OHL NETMINDERS INVITED TO HOCKEY CANADA’S VIRTUAL PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE GOALTENDING CAMP

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CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada continues preparations for the 2020-21 season with a virtual four-day Program of Excellence goaltending camp from June 9-12.

Typically serving as the initial evaluation stage for summer development and selection camps for Canada’s national men’s teams, the online camp will focus on goaltender development and evaluation through online education.

Twenty-three of the top goaltenders in Canada will participate in camp, as well as 11 elite-level instructors. The list of goaltenders includes five at the under-20 levelsix at the under-18 level and 12 at the under-17 level.

“The Program of Excellence goaltending camp is a great opportunity to bring together the top young goaltenders in the country and assist with the development process for these athletes,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “Despite the unique nature of this year’s camp and the switch to an online delivery for our programs, we believe all 23 goalies will benefit from world-class instruction as we continue to prepare for a new season.”

Online sessions will include goaltender development, mental and physical performance, planning for short-term competition, environments for success, embracing the role of a back-up goaltender and more.

OHL Goaltenders Invited to Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp

Under-20 Goaltenders:
Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Tristan Lennox (Saginaw Spirit)

Under-18 Goaltenders:
Matteo Drobac (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Benjamin Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)

Under-17 Goaltenders:
Nolan Lalonde (Kingston Jr. Gaels U16/Erie Otters)*
Jackson Parsons (Cornwall Colts U18/Kitchener Rangers)*

*- committed to OHL member team for 2020-21 season

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on FacebookTwitter and Twitter.com/HC_Men.

Early Look at the Ontario Hockey League’s 2021 Draft Eligible Players

The Ontario Hockey League draft class for the 2019 National Hockey League Draft was one of the worst ever. On the flip side, 2020 was one of the best classes to come out of the OHL. So, what’s in store for the 2021 Draft? At first glance, it’s a good class with some talented first round potential.

When the 2020-2021 season does begin, and that’s still a question on everyone’s mind because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have produced a list of players that definitely are worth keeping an eye on.

In no particular order:

Brandt Clarke – Defenceman – Barrie Colts

Brandt Clarke of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.With exceptional mobility and speed, Clarke is almost like a fourth forward when transitioning to offence and jumping up into the play. It should come as no surprise since he models his game after Erik Karlsson. He plays a very poised game, patient with the puck, and rarely turns it over. He has excellent hockey senses and is a superb passer. His defensive game showed marked improvement as the season progressed. He gets back quickly because of his skating, has good gat control and is effective with his stick. And he doesn’t shy away from the physicality and began to be the player who initiated contact rather then the receiver as the season went on. Clarke finished the season with 6 goals and 32 assists in 57 games and was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.  

 

Mason McTavish – Center – Peterborough Petes

Mason McTavish of the Peterborough Petes. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.The offensively talented McTavish led all 2003 born players in goals and points despite not always getting the best offensive opportunities with the Petes, moving up and down the lineup. He’s a puck possession beast, seemingly having the puck on a string. He’s not shy about going end-to-end, is patient with the puck and is very adept at creating space. He reads the play extremely well and is able to find soft spots undetected. He is willing to drive the net with or without the puck. McTavish is a pure sniper with a pro caliber shot and release already. He’s already physically strong and yet there is still room for more. He’s also a top player in the faceoff circle. McTavish finished the season with 29 goals and 13 assists in 57 games and was named to the OHL Second All-Rookie Team.

Francesco Pinelli – Left Wing – Kitchener Rangers

Francesco Pinelli of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.At this point, it may not be a reach to say that Pinelli is the best two-way player out of the draft class and that ability coming straight from minor midget earned him the trust of the Rangers coaches. He’s a versatile player who can play both the wing and down the middle. He works hard from shift-to-shift and is not afraid to play a physical game. He has high hockey senses, is positionally sound and creates turnovers almost at will. He’s a strong skater with a unique ability to draw in defenders and make a perfect pass. He has a superb one-timer and can unleash it with accuracy and it is especially dangerous on the pp with space. He finished fourth among rookies with 18 goals and 23 assists in 59 games.

Brennan Othmann – Left Wing – Flint Firebirds

Brennan Othmann of the Flint Firebirds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.When watching Othmann play, it’s obvious his deadliest asset is his shot. He possesses and excellent one-timer and a snap shot that is deadly accurate with a superb release. Maybe it was a lack of confidence in his abilities, but he just didn’t use that shot enough as he chose to dish off rather then take his shot. That said, he is a very good playmaker as well, so maybe he was reading something else on the ice. One might raise the question if it’s his hockey sense/vision that comes into play. However, I believe it’s just a question of confidence in his ability to beat goaltenders and with a year under his belt, those questions will be answered. Othmann finished the season with 17 goals and 16 assists in 55 games and was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.

Daniil Chayka – Defenceman – Guelph Storm

Danill Chayka of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.With a late 2002 birth date, Chayka will be in his third OHL season come his draft year and the young Russian has already made a name for himself. He is a smooth skater, plays in all situations and eats up huge minutes. Chayka is a pass first defender but is more then willing to jump into the play on offence. He has a good shot from the point but doesn’t try to overpower goaltenders and shoots with a purpose. Defensively his size and skating make him hard to beat one-on-one. Even at a young age, Chayka has shown excellent leadership qualities. Chayka finished the season with 11 goals and 23 assists in 56 games. He was named to the 2018-2019 OHL Second All-Rookie Team.

Brett Harrison – Center – Oshawa Generals

Harrison carries a big body at 6’3” but filling in the frame is a requirement. He’s near impossible to knock off of the puck and uses excellent body and stick position to protect the disc. He is a technically strong skater with good speed and has the ability to change gears and challenge defenders one-on-one. He is dynamite on his edgework which is surprising for a player of his size. Harrison also has an excellent shot that he can release in a split second and he is very deceptive with small positional changes to improve his angle. Harrison finished the year with 21 goals and 16 assists in 58 games.

Chase Stillman – Wing – Sudbury Wolves

Chase Stillman of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.While the attention in Sudbury was all on Quinton Byfield, Stillman quietly put up a very good rookie season. The son of former NHL’er Cory Stillman and younger brother of Riley, he comes from a family with hockey blood lines. He is a swift skater he has a high level of hockey smarts. Stillman is a coachable player – not because his father is a coach in Sudbury, he stayed with a billet family, but he took directions well from the older players. Expect Stillman to be one of the go-to guys for offence in Sudbury next season. He finished the year with 13 goals and 21 assists in 58 games. He was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.

Photos courtesy of OHL Images

Shane Wright wins CHL Rookie of the Year Award presented by Wawanesa Insurance

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that forward Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Rookie of the Year Award presented by Wawanesa Insurance.

Wright led all CHL rookies in scoring with 66 points including 39 goals and 27 assists in 58 games competing as the league’s youngest and only full-time 2004-born player after being granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada.

“Wawanesa Insurance is proud to present the 2019-20 CHL Rookie of the Year Award to Frontenacs forward Shane Wright,” said Selena Hinds, Vice President of Brand, Communications and Community for Wawanesa Insurance. “We’re all missing hockey right now, but players like Shane remind us the future is bright, and we’re looking forward to cheering Shane on next season.”

Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

The 16-year-old from Burlington, Ontario, was selected first overall by the Frontenacs in the 2019 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.  His 39 goals set a franchise rookie record surpassing the mark of 36 set by Bernie Nicholls back in 1979-80, while his 66 points equal what past exceptional status star forward Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters produced in 63 games back in 2012-13.  In total, Wright put together 17 multi-point performances including his first career hat-trick and four-point effort on February 29 against the Flint Firebirds, and tied for the CHL lead in scoring three overtime winners.  Upon his return from the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he served as captain of Team Canada Black, Wright was appointed an alternate captain for the Frontenacs making him the youngest player to wear an ‘A’ in CHL history.  He will be a top prospect for the 2022 NHL Draft.

“Thank you for selecting me as the CHL Rookie of the Year,” Wright said. “It’s a huge honour for me and I know both Dylan (Guenther) and Zachary (Bolduc) are both more than deserving of being granted this award and I’m just truly honoured to be selected for it. I want to thank my parents for always supporting me. The amount they sacrificed for me throughout my entire career to get to this point, all the love they gave as well, they turned me into the person I am today. I’d like to thank my coaching staff for always pushing me, always trying to make me better, and learning so much from them with their advice. And finally, I’d like to thank my teammates. Coming to the rink every day is the best time of the world being with those guys and I wouldn’t be able to get this award without them.”

Wright becomes the first member of the Frontenacs to win the national award since it was first presented in 1988.  The only other Kingston player to receive consideration was Chris Gratton back in 1991-92.  He’s now among just seven players to win this award after joining the CHL as a number one pick following Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves (2018-19), Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic (2017-18), John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals (2005-06), Sidney Crosby of the Oceanic (2003-04), Patrick O’Sullivan of the Mississauga IceDogs (2001-02), and Alexandre Daigle of the Victoriaville Tigres (1991-92).  Tavares, born September 20, 1990, was the very first player to be granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada and is the only past recipient who was younger than Wright at the time of his recognition.

Finalists for the award were Dylan Guenther of the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings and Zachary Bolduc of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rimouski Oceanic.

PETES’ NICK ROBERTSON WINS CHL SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY CAVENDISH FARMS

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Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Sportsman of the Year Award presented by Cavendish Farms.

Robertson led the entire CHL with 55 goals in just 46 games played while adding 31 assists for a total of 86 points along with 40 penalty minutes.

“Cavendish Farms proudly congratulates Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes on receiving the CHL Sportsman of the Year Award presented by Cavendish Farms. Nick set a positive example for his fellow teammates, opponents, fans and the Peterborough community, both on and off the ice. We look forward to watching Nick continue his hockey career in the near future.”

The 18-year-old from Northville, Michigan, finished tenth in Ontario Hockey League scoring during his third career season after being chosen by the Leafs in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft and signing his entry-level contract in September.  He was held without a goal just nine times over the course of the season and went on a 14-game goal-scoring streak from January 9 to February 8 upon his return from the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship where he played for Team USA.  His impressive 1.20 goals-per-game pace is the highest the CHL has seen since Rene Corbet of the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Pat Peake of the Detroit Junior Red Wings back in 1992-93 when considering players with more than 20 goals scored and over 30 games to their credit in a single season.  The 1992-93 campaign is also the last time a Petes player has reached the 50-goal milestone.

“I want to thank the CHL for awarding me the most sportsmanlike player of the year,” Robertson said. “I just want to thank my organization the Peterborough Petes as well as the GM Mike Oke, head coach Rob Wilson, and my teammates. And finally I’d like to thank the fans in Peterborough for all of their support and making it an electrifying building every night. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy.”

Robertson is the first member of the Petes to win the national award since presentation began in 1990 following previous team nominees Ryan Spooner (2010) and Mike Ricci (1990).  The OHL’s most recent recipient is Nick Suzuki, now a member of the Montreal Canadiens, who was recognized in 2017 while starring for the Owen Sound Attack.  This is the second straight season a Robertson has been recognized on the national stage with Nick following in the footsteps of older brother Jason who led the CHL in scoring with 117 points as a member of the Niagara IceDogs one year ago.

Finalists for the award were 2020 NHL Draft prospect Seth Jarvis of the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks and Calgary Flames prospect Jakob Pelletier of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Moncton Wildcats.

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. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

SPIRIT’S COLE PERFETTI WINS CHL SCHOLASTIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY CIBC

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Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year Award presented by CIBC.

Perfetti combined success on the ice with success in school by setting a Spirit single season scoring record of 111 points including 37 goals and 74 assists over 61 games while achieving an overall academic average of 93%.

“CIBC proudly congratulates Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti on receiving the CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award. Cole’s demonstrated excellence both on the ice in hockey and off the ice in academics has set a positive example for his fellow teammates and those in the community, and we look forward to seeing him continue to flourish back on the ice in the near future.”

The 18-year-old born January 1, 2002, is the fifth ranked North American skater for the 2020 NHL Draft after finishing second in Ontario Hockey League scoring.  The sophomore forward chosen fifth overall by the Spirit in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection was highly regarded by OHL Western Conference coaches in the league’s annual poll where he received top marks in the Smartest Player, Best Playmaker, Best Stickhandler, and Best Shootout Shooter categories.  In the classroom between Heritage High School in Saginaw and All Saints Catholic Secondary School in his hometown of Whitby, Ontario, Perfetti was enrolled in an impressive seven University level courses including Algebra, Analyzing Current Economic Issues, Elite Athletics, Healthy & Active Living, Leadership, Organizational Studies in Behaviour and Human Resources, and World Religions.

“Thank you for choosing me to be the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year award winner,” Perfetti said. “It’s a big honour for me and something that I worked for all season. To be able to be a part of this trophy, and a group of all the prior recipients, it means a lot to me. There are a lot of great players to have won in the past and even better people. I want to say thank you to my family and my billets. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. They give me the support and the love that I need to excel both on and off the ice and in the classroom and without them I wouldn’t be in the spot that I am now. I also want to say thank you to the Spirit organization and to Pam Moretuzzo especially. Everyone in the organization is trying to make each player a better student, a better hockey player, but most importantly a better person. Pam is our high school advisor and day in, day out, she’s always taking care of me and making sure that each player is set up for greatness. I can’t thank her enough and I can’t thank the Spirit organization enough for providing me with all the resources and help I need to thrive both on and off the ice.”

Perfetti is the first member of the Spirit to win the award since it was introduced at the national level in 1988.  A number of top prospects have been recognized with this award ahead of their NHL Draft selection including back-to-back recipient Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters who won in 2014 and then again in 2015 before being chosen first overall by the Edmonton Oilers.  Other first round picks to win include Josh Morrissey of the Prince Albert Raiders (2013), Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs (2011), Gilbert Brule of the Vancouver Giants (2005), Devan Dubnyk of the Kamloops Blazers (2004), Dustin Brown of the Guelph Storm (2003), Brad Boyes of the Otters (2000), Stefan Cherneski of the Brandon Wheat Kings (1997), Boyd Devereaux of the Kitchener Rangers (1996), Scott Niedermayer of the Blazers (1991), and Darrin Shannon of the Windsor Spitfires (1988).

Finalists for the award were fellow 2020 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Garand of the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers and Montreal Canadiens prospect Rafael Harvey-Pinard of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

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. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

67’s’ ANDRE TOURIGNY WINS CHL BRIAN KILREA COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY JANES

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Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that Ottawa 67’s head coach Andre Tourigny is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL’s Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award presented by Janes.

Tourigny guided the 67’s to a second straight Ontario Hockey League regular season title with a of 50-11-0-1 record, a CHL leading 296 goals scored, and just 164 goals against which was fewest in the OHL.

“I’d like to congratulate Andre Tourigny for being named the 2019-20 Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year,” said Paul Craft, Vice President of Marketing, Sofina Foods. “The Janes brand is proud and honoured to be a partner with the CHL and is committed to supporting communities across the country. Our production facilities are also in many of these great communities where you all play. Supporting hockey, the development of players, as well as recognizing the billet families is very important to the Janes brand.”

The 46-year-old from Nicolet, Quebec, helped this year’s 67’s equal the franchise’s all-time best mark of 50 wins set one year ago despite playing in six fewer games as a result of the abbreviated schedule.  The team also set a franchise record with a 17-game winning-streak that spanned from November 16 to January 10.  Another highlight of Tourigny’s season was winning gold as an assistant coach for Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.  He will return as the program’s head coach in 2020-21.

“It’s a tremendous honour for me and my staff to get coach of the year in the CHL,” said Tourigny. “In the CHL you have 60 head coaches and staff who work really hard during the season so to be recognized by the CHL with coach of the year, me and my coaching staff are really blessed and honoured. Our ownership and our management give us all of the tools to make that happen, and I want to also thank our players for all of their support and hard work during the season to make it happen. I want to thank the Commissioners and Dan (MacKenzie) for the tremendous honour.”

Awarded annually to the coach of the year in the CHL since 1988, the trophy was renamed in 2003 to honour Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Brian Kilrea when he won his 1000th game as coach of the 67’s.  Kilrea’s name is also inscribed on the award as a recipient in 1997.  Tourigny’s recognition comes after two previous nominations including last season as well as in 2006 as a member of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.  He spent a decade behind-the-bench with the Huskies from 2003-13, then moved on to the NHL for three seasons as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-15 and the Ottawa Senators for 2015-16, returned for one year with the Halifax Mooseheads in 2016-17, and has now been with the 67’s for the past three seasons.  Tourigny has established himself as one of the league’s all-time greatest coaches with career figures that equal 496 wins in 961 games.  As it stands, only 21 CHL coaches have ever reached 500 wins and only 19 have surpassed the 1,000 game milestone.

Finalists for the award were Brad Lauer of the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings and Stephane Julien of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Sherbrooke Phoenix.

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. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

Riley Piercey – Flint Firebirds – Player Profile

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 200 Pounds

Date of birth: March 20, 2002

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario

Position: Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 16th overall, 2018 Priority Selection by the Barrie Colts

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. N.R.

129 N.A.

Riley Piercey played his Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Toronto Marlboros during the 2017-2018 season. He scored 26 goals and 30 assists while skating in 59 games. Piercey went on to add 4 goals and an assist in 6 games with the Marlboros at the OHL Cup. He also scored one for Team GTHL Red at the OHL Gold Cup as they went on to capture silver.

The Barrie Colts would select Piercey with the 16th overall pick at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. Here’s what OHL Central Scouting had to say prior to the draft:

Riley is a big power forward that is very hard to play against as he is constantly moving and takes the body every chance that he has. He is a powerful skater that when at full speed is very quick. He is a player that makes the simple, effective play the majority of the times. He has a good shot which he gets off quickly. Riley plays hard in all three zones and rarely takes any short cuts. He is the type of player that coaches like to have on the bench because he can play up and down a lineup.

During his OHL rookie season, Piercey appeared in 60 games for the Colts scoring 3 goals and 11 assists. He also represented Canada with Team White at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 going pointless in 5 games.

 

Piercey, Riley
Riley Piercey of the Flint Firebirds. Photo by OHL Images.

Piercey began this season with the Colts and in 35 games had 9 goals and 4 assists which was kind of disappointing. But on January 7, 2020 the Colts sent Piercey along with Tyler Tucker to the Firebirds for Evan Vierling and draft picks.

The trade was kind of a breakout for Piercey as he went on to score 8 goals and 13 assists in 27 games prior to the season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more then doubling his points-per-game from .37 to .78 points-per-game.

The trade started to draw some attention to Piercey. While we here at OHL Writers had him as a potential 7th round pick coming into the season, NHL Central Scouting left him off their pre-season watch list, their November list and their mid-term list. It wasn’t until their final list that they had Piercey ranked – 129th among North American Skaters.

Piercey is a big bodied forward who can play both sides. He’s not afraid to use his size to play the physical game. He also uses that frame extremely well to win battles down low and along the walls. Technically, he skates extremely well, has some excellent edgework and is difficult to knock off of the puck and once he gains possession, he is willing to drive directly to the net. He doesn’t possess top end speed, but for a player his size navigates the ice well. We would like to see some improvement in his speed.

Once Piercey arrived in Flint, we saw that he had some vision and playmaking skills. However, using those assets consistently has been an issue. When he produces offensively, they come in bunches and he can go multiple games without producing.

When you’re not producing, you have to bring other elements to the game and we believe Piercey is capable of that. The physicality, energy, the willingness to stand in front of the net to provide a screen and a solid defensive game is there. We believe he has a good shot with a good release however, at under 2 shots per game, he doesn’t utilize it enough.

Piercey is still raw and has some potential. He will be worth a late round pick in hopes that he can find some consistency and continue to develop.

Jake Uberti – Niagara IceDogs – Player Profile

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 185 Pounds

Date of birth: March 7, 2002

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 4, 72 overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. 202 NA

147 NA

Jake Uberti played his Minor Midget AAA during the 2017-2018 season with the Mississauga Reps of the GTHL. In 33 games, Uberti scored 11 goals and assisted on 20. He scores 1 goal in 5 games for the Reps at the OHL Cup, but he had a superb OHL Gold Cup while representing Team GTHL Blue, scoring 4 goals to go along with 5 helpers in 4 games.

The IceDogs selected Uberti with the 72nd overall pick at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

During his rookie OHL season, Uberti played in 59 games scoring twice and assisting on 7 goals. He went pointless in 8 playoff contests.

During this shortened season, Uberti scored 17 goals and 16 assists in 57 games.

Uberti, Jake
Jake Uberti of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Much like I wrote about Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs, the lack of upper class draft eligible players in Niagara didn’t bring a lot of NHL Scouts into the building so Uberti could suffer from not having a lot of eyes on him. Not to mention that the IceDogs were the second worst team in the OHL getting blown out on many occasions. So, who could really blame scouts looking elsewhere?

Things began to fall apart when netminder Tucker Tynan was lost for the season due to injury. And then the trading of Akil Thomas and Phil Tomasino was the straw that broke the camels back. But after the January 9, 2020 trades that sent Thomas to Peterborough and Tomasino to Oshawa, the door became open for Uberti to step up in a more offensive role and he did just that scoring 7 goals and 8 assists in 21 games pushing his points per game up from .50 to .71 points per game.

Still, it’s difficult to get a true read on the 6’1”, 185-pound native of Toronto, Ontario. Uberti has good size and has a willingness to drive to the net. He can be difficult to knock off of his feet, is solid enough at maintaining possession and wins most of his battles. He’s got a decent amount of speed with an ability to gain the zone with possession.

Uberti also plays a solid 200-foot game, although that could be hard to notice on a team that was, for a lack of a better term, a mess defensively. It’s also difficult to get a read on his vision and playmaking skills. Uberti is capable of driving the play for himself, but I don’t think he utilized his teammates at a level that one could judge those abilities. And that may be because the talent around him wasn’t that high.

There are definitely parts of his game that scouts will like. The question is, how much upside is there?

Marco Rossi wins CHL Top Scorer of the Year Award presented by Purolator

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Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that 2020 NHL Draft prospect Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Top Scorer of the Year Award presented by Purolator.

Rossi led all players with 120 points including 39 goals and 81 assists in 56 games helping the 67’s finish first in the Ontario Hockey League’s regular season standings for the second straight season.

“Purolator is delighted to partner with another iconic Canadian brand, the CHL, to recognize the young athletes who inspire others and deliver the entertainment of sport for Canadians across the country,” said Purolator Marketing Director, Melanie Cheng-Kai-On. “Congratulations, Marco Rossi on being named the 2019-20 CHL Top Scorer of the Year. With so many talented young players, winning the CHL scoring title is an incredible achievement. We look forward to watching Marco’s career continue – knowing he’ll deliver many more highlights in the future!”

The 18-year-old from Feldkirch, Austria, has now played two seasons for the 67’s after being chosen with the 18th pick in the 2018 CHL Import Draft.  This season he nearly doubled his point total following a rookie campaign in which he registered 65 points in 53 games.  He led the entire CHL with a plus-69 rating and was held off the scoresheet just four times producing an impressive 34 multi-point performances highlighted by a six-point output on November 27 scoring his first career hat-trick plus three assists against the Kingston Frontenacs.  The sixth ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s final list also finished the schedule with success in the faceoff circle winning 58.5% of his draws and is a finalist for CHL Player of the Year.

“I want to say thanks to the CHL for giving me the CHL Top Scorer Award and I want to say thanks to the Ottawa 67’s for those amazing two years,” said Rossi. “Thank you very much, stay safe, and stay healthy.”

Since the award was first presented in 1994, Rossi is just the third top scorer to have joined the league through the Import Draft process following Czech Republic born Pavel Rosa for the 1996-97 Hull Olympiques, and Russian Alexander Radulov for the 2005-06 Quebec Remparts.  He’s also the first player to win the award in his first season of NHL Draft eligibility since Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters shared the honour in 2014-15.  That list also includes Nic Petan who shared the award in 2012-13 with the Portland Winterhawks, Patrick Kane of the 2006-07 London Knights, Sidney Crosby of the 2004-05 Rimouski Oceanic, Pierre-Marc Bouchard of the 2001-02 Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Ramzi Abid of the 1997-98 Sagueneens, Daniel Briere of the 1995-96 Drummondville Voltigeurs, and Marc Savard of the 1994-95 Oshawa Generals.  Rossi is now the second member of the 67’s to win the award joining Corey Locke during the 2002-03 season.

Finalists for the award were fellow 2020 NHL Draft prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rimouski Oceanic and Minnesota Wild prospect Adam Beckman of the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs.

OHL ANNOUNCES 2019-20 ALL-STAR AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAMS

All Star Teams

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the First, Second and Third All-Star Team selections along with the First and Second All-Rookie Team selections for the 2019-20 season.

The OHL All-Star Teams were selected by the OHL’s General Managers, with voting conducted in two stages beginning with a Conference ballot followed by a final ballot that integrated the top selections from both the Eastern and Western Conference results.

Headlining the First Team is Red Tilson Trophy recipient and OHL scoring leader Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s who becomes the first 67’s player to be selected to the League’s First All-Star Team since Tyler Toffoli in 2011-12. The top 2020 NHL Draft prospect led the entire Canadian Hockey League with 120 points, producing at a 2.14 point-per-game clip for the OHL’s first place team. Joining Rossi in the forward ranks was OHL goal-scoring leader Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect who lit the lamp 55 times in just 46 games. Flanking the right side is Los Angeles Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs who scored 48 goals and posted 98 points in 57 games. OHL Defenceman of the Year Noel Hoefenmayer of the Ottawa 67’s stands out on the blue line after recording a league-best 82 points including 26 goals over 58 games. Top draft eligible rearguard Jamie Drysdale joins Hoefenmayer on the back end after a sophomore season with the Erie Otters that included 47 points over 49 games. Fellow Canadian National Junior Team gold medalist Nico Daws of the Guelph Storm, who was voted OHL Goaltender of the Year, was appointed as a First Team All-Star netminder after posting a league-high .924 save percentage and five shutouts. OHL Coach of the Year Andre Tourigny of the Ottawa 67’s rounds out the group, being voted to the OHL’s First All-Star Team for a second consecutive year.

Washington Capitals first round pick Connor McMichael is positioned down the middle on the Second Team, joined by wingers in 111-point scorer Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit and fifth-year overage veteran Joseph Garreffa of the Ottawa 67’s. Dallas Stars first round selection Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads joins New Jersey Devils prospect Kevin Bahl on the back end while 2020 OHL Humanitarian of the Year and Los Angeles Kings prospect Jacob Ingham of the Kitchener Rangers holds down the crease. Dale Hunter of the London Knights was voted Second Team Head Coach, being selected to an All-Star Team for the sixth time in his OHL coaching career.

Top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves was voted Third Team centreman. He’s accompanied on the wings by Guelph Storm 45-goal scorer Pavel Gogolev and Sarnia Sting overage veteran Sean Josling who led his team with 78 points. The Third Team defence corps consists of the London Knights tandem of Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alec Regula and San Jose Sharks first round pick Ryan Merkley while Ottawa 67’s netminder Cedrick Andree is in goal. George Burnett of the Guelph Storm was voted to an OHL All-Star Team for the seventh time in his career, being named Third Team Head Coach.

A total of 11 teams were represented among the All-Star selections led by the Hamilton Spectator Trophy recipient Ottawa 67’s with six including First Team members Rossi, Hoefenmayer and Tourigny, Second Team selections Garreffa and Bahl and Third Team selection Andree. The Midwest Division champion London Knights trailed with four selections including Second Team members McMichael and coach Dale Hunter as well as Third Team defenders Merkley and Regula.

The Ontario Hockey League also unveiled its First and Second All-Rookie Teams for the 2019-20 season.

OHL Rookie of the Year and 2019 OHL Priority Selection first overall pick Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs headlined the First All-Rookie Team, being joined by former Don Mills Flyers Minor Midget teammates in second overall OHL Priority Selection choice Brennan Othmann of the Flint Firebirds and fourth overall pick Brandt Clarke of the Barrie Colts on the back end. Sudbury Wolves winger Chase Stillman and Finnish-born Windsor Spitfires rearguard Ruben Rafkin joined London Knights standout netminder Brett Brochu in completing the First Team.

The Second Team is centred by 2019 fifth overall OHL Priority Selection choice and Peterborough Petes 29-goal scorer Mason McTavish. He’s joined up front by CHL Import Draft selections and 2020 NHL Draft prospects Martin Chromiak of the Kingston Frontenacs and Oliver Suni of the Oshawa Generals. On the blue line, North Bay Battalion rearguard Paul Christopoulos joins Saginaw Spirit defender Mitchell Smith in front of North Bay goaltender Joe Vrbetic to round out the group.

A total of 10 different teams were represented among the All-Rookie Team selections led by the Kingston Frontenacs and North Bay Battalion with a pair each.

2019-20 OHL All-Star Teams:

First All-Star Team:
C – Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67’s (OHL’s Most Outstanding Player) – voted 2nd all-rookie team in 2018-19
LW – Nick Robertson, Peterborough Petes
RW – Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton Bulldogs – voted 2nd team in 2018-19, 2nd all-rookie team in 2017-18
D – Noel Hoefenmayer, Ottawa 67’s (OHL Defenceman of the Year)
D – Jamie Drysdale, Erie Otters – voted 1st all-rookie team in 2018-19
G – Nico Daws, Guelph Storm (OHL Goaltender of the Year)
Coach – Andre Tourigny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL Coach of the Year) – voted 1st team in 2018-19

Second All-Star Team:
C – Connor McMichael, London Knights
LW – Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit – voted 1st all-rookie team in 2018-19
RW – Joseph Garreffa, Ottawa 67’s
D – Thomas Harley, Mississauga Steelheads – voted 3rd team in 2018-19
D – Kevin Bahl, Ottawa 67’s
G – Jacob Ingham, Kitchener Rangers – voted 1st team all-rookie in 2016-17
Coach – Dale Hunter, London Knights – voted 3rd team in 2018-19, 1st team in 2009-10, 2nd team in 2005-06, 1st team in 2004-05, 1st team in 2003-04

Third All-Star Team:
C – Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves – voted 1st all-rookie team in 2018-19
LW – Pavel Gogolev, Guelph Storm
RW – Sean Josling, Sarnia Sting
D – Alec Regula, London Knights – voted 1st team all-rookie in 2017-18
D – Ryan Merkley, London Knights – voted 1st team all-rookie in 2016-17
G – Cedrick Andree, Ottawa 67’s
Coach – George Burnett, Guelph Storm – voted 2nd team in 2012-13, 2nd team in 2008-09, 3rd team in 2007-08, 2nd team in 1997-98, 1st team in 1991-92, 1st team in 1990-91

2019-20 OHL All-Rookie Teams:

First All-Rookie Team:
C – Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL Rookie of the Year)
LW – Brennan Othmann, Flint Firebirds
RW – Chase Stillman, Sudbury Wolves
D – Brandt Clarke, Barrie Colts
D – Ruben Rafkin, Windsor Spitfires
G – Brett Brochu, London Knights

Second All-Rookie Team:
C – Mason McTavish, Peterborough Petes
LW – Martin Chromiak, Kingston Frontenacs
RW – Oliver Suni, Oshawa Generals
D – Paul Christopoulos, North Bay Battalion
D – Mitchell Smith, Saginaw Spirit
G – Joe Vrbetic, North Bay Battalion

For full coverage of the 2020 OHL Awards, be sure to visit ontariohockeyleague.com or follow along on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.