Because COVID cancelled the entire 2020-2021 season meaning a large number of Ontario Hockey League players were about to go into the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft as draft re-entries, we did things a little differently here at OHL Writers.
In years past, we always name our Draft Eligible Player of the Month. But because of the sheer number of players eligible last season, we decided that would name a draft eligible forward, defencemen and goaltender. Many of you had written to us to let us know you preferred it that way and asking us to keep it the same going forward. So, here we are doing just that!
Of course, this is the first full month of the season, so this is our first list of the season. Here we go:
Draft Eligible Forward of the Month: Ryan Abraham – Windsor Spitfires
Windsor Spitfires center Ryan Abraham is a draft re-entry who had a phenomenal month of October. His 18 points in 12 games (6 goals, 12 helpers) led all draft eligible players and third best in the OHL. The 5’8”, 168-pound pivot had 6 multi point games, including 5-consecutive to close out the month. His 58.2% in the faceoff circle was second among draft eligible players.
Also considered was Saginaw Spirit forward Calem Mongone. Through 13 games, Mongone has 4 goals and 12 assists. His 16 points ranks him third among Spirit players in scoring and second among draft eligible players.
Draft Eligible Defenceman of the Month: Hunter Brzustewicz – Kitchener Rangers
On defence we chose none other than Hunter Brzustewicz of the Kitchener Rangers. Despite not scoring a goal, his prowess with setting up his teammates set him apart with 13 points (all assists of course) in just 11 games. That’s tops for draft eligible defencemen and third in the entire league among all defencemen. The 6-foot 188-pound blueliner is second in scoring on his squad as well.
Also considered was Chas Sharpe of the Mississauga Steelheads. Sharpe had 2 goals and 9 assists in 12 games in October and trails only Brzustewicz in points among draft eligible defencemen.
Draft Eligible Goaltender of the Month: Collin MacKenzie – Ottawa 67’s
This was not an easy choice, but we chose Collin MacKenzie because he has a perfect 4-0-0 record and led all draft eligible goaltenders with a 1.36 goals-against-average and .942 save percentage. I will agree playing on an Ottawa team that looks unbeatable for now has helped in terms of number of pucks he has faced and the quality of shots, he has also looked the part.
Also considered was Mason Vaccari of the Kingston Frontenacs who posted a 3-0-0 record to go along with a 2.00 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage.