CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Oceanic’s Alexis Lafreniere named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic is the CHL Player of the Week for the regular season week ending February 10 with eight points in two games including five goals and three assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-6.

Lafreniere recorded consecutive four-point outings in a pair of games last week to help push the Oceanic’s win streak to 11 games and improve to a 36-14-3-0 record for second place in the QMJHL’s East Division.  His week began Wednesday with a hat-trick plus one assist and first star honours in a 5-4 victory over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.  The 2020 NHL Draft hopeful then followed up that performance two nights later with two goals and two assists in a 4-0 win against the Shawinigan Cataractes en route to another first star recognition at the outdoor Winter Classic.  This marks the first time this season in which Lafreniere has been named the CHL Player of the Week, and the first member from the Oceanic to do so this year.

A 17-year-old from St-Eustache, Que., Lafreniere is starring in his second career season.  The first-overall selection in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft, Lafreniere leads the Oceanic in scoring with 32 goals and 55 assists for 87 points in 47 games.  He finished last season with 80 points in 60 appearances and was named CHL Rookie of the Year.

Also considered for the award this week was 2019 NHL Draft prospect Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs with eight points in three games, including four goals and four assists, and Montreal Canadiens prospect Cole Fonstad of the Prince Albert Raiders after scoring five goals and three assists for eight points in three games.

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic)

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Samuel Asselin (Halifax Mooseheads)

Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Ethan Crossman (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants)

Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters)

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Gregor MacLeod (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Peter Abbandonato (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks)

Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Dawson Davidson (Saskatoon Blades)

Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Tigers’ Mads Sogaard named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that 2019 NHL Draft prospect Mads Sogaard of the Medicine Hat Tigers is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending February 10 with a 3-0-0-0 record including one shutout with a goals-against average of 1.30 and save percentage of .960.

Sogaard claims the honour for the second time this season after turning aside 96 shots in three games last week to help the Tigers improve to 31-18-3-2 on the season.  Against the Kootenay ICE on Wednesday, Sogaard stopped 23 shots in an eventual 6-3 victory.  Two nights later, Sogaard received first star honours following his 41-save performance against the Everett Silvertips to earn his third shutout of the season in a 1-0 win.  He then wrapped up the week Sunday with 32 saves against the Portland Winterhawks en route to a 2-1 victory and back-to-back first star honours.

The 18-year-old Danish netminder is competing in his first season in the Western Hockey League after being selected 32nd overall by the Tigers in the 2018 CHL Import Draft.  In 27 games this season, the rookie has notched a 15-4-2 record alongside a .935 save percentage and 2.19 goals-against average.  Sogaard was listed third among North American goaltenders in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the 2019 NHL Draft.

Also considered for the award this week was Tristan Cote-Cazenave of the Victoriaville Tigres who posted a 2-0-1-0 record, including back-to-back shutouts for a goals-against average of 1.33 and save percentage of .960.  In the OHL, Los Angeles Kings prospect Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads went 3-0-0-0, stopping 86 shots for a goals-against average of 1.26 and save percentage of .956.

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:

Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Mads Sogaard (Medicine Tigers)

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Jet Greaves (Barrie Colts)

Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Ivan Prosvetov (Saginaw Spirit)

Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Mads Sogaard (Medicine Hat Tigers)

Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)

Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Kyle Jessiman (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights)

Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Emile Samson (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)

Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

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Ethan Keppen – Flint Firebirds – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 214 pounds

Date of birth: March 20, 2001

Hometown: Whitby, Ontario

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 10th overall, 2017 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Preseason, November: C Prospect, Mid-term 110th North America

By now, any follower of the Ontario Hockey League is aware of the turmoil that has surrounded the Flint Firebirds over the past couple of seasons. But the future in Flint is looking brighter and the fact that they have 4 players that are likely to be selected at the 2019 National Hockey League Draft in June is a testament to the work the front office has done. The list includes Vladislav Kolyachonok, Eric Uba, Luke Cavallin and the subject of today’s profile, Ethan Keppen.

The Native of Whitby Ontario played his minor midget AAA with the Toronto Nationals during the 2016-2017 season where he amassed 14 goals and 21 assists in 33 games. But it was at the Nationals’ run at the OHL Cup where Keppen had his coming out party. He led the Nationals in scoring and finished second in the tournament on 3 goals and 8 helpers in 8 games.

Ethan Keppen of the Flint Firebirds Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Ethan Keppen of the Flint Firebirds Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

The scouting report from OHL Central Scouting read as follows:

Ethan is a prototypical power forward. He has very good size with a powerful stride that allows him to reach top speed quickly. He goes up and down his wing crashing and banging into everything. Ethan creates room for his linemates and goes to the net hard for rebounds and loose pucks. He is a complete player that takes care of his own end and is relied on in all key situations. There isn’t a hit that he turns away from. He competes hard for loose pucks and forechecks hard.

Keppen broke onto the OHL scene last season with the Firebirds and scored 10 goals while adding 8 assists in 63 contests. Again, if you are aware of what the situation in Flint has been like, it wasn’t an ideal situation. But 2018-2019 has been a different story.

To date, Keppen has 24 goals and 23 assists in 55 games. He sits second on the team in goals, powerplay goals, assists, third in points and leads the team in shots on goal.

Since the calendar flipped to 2001 however, few players in the OHL have been racking up points at the pace Keppen has. Through 17 games, Keppen has points in 16, goals in 12 and has totaled 14 goals and 8 assists in those contests while firing 71 shots on goal, good for a 19.7 shooting percentage. That’s well above his season average 14.5 shooting percentage. He holds the longest point streak among draft eligible players at 10 games and the longest and active goal-scoring streak among draft eligible players at 5 games.

There’s not much to add to OHL Central Scouting’s description of Keppen except to give you a little more detail.

Keppen is a true power forward that won’t beat defenders with finesse, but rather to blow through them at any given opportunity. He’s as strong as an ox already and is just going to get stronger as he physically matures. His style alone opens up space for himself and his teammates. He’s willing to drive to the goal with and without the puck. He is extremely good on the forecheck and rarely loses a puck battle. When combined with his relentless work ethic, he is quite simply a physical beast.

His skating stride is long and powerful and he does cover a lot of ice with those long strides. His speed is okay, but I wonder just how fast he could be if he worked on his technique. Keppen more often then not stands upright when he reaches top speed. But with the quality of skating coaches available to players these days, I have no worries that the kinks will get worked out and that coaches will find the technique that works best for him.

First and foremost, Keppen is considered a goal scorer. But I think his playmaking abilities are underrated. Of his 23 assists to date this season, 18 of them are primary assists, third only to Arthur Kaliyev (20) and Philip Tomasino (21) and tied with Ryan Suzuki among draft eligible players. His primary assists to assists (78.2%) is second among all players next to fellow draft eligible Connor McMichael (82.7%).

Keppen won’t beat a goaltender with a deceptively quick release on his shot. Instead, it’s hard, heavy and deadly accurate and he can quite simply overpower a netminder. Hard to predict how that will translate to the next level, but it’s also hard to predict just how much heavier that shot will become when he matures physically.

Not easy to predict where Keppen will end up going at the 2019 Draft. When you consider Europeans and goaltenders, NHL Central Scouting has him as a late third to early fourth in their rankings. Today, I’d say he has to get consideration as an early third rounder.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

Steelheads’ Jacob Ingham named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Los Angeles Kings prospect Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending February 10 posting a 3-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.26 and save percentage of .956.

Ingham turned aside 86 shots in 190 minutes of action and was a perfect 6-for-6 in shootout attempts last week between-the-pipes for the Steelheads who improve their Eastern Conference record to 26-21-5-1 and stand alone in fifth place.  On Thursday night Ingham made 29 saves and earned first star honours in a 3-1 road win over the Central Division leading Niagara IceDogs.  He played his way to first star recognition one night later making 30 saves in another win against first place talent edging the East Division leading Ottawa 67’s by a 2-1 score in the shootout.  His week wrapped up Sunday with a 27-save performance and second star honours in a 3-2 shootout win over the Windsor Spitfires.  It marked the second straight game where Ingham along with forward Cole Carter stole the show on home ice in the shootout with the netminder denying all three attempts and the captain scoring the winning goal.

An 18-year-old from Barrie, Ont., Ingham is playing in his third season with the Steelheads who chose him in the second round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  His personal record this season stands at 22-19-2-1 including one shutout victory playing a league-high 2,617 minutes.  His goals-against-average of 3.23 and save percentage of .896 in 44 appearances are improvements over the 3.65 and .880 marks he recorded over 43 games last season.  The sixth round pick of the Kings in the 2018 NHL Draft is now the fourth goaltender to receive the award this season.

Watch video highlights of Ingham and the Steelheads against the IceDogs, 67’s, and Spitfires.

Four players produced eight points offensively competing in three games each to receive award consideration.  NHL Draft prospect Arthur Kaliyev and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Matthew Strome both of the Hamilton Bulldogs had a matching four goals and four assists, while Dallas Stars prospect Liam Hawel of the Guelph Storm had three goals and five assists, and Flyers prospect Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds scored twice with six assists.

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

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)

Graeme Clarke – Ottawa 67’s – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 172 pounds

Date of birth: April 24, 2001

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 6th overall, 2017 Priority Selections

NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November; B prospect, Mid-term; 56th North America

Ottawa 67s’ right winger Graeme Clarke played his Minor Midget AAA with the Toronto Marlboros during the 2016-2017 scoring 82 goals and 54 assists in 51 games. Scoring has always been his forte; he combined for 67 goals in 35 regular season and playoff games in Bantam AAA with the Ottawa Senators.

Clarke’s offensive prowess also came to the forefront during some well watched showcases. In 2016-2017 at the OHL Cup, Clarke scored 6 goals while adding a helper in 5 games. He also appeared in the OHL Gold Cup where he scored 3 goals and 2 assists in 5 games. He also represented the East Coast Selects Under-15 at the World Selects Invite where he scored 10 goals and 4 assists in 7 games.

The scouting report from OHL Central Scouting was complimentary:

Graeme is a goal scorer. He possesses one of the better shots in this year’s class. It is very accurate, has pace and he seems to be able to get it off from anywhere and at any time on the ice. He is a very good skater when at full stride and should improve as he gets stronger. He is very creative with the puck and has good offensive instincts as the puck always seems to find him on the ice. He is a smart offensive player that doesn’t put himself in bad positions.

Last season, Clarke made his OHL debut with the 67’s appearing in all but 5 games and scored 14 goals to go along with 11 assists. He would represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 and notch 2 goals and 4 assists in 6 games. Later that summer, he would represent Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he would score twice and add an assist in 5 games.

Graeme Clarke of the Ottawa 67''s. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Graeme Clarke of the Ottawa 67”s. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Too date this season, Clarke has appeared in 39 games (he’s missed 13 games with a dislocated shoulder) and has scored 17 goals and 7 assists on a very deep 67’s roster that has made some major additions and poised to make a serious run at an OHL Championship and Memorial Cup. Despite missing those 13 contests he is tied for 6th among 67’s in goals and fourth in powerplay goals.

I think Clarke’s skating sometimes gets an unfair shake in the scouting community. It’s the same debate I had about Jason Robertson during his draft year. It is in some cases described as having a laziness to his effort. But my opinion is that he is such an intelligent player that he is able to slip into seams and high scoring areas without expending a lot of energy. And once he gets there, he is able to fire off a lethal shot. To these eyes, those are two big reasons why he is scoring at a 20.9% rate.

I am often asked who has the better shot/release: Clarke or Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs. I think you could flip a coin.

Clarke has superb puck handling ability. In tight, he can dangle with the best of them. On the rush, he handles it with ease. What he lacks is a separation gear, but skating is an area he has worked on hard and will continue to work on and improve. He also has an ability to slow the play down with the puck on his stick. While he is a goal scorer first, he has excellent vision and can slow the play down with possession to give his teammates time to find space and deliver a good pass on the forehand and backhand.

Clarke is most dangerous on the powerplay where there is more time and space. 40% of his offensive production comes with the man advantage. But we think there is more to be seen five-on-five where he doesn’t always get the top offensive duties on such a deep Ottawa lineup.

There has also been a bit of an evolution to Clarke’s game. He is more willing to drive to the net. He is more engaged on the forecheck. Despite needing to add some muscle, he is more willing to engage physically. And he has put the necessary work into being a better defensive player and with his play without the puck.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

 

Billy Constantinou – Kingston Frontenacs – Player Profile

Height: 6’

Weight: 185 pounds

Date of birth: March 25th, 2001

Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 2, 36th overall, 2017 Priority Selection (Niagara IceDogs)

NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: B Prospect. Mid-term, 54th North America

Billy Constantinou played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2016-2017 season for the Toronto Marlboros before he got a look with the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. The blue-liner appeared in 33 games for the Marlboros, scoring 3 goals and 16 assists. His brief stint with the Tigers had him score 2 goals in the OJHL.

The Niagara IceDogs would use their second-round pick, 36th overall to select Constantinou at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

The 2017-2018 season was Constantinou’s first in the OHL and the IceDogs’ rookie defencemen had a good year notching 3 goals and 9 assists in 45 contests.

Billy Constantinou of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Billy Constantinou was traded to the Kingston Frontenacs on November 20, 2018. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

This season was turning out to be a breakout year for Constantinou. In 22 games to start the year, the rearguard was off to a great start with 4 goals and 11 assists and an impressive plus-12. In fact, by the end of November, the defenceman scoring race among draft eligible players was a two-horse race between Constantinou and Mississauga Steelheads, Thomas Harley. He was a model of consistency, going pointless back-to-back just twice in his time with the IceDogs.

On November 20, 2018 everything changed. The IceDogs were preparing to make a Memorial Cup run and Constantinou was traded along with Ian Martin and 11 draft picks for Jason Robertson and Jacob Paquette. Transitioning from a championship favorite to a rebuilding Kingston Frontenacs has definitely put a damper on his offensive production.

Through 27 games with the Fronts, Constantinou has managed 2 goals and 8 assists and a minus-34. The obvious question now becomes: Is the real Bill Constantinou the one we saw in Niagara or the one currently in Kingston? Or is he somewhere in between?

Everything about Constantinou’s skating is excellent, except that maybe he could add a step in his first couple strides. If his edgework, lateral movement, backwards skating and overall agility isn’t the best in the draft class, it’s definitely top-2. When carrying the puck, it allows him to slice through opponents almost at will.

Offensively, Constantinou has shown in his time with Niagara that he can play with a talented roster around him. His skating and high hockey IQ allows him to join in the rush. His excellent vision allows him to be a set up guy from the point. He can see and find even the smallest of lanes. His ability to move laterally and control the offensive blue line makes him an excellent powerplay quarterback.

Defensively, I don’t want to say the move to Kingston has exposed a flaw in his game. The horses aren’t there in Kingston and what it has done is forced him to play more on the defensive side of the puck. His gap control is very good. He recognizes the need and has the ability to keep players to the outside. Once he adds more muscle, he will become more adept at winning battles along the wall and in front of the paint. His strength has been and always will be the transition game with an excellent ability to clear his zone with an excellent first pass or to take care of business himself and skate out of danger.

Ask anyone who watches him play and the word that is most often spoken about Consantinou is “confidence”. That goes a long way to becoming successful.  

Stat page at Elite Prospects

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week twenty edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2018-19 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 20:

Rank: Team: Last Week Rank: Number of Weeks Ranked:
1 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (44-7-0-1) 2 17
2 Prince Albert Raiders (43-7-0-2) 1 18
3 London Knights (36-7-5-1) 3 16
4 Ottawa 67’s (38-9-3-1) 4 17
5 Drummondville Voltigeurs (37-10-2-0) 6 15
6 Baie-Comeau Drakkar (37-10-2-1) 5 18
7 Everett Silvertips (37-12-1-1) 7 11
8 Halifax Mooseheads (36-11-2-1) 8 20
9 Rimouski Oceanic (34-14-3-0) 4
10 Niagara IceDogs (32-11-7-0) 10 10
Honourable Mention:
Vancouver Giants (34-13-2-1) 13
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (33-11-5-1) 9 6
Saskatoon Blades (31-13-8-0) 1

Kia CHL Top 10

OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Minor Midget Top-10 Rankings

Toronto Marlboros become third team to officially qualify

OHL Cup
Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the twelfth edition of the weekly minor midget rankings for the 2019 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament powered by Under Armour and hosted by the Greater Toronto Hockey League.

The 2019 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour and hosted by the GTHL is scheduled for March 12-18 and will feature 20 teams from across Ontario and the United States showcasing many of the top players eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.  All games will be played at Scotiabank Pond in Toronto until the Championship Final moves to the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Monday March 18 where it will be broadcasted nationally on Sportsnet.

The weekly rankings are determined by a panel of OHL Central Scouting staff and represent the top teams that are competing to play in the annual year-end championship tournament.

Minor Midget Rankings for the 2018 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour – Week 12

RANK TEAM LEAGUE LAST WEEK WEEKS RANKED
1 Don Mills Flyers* GTHL 1 12
2 Toronto Young Nationals* GTHL 3 12
3 Toronto Marlboros* GTHL 2 12
4 Whitby Wildcats OMHA 4 12
5 Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves NOHA 6 12
6 Toronto Red Wings GTHL 5 12
7 Kitchener Jr. Rangers ALLIANCE 8 9
8 Mississauga Rebels GTHL 9 10
9 York-Simcoe Express OMHA 10 8
10 North Central Predators OMHA 7 12
Honourable Mention
Guelph Gryphons OMHA
London Jr. Knights ALLIANCE
Brantford 99ers ALLIANCE 7
Halton Hurricanes OMHA

*officially qualified for 2019 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament powered by Under Armour

The Don Mills Flyers continue to lead the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Top 10 in Week 12 while the Toronto Young Nationals rise one spot to number two on the list. The third-ranked Toronto Marlboros are the latest team to clinch an OHL Cup berth, reaching the GTHL Semi-Finals with a 9-1 series triumph over the Mississauga Senators. The Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves, Kitchener Jr. Rangers, Mississauga Rebels and York-Simcoe Express are also on the rise while the Guelph Gryphons make their season debut in the honourable mention category.

Tournament Structure:
15 of the 20 spots in the 2019 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour are guaranteed through league competition.  The 15 guaranteed spots continue to include all four GTHL Semi-Finalists, and the top four teams that place at the OMHA Championship.  Three teams from the ALLIANCE will still be guaranteed a spot in the tournament including the Champion and Finalist, along with the winner of a best-of-three Semi-Final Wild Card Series to be played between the losers of the two league Semi-Finals.  Also as in past years, two tournament entries are reserved for United States competition, while both an HNO and NOHA representative will also compete.  This season there will not be a representative from HEO.

Wild Card Games:

The final five entries at the 2019 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour will be Wild Cards determined among 10 teams that will play a one game ‘win and in’ scenario.  The 10 competing teams aiming for the final five tournament spots will continue to include the fifth place team at the OMHA Championship, and the loser of the ALLIANCE Semi-Final Wild Card Series.  As introduced in 2016, two spots in Wild Card games will be reserved for GTHL teams.  The two competing GTHL teams will be determined through a pair of Wild Card Play-In Series matchups involving the four GTHL teams who qualified for the playoffs but lost in the first round.  As introduced in 2017, one spot in a Wild Card will also be reserved for the winner of an OMHA SCTA Consolation Game that features both teams who lost in the SCTA Tournament Semi-Final.  The OMHA teams eligible for this matchup will be determined annually based on the league not hosting the OMHA Championship.  Finally, the five remaining teams who will compete in the Wild Card matchups will be named by the Tournament Selection Committee.  The Committee will evaluate and review a team’s post-season success as the first criteria for selection, with additional criteria to include regular season play and tournament play.  All five Wild Card games will take place on Tuesday March 12 with specific matchups and times of play to be determined by random draw among the eight competing teams in advance of the event.

History:

Last season the Toronto Jr. Canadiens were crowned OHL Cup Champions, capturing the annual Minor Midget showcase for the first time since 2008 with a 5-1 victory over the Vaughan Kings. Current Oshawa Generals forward Dylan Robinson finished second in event scoring with 11 points (6-5–11) over seven games, earning the Tim Adams Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP.

The 2018 OHL Priority Selection featured 17 players chosen in the first round who competed for the OHL Cup including Quinton Byfield (York-Simcoe Express – 1st overall Sudbury Wolves), Evan Vierling (York-Simcoe Express – 2nd overall Flint Firebirds), Will Cuylle (Toronto Marlboros – 3rd overall Peterborough Petes), Jamie Drysdale (Toronto Marlboros – 4th overall Erie Otters), Cole Perfetti (Vaughan Kings – 5th overall Saginaw Spirit), Cameron Tolnai (Oakville Rangers – 6th overall Ottawa 67’s), Daniil Chayka (Toronto Jr. Canadiens – 7th overall Guelph Storm), James Hardie (Barrie Colts – 8th overall Mississauga Steelheads), Pacey Schlueting (Team NOHA – 9th overall North Bay Battalion), Ty Tullio (Vaughan Kings – 11th overall Oshawa Generals), Lleyton Moore (Toronto Marlboros – 12th overall Niagara IceDogs), Jake Murray (Oakville Rangers – 13th overall Kingston Frontenacs), Luke Evangelista (Oakville Rangers – 14th overall London Knights), Riley Piercey (Toronto Marlboros – 16th overall Barrie Colts), Reid Valade (Toronto Marlboros – 17th overall Kitchener Rangers), Logan Morrison (Guelph Gryphons – 18th overall Hamilton Bulldogs), Ryan O’Rourke (Vaughan Kings – 20th overall Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds).

Notable OHL Cup graduates currently playing in the NHL include Robby Fabbri (Mississauga Rebels/St. Louis Blues), Travis Konecny (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs/Philadelphia Flyers), Mitch Marner (Vaughan Kings/Toronto Maple Leafs), Connor McDavid (Toronto Marlboros/Edmonton Oilers), Max Domi (Don Mills Flyers/Montreal Canadiens), Sean Monahan (Mississauga Rebels/Calgary Flames), Taylor Hall (Greater Kingston Frontenacs/New Jersey Devils), Tyler Seguin (Toronto Nationals/Dallas Stars), John Tavares (Toronto Marlboros/Toronto Maple Leafs), P.K Subban (Markham Islanders/Nashville Predators), and Steven Stamkos (Markham Waxers/Tampa Bay Lightning).

2019 marks the third season of a three-year partnership between the OHL and GTHL with Under Armour that includes title sponsorship of the OHL Cup Showcase Tournament.  The OHL and GTHL are also in the third season of a five-year partnership extension announced in 2017 that ensures the event will continue to be hosted by the GTHL through 2021.

For more information, please visit ohlcup.ca.

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Mooseheads’ Samuel Asselin named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Samuel Asselin of the Halifax Mooseheads is the CHL Player of the Week for the regular season week ending February 3 with 11 points in three games including six goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-12.

Asselin recorded two multi-goal efforts in a pair of games last week to help push the Mooseheads’ win streak to three games and improve to a 36-11-2-1 record atop the QMJHL’s Maritimes Division. His week began Thursday with a four-point showing, including two goals and two assists, and second star honours in a 7-5 win over the Victoriaville Tigres. The 2018 Memorial Cup champion then followed up that performance Saturday with a five-point night, including his second career hat-trick and two assists, in an 8-2 victory against the Sherbrooke Phoenix en route to first star recognition. He then closed out the week Sunday adding one goal and one assist in a 4-2 win over the Moncton Wildcats and was named the game’s third star. Asselin is the first member of the Mooseheads to be recognized as the CHL Player of the Week this season.

A 20-year-old from L’Assomption, Que., Asselin is playing in his fourth career season. The Mooseheads acquired Asselin from the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in a September trade. He’s tallied a league-leading 40 goals and 29 assists with Halifax this season. During last year’s playoff championship run, Asselin scored three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 20 games.

Also considered for the award this week was Dallas Stars prospect Riley Damiani of the Kitchener Rangers with nine points in three games, including four goals and five assists, and Minnesota Wild prospect Conor Dewar of the Everett Silvertips after scoring four goals and four assists for eight points in two games.

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Samuel Asselin (Halifax Mooseheads)

Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Ethan Crossman (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants)

Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters)

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Gregor MacLeod (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Peter Abbandonato (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks)

Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Dawson Davidson (Saskatoon Blades)

Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Colts’ Jet Greaves named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that rookie Jet Greaves of the Barrie Colts is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending February 3 with a 1-0-0-1 record and a goals-against average of 1.45 and save percentage of .971.

Greaves claims the honour for the first time this season after stopping 100 shots in two games last week in back-to-back 50-save efforts to help the Colts improve to 21-25-2-1 on the season. Against the London Knights on Friday, Greaves turned aside 50 shots, including 21 saves in the opening frame, before being named second star of the eventual 3-2 shootout loss. The following night, Greaves received first star honours for his 50 saves in a 3-1 win over the Mississauga Steelheads.

A 17-year-old from Cambridge, Ont., Greaves was chosen by the Colts in the third round of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. In his OHL rookie season, Greaves has notched a 5-6-1 record alongside a 2.81 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in 16 games.

Also considered for the award this week was Tristan Cote-Cazenave of the Victoriaville Tigres who posted a 1-1-0-0 record, stopping a total of 71 shots for a goals-against average of 2.40 and save percentage of .934. In the WHL, Reece Klassen of the Spokane Chiefs went 1-0-0-1 with a shutout victory, stopping 34 shots in total for a goals-against average of 0.71 and save percentage of .971.

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Jet Greaves (Barrie Colts)

Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Ivan Prosvetov (Saginaw Spirit)

Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Mads Sogaard (Medicine Hat Tigers)

Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)

Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Kyle Jessiman (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights)

Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Emile Samson (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)

Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

OHL Announces Academic Players of the Month for January

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the OHL Academic Players of the Month for January 2019, including forwards Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Peter Fleming of the Barrie Colts, Alex Gritz of the Erie Otters and Ethan Keppen of the Flint Firebirds.

East Division: Hamilton Bulldogs rookie Logan Morrison is the OHL East Division Academic Player of the Month for January, recording an average in the 80’s across the board in his Grade 11 studies at Ancaster High School. Morrison is currently studying university level International Business, Recreation & Healthy Active Living Leadership and Challenge and Change programs as a 16-year-old in his first OHL season. “Logan puts the ‘student’ in student-athlete,” said Bulldogs academic advisor Sean Nicholson. “He is always on time with his assignments and never falls behind in his studies, even with a busy schedule in the OHL.” A native of Guelph, Ont., Morrison has 18 points (6-12–18) through 30 games this season after being Hamilton’s first round pick last spring from the Guelph Gryphons Minor Midgets.

Central Division: Barrie Colts rookie Peter Fleming is the OHL Central Division Academic Player of the Month for January, maintaining an 84% average in his Grade 12 studies. “Peter’s plan is to attend university and complete an engineering degree,” said Colts academic advisor Chris Cudmore. “He’s currently excelling in university level biology, physics and co-op programs and is looking forward to second semester challenges in chemistry and math.” On the ice, Fleming has four points (2-2–4) through 39 games this season. The 6-foot-2, 167Ib winger was Barrie’s sixth round pick in 2017. He spent last season with the St. Thomas Stars Jr. B club.

Midwest Division: Erie Otters winger Alex Gritz is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for January, carrying a 93% average through studies at Seneca Valley High School. He’s currently studying Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry, Modern Humanities, Consumer Decisions, Physical Education, French, Health and Personal Finance. “Alex is an extremely motivated young man working diligently every day to balance his academics with his hockey commitments,” said Otters academic advisor Jaime Cieszynski. Now in his third OHL season, Gritz has recorded 18 points (7-11–18) through 42 games in 2018-19. The native of Cranberry Township, Penn. was originally a third round pick of the Soo Greyhounds in 2016 from the Waterloo Wolves Minor Midgets.

West Division: Flint Firebirds winger Ethan Keppen is the OHL West Division Academic Player of the Month for January, achieving high grades in Grade 12 Advanced Sports Skills, Accounting/Finance, Life Management and Foundations of College Mathematics programs at Grand Blanc High School. “Ethan is a leader inside and outside of the classroom,” said Firebirds academic advisor Nathan Riek. “He is a mature young man and is well-liked and respected by his classmates and teachers.” The 17-year-old from Whitby, Ont. has 40 points (20-20–40) over 52 games this season. Keppen had a productive month of January, one that included a 10-game point streak and 12 points (7-5–12) in as many games. Flint’s first round pick in 2017, Keppen is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.

2018-19 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
January – Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs)
December – Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
November – Will Cranley (Ottawa 67’s)
October – Nick Wong (Oshawa Generals)

Central Division:
January – Peter Fleming (Barrie Colts)
December – Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads)
November – Peter Stratis (Sudbury Wolves)
October – Jonah De Simone (Niagara IceDogs)

Midwest Division:
January – Alex Gritz (Erie Otters)
December – Mack Guzda (Owen Sound Attack)
November – Gerard Keane (London Knights)
October – Isaac Langdon (Kitchener Rangers)

West Division:
January – Ethan Keppen (Flint Firebirds)
December – Jordan Frasca (Windsor Spitfires)
November – Cole MacKay (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
October – Colton Kammerer (Sarnia Sting)

Last season, the OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 321 OHL Alumni at 66 different academic institutions across North America with a total scholarship payment in excess of $3.2 million. Since the 2007-08 season, OHL Scholarship payments have totaled more than $22 million.

Click here for more information about ‘OHL Players First’ programs.

Rangers’ Riley Damiani named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Dallas Stars prospect Riley Damiani of the Kitchener Rangers is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending February 3 with nine points in three games scoring four goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-8.

Damiani led the league in scoring last week while helping the Rangers earn four of a possible six points as they jostle for position in the Western Conference standings.  The highlight of his week was back-to-back four point performances in a home-and-home set with the Owen Sound Attack.  He recorded two goals and two assists as first star of Wednesday’s 7-4 road win, followed by a goal with a trio of assists to drive Rickard Hugg’s hat-trick earning second star in Friday’s 6-1 victory at home.  On Saturday Damiani scored his 20th goal of the season, a new career-high, despite a 4-2 loss to the London Knights.  The Rangers currently occupy the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoff race with a 23-23-3-0 record just two points behind the Sarnia Sting for sixth, and three points ahead of the Windsor Spitfires who are in eighth.

An 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., Damiani is playing in his third season with the Rangers who chose him in the second round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  He’s currently second on the team in scoring with 57 points in 39 games which exceeds his point total from a year ago by 20.  Damiani finished an impressive month with points in 10 of his 12 games to start 2019 including a career-high five assists on January 18.  He was selected by the Stars in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of Damiani and the Rangers against the Attack on the road, at home, and against the Knights.

Also considered for the award this week was Colorado Avalanche prospect Brandon Saigeon of the Oshawa Generals with four goals and four assists for eight points in three games, and rookie Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s with three goals and five assists for eight points in three games.  In goal, rookie Jet Greaves of the Barrie Colts stopped 100 shots in two games posting a 1-0-0-1 record for an overall goals-against-average of 1.45 and save percentage of .971.

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

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)