Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Barrie Colts forward Evan Vierling is the 2022-23 recipient of the William Hanley Trophy awarded to the League’s Most Sportsmanlike Player as voted by OHL General Managers.
The 20-year-old overage forward from Aurora, Ont. led the Colts with 95 points including 35 goals and 60 assists over 60 regular season games, taking just 12 penalty minutes in the process. He becomes the ninth player in Colts franchise history to record 60 assists in a season, and the first to ever claim the William Hanley Trophy.
“It truly is an honour to be recognized with the William Hanley Trophy,” said Vierling. “When looking back at the past winners, it’s a great group to join and a nice way to finish off my OHL career. My success this year is a reflection of all the help I got from my teammates, coaches, and family.”
Vierling was a consistent offensive producer for the Colts, recording at least three points in a game 15 different times over the course of the season. His campaign was highlighted by five-point efforts on Dec. 13th in a 7-5 win over the Sudbury Wolves (1-4–5) and Mar. 5th in a 6-3 road win over the Owen Sound Attack (3-2–5), one of his two hat tricks on the season.
“Anytime you can have a player that wins a league award it’s always great news for the franchise,” said Colts Head Coach and General Manager Marty Williamson. “Evan was a key contributor to our team this season and he took his play to the next level. It’s a reflection of his game by finishing with 95 points and only 12 minutes in penalties. The entire Colts organization is proud of him.”
Vierling recorded 13 points (1-12–13) in seven playoff outings for the Colts this spring before being sidelined by an injury in Game 2 of Barrie’s second round series against the North Bay Battalion.
Entering the League as the second overall pick of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection by the Flint Firebirds, Vierling turned in a productive four-year career that yielded 213 points (75-138–213) over 218 regular season games between the Colts and Firebirds. He was selected by the New York Rangers in the fifth round (127th overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft, and attended training camp with the Columbus Blue Jackets last October.
The William Hanley Trophy is awarded each year based on a selection by the 20 General Managers of the Ontario Hockey League. All 20 teams submit a nominee but are not permitted to vote for their own candidate. The trophy is presented by the OHL to commemorate William Hanley, former Secretary-Manager of the Ontario Hockey Association for over 25 years.
Owen Sound Attack forward Cedrick Guindon finished as a runner-up in award voting, followed by Oshawa Generals forward Calum Ritchie who placed third.
Vierling follows a number of current NHL players to have previously won the award, including 2022 recipient Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires) of the Dallas Stars, as well as Nick Robertson (Peterborough 2020), three-time winner Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound/Guelph 2017, ’18, ’19), Mike Amadio (North Bay 2016), Dylan Strome (Erie 2015), Connor McDavid (Erie 2014), Brandon Saad (Saginaw 2012) and Jeff Carter (Sault Ste. Marie 2005).
Vierling will be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Sportsman of the Year Award, presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 3 during the 2023 Memorial Cup presented by Kia which takes place in Kamloops, British Columbia. Vierling will be formally presented with the William Hanley Trophy at the OHL’s Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 14 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
For a complete history of OHL award winners, visit ontariohockeyleague.com.
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.