player in club history to go top-10 at the NHL Draft.
READ MORE

57 OHL PLAYERS INCLUDED ON NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING’S MIDTERM DRAFT RANKINGS:
Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, Erie’s Jamie Drysdale, Saginaw’s Cole Perfetti and Ottawa’s Marco Rossi account for four of the top five ranked North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting Midterms.All 20 of the OHL’s member teams feature at least one player included on the list, with the Soo Greyhounds (7), Windsor Spitfires (6), Erie Otters (5) and Guelph Storm (5) leading the way.
FULL RANKINGS

67’s, SPITFIRES AND PETES IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s remain the top-ranked team in the CHL this week while the Windsor Spitfires and Peterborough Petes round out the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Kitchener Rangers and Saginaw Spirit remain honourable mentions for a second straight week.
FULL RANKINGS

COSKEY, TOMASINO AND MERKLEY NAMED TO VAUGHN CHL TEAM OF THE WEEK:
Saginaw’s Cole Coskey, Oshawa’s Philip Tomasino and London’s Ryan Merkley have been named to the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week.
READ MORE

GENERALS’ TOMASINO NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Nashville Predators prospect Philip Tomasino of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending January 12th. Tomasino earns the award for the second time this season after making his mark in his first weekend as a General. He put up three consecutive two-goal performances in wins over Windsor, Sarnia and Peterborough.
READ MORE

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – JANUARY 15, 2020:
Without further ado, we present a red hot edition of Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week, featuring some of the nicest goals scored across the League this season. The newest Oshawa General Philip Tomasino gets things started shorthanded on the back hand before Sudbury Wolves addition Matej Pekar shows off the eyes in the back of his head. Erie’s Jamie Drysdale puts his best moves on display with a nifty centering feed for Austen Swankler and London Knights star Connor McMichael wows us with a between the legs beauty. Flint’s Ty Dellandrea finishes things off with an unassisted, shorthanded overtime game winner.
WATCH

VAUGHN SAVES OF THE WEEK – JANUARY 14, 2020:
It’s that time again. Let’s roll back the tape for Vaughn Saves, featuring the best saves across the Ontario Hockey League. Press play and check out the fine work of Owen Sound’s Mack Guzda, Windsor’s Kari Piiroinen, Ottawa’s Cedrick Andree, Soo’s Bailey Brkin, Hamilton’s Zachary Roy, Oshawa’s Jordan Kooy, Sudbury’s Mitchell Weeks, Mississauga’s Kai Edmonds, Windsor’s Xavier Medina and Niagara’s Andrew MacLean.
WATCH

CHL SHOWDOWN – WEEK ENDING JANUARY 12, 2020:
Flint Firebirds forward Ty Dellandrea is the OHL’s representative in this week’s CHL Showdown featuring one great play from all three leagues.
WATCH & VOTE AT CHLSHOWDOWN.CA

FOUR PLAYERS SCORE FIRST OHL GOALS:
Sudbury’s Adam Samuelsson, Hamilton’s Gavin White, Niagara’s A.J. Cook and Mississauga’s Rylan Bowers all scored first career OHL goals this past week.
WATCH

OHL WEEKEND NOTEBOOK – JANUARY 13, 2020:
The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice. Here are 10 of the leading stories from this past weekend.
READ MORE

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Quinte Red Devils are on top of the rankings for a sixth consecutive week while the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Toronto Titans, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and Toronto Nationals continue to trail in spots two through five. The Southern Tier Admirals are up one slot to sixth  while the Vaughan Kings continue to trend in the right direction, rising to ninth ahead of the Toronto Marlboros who round out the Top 10.
FULL RANKINGS

#PLAYERSFIRST – OHL SUPPORT AND PLAYER WELFARE:
The OHL takes extreme pride in the player environment and fostering a safe place for young men to develop both as hockey players and as people. Saginaw Spirit graduate Kris Bennett, who now plays U SPORTS Men’s Hockey at the University of New Brunswick, shares how the OHL #TalkToday program positively impacted his time in the League.
FACT OF THE WEEK / ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

5 QUESTIONS WITH OTTAWA 67’s FORWARD MARCO ROSSI:
Ever since joining the Canadian Hockey League last season as the 18th overall pick in the 2018 Import Draft, Austrian forward Marco Rossi has been one to watch for the Ottawa 67’s. He quickly developed into one of the league’s elite offensive playmakers and not only leads the Ontario Hockey League in scoring but has solidified himself as a top prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft.
READ MORE

PETES HONOUR COLIN CAMPBELL WITH BANNER RAISING CEREMONY:
The Peterborough Petes paid tribute to former defenceman, long-time NHL player and executive Colin Campbell on Saturday night prior to a 4-0 shutout win over the Ottawa 67’s. A native of Tillsonburg, Ont., Campbell was a part of Peterborough’s 1972 Robertson Cup championship squad alongside familiar names in Bob Gainey, Stan Jonathan and Doug Jarvis.
WATCH

TOP 2020 NHL DRAFT PROSPECT JAN MYSAK COMMITS TO BULLDOGS:
The Hamilton Bulldogs have received a commitment from top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Jan Mysak, who comes off representing his native Czech Republic at the 2020 World Juniors. The 17-year-old had registered nine points (5-4–9) through 26 games with the HC Litvinov Czech Extraliga squad this season and was the ninth-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting’s International Midterm Rankings.
READ MORE

NHL DRAFT PROSPECT NICK MALIK COMMITS TO GREYHOUNDS:
The Soo Greyhounds have received a commitment from 17-year-old Czech netminder Nick Malik who they selected in the first round of the 2019 CHL Import Draft. Malik represented the Czech Republic this past Christmas at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship along with fellow Greyhound Jaromir Pytlik. One year ago he was a member of his home country’s entry at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
READ MORE

RYLAN BOWERS COMMITS TO STEELHEADS:
The Mississauga Steelheads have received a commitment from 2018 12th round OHL Priority Selection choice Rylan Bowers. The 17-year-old has appeared in 33 games with the Listowel Cyclones (GOJHL) this season and registered 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists). The Komoka, Ontario native was selected to represent his minor hockey association at the OHL Gold Cup in 2018, where he recorded 1 point (1 goal) over 4 games.
READ MORE

WOLVES ADD BYFIELD TO LEADERSHIP GROUP:
The Sudbury Wolves announced prior to Sunday’s game against Mississauga that Quinton Byfield will serve as an alternate captain with the club. Byfield recently returned from the World Junior Championship where he won gold with Team Canada. The 17-year-old Newmarket, Ont. native leads the Wolves in scoring with 63 points in 32 games this season including 25 goals. The highly ranked NHL prospect has already surpassed his point totals from his rookie season in half the number of games.
READ MORE

SPITFIRES GRAD SLATER DOGGETT NAMED U SPORTS TOP 8 ACADEMIC ALL-CANADIAN:
U SPORTS announced Thursday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2018-19 season. Among them, Queen’s Gaels men’s hockey star Slater Doggett was recognized with the honour. Doggett played three OHL seasons between the Kingston Frontenacs and Windsor Spitfires from 2012-15.
READ MORE

RANGERS CHIEF OPERATION OFFICER STEVE BIENKOWSKI TO RETIRE IN JUNE 2020:
After 18 years as the Kitchener Rangers Chief Operating Officer & Governor, Steve Bienkowski has announced his plan to retire in June 2020. Bienkowski became the Rangers first Chief Operating Officer in addition to its permanent OHL Governor in 2002 after serving six years on the Rangers Executive Committee. Synonymous with professionalism on and off the ice, he has been essential to the Rangers success for nearly 40 years.
READ MORE

DATES UNVEILED FOR 13TH ANNUAL OHF/OHL U15 PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE CAMPS:
The dates are set for the 13th annual OHF/OHL U15 Program of Excellence Camps. Held in April and May of this year across Ontario, the camps will focus on a variety of on and off-ice sessions, helping to ensure players are provided with the most up-to-date development strategies.  
READ MORE

ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR COMES TO HAMILTON:
The Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is in Hamilton on Thursday, followed by the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour as hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone share Steeltown’s best hockey stories. OHL grads Shayne Corson and Steve Thomas will be on hand for the weekend.
FULL SCHEDULE AT HOMETOWNHOCKEY.COM

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Quinton Byfield launches Q’s Kids: Top NHL Draft prospect Quinton Byfield has partnered with NEO Kids Foundation for his new Q’s Kids initiative. Ahead of his gold medal performance with the Canada’s National Junior Team, Quinton invited three NEO kids and their families to a Sudbury Wolves game as his special guests, and has plans to host many more families over the course of the second half of the season. As part of the program, Byfield will continue to invite families to games, providing tickets, popcorn, and special shirts for the kids. Byfield will meet with the families, sign autographs, and join them on a tour of the dressing room following the game.
READ MORE AT SUDBURYWOLVES.COM

Firebirds tour Ottawa Senators facility: During their day off on Thursday ahead of Friday’s tilt with the Ottawa 67’s, the Firebirds were welcomed to the Canadian Tire Centre for a behind-the-scenes look at the Ottawa Senators’ digs as former OHL Coach of the Year D.J. Smith provided a tour.
PHOTO GALLERY AT FLINTFIREBIRDS.COM

Knights to honour Patrick Kane with jersey retirement on Friday: The London Knights will retire Patrick Kane’s number 88 prior to puck drop on Friday when they play host to the Sudbury Wolves. Kane, who was named CHL Rookie of the Year following a 145-point season in 2006-07, has gone on to put up nearly 1,000 points over 951 career NHL contests over 13 seasons, hoisting the Stanley Cup three different times.
READ MORE

Toonie Hot Dog Day in Ottawa: Fans coming out to Saturday afternoon’s tilt with the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs at TD Place will be able to purchase hot dogs for a toonie. The 67’s examined five reasons to attend Saturday’s game.
FULL INFO AT OTTAWA67s.COM

Bell Let’s Talk Night, SickKids Night in Peterborough: Saturday’s clash with the Flint Firebirds will be the Peterborough Petes’ Bell Let’s Talk Game, aimed at recognizing the initiative’s tenth anniversary and continuing to encourage meaningful conversation around mental health. The first 2,000 fans will receive toques courtesy of Bell Let’s Talk, and clappers will be available at their booth during the game. The Niagara IceDogs will be visiting the Petes this Sunday in a makeup game for the previously scheduled Dec. 14. matchup. SickKids night will see a pre-game ceremony featuring Oliver, a local boy who has been treated at SickKids for Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. There will also be a chuck-a-puck during the second intermission where proceeds from all pucks purchased will support SickKids. Fans will also be able to attend a post-game skate where Petes players will be signing autographs and have availability for photos.
MORE DETAILS AT GOPETESGO.COM

IceDogs host Blood Drive in honour of Tucker Tynan: On Jan. 28, the Niagara IceDogs will be hosting a Blood Drive at the St. Catharines Blood Donor Clinic with goaltender Tucker Tynan in mind. People are welcome to attend between 3-7 pm, and attendees will receive a $2 voucher to any upcoming IceDogs home game.
READ MORE AT NIAGARAICEDOGS.NET

Rangers join goaltender Jacob Ingham for ’68’ Blood Drive: Join Kitchener Rangers goaltender #68, Jacob Ingham, and support Hockey Gives Blood and Canadian Blood Services by making a donation during the Rangers’ 68 Blood Drive. Starting January 24th and running until March 31st, fans can sign up under the Kitchener Rangers team ID to make a donation on behalf of Ingham.
FULL INFORMATION AT KITCHENERRANGERS.COM

ALUMNI NOTES:

DeBoer takes over as head coach in Vegas: The Vegas Golden Knights hired former two-time OHL Coach of the Year Peter DeBoer as their new head coach on Wednesday, replacing Gerard Gallant behind the bench. DeBoer, who began the season as head coach of the San Jose Sharks, takes over at the helm in Vegas with a Golden Knights club that is currently 24-19-6 for fifth in the Pacific Division. The 51-year-old native of Dunnville, Ont. coached in the OHL from 1993-2008, winning three OHL Championships and a Memorial Cup along the way. He’s worked in the NHL since 2008-09, holding down jobs with Florida, New Jersey, San Jose and now Vegas.

Spezza plays in 1100th NHL contest: OHL graduate Jason Spezza suited up in his 1,100th career NHL game on Tuesday, recording an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New Jersey Devils 7-4. The 36-year-old Spezza has played parts of 17 NHL seasons since he was the second overall pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2001 NHL Draft. Spezza, who played in the OHL as an underage player, played five seasons between Brampton, Mississauga, Windsor and Belleville from 1998-2002. He’s accumulated 933 points (338-595–933) over his 1,100 game NHL regular season career.

Wilson becomes youngest forward in Caps franchise history to play 500 games: OHL graduate Tom Wilson suited up in his 500th career NHL contest on Monday, becoming the youngest forward in Capitals franchise history to do so. The 25-year-old Toronto, Ont. native had an assist as the Caps defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. Wilson was Washington’s first round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The big power winger played three OHL seasons with the Plymouth Whalers from 2010-13, recording 91 points (35-56–91) over 125 regular season games. Wilson has 31 points (13-18–31) over 46 games in Washington this season.

Bunnaman scores first NHL goal: Former Kitchener Rangers captain Connor Bunnaman scored his first career NHL goal with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. The 21-year-old from Guelph, Ont. has appeared in six games with the Flyers this season after registering five points (4-1–5) through 21 games with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Bunnaman, who was Philadelphia’s fourth round pick in 2016, played four seasons in Kitchener from 2014-18.

Smith scores first NHL goal: Kitchener Rangers graduate Givani Smith scored his first career NHL goal on Tuesday. The Detroit Red Wings forward found the back of the net in a loss to the New York Islanders. Smith has played in 11 games and recorded a pair of points in the process. The former second round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft spent last season and the beginning of this season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. He played four OHL seasons between the Barrie Colts, Guelph Storm and Kitchener Rangers from 2014-18.

Griffith taking his best shots in AHL: London Knights graduate Seth Griffith got some good advice from his dad Brian over the offseason, getting to work on improving his shot. The 27-year-old Wallaceburg, Ont. native has racked up 32 points, including 18 goals over 39 games with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose this season, affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. Griffith, who won back-to-back OHL Championships in London in 2012 and 2013, has now spent seven seasons in the pro ranks, appearing in 79 NHL contests along the way. He was originally a fifth round pick of the Boston Bruins in 2012 in the midst of a four-year career in London. The Winnipeg Free Press’ Mike Sawatzky has more.
READ MORE AT WINNIPEGFREEPRESS.COM

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Sudbury Wolves at London Knights
Friday, January 17th

The Central Division leaders are heading to London on Friday, with Sudbury hungry for what could be their first win over the London Knights in five years.

Newest member of the Wolves, Matej Pekar, has proven to be a strong addition. His welcome party last weekend included seven points in three games, notably five assists in Friday’s 8-2 blowout of the North Bay Battalion.

Since rejoining the lineup following his gold medal performance at the World Juniors, newly appointed alternate captain Quinton Byfield put up six points of his own last weekend, and also put forth a five-point showing in front of the Troops that saw two goals and three assists, earning him OHL first star honours on the night.

With regards to the guys in green, Connor McMichael will look to follow up on last weekend’s flashy performance. His seven point total over the course of a three-in-three included a hat trick in Saturday’s tilt against Saginaw, as well as a flashy between-the-legs display in one of two goals he put past the Soo Greyhounds as part of a 7-1 victory. Columbus Blue Jackets draftee Liam Foudy and San Jose Sharks first rounder Ryan Merkley both put up six points.

The Knights, who tie the Kitchener Rangers at 54 points and just one point back of the Western Conference leading Windsor Spitfires, hold a 9-0-0-0 record over the course of the last five seasons against the Wolves. This will be the second and final meetup of the two clubs this season.

Saginaw Spirit at Windsor Spitfires
Sunday, January 19th

It’s a tilt we’re familiar with. The battle of the top of the West Division will see the visiting Saginaw Spirit face off against the conference-leading Windsor Spitfires Sunday afternoon.

The Spits took lead of the conference once again following their overtime win over the Kitchener Rangers, who trail just one point back of first in the Midwest. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Tyler Angle continues to lead all Windsor skaters with 46 points (21-25-46) to his name, and Nashville Predators pick Egor Afanasyev, last Sunday’s overtime hero, sits directly behind with 45 points (18-27-45).

Over on Saginaw’s side, New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey will be skating in off a five-goal weekend, and top NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti will look to see his point streak reach a 12th game.

The sixth of eight matchups on the season, both clubs are no stranger to the depth on either side. The Spits will, however, see a new opponent in Carolina Hurricanes prospect Ryan Suzuki, who joined the Spirit last week and registered three assists in two games.

The Spirit currently hold a 3-2-0-0 tally against the Spits. Last season’s eight-game regular season series between the two proved to be an even one, with a 4-4-0-0 record on Windsor’s side and a 4-3-1-0 record in favour of Saginaw.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Thursday January 16th:
Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Hamilton, Ont. – 7:00pm on Sportsnet and NHL Network

Friday January 17th:
Hamilton at Kingston – 7:00pm
Barrie at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Erie at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Soo – 7:07pm
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:30pm
North Bay at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Sudbury at London – 7:30pm
Mississauga at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday January 18th:
Hamilton at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Sarnia – 4:05pm
Kitchener at Guelph – 7:00pm
North Bay at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Soo at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Erie at Windsor – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm
Oshawa at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday January 19th:
Flint at Kingston – 2:00pm
Guelph at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Erie at London – 2:00pm
Saginaw at Windsor – 2:05pm
Niagara at Peterborough – 2:05pm
Ottawa at Oshawa – 6:05pm

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