Nikita Okhotyuk – Ottawa 67’s – Player Profile

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 195 pounds

Date of birth: December 4, 2000

Hometown: Chelyabinsk, Russia

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 16th overall, 2017 CHL Import Draft

NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Preseason, November: B Prospect, Mid-term: 55 North American Skaters

During the 2016-2017 season, Ottawa 67’s defenceman Nikita Okhotyuk played his hockey back in his native Russia for his hometown team in Chelyabinsk. He began the year showing promising offensive numbers in Russia’s Under-17 league before moving up the Russia’s equivalent to the OHL, the MHL. Following his season, the 67’s would use the 16th overall pick to select him in the CHL Import Draft.

Okhotyuk brought with him plenty of international experience having represented Russia at the Under-17’s, Under-18’s and the Hlinka-Gretzky Tournament. He also brought with him some excellent leadership qualities, having worn a letter for Russia and was Captain of his Russian squad at the Hlinka-Gretzky Tournament.

Nikita Okhotyuk of the Ottawa 67''s. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Nikita Okhotyuk of the Ottawa 67’s. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Okhotyuk would make the 67’s roster during the 2017-2018 season and he would wear the barber shop pole uniform 53 times during the season and score 5 goals and assist on 6 others.

The 2018-2019 season saw the 67’s being heavy favorites for an OHL Championship and a Memorial Cup run. The 67’s blueline was deep and often saw Okhotyuk playing on the third pair. He dressed in 56 regular season games (there was a 3-game suspension in there) scoring just 2 goals and assisting on 15. What is interesting to note with the 67’s blueline is that for the vast majority of the season they carried 7 defencemen – all left shots so you always had someone skating on their weak side.

Despite not getting top quality minutes, Okhotyuk’s ranking on various public rankings has remained virtually unchanged. NHL Central Scouting ranked him 55th among North American skaters on their mid-term rankings, and he dropped just one spot on their final rankings.

At this point, after two OHL seasons. It’s difficult to determine what type of player Okhotyuk will be at the next level. There is no questioning his determination, drive and work ethic. His body is already almost filled out. He’s a very good skater with excellent edgework. His mobility is excellent in any direction.

Defensively, there isn’t a lot of work to be done by Okhotyuk. He has a very active stick, keeps his gaps tight, rides people out along the wall, battles hard in front of his goal, is one of the better open ice hitters in the league and is a superb shot blocker – OHL coaches recognized that ability in the annual Coaches Poll.

His skating allowed him to retrieve pucks quickly. However, he didn’t always show that he was capable of making the right play. He was caught at times trying to force plays that would result in turnovers. But as the season progressed, there was a marked improvement in his awareness and decision making. His skating is good enough that he can rush the puck out of the zone and his passing is very good. As his confidence grew and his opportunities with more ice time grew, those qualities became more evident.

It’s Okhotyuk’s offensive upside that raises questions. As the season wore on, he began jumping up into the play more often and with greater confidence. He has a howitzer of a shot from the blueline, but to often he passes on the opportunity to put the puck to the net. His vision is good and he is an excellent passer, which should help him offensively.

At the very least, Okhotyuk can be an excellent shut down defender who will kill penalties and play a physical game that won’t put you down a man (suspension aside here). At best, he can be all that and add some timely offence.

Stat page from Elite Prospects


CHL Announces 2018-19 Award Winners

Halifax, NS – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the 10 national award winners for the 2018-19 season including 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic who earned Sportsnet Player of the Year honours. 

The awards were presented as part of the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia festivities in Halifax.

2018-19 CHL Award Winners:

Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award: Bowen Byram, Vancouver Giants
Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram sits second in NHL Central Scouting’s Final North American Rankings ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver. The 17-year-old product of Cranbrook, B.C., wrapped up the 2018-19 campaign with 71 points in 67 appearances, including 26 goals to lead all WHL rearguards. He then finished first in league playoff scoring with 26 points, counting eight goals and 18 assists. Byram is the first WHL player to claim the Top Prospect Award since Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings) in 2017. Finalists for the award this year also included Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs, who ranks seventh among North American skaters, and Raphael Lavoie of the Halifax Mooseheads, who is listed 20th overall.

Emera Top Scorer Award: Jason Robertson, Niagara IceDogs
Niagara IceDogs left-wing Jason Robertson led the CHL with 117 points in 62 games, counting 48 goals and 69 assists to help guide the IceDogs to a second-place regular-season finish in the OHL’s Eastern Conference. Following a midseason trade from the Kingston Frontenacs, the Dallas Stars prospect pushed the pace with his new club, tallying 79 points in 38 games. The 19-year-old native of Northville, Mich., is the first OHL skater to claim the Top Scorer Award since Dylan Strome (Erie Otters) did so in 2015. Finalists for the award this year also included San Jose Sharks prospect Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks, who scored 114 points, as well as Peter Abbandonato of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, who finished with 111 points.

Bumper to Bumper Sportsman of the Year Award: Justin Almeida, Moose Jaw Warriors
Moose Jaw Warriors centre Justin Almeida wrapped up the 2018-19 campaign with 111 points, including 33 goals and 78 assists, to finish just three points shy of the league scoring lead and help the Warriors secure third place in the WHL’s East Division. The 20-year-old from Kitimat, B.C., was also whistled for just 14 minutes in penalties as the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect took home the Brad Hornung Trophy as the WHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player. He is the second consecutive WHL skater to win the award after Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos) did so a year ago. Finalists for the Sportsman of the Year Award this year included Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki of the Guelph Storm as well as Rouyn-Noranda Huskies centre Peter Abbandonato.

Kia Humanitarian of the Year Award: Charle-Edouard D’Astous, Rimouski Oceanic
Rimouski Oceanic defenceman Charle-Edouard D’Astous excelled on the ice while also serving as an ambassador in his hometown community of Rimouski, Que., in helping to raise $3,500 for the Rimouski Regional Hospital Foundation, for which he also served as a spokesperson. The 21-year-old signee of the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins was also involved with several other local charitable causes. On the ice, the fourth-year player led all QMJHL defenceman with 66 points, including a league-leading 25 assists on the power play. D’Astous is the first QMJHL player to win the award since Danick Martel (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) in 2015, and the second from his team to win following Philippe Sauve in 1999. Finalists for the Humanitarian of the Year Award this year included Will Warm of the Edmonton Oil Kings and Nicholas Canade of the Mississauga Steelheads.

CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Dustin Wolf, Everett Silvertips
Everett Silvertips goaltender Dustin Wolf excelled both on the ice and in the classroom, where he maintained a 100% average across a Grade 12 workload covering four courses. Between the pipes, the 18-year-old Californian led the WHL with 41 wins, while also topping the charts with a 1.69 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. The budding netminder, who is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, is the first WHL player to claim the award since Josh Morrissey (Prince Albert Raiders) in 2013. Finalists for the Scholastic Player of the Year Award this year included Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads as well as Matthew Welsh of the Charlottetown Islanders.

Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Mario Pouliot, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies head coach Mario Pouliot led his club to a franchise-record 59-win season in his first year behind the bench with his new team. He also guided the Huskies to a 25-win streak to tie a CHL record originally set in 1974. In all, Rouyn-Noranda finished the season in first place with a 59-8-0-1 record, good for 119 points. In the playoffs, the Huskies then captured the President’s Cup for the second time in four seasons. Pouliot is the first QMJHL head coach to win the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award since Gillies Bouchard (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) in 2016. Finalists this year included Marc Habscheid of the Prince Albert Raiders and Andre Tourigny of the Ottawa 67’s.

Wawanesa Rookie of the Year Award: Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves
2020 NHL Draft prospect Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves put together an incredible freshman campaign that saw him produce at nearly a point-per-game pace as he notched 29 goals and 32 assists across 64 appearances. The 16-year-old native of Newmarket, Ont., who was originally drafted first overall by the Wolves in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, follows in the footsteps of Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads), who was the last OHL skater to win the Rookie of the Year Award in 2016.  He’s also just the second member of the Wolves to win following Benoit Pouliot in 2005. Finalists this year included Brayden Tracey of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Jordan Spence of the Moncton Wildcats.

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award: Ian Scott, Prince Albert Raiders
Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Ian Scott had a banner year, winning 38 of his 49 appearances to help guide the Raiders to first place in the WHL and an eventual 16-7 playoff record that saw the club win its first Ed Chynoweth Cup since 1985. The regular season saw the 20-year-old Calgary native top the charts with eight shutouts, while the Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick also finished second league-wide in goals-against average (1.83) and save percentage (.932). For two years running, a WHL netminder has captured the Goaltender of the Year Award, with Scott’s win coming on the heels of Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) in 2018. Finalists this year included Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves as well as Samuel Harvey of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

Superstore Defenceman of the Year Award: Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs
Spokane Chiefs defenceman Ty Smith claims the Defenceman of the Year Award after finishing second in Chiefs team scoring and fourth among all WHL blue-liners as he tallied seven goals and 62 assists for 69 points in only 57 appearances, helping him take home the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL Defenceman of the Year. The New Jersey Devils prospect and 19-year-old native of Lloydminster, Sask., is the first WHL rearguard to capture the Defenceman of the Year Award since Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings) in 2016. Finalists this year included Evan Bouchard of the London Knights as well as Charle-Edouard D’Astous of the Rimouski Oceanic.

Sportsnet Player of the Year Award: Alexis Lafreniere, Rimouski Oceanic
Rimouski Oceanic left-wing Alexis Lafreniere is the Sportsnet Player of the Year, just one season after he was recognized as the CHL’s Rookie of the Year. The 17-year-old product of St-Eustache, Que., who is a projected early selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, wrapped up the 2018-19 campaign with 37 goals and 68 assists for 105 points in only 61 appearances as he led his team in scoring and finished just six points shy of top spot in the QMJHL scoring race. Lafreniere is the second consecutive skater from the QMJHL to take home the award as he follows in the footsteps of Alex Barre-Boulet (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) who won the Player of the Year Award in 2018. This marks the fourth time a member of the Oceanic has won following Brad Richards in 2000, and Sidney Crosby who won back-to-back in 2004-05. Finalists this year included Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks as well as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves.






All photos courtesy of Vincent Ethier

Wolves’ Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen voted Red Tilson Trophy winner as OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves is the 2018-19 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the league.

Luukkonen becomes the sixth goaltender to win the award and the first member of the Wolves to be honoured in 40 years since Mike Foligno was the club’s first award recipient back in 1979.  The Finnish netminder is also the first European import player to be recognized.

“I am so honoured to have been named the Red Tilson Award winner,” Luukkonen said. “There are so many great players in the OHL who could have won this award and I am humbled to have been chosen. I want to thank the Sudbury Wolves organization for giving me a chance to play. I want to especially thank my teammates, Owner Dario Zulich, GM Rob Papineau, and my coaches, including goaltender coach Alain Valiquette and trainer Dan Buckland, for everything they have done for me.”

Luukkonen backstopped the Wolves to their most successful regular season since 1994-95.  In their crease he tied for the league lead with 38 wins and six shutouts while posting the OHL’s third best goals-against-average with a mark of 2.50 and the best save percentage at .920.  His GAA, SV%, and shutout total established new franchise records while his 38 wins are the second most in a single season in franchise history behind only Jim Bedard who won 40 games in 1975-76.

“Ukko had a remarkable and memorable season for the Sudbury Wolves in so many different ways,” said Wolves Vice-President and General Manager Rob Papineau. “To be recognized by the OHL writers and media as the winner of the prestigious Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s most outstanding player is so deserving and outstanding for him. As the season went on, so many people would talk about how great of a goalie Ukko is but this award is really special as it recognizes that he is in fact the most outstanding player in the OHL at any position. When you get to know him, Ukko really is the most outstanding player, goalie, and person, and he truly does deserve this great award.”

The 20-year-old from Espoo, Finland, began his OHL career on September 28 just three months after being chosen third overall in the 2018 CHL Import Draft.  He won his first five regular season starts and would later produce impressive winning streaks of 11 and eight straight games throughout 2018-19 compiling an overall record of 38-11-2-2.  His efforts helped the Wolves finish second in the Central Division standings with 43 wins and 91 points.  This season Luukkonen was also selected as the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year in a unanimous vote by the league’s General Managers and represents the club as a first time recipient for that award.

“Ukko is an elite goaltender and a terrific young man,” said Wolves Head Coach Cory Stillman. “From the start of the season he was our best player in almost every game. He has a calm confidence about himself that allows him to control the outcome of a game. Ukko has all the tools to one day be a star in the National Hockey League.”

The second round pick by the Sabres in the 2017 NHL Draft signed his entry-level contract with the club back in June, 2018.  In January, Luukkonen won gold for Finland at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and was voted to the tournament’s All-Star team.  Following the OHL season he made his American Hockey League debut stopping 32 shots on April 14 in a victory for the Rochester Americans.

“We are very excited that Ukko-Pekka has been named the Ontario Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player,” Buffalo Sabres Assistant General Manager Steve Greeley said. “We are very happy with his development and growth within the opportunity that he was given by the Sudbury Wolves and the OHL during this past season.”

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League.  First presented in 1945, the trophy is named in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

Accredited media were asked to select their top three choices from the 20 nominees submitted by all 20 member clubs.  Players received five points for a first place selection, three points for second place and one point for a third place selection.  Luukkonen received 201 points in the voting process appearing on over 80% of the ballots cast.  Overage Player of the Year Justin Brazeau of the North Bay Battalion finished in second place with 127 voting points, followed by OHL Top Scorer Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs who received 123 voting points.

Recent Red Tilson Trophy recipients include Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia 2018), Alex DeBrincat (Erie 2017), Mitch Marner (London 2016), Connor McDavid (Erie 2015), Connor Brown (Erie 2014), and Vincent Trocheck (Plymouth 2013).  Michael Houser (London 2012) was the last goaltender to win the award following Andrew Raycroft (Kingston 2000), Bill Harrington (Kitchener 1952), Glenn Hall (Windsor 1951), and Gil Mayer (Barrie 1949).  Gilbert Perrault (Montreal 1970) is perhaps the most notable Red Tilson Trophy winner to later play for the Sabres along with others like Dale McCourt (St. Catharines 1977), Mike Foligno (Sudbury 1979), Doug Gilmour (Cornwall 1983), John Tucker (Kitchener 1984), Ray Sheppard (Cornwall 1986), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1999), and Cody Hodgson (Brampton 2009) who all played multiple seasons in Buffalo.

The Red Tilson Trophy winner is the OHL’s nominee for Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony on Saturday May 25 during the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia which takes place in Halifax.  Luukkonen will be formally presented with the Red Tilson Trophy at the OHL’s Awards Ceremony on Wednesday June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

OHL Announces Academic Player of the Year Award Winners for 2018-19

Steelheads’ Thomas Harley, 67’s Sasha Chmelevski, Attack’s Mack Guzda and Storm’s Zack Terry honoured

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the recipients of the league’s three Academic Player of the Year awards for the 2018-19 season.

Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads is the winner of the Bobby Smith Trophy as Scholastic Player of the Year, with Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s earning the Roger Neilson Memorial Award as the Top Post-Secondary School Student, with co-winners Mack Guzda of the Owen Sound Attack and Zack Terry of the Guelph Storm sharing the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award for Top High School Student.

All three players will be formally presented with their awards at the annual OHL Awards Ceremony on Wednesday June 5, with Harley representing the OHL’s nomination for CHL Scholastic Player of the Year which will be announced on Saturday May 25 in Halifax at the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia.

Bobby Smith Trophy (OHL Scholastic Player of the Year) – Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads):

Thomas Harley has earned OHL Scholastic Player of the Year honours for his academic achievements in the classroom combined with his on-ice excellence for the Mississauga Steelheads.  Harley has been enrolled in six University level courses at Philip Pocock Public High School and Blyth Academy where he carries an overall average of over 88% studying Advanced Functions, Interdisciplinary Studies, Biology, English, Geography, and Chemistry.  On the ice, the top NHL Draft prospect scored 58 points in 68 games including 11 goals and 47 assists.

“It’s a huge honour to win this award,” said Harley. “A lot of great players have won it and I consider myself lucky to be among them. A huge thank you goes out to my parents, teachers, billets, and coaches who have gotten me to this point.”

The 17-year-old from Syracuse, New York, finished eighth among OHL defencemen in scoring and is the 11th ranked skater by NHL Central Scouting among North American prospects for the 2019 NHL Draft.  The first round pick by the Steelheads in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection increased his point production by 43 from his rookie campaign and was voted Most Improved Player in the Eastern Conference Coaches Poll to go along with Best Offensive Defenceman and second Best Skater recognition.  At season’s end, Harley represented Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

“The Mississauga Steelheads organization would like to congratulate Thomas Harley for being named this year’s Bobby Smith Trophy recipient,” said Steelheads General Manager and Head Coach James Richmond. “We couldn’t be more proud of Thomas for what he has accomplished not only on the ice but in the classroom as well. His dedication and commitment to his studies is a ringing endorsement that people can be great student athletes! Well done Thomas and we wish you continued success!”

Each year the Bobby Smith Trophy is presented to the OHL Scholastic Player of the Year who best combines high standards of play and academic excellence.  The trophy is in honour of Bobby Smith, a former Ottawa 67’s star who exhibited a standard of excellence in both of these areas.  Harley is the second member of the Steelheads to win the award following Nicolas Hague in 2016.  Additional recipients since the award was first presented in 1980 include three-time winner Dustin Brown (Guelph 2001-03), Steven Stamkos (Sarnia 2007), Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2008), Matt Duchene (Brampton 2009), Erik Gudbranson (Kingston 2010), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2011), Adam Pelech (Erie 2012), Darnell Nurse (Sault Ste. Marie 2013), back-to-back winner Connor McDavid (Erie 2014-15), Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 2017), and Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie 2018).

Next in line for the award were a pair of dynamic rookies including Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit and Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires.

Roger Neilson Memorial Award (Top Post-Secondary Student) – Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s):

Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s is currently pursuing courses at Oakland University in Michigan where he achieved over a 96% average.  While his goals are Health Science directed with studies in Biology and Human Nutrition, he also demonstrated his diverse academic interests by opting to take an International Economics course during the winter term.

“I think it’s an honour for me,” Chmelevski said of the award. “All my life I’ve always wanted to be a hockey player but my parents always pushed me to be better in school. Education is something I take very seriously and I take a lot of pride in representing the 67’s with this award.”

A 19-year-old from Northville, Michigan, Chmelevski is no stranger to academic awards having been named both the OHL and CHL Scholastic Player of the Year back in 2017.  On the ice, the 67’s leader produced 35 goals and 40 assists for 75 points in 56 games helping Ottawa to a record finish atop the OHL standings.  Chmelevski has spent almost his entire OHL tenure with the 67’s joining the club during his rookie season after being chosen by the Sarnia Sting in the first round of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  Over his 216 career games he’s scored 102 goals and 111 assists for 213 points and was a 2017 pick of the San Jose Sharks and a 2019 member of Team USA winning silver at World Juniors.

“Sasha is a driven leader, whose on-ice achievements speak for themselves,” said Jan Egert, 67’s Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting. “Throughout his OHL career, Sasha has placed a continued importance on maintaining personal academic development, and has excelled in successfully reaching those ambitions. We are thrilled to see that Sasha is recognized for his efforts and achievements again this season.”

The Roger Neilson Memorial Award is named in honour of the Hall of Fame Coach who served behind the Peterborough Petes bench in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  Neilson, a former high school teacher, was a pioneer in stressing the importance of education to all of his players.  67’s goaltender Dan Battochio was the first award recipient back in 2005 and is also one of three two-time winners after receiving the honour again in 2006.  Derek Lanoue (Windsor 2010-11) and Stephen Gibson (Mississauga 2017-18) also share the distinction.

Runner-up for the award was Jonathan Yantsis, now a two-time finalist from the Kitchener Rangers, who also attended Wilfrid Laurier University.

Ivan Tennant Memorial Award (Top Academic High School Student) – Mack Guzda (Owen Sound Attack) & Zack Terry (Guelph Storm):

Owen Sound Attack goaltender Mack Guzda and Guelph Storm rookie defenceman Zack Terry share top academic high school student honours achieving impeccable results in the classroom with averages over 96%.

Guzda studied online through the K12 International Academy with courses that included British & World Literature 1 & 2, Psychology, U.S. & Global Economics, Environmental Science, and Careers in Criminal Justice.  Terry studied an impressive seven Grade 11 courses at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School in Guelph including English, Functions, Chemistry, Dynamics of Human Relations, World Religions, Law, and Biology.

“It’s a huge honour to receive this award,” Terry said. “I’m very thankful to have been given the opportunity by Guelph to compete in the OHL and pursue my academics. I’m very fortunate for all the support from everyone in the Guelph Storm organization, and especially my family and academic advisor, Coleen Driscoll, for the endless energy and effort put into allowing me to achieve such a high degree in my academics. I can’t thank these people enough.”

This marks the first time since the award was introduced in 2005 where it has been co-presented and had a repeat winner with Guzda recognized for the second straight season.

“I am honoured to receive the Ivan Tennant Award from the OHL for the second year,” Guzda said. “I am grateful to the Owen Sound Attack organization, ownership and coaching staff as well as educational advisor Sarah Rowe, and to my family and billets. I am particularly appreciative of the OHL for allowing me to pursue my academic goals along with my athletic goals.”

An 18-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee, Guzda made 49 appearances between-the-pipes for the Attack carrying an overall record of 20-19-4-1 with two shutouts, a goals-against-average of 3.63, and save percentage of .878.  The club’s second round pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection and member of the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team in 2018 is now eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft and is listed 25th among North American goaltenders in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.

“Mack is an incredibly bright young man who is an outstanding goaltender as well,” said Attack General Manager Dale DeGray. “The organization is committed to success on the ice and in the classroom, and Mack exemplifies what we are looking for in a student-athlete.”

A 17-year-old from Oakville, Ont., Terry played 51 games for the Storm scoring twice with three assists.  The second round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection was one of just 11 OHL rearguards to represent Canada in the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he suited up for Team Black in November.  Last season he enjoyed an offensive minded season leading the OMHA’s SCTA division in scoring from the back end with 43 points in 35 games for the Oakville Rangers.

“Through the years there have been many highly dedicated and committed student athletes in the Ontario Hockey League. In my experience, there has been no one more diligent and determined to succeed in the classroom than Zack,” said Storm General Manager and Head Coach George Burnett. “He is most deserving of this very prestigious recognition. The Guelph Storm are very proud of Zack’s outstanding work throughout his first season, both on and off the ice. Congratulations, Zack!”

The Ivan Tennant Memorial Award is given to the Top Academic High School Player and is named in honour of Ivan Tennant, who spent a lifetime combining hockey and education.  He was the Kitchener Rangers’ Education Consultant for 20 years and a key figure on the OHL’s Education Consultant’s Committee.  Andrew Shorkey (2007) is the only other member of the Attack to win the award while the Storm have been represented previously by Adam Craievich (2014) and Quinn Hanna (2017).  Past recipients also include brothers Matt and Adam Pelech (Sarnia 2005 and Erie 2012), Freddie and Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2009 and 2010), and recent winners Stephen Dhillon (Niagara 2015) and Kyle Keyser (Flint 2016).

Finalists for the award included Jake Murray of the Kingston Frontenacs, Mitchell Russell of the North Bay Battalion, Tye Austin of the Peterborough Petes, and Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit.

All 20 of the OHL’s member clubs provide nominees for each award with the Bobby Smith Trophy nominees representing the 2018-19 OHL Scholastic Team:

2018-19 OHL Scholastic Team:
Barrie Colts – Peter Fleming
Erie Otters – Jamie Drysdale
Flint Firebirds – Ethan Keppen
Guelph Storm – Owen Lalonde**
Hamilton Bulldogs – Logan Morrison
Kingston Frontenacs – Matt Hotchkiss*
Kitchener Rangers – Michael Vukojevic
London Knights – Sahil Panwar
Mississauga Steelheads – Thomas Harley
Niagara IceDogs – Ben Jones**
North Bay Battalion – Mitchell Russell
Oshawa Generals – Mitchell Brewer
Ottawa 67’s – Graeme Clarke
Owen Sound Attack – Nolan Seed
Peterborough Petes – Tye Austin
Saginaw Spirit – Cole Perfetti
Sarnia Sting – Brayden Guy
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Cole MacKay
Sudbury Wolves – Peter Stratis*
Windsor Spitfires – Jean-Luc Foudy

*two-time member of OHL Scholastic Team
**three-time member of OHL Scholastic Team

Steelheads’ Nicholas Canade Named OHL Humanitarian of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Nicholas Canade of the Mississauga Steelheads is the 2018-19 recipient of the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Humanitarian of the Year.

Canade becomes the first Steelheads player to be honoured after leading the club’s community initiatives and spearheading programs of his own.  Among his endeavours was a social media campaign in support of the team’s ‘Pink in the Rink’ for Breast Cancer Awareness efforts where he was inspired to help out a teammate whose family had been affected by Breast Cancer.  Canade personally contributed $2,500 following widespread interest generated from a post on his personal Instagram account in the form of 65,000 ‘likes’.  His donation was matched by corporate support and additional contributions resulting in a total donation of $6,000 to the Canadian Cancer Society.  Read more from the Mississauga News.

“I am extremely honoured and humbled to receive the Dan Snyder Memorial Award,” Canade said. “I share this award with my family, my teammates, my coaches and the phenomenal Mississauga Steelheads organization. Without all the support from the people I mentioned above, this award would not be possible. I am a strong believer in giving back to the community that has given so much to me over the years. Lastly, I would like to thank the OHL for not only the award but also for the opportunity to play in this outstanding league. Words cannot begin to express how much this means to me. Thank you.”

Canade’s community outreach also included leading a group of players to Credit Valley Hospital to visit sick children, plus numerous visits to local elementary schools to speak about topics of leadership, a drug-free lifestyle, the importance of education, and healthy living through sport.  He attended countless minor hockey practices serving as a guest instructor, participated in a sledge hockey game for charity, led a holiday skating event, delivered Teddy Bears collected from the team’s event to children in need, and helped with the Salvation Army kettle campaign at the mall.  Canade also showed his support for teammate Jacob Ingham’s ‘Bleed Blue’ campaign for Canadian Blood Services which generated funds and made a young fan suffering from a blood disease feel welcome during a tour of the Steelheads facility.  Canade and his family have also been active supporters of the Pinball Clemons Foundation following the club’s special ‘Pinball’ themed jersey night.

A 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., Canade was chosen by his hometown team in the 11th round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  He’s now played two full seasons for the Steelheads and was named an alternate captain for 2018-19 and went on to produce a career-high 22 points in 63 games split between forward and defence.

“The Mississauga Steelheads Hockey Club are very proud of Nicholas Canade for whom he is as a person and as a hockey player,” said Steelheads General Manager and Head Coach James Richmond. “Today we are even more proud of him for being selected as this year’s Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy recipient! Nicholas’ tremendous character rubs off on all those that are lucky enough to be around him. Our organization would like to congratulate all of the nominees throughout the OHL and would especially like to congratulate Nicholas Canade and his family on this recognition.”

Each year the OHL awards a player that has demonstrated outstanding qualities as a positive role model in the community with the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy.  The Ontario Hockey League Board of Governors announced in 2004 that the OHL Humanitarian of the Year award would be renamed in recognition of the former Owen Sound Platers captain, who was twice named his team’s Humanitarian of the Year in recognition of his tremendous efforts in supporting community activities.

Past recipients include Chris Terry and Ryan Hayes who represented the Plymouth Whalers with back-to-back awards in 2009 and 2010 respectively, before Jack Walchessen and Andrew D’Agostini of the Peterborough Petes won in 2011 and 2012.  Ben Fanelli (Kitchener 2013), Scott Simmonds (Belleville 2014), Nick Paul (North Bay 2015), and Will Petschenig (Saginaw 2016) are also among recent award recipients before Garrett McFadden of the Guelph Storm became the first player to be recognized twice in 2017 and 2018.

Canade will be formally presented with the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy at the 2019 OHL Awards Ceremony which takes place on Wednesday June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He will also be the OHL’s nominee for Humanitarian of the Year at the annual CHL Awards presented on Saturday May 25 in Halifax at the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia.

2018-19 Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy Nominees:
Barrie Colts: Jason Willms

Erie Otters: Dan Murphy

Flint Firebirds: Jack Phibbs

Guelph Storm: Isaac Ratcliffe

Hamilton Bulldogs: Isaac Nurse

Kingston Frontenacs: Matt Hotchkiss

Kitchener Rangers: Joseph Garreffa*

London Knights: Joseph Raaymakers

Mississauga Steelheads: Nicholas Canade

Niagara IceDogs: Jonathon Schaefer*

North Bay Battalion: Luke Moncada

Oshawa Generals: Allan McShane

Ottawa 67’s: Cedrick Andree

Owen Sound Attack: Trenton Bourque

Peterborough Petes: Hunter Jones

Saginaw Spirit: Damien Giroux

Sarnia Sting: Mitch Eliot

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds: Brett Jacklin

Sudbury Wolves: Emmett Serensits

Windsor Spitfires: Tyler Angle

*repeat nominee

67’s Sasha Chmelevski named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that San Jose Sharks prospect Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the playoff week ending May 5 with six points in two games including three goals and three assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Chmelevski produced a pair of multi-point performances for the 67’s who opened the Rogers OHL Championship Series with two victories over the Guelph Storm on home ice to extend their perfect post-season to a record 14 straight wins.  He earned first star honours in Game 1 on Thursday night with two goals and two assists as part of the 7-2 win, then scored the game-winner and tallied an assist in Game 2 on Saturday as the 67’s held on for the 4-3 triumph.  The 14 straight wins beats the previous playoff record of 13 consecutive won by the 2016 London Knights that capped their Robertson Cup run, and the 1988 Windsor Spitfires who were a perfect 12-0 during their championship campaign.  The 67’s will look to continue their historic streak in Game 3 set for Monday night in Guelph.

A 19-year-old from Northville, Michigan, Chmelevski is currently second in OHL playoff scoring with 27 points in just 14 games netting nine goals with 18 assists.  He’s spent almost his entire OHL tenure with the 67’s joining the club during his rookie season after being chosen by the Sarnia Sting in the first round of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  Over his 216 game career, Chmelevski has scored 102 goals and 111 assists for 213 points while being recognized for his achievements off the ice as the 2017 OHL and CHL Scholastic Player of the Year.  He would later be chosen by the Sharks in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Draft and represented Team USA with silver at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Watch video highlights of Chmelevski and the 67’s against the Storm in Game 1 and Game 2.

Also considered for the award this week was Lucas Chiodo who extended his own perfect playoff streak for the 67’s with points now in 14-straight games including a goal and three assists in the first two games of the Rogers OHL Championship Series.  On the Guelph Storm side, St. Louis Blues prospect Alexey Toropchenko has scored three goals in his last three games.  In goal, Cedrick Andree made his playoff debut in unexpected circumstances but posted the victory for the 67’s making 26 saves in relief of the injured Michael DiPietro finishing with a goals-against-average of 1.33 and save percentage of .963 in his 45 minutes of work.  He becomes the first goaltender to win a relief appearance during an OHL final while facing more than 20 shots in the last 20 years.

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Playoffs:
Apr. 29 – May 5: Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s)
Apr. 22 – Apr. 28: Dmitri Samorukov (Guelph Storm)
Apr. 15 – Apr. 21: Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)
Apr. 8 – Apr. 14: Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals)
Apr. 1 – Apr. 7: Tye Felhaber (Ottawa 67’s)
Mar. 25 – Mar. 31: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 18 – Mar. 24: Evan Bouchard (London Knights)

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 4 – Mar. 10: Greg Meireles (Kitchener Rangers)
Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm)
Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Nando Eggenberger (Oshawa Generals)
Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Riley Damiani (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters)
Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Andrew MacLean (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Brett Neumann (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Kevin Hancock (Owen Sound Attack)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Lucas Chiodo (Barrie Colts)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)

Ottawa vs Guelph: OHL Finals Preview

OHL Playoffs

The Ontario Hockey League Championship Series is set to begin as the Guelph Storm take on the Ottawa 67’s and the right to hoist the J. Ross Robertson Cup and gain a birth to the Memorial Cup, which is set to begin May 17, 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Twice I’ve picked the Storm to go down in defeat in 7 games and twice the Storm bounced back from 3-0 and 3-1 deficits against the London Knights and the Saginaw Spirit respectively. They set an OHL record winning 7 elimination games. The 67’s on the other hand are well rested, sweeping their three series to date and are a perfect 12-0 in these playoffs.

OHL Finals

Both teams are trying to win their fourth Robertson Cup. Ottawa has captured the title in 1977, 1984 and 2001. Guelph has won it all in 1988, 2004 and 2014.

This is a pretty even matchup. Guelph won one game between the two squads in regulation while Ottawa took the second game in overtime, both winning on home ice. Both teams are powerhouses at home while Ottawa holds an advantage when they are the visiting team.

Throughout the season, the Storm held the advantage in specialty teams, but it’s seen a reversal in the playoffs. The 67’s when up a man have been dominant firing at 38.9% (51.9% at home) while the Storm are at 23.5%. When down a man, the two squads are virtually identical with Guelph killing off 80.7% of the oppositions opportunities while Ottawa negates 80.4%.

If there is one area that Guelph holds a decisive advantage it is in experience. The Storm ice 3 over-agers and 12-19-year-old veterans. I would say that the 67’s hold the advantage in the crease with Micheal DiPietro, who has been to the big show at the Memorial Cup and leading his old Windsor Spitfires to a Championship in 2017.

This series is a coin flip. But I have to make a prediction and I’ll take Ottawa in 7 games. Watch the Storm prove me wrong yet again.


Game 1: Thur May 2 at Ottawa, 7:00 pm

Game 2: Sat May 4 at Ottawa, 2:00 pm

Game 3: Mon May 6 at Guelph, 7:00 pm

Game 4: Wed May 8 at Guelph, 7:00 pm

Game 5: Fri May 10 at Ottawa, 7:00 pm*

Game 6: Sun May 12 at Guelph, 2:00 pm*

Game 7: Mon May 13 at Ottawa, 7:00 pm*

*if necessary

Ottawa 67’s vs Guelph Storm: Head To Head Stats
Description Result
Head to Head Ottawa 1-1-0-0 Guelph 1-0-1-0
Last 5 Years Ottawa 7-2-1-0 Guelph 3-5-1-1
Last 5 Years record at Ottawa Ottawa 3-1-1-0 Guelph 2-2-1-0
Last 5 Years record at Guelph Ottawa 4-1-0-0 Guelph 1-3-0-1
Previous Meetings This Season Guelph 3 @ Ottawa 4 OT
Ottawa 4 @ Guelph 8 Final
How the 2 teams match up
Guelph Ottawa
Team Record 40-18-6-4 50-12-4-2
Division Ranking 2nd Midwest 1st East
Conference Ranking 4th Western 1st Eastern
League Ranking 8th 1st
Past 10 Games 8-2-0-0 6-3-1-0
Home Record 23-9-1-1 29-3-1-1
Away Record 17-9-5-3 21-9-3-1
GF 308 296
GA 230 183
PP (Overall) 25.80% 23.20%
PP (Home) 25.30% 22.90%
PP (Away) 26.40% 23.40%
PK (Overall) 79.10% 77.50%
PK (Home) 77.80% 82.70%
PK (Away) 80.30% 73.20%
PP vs. Opp. 27.30% 50%
PK vs. Opp. 50% 72.70%
Leading Rookie Collins (6-10-16) Rossi (29-36-65)
Most PIM Ratcliffe – 105 Clark – 98
Leading Scorers Schnarr (34-68-102) Felhaber (59-50-109)
Suzuki (34-60-94) Keating (22-67-89)
Ratcliffe (50-32-82) Maksimovich (35-46-81)
Hawel (37-41-78) Chiodo (29-50-79)
Entwistle (30-27-57) Chmelevski (35-40-75)
Leading After 1st 24-3-3-0 31-0-0-2
Leading After 2nd 32-1-3-1 40-0-2-2
Tied After 1st 9-4-3-4 17-3-2-0
Tied After 2nd 4-0-1-2 7-3-1-0
Trailing After 1st 7-11-0-0 2-9-2-0
Trailing After 2nd 4-17-2-1 3-9-1-0
Out Shooting Opponents 28-8-2-2 32-9-3-1
Out Shot by Opponents 11-9-4-2 13-2-1-1
1-Goal Games 10-5-6-4 12-5-4-2
2-Goal Games 4-2-0-0 10-1-0-0
3-Goal Games 8-7-0-0 13-3-0-0

Mason Millman – Saginaw Spirit – Player Profile

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 175 pounds

Date of birth: July 18, 2001

Hometown: London, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 7, 124th overall, 2017 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: NR. Mid-term: 173rd NA Skaters

For London Ontario native and Saginaw Spirits’ defender Mason Millman, not being listed on National Hockey League Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List in both the pre-season and November’s lists came as a surprise. But that was corrected on their mid-term list as he was ranked 173rd among North American skaters. Millman climbed 48 spots on Central’s Final Rankings to 125th among North American skaters. That puts him in position as a late 6th early 7th round pick at the NHL Draft in June.

Millman played his Minor Midget AAA hockey with the London Jr Knights during the 2016-2017 season, compiling 5 goals and 14 assists in 33 games. He would add a goal and 8 helpers in 11 playoff matchups, and a goal and 2 assists at 6 OHL Cup games.

Millman would play the 2017-2018 season with the St Thomas Stars of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and score 6 goals and 16 assists on 46 games. He was voted the GOJHL Most Outstanding First Year Defenceman and (Western) and to the GOJHL Rookie All-Star Team (Western). Millman would get his feet wet in the OHL playing in 6 games for the Spirit but did not register a point.

This season, Millman would play in 66 games for Saginaw and score 3 goals while adding 22 assists and finish with a plus-22. He would add 2 goals and 3 assists in 13 playoff games and finish with a plus-12 as the Spirit lost in 7 games in the Western Conference Finals.

Mason Millman of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Mason Millman of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Millman is a puck move defenceman with very good skating abilities and excellent lateral movement. In the offensive zone he makes quick, decisive decisions with a knack for pinching at the right time to keep plays alive. He sees the ice extremely well and can deliver tape-to-tape passes. He can quarterback the powerplay and shows great abilities there walking the line and playing patiently waiting for lanes to open. However, his shot from the point is weak and doesn’t always get it through. It needs some work and some of that may come as he adds some strength. His low shots on goal total (86) may speak to a lack of confidence in his shot as well. Millman finished seventh among draft eligible players in scoring.

Despite some impressive plus/minus stats in the regular season and playoffs – he was 4th among draft eligible players in the regular season, Millman’s defensive game is a work in progress, but, as basically an OHL Rookie, he did fine.

Millman’s ability to use his hockey smarts defensively is a big help. He understands his first responsibility as a defender is to look after his own zone, and he usually finds himself in the right position to defend. His skating, especially his lateral movement allows him to angle off opponents extremely well. He keeps his gaps close and has a decent reach, but would like to see a more active stick. I would also like to see him take the body more. He has the size, but the frame isn’t quite there yet.

Millman can move the puck out of the d-zone and into transition. He can skate it out of the zone but you are more likely to see him move the puck with stellar passing abilities. He picks his spots on when to jump into the play but has shown to be effective in transition.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

Storm’s Nick Suzuki Named OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki of the Guelph Storm is the 2018-19 recipient of the William Hanley Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year.

Suzuki earns the award for a record third straight season after finishing 11th in league scoring by compiling 94 points including 34 goals and 60 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-40 in 59 games played.  He recorded just 12 penalty minutes in 2018-19 which was lowest among the league’s top-14 point producers and third fewest among the league’s top-35.

“It is a huge honour to be chosen as the Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year,” says Suzuki. “To be named for the third straight year is unbelievable to me and I wouldn’t be in this position without the support of all my family and teammates.”

A 19-year-old from London, Ont., Suzuki joined the Storm in January acquired by trade from the Owen Sound Attack after representing Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.  His regular season totals in Guelph included 12 goals and 37 assists for 49 points in just 29 games with only eight minutes in penalties, bringing his four-year career figures to an impressive 328 points in 251 games with 141 goals, 187 assists, and 44 penalty minutes.  This season Suzuki was recognized in the OHL Western Conference Coaches Poll winning the Smartest Player vote, finishing second in the Best Shot category, and was picked third Best Stickhandler.  A first round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Suzuki was acquired by the Canadiens in September, 2018, as part of a trade from the Vegas Golden Knights.

“What an outstanding achievement for Nick to be recognized for three consecutive seasons as the most sportsmanlike player in the league,” said Storm General Manager and Head Coach George Burnett. “He has contributed in so many different ways to our club since coming to Guelph in early January. His results on the ice speak for themselves and his calm demeanour and outstanding leadership have provided terrific support to our group throughout our regular season and current playoff run.”

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 with players receiving five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.  The trophy is presented by the OHL to commemorate William Hanley, former Secretary-Manager of the Ontario Hockey Association for over 25 years.

Suzuki led the process with 56 voting points, just ahead of Joseph Garreffa of the Kitchener Rangers who finished in second place with 52 voting points, and Ryan McGregor of the Sarnia Sting who finished in third place with 36 voting points.  Suzuki’s younger brother, Ryan, was also among the six finalists for the award representing the Barrie Colts.

Since the award was first presented in 1961 only three other players have won the award twice including Dale McCourt (Hamilton 1976 and St. Catharines 1977), Sean Simpson (Ottawa 1979 and 1980), and Brad Boyes (Erie 2001 and 2002).  Suzuki is the second member of the Storm to be recognized following Jeff Williams in 1995-96, while Kirk Muller was the 1982-83 winner as a member of the Guelph Platers.  Current NHL talents such as Jeff Carter (Sault Ste. Marie 2005), Ryan Spooner (Peterborough 2010), Brandon Saad (Saginaw 2012), Connor McDavid (Erie 2014), Dylan Strome (Erie 2015), and Mike Amadio (North Bay 2016) are among the most recent winners.

Suzuki will be formally presented with the William Hanley Trophy at the 2018-19 OHL Awards Ceremony set for Wednesday June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Sportsman of the Year, an honour he received in 2017, to be presented in Halifax on May 25 as part of the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia.

67’s Andre Tourigny Named OHL Coach of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Andre Tourigny of the Ottawa 67’s is the 2018-19 recipient of the Matt Leyden Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Coach of the Year.

With Tourigny behind the bench the 2018-19 67’s set a new franchise record with 106 points to claim their fourth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s first place team.  They tied the franchise record of 50 wins set in 1983-84 with the league’s stingiest defence, one that surrendered just 183 goals.  The 67’s won a league-high 29 games on home ice including a string of 14 straight from December 28 to March 3. The 29 home wins are also the most by the club since 1982-83.

“It’s a tremendous honour that I share with all of our coaches (Mario, Norm, Charles, Derek, Evan, Kyle, Sean, Gordon, Marc, and Andrew) and our players,” Tourigny said. “I believe it reflects upon the environment our team provides to our players. Thanks to our owners, along with management staff James and Jan, we have the opportunity to work in a fantastic environment.”

Tourigny joined the 67’s as Head Coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations prior to the franchise’s 50th anniversary season in 2017-18.  The 44-year-old Nicolet, Quebec, native became the ninth coach in 67’s history with an impressive track record behind the bench primarily in the QMJHL where his career began as an Assistant Coach with the Shawinigan Cataractes in 1998.  He joined the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies as Head Coach and General Manager in 2002 where he spent 11 seasons and set a QMJHL record for most games coached with one franchise at 693 and earned Coach of the Year honours in 2005-06.  He moved up to the NHL ranks and spent two seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-15, then one season with the Ottawa Senators in 2015-16.  He returned to the QMJHL for one season as Head Coach of the Halifax Mooseheads in 2016-17 before returning to the nation’s capital.

“Andre’s caring approach and tireless work ethic have resulted in every player on our team taking positive steps forward this season both on and off the ice,” said 67’s General Manager James Boyd. “Andre’s leadership and collaborative spirit have had a positive effect throughout our organization and for these reasons he is most deserving of the OHL Coach of the Year award.”

The Matt Leyden Trophy has been awarded annually to the OHL’s Coach of the Year as selected by his peers since 1972.  The award is in recognition of the contributions of Matt Leyden, past President of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1965-67, and former manager of the Oshawa Generals who spent more than 50 years with the team.

In a first round of balloting, teams vote for the top coaches within their own conference. The top three nominees from both the Eastern and Western conferences are declared finalists. A second round of voting is then conducted on a league wide basis where teams vote for any of the six finalists. At no time during the voting can a team select their own candidate. Coaches receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Tourigny led the voting process with 71 out of a possible 95 points ahead of runner-up Cory Stillman of the Sudbury Wolves who received 26 voting points, and Dale Hunter of the London Knights who finished in third place with 24 voting points.

He becomes the first 67’s recipient since the legendary Brian Kilrea who holds the league record with five Coach of the Year honours winning in 1981, 1982, 1996, 1997, and 2003.  Kilrea is one of 10 coaches who have won the award multiple times along with Bert Templeton, Terry Crisp, George Burnett, Craig Hartsburg, Peter DeBoer, Gary Agnew, Bob Boughner, Dale Hunter, and Mike Vellucci.  The five most recent recipients include Drew Bannister of the Soo Greyhounds in 2018, Ryan McGill of the Owen Sound Attack in 2017, Kris Knoblauch of the Erie Otters in 2016, Sheldon Keefe of the Soo Greyhounds in 2015, and D.J Smith of the Oshawa Generals in 2014.

The Matt Leyden Trophy will be formally presented to Tourigny at the 2018-19 OHL Awards Ceremony taking place on Wednesday June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year to be announced on Saturday May 25 in Halifax as part of the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia.