Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Nathan Staios of the Hamilton Bulldogs is the 2021-22 recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy presented annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman of the Year.

Staios led OHL blueliners with 66 points including 15 goals and 51 assists in 59 games to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-40. His 32 power play points led OHL rearguards while he placed third among defenders with 200 shots on goal. Staios’ offensive totals are new single season benchmarks by a Bulldogs defenceman in the six-year history of the franchise.

“I am very honoured and privileged to receive the Max Kaminsky Trophy as Defenceman of the Year,” said Staios. “Playing in the top junior league in the world has helped me develop so much as a person and player. I would like to give credit to my teammates, coaching staff, family, billets, The Hamilton Bulldogs organization, community of Hamilton and our great fans for contributing to this award. They all played a huge role in my success this year and I can’t thank them enough.”

A 21-year-old from Oakville, Ont., Staios split four OHL seasons between Hamilton and Windsor, putting up career totals that include 33 goals, 115 assists and 148 points in 237 career regular season games. The 5-foot-10, 178Ib. blueliner has appeared in nine games during the 2022 OHL Playoffs, registering eight points (2-6–8) to help Hamilton capture the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference champions. Staios was originally Windsor’s first round (17th overall) pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. He attended rookie camp with the St. Louis Blues last fall.

“Nathan’s recognition is very well deserved,” said Bulldogs head coach Jay McKee. “While being the league’s top offensive defenceman, he has also been used to help shut down our opposition’s top two lines of forwards. He has shown that his abilities on both sides of the puck are elite.”

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL General Managers.  All 20 clubs submitted a nominee but were not permitted to vote for their own player.

The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston, and Montreal.  After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1960.

Staios is the first defenceman in the entire history of the Hamilton/Belleville franchise to win the award, following recent names in Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 2020), Evan Bouchard (London 2019), Nicolas Hague (Mississauga 2018), Darren Raddysh (Erie 2017) and Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor 2016). Other prominent winners have included Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2012), two-time recipients Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2009 & 2011) and Bryan Berard (Detroit 1995 & 1996), Drew Doughty (Guelph 2008) as well as Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1993).

Staios will be the OHL’s nominee for the CHL Defenceman of the Year Award. He edged out Western Conference finalist Ryan O’Rourke of the Soo Greyhounds in the final round of voting.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.


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