67’s’ ADAM VARGA NAMED OHL’s TOP ACADEMIC POST-SECONDARY STUDENT

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to announce that Ottawa 67’s forward Adam Varga is the 2020-21 recipient of the Roger Neilson Memorial Award presented annually to the League’s Top Academic Post-Secondary Student.

Varga achieved an impressive 94% average over seven courses at the University of Maryland, excelling in Academic Writing II (100%), Marketing Principles (99%), Organizational Leadership (97%), Academic Writing I (95%), Principles of Macroeconomics (94%), Principles of Microeconomics (93%) and Principles of Accounting (84%).

“It is a huge honour to receive the Roger Neilson Memorial Award,” said Varga. “My family is at the core of my academic success as they have taught me the importance of continuing my education. The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, James Boyd, Jan Egert, and Eileen Duffin have helped me tremendously with all of the support they have given me to succeed. My coaches and teammates have also contributed to this accomplishment as they push me to become a better version of myself on the ice and in the classroom. I am truly grateful to be a part of the Ottawa 67’s organization and look forward to seeing everyone back at TD Place.”

A 19-year-old native of Bel Air, Maryland, Varga appeared in 56 games between the 67’s and Mississauga Steelheads during the 2019-20 season, recording seven goals and four assists for 11 points. A former seventh round (121st overall) pick of the Steelheads in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, Varga has played in 165 career OHL regular season games, registering 33 points (14-19–33) along the way.

“This year was extremely challenging and is unlike anything that I have ever experienced,” Varga continued. “Not being able to play a season this year was extremely heart-breaking. It has been over a year since our last game played in March of 2020. All of this extra time gave me an opportunity to focus on my education. With the support of OSEG and the 67’s, I was able to take more courses than I normally would during a demanding OHL season. I took advantage of this opportunity and received high marks. Although this year has been difficult, it helped me grow as a person.”

2020 Jim Gregory OHL General Manager of the Year Award recipient James Boyd had high praise for Varga, who persevered through a year of uncertainty.

“Adam is a conscientious student who has fully dedicated himself to the continuation of his studies at the University of Maryland while playing in the OHL,” Boyd stated. “His proactive and diligent approach over the past year has been admirable. The 67’s are extremely proud of Adam being awarded this most prestigious League honour.”

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. Varga becomes the third 67’s player to receive the honour following back-to-back recipient Danny Battochio (2005, 2006) while joining Sasha Chmelevski (2019) as the second American-born player to have his name engraved on the trophy.

Finalists for the Roger Neilson Memorial Award include Brendan Kischnick of the Erie Otters and Eric Uba of the Guelph Storm.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

61 OHL PLAYERS INCLUDED ON FINAL 2021 NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING DRAFT RANKINGS

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to recognize 61 players included on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings for the 2021 NHL Draft to be held on July 23-24.

A total of 55 players on Central Scouting’s North American rankings in addition to six from the International list combine to include 37 forwards, 19 defencemen and five goaltenders, all of whom have played at least one game in the Ontario Hockey League. An additional 13 players who had committed for the 2020-21 season, but who have yet to play in an OHL game were also listed.

Peterborough Petes centre and recent IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship gold medalist Mason McTavish comes in as the second-ranked North American skater on the list. The 18-year-old from Carp, Ont. scored 29 goals and added 13 assists, finishing with 42 points in 57 games as a rookie with the Petes in 2019-20. McTavish wore an ‘A’ for Canada at the U18 Worlds, finishing with 11 points (5-6–11) over seven games.

“McTavish is that coveted skilled power centre who is capable of making a difference in any situation,” said NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr. “He’s big and plays a smart, competitive game. McTavish has deceptive speed and quickness. He utilizes his size to effectively protect pucks while driving to the net and can still make plays while being checked.”

Barrie Colts defenceman Brandt Clarke and Flint Firebirds forward Brennan Othmann, both members of the 2019 OHL Cup champion Don Mills Flyers, gave the OHL three players in the top-10, coming in at seventh and eighth respectively.

In goal, Canadian National Under-18 Team netminder Benjamin Gaudreau is North America’s second-ranked goaltender. The Sarnia Sting product from Corbeil, Ont. is followed at third on the list by late 2002-born Saginaw Spirit goaltender Tristan Lennox.

Guelph Storm defenceman Daniil Chayka, who hoisted the J. Ross Robertson Cup in 2019, ranks fifth on Central Scouting’s list of International skaters. The Russian blueliner spent the 2020-21 season with Russia’s CSKA Moscow organization after two seasons in Guelph.

The London Knights lead the League with seven players included on the rankings followed by the Barrie Colts, Kitchener Rangers, Ottawa 67’s, Peterborough Petes, Sarnia Sting, Soo Greyhounds and Windsor Spitfires all tied with four.

A total of 31 OHL players were taken in the 2020 NHL Draft including five chosen within the top-10 selections. Los Angeles Kings second overall choice Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves) and Anaheim Ducks sixth pick Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters) both made their NHL debuts this past season.

OHL Players Included on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings

*-player committed for 2020-21 season, not included in overall total

North American Skaters:

RANKPLAYERTEAMPOS.HTWT
2McTavish, MasonPeterborough PetesC6.01207
7Clarke, BrandtBarrie ColtsD6.02185
8Othmann, BrennanFlint FirebirdsLW6.00175
15Pinelli, FrancescoKitchener RangersC6.00185
16Johnston, WyattWindsor SpitfiresC6.01178
23Mailloux, LoganLondon KnightsD6.03212
33Winterton, RyanHamilton BulldogsC6.02175
35Stillman, ChaseSudbury WolvesRW6.01180
50Harrison, BrettOshawa GeneralsC6.02188
57Del Mastro, EthanMississauga SteelheadsD6.04210
70Holmes, JacobSoo GreyhoundsD6.01205
74Roger, BenLondon KnightsD6.04200
79Matier, JackOttawa 67’sD6.04200
82Beck, JackOttawa 67’sRW5.11162
83Goure, DeniOwen Sound AttackC5.10182
85DeGrazia, NickSudbury WolvesLW6.00180
89Mast, RyanSarnia StingD6.04210
99Guryev, ArtemPeterborough PetesD6.04225
103Kressler, BraedenFlint FirebirdsC5.09165
104Lockhart, ConnorErie OttersRW5.09165
107Voit, TySarnia StingLW5.09160
113Bloom, JoshSaginaw SpiritLW6.02182
114McCue, MaxLondon KnightsC6.01175
120Frasca, JacobBarrie ColtsC6.04215
122Arcuri, FrancescoKingston FrontenacsC6.02193
127Hayes, AveryHamilton BulldogsRW5.10175
129Motew, SimonKitchener RangersD6.00185
131Enright, IsaacNiagara IceDogsD6.00190
135Zito, PasqualeWindsor SpitfiresLW6.00175
138Burroughs, EthanOwen Sound AttackRW5.10183
143Sirizzotti, BrendanOttawa 67’sRW6.00180
146Montgomery, BryceLondon KnightsD6.04220
148Punnett, ConnorBarrie ColtsD6.01202
153Sherk, LawsonHamilton BulldogsC6.02200
154Hardie, JamesMississauga SteelheadsLW6.00180
156Calisti, RobertSoo GreyhoundsD5.10190
158Jackson, KyleNorth Bay BattalionLW6.02187
159Cardwell, EthanBarrie ColtsRW5.11193
163Gill-Shane, RanvirOttawa 67’sD6.02185
169Romeo, Chandler*Hamilton BulldogsD6.05205
171Michaud, DanielOshawa GeneralsC6.02190
172Rolofs, StuartLondon KnightsLW6.02200
174Sop, MatthewKitchener RangersLW6.00175
175Maggio, MatthewWindsor SpitfiresRW5.11180
181Haché, BradenKingston FrontenacsD6.04200
182McCallum, LandonSudbury WolvesC5.11175
183Robertson, TuckerPeterborough PetesC5.11186
193Saganiuk, Colby*Erie OttersC5.07160
200Avon, J.R.Peterborough PetesC6.00180
206Boudreau, MarcSoo GreyhoundsLW6.02180
213Dann, NolanSarnia StingRW5.10180
215Lawrence, KalebOwen Sound AttackRW6.06225
221Maillet, JacobGuelph StormC6.00173
222Robinson, Payton*Sudbury WolvesD6.02194

North American Goaltenders:

RANKPLAYERTEAMPOS.HTWT
2Gaudreau, BenjaminSarnia StingG6.02175
3Lennox, TristanSaginaw SpiritG6.04190
6Vrbetic, JoeNorth Bay BattalionG6.06190
11Brochu, BrettLondon KnightsG5.11177

International Skaters:

RANKPLAYERTEAMPOS.HTWT
5Chayka, DaniilGuelph StormD6.03187
24Grushnikov, Artyom*Hamilton BulldogsD6.02198
32Sobolev, Daniil*Windsor SpitfiresD6.00210
35Petrov, Matvei*North Bay BattalionLW6.02178
64Kulakov, Artyom*Erie OttersD6.02202
70Rafkin, RubenWindsor SpitfiresD5.11190
72Kuzmin, Dmitry*Flint FirebirdsD5.09178
74Steklov, KirillLondon KnightsD6.04187
83Gaidamak, Vsevolod*Ottawa 67’sC5.11198
90Ottavainen, VilleKitchener RangersD6.05210
115Suni, OliverOshawa GeneralsLW6.02186
117Larsen, Kasper*Mississauga SteelheadsD6.06229
149Zanetti, Brian*Peterborough PetesD6.02181

International Goaltenders:

RANKPLAYERTEAMPOS.HTWT
2Kolosov, Alexei*Erie OttersG6.01185
10Malik, NickSoo GreyhoundsG6.01177
11Cajan, Pavel*Kitchener RangersG6.01177

For full 2021 NHL Central Scouting Final Draft Rankings, visit nhl.com.

OHL ANNOUNCES KEY DATESFOR 2021-22 SEASON

Toronto, Ont. – With the 2021 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore fast approaching on June 4-5, the League is excited to circle another date on the calendar as opening night for the 2021-22 regular season is set for Thursday, October 7.
 
“It’s an exciting time for everyone as we turn our attention to a new season,” said Commissioner David Branch. “We look forward to getting our players back into their OHL communities where they can continue to pursue their goals both on the ice and in the classroom.”
 
Players will report to training camps on Saturday, September 4 before the League embarks on a conventional 68-game regular season schedule commencing Thursday, October 7 and concluding Sunday, April 3, 2022. The 2022 OHL Playoffs will get underway on Thursday, April 7 and run through Monday, May 30 at the latest with the presentation of the prestigious J. Ross Robertson Cup. The OHL champion will advance to the 2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia to be held June 2-12.
 
“The League is currently in the process of developing a regular season schedule,” added Commissioner Branch. “Our tremendous fans mean so much to the OHL and its communities and we’re looking forward to welcoming them back into our venues next season.”
 
A complete 680-game 2021-22 OHL regular season schedule of games will be announced in the coming weeks.
 
About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

13 OHL PLAYERS CAPTURE U18 WORLDS GOLD AS CANADA DEFEATS RUSSIA 5-3

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to congratulate 13 OHL players who will return from the Lone Star State with gold medals after defeating Russia by a score of 5-3 in the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship gold medal game on Thursday in Frisco, Texas.

Kingston Frontenacs star Shane Wright found the back of the net twice as Canada’s National Under-18 Team completed a perfect 7-0 tournament, outscoring opponents 51-12 in the process to claim their first U18 Worlds gold since 2013.

“It means the world to this country, to the guys in our dressing room, all of the coaches and all of the staff,” said Wright after the win. “Just the effort we put in, how hard everyone has worked since day one. I couldn’t be prouder of the work everyone has put in and all the sacrifices that have been made.”

Russia presented a new challenge to Canada in the early going, with tournament scoring leader Matvei Michkov netting his 12th of the U18 Worlds 5:13 in, marking the first time Canada had surrendered the first goal in the event.

“We had scored first every single time, which is a great thing, but we knew it was going to happen,” said Canadian coach Dave Barr, who was OHL Coach of the Year with the Guelph Storm in 2006. “We talked about it in the first intermission about playing from behind and how we aren’t going to change the way we play the game. We just did what we needed to do to work our way back into the game.”

Just over a minute after a denied penalty shot, exceptional talent Connor Bedard (Regina Pats) beat Sergei Ivanov on the backhand with 4:01 remaining in the first to tie things up as Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves) picked up a secondary assist. Russia quickly responded with a goal from Dmitri Buchelnikov before Wright ripped home a wrist shot on the power play to make it 2-2 after one.

A shot from a tight angle off the stick of Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds) put Canada in the lead 3-2 off a feed from Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads) 4:42 into the second. Logan Stankoven (Kamloops Blazers) delivered a wrist shot to double the Canadian lead near the period’s end as Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts) and Wright pitched in with assists.

Following a scoreless nine minutes to start the third, Vladimir Grudinin brought Russia back within one on the power play. Wright ultimately struck on the empty net with 40 seconds remaining off an impressive pass from Bedard to seal an undefeated tournament for Team Canada. With his ninth goal, Wright surpassed Connor McDavid‘s 2013 mark of eight to set a Canadian record at the U18 Worlds.

Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting) amassed 31 saves in net to improve to 5-0 for Canada as the shots ended an even 34-34.

“It was really exciting, the last minute felt about as long as the entire game,” said Gaudreau after the buzzer. “Once Shaner (Wright) put the icing on the cake there with 40 seconds left it really set in. The feelings can’t really be described. I couldn’t have done this with a better group of guys.”

Wright finished the tournament tied for second in scoring with fellow exceptional status forward Bedard, racking up 14 points (9-5–14) in just five games, two back of tournament-leader Michkov of Russia who wound up with 16 points.

Brandt Clarke finished tied for second in tournament scoring by defencemen with seven points (2-5–7) in as many games, being named to the event’s media all-star team.

Between the pipes, Gaudreau paced all goaltenders with five wins, a 2.20 goals-against average and .919 save percentage over five games to be recognized as the tournament’s top goaltender by the IIHF directorate.

“I have had a great time coaching this team,” said Barr. “It was a lot of fun to be able to bring the gold medal back to Canada, and I was very fortunate to have two great assistant coaches in Mike Stothers and Gordie Dwyer. Ultimately you are trying to win the gold medal and you never know how a game like tonight’s is going to go, but we focused on what we were able to control and that gave us a great chance to win.”

Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).

13 OHL players winning gold with Canada at the U18 Worlds:

Goaltender:
Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)

Defence:
Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts), Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads), Jack Matier (Ottawa 67’s)

Forwards:
Brett Harrison (Oshawa Generals), Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires), Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes), Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds), Francesco Pinelli (Kitchener Rangers), Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves), Ryan Winterton (Hamilton Bulldogs), Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs), Danny Zhilkin (Guelph Storm)

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

OHL ANNOUNCES ORDER OF SELECTION FOR 2021 UNDER-18 PRIORITY SELECTION AND CHL IMPORT DRAFT

Toronto, Ont. – On the heels of its first-ever OHL Priority Selection Draft Lottery held on Wednesday, the Ontario Hockey League has announced details surrounding both the 2021 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection set to take place Wednesday, June 9 at 12:00pm in addition to the 2021 CHL Import Draft slated for Wednesday, June 30.

The OHL facilitated a U18 Priority Selection Draft Lottery to determine the order of selection, with each of the League’s 20 member teams having an equal opportunity to draw the first overall pick. Results were determined by a computerized random number generator, with the lottery process overseen by Mr. Robert Bayne, partner with the law firm Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP.

Lottery results determined that the London Knights will be selecting first overall in the 2021 OHL U18 Priority Selection, followed by the Saginaw Spirit with the second overall pick and the Soo Greyhounds with the third choice.

Established in 2017, the OHL U18 Priority Selection is a two-round process save and except for the allowance for an additional selection by a team in the third round if they’ve chosen a goaltender with one of their first two selections. Players eligible to be selected are those 2003 or 2004-born U18 AAA players not currently on a CHL member team protected list who were registered within the OHF, HNO or HEO during the 2020-21 playing season. This year’s selection will be structured in a serpentine arrangement, with the order of selection in the second round in inverse order from that of the first. If a third round is required, it will be in inverse order of the second round.

The 2021 OHL U18 Priority Selection will be streamed live on the OHL’s YouTube channel, with further coverage across the League’s social media platforms and website when proceedings get underway on Wednesday, June 9 at 12:00pm.

Additionally, the Ontario Hockey League is designated to select third among the Canadian Hockey League’s three regional leagues in the 2021 CHL Import Draft on Wednesday, June 30.

OHL member teams will select in inverse order from lottery results drawn to determine the order of selection for the 2021 OHL Priority Selection, with the Barrie Colts leading the way followed by the Soo Greyhounds and Kitchener Rangers.

As with the OHL Priority Selection and U18 Priority Selection, OHL member teams will make their selections in a serpentine arrangement for the 2021 CHL Import Draft, with the OHL order of selection in the first round being reversed to begin Round 2.

The Barrie Colts made the most of their last opportunity to lead the OHL at the CHL Import Draft, selecting eventual OHL Rookie of the Year Andrei Svechnikov with the first overall pick in 2017. The North Bay Battalion selected Russian forward Matvei Petrov with the top pick in last year’s CHL Import Draft.

Held annually since 1992, the CHL Import Draft sees Canadian Hockey League teams draw from talent across the globe in a two-round process held live online at CHL.ca.

2021 OHL U18 Priority Selection First Round Order of Selection:
1. London Knights
2. Saginaw Spirit
3. Soo Greyhounds
4. Guelph Storm
5. Flint Firebirds
6. Sudbury Wolves
7. Hamilton Bulldogs
8. Barrie Colts
9. Sarnia Sting
10. North Bay Battalion
11. Owen Sound Attack
12. Kitchener Rangers
13. Peterborough Petes
14. Kingston Frontenacs
15. Ottawa 67’s
16. Erie Otters
17. Windsor Spitfires
18. Oshawa Generals
19. Mississauga Steelheads
20. Niagara IceDogs

OHL Order of Selection for the 2021 CHL Import Draft:

Designated CHL Import Draft first round draft slot in brackets

1. Barrie Colts (3)
2. Soo Greyhounds (6)
3. Kitchener Rangers (9)
4. London Knights (12)
5. Saginaw Spirit (15)
6. Niagara IceDogs (18)
7. Hamilton Bulldogs (21)
8. Sarnia Sting (24)
9. Ottawa 67’s (27)
10. North Bay Battalion (30)
11. Erie Otters (33)
12. Mississauga Steelheads (36)
13. Owen Sound Attack (39)
14. Flint Firebirds (42)
15. Peterborough Petes (45)
16. Kingston Frontenacs (48)
17. Windsor Spitfires (51)
18. Guelph Storm (54)
19. Oshawa Generals (57)
20. Sudbury Wolves (60)

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

SUDBURY WOLVES TO SELECT FIRST OVERALL IN 2021 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION PRESENTED BY REAL CANADIAN SUPERSTORE

Toronto, Ont. – The results from the first-ever OHL Priority Selection Draft Lottery are in, and the Sudbury Wolves will be selecting first on June 4-5 when OHL member teams build toward the future in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection Presented by Real Canadian Superstore.

Each team participating in the first round of the 2021 Priority Selection had an equal opportunity to draw the first overall pick in the lottery process, with the final results determined by a computerized random number generator. Results were overseen and certified by Mr. Robert Bayne, partner with the law firm Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP.  
 
The coveted top spot came down to a reveal between the Wolves and the Oshawa Generals, who will be selecting second overall for the first time since 2006.
 
With 2018 first overall selection Quinton Byfield having recently made his NHL debut with the Los Angeles Kings, the reigning Central Division champion Sudbury Wolves will add another Jack Ferguson Award recipient to the pack next month, doing so for the seventh time in franchise history. In addition to Byfield, David Levin (2015), John McFarland (2008), John Uniac (1987), Dave Moylan (1984) and Mike Allison (1978) were tabbed by the Wolves with the first overall pick in the OHL Priority Selection.
 
For the first time since the implementation of the Priority Selection online in 2001, the event will be held over the course of two days, with the opening three rounds taking place on Friday, June 4 beginning at 7:00pm. The proceedings resume on Saturday, June 5 starting at 9:00am with Rounds 4-15. The Priority Selection will be streamed live in its entirety on the OHL’s YouTube channel.
 
The Priority Selection remains its customary 15 rounds in length, but unlike past years, it will be held in a serpentine arrangement, with the order of selection in the first round being reversed to begin Round 2 and alternating each round thereafter.
 
2021 OHL Priority Selection First Round Order of Selection:
1. Sudbury Wolves
2. Oshawa Generals
3. Guelph Storm
4. Windsor Spitfires
5. Kingston Frontenacs
6. Peterborough Petes
7. Flint Firebirds
8. Owen Sound Attack
9. Mississauga Steelheads
10. Erie Otters
11. North Bay Battalion
12. Ottawa 67’s
13. Sarnia Sting
14. Hamilton Bulldogs
15. Saginaw Spirit
16. London Knights
17. Kitchener Rangers
18. Soo Greyhounds
19. Barrie Colts
 
The Niagara IceDogs were included in the lottery process in order to determine the order of selection for subsequent rounds and through the random generation of numbers were designated with the 15th position in the first round.
 
The 2021 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore will largely see the top players born in 2005 within OHL jurisdiction eligible to be selected on June 4-5, with proceedings streamed live on the OHL’s YouTube channel and covered extensively on TwitterInstagramFacebook and on the web at ontariohockeyleague.com.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

OHL ANNOUNCES END OF RETURN TO PLAY PLANS FOR 2020-21 SEASON

Toronto, Ont. – Earlier this month the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Government of Ontario reached an agreement on a Return to Play plan for the League. However, the recently extended stay at home order along with increasing cases of COVID-19 across the province make it impossible for the OHL to have a season.
 
“We have worked tirelessly with the Province and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the past year on different scenarios and different windows of opportunity but the reality is the conditions in Ontario have never been right to start and complete an uninterrupted, safe opportunity for players to showcase their skills,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “We owe it to our players and their families to be definitive. We were committed to return and play this season, but our hopes and desires have been dashed by the cruel realities of COVID-19.”
 
Just a few short weeks ago, the League and Province had reached an agreement on the OHL Return to Play plan but on the eve of announcing any details, COVID-19 conditions worsened dramatically as new variants of concern took hold and posed a significant threat to overwhelm the health care system. The plan envisioned a shortened season to be played in hub cities following the most rigorous COVID-19 containment protocols possible. The goal was to showcase the League’s 450 players for scouts preparing for the 2021 NHL Draft, U SPORTS men’s hockey programs as well as Hockey Canada’s World Junior Summer Evaluation Camp.
 
“Ontario has the strongest health restrictions of any jurisdiction in North America and we understood that this would make a return to play scenario extremely difficult,” added Commissioner Branch. “The openness the Premier, Minister Lisa MacLeod, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer and key staff have afforded us has not gone unnoticed and is greatly appreciated. We all agree that providing certainty for our players and families, even if it is not the answer they would want to hear, is the right thing for everyone’s health and safety and for the mental health challenges faced by many of our young players.”
 
QUICK FACTS 

  • The OHL’s 17 Ontario-based teams support 327 full-time jobs across its member team and League offices, along with 831 part-time jobs. Additionally, 176 students work for teams on internships or co-op terms, along with 1,100 volunteers.
     
  • In 15 of 17 Ontario communities, the OHL team is the most popular and significant sports and entertainment property. The economic and community development of the OHL cannot be overstated. The League has a direct financial impact of over $126 million and an indirect impact of over $265 million on the Ontario economy. OHL member teams raised upwards of $4 million in support of charities across the province during the 2019-20 season.
     
  • A total of 343 OHL graduates have accessed their OHL Scholarship during the current academic year at a cost to OHL member teams of $3.15 million.
     
  • The OHL remains the number one provider of talent to the National Hockey League. In the 51-year history of the modern NHL Draft, the OHL has produced a remarkable 2,410 selections, representing approximately 20% of all players chosen. Since 2013, the OHL has produced more first and second round picks, more forwards and more defencemen than any other league in the world while producing the second-highest number of goaltenders.

OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR MARCH

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that rookies Sam Alfano of the Peterborough Petes, Owen Beck of the Mississauga Steelheads, Gavin Bryant of the Owen Sound Attack and Nicholas De Angelis of the Windsor Spitfires have been named OHL Academic Players of the Month for March.

East Division: The Peterborough Petes’ Sam Alfano has been named the East Division Academic Player of the Month for March. He holds a 90% in Grade 12 Advanced Functions and an 85% in Grade 11 English at Brantford Collegiate Institute. “Sam has worked hard all year to maintain a high academic standard while planning personal workouts and ice time with the uncertainty of when the season will begin,” wrote Petes academic advisor, Shannon Fife.

The 17-year-old Cayuga, Ont. native was a second round pick of the Petes in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection out of the Southern Tier Admirals, where he notched 63 points in 32 games and was recognized as the OMHA- SCTA Player of the Year.

Central Division: Mississauga’s Owen Beck is March’s Central Division Academic Player of the Month. He has maintained an overall average of 92% at Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School.

“Owen is described by his teachers as being a lovely student. He is high achieving, asks questions to clarify his understanding, is very diligent and hardworking,” wrote Genevieve Wong, guidance councellor at Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School. “In addition to his academic strengths, he is polite, respectful, and conscientious.  Overall, Owen is a pleasure to have in class and as part of the Pocock community.”

The 17-year-old product of Port Hope, Ont. was drafted 29th overall by the Steelheads in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection following a 39-point season with OMHA gold medalist Quinte Red Devils.

Midwest Division: Gavin Bryant of the Owen Sound Attack has been named the Midwest Division’s Academic Player of the Month for March. The centreman is on track to complete 12 credits this year at Owen Sound District Secondary School and Blyth Academy. He scored an 80% in Grade 12 University English this past summer, earned an 82% in Grade 12 University Sociology and 94% in Grade 11 University Math during Quadmester 1. Bryant also maintained a 95% in his Ontario Literacy Course as well as a 94% over three periods of Co-op. He is awaiting final scores for Grade 11 Biology and three more periods of Co-op.

“While some students have found online learning difficult and have had trouble motivating themselves, Gavin Bryant has seen this as an opportunity to focus on schooling while his hockey schedule is lighter,” wrote Attack academic advisor Sarah Rowe. “His maturity is off the charts. As a 16-year-old he is already taking the lead to assist other students in their studies. His teachers are also impressed with his maturity, commenting that his insights and attention to detail are well beyond those of his peers. We can’t wait to see this young man in an Owen Sound Attack uniform.”

The Ingersoll, Ont. native was a second round pick of the Attack at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. He impressed with 40 points in 31 games with the Brantford 99ers during the 2019-20 season.

West Division: Windsor Spitfires defenceman Nicholas De Angelis is the West Division Academic Player of the Month for March. A Grade 11 student at St. Anne Catholic High School, he is currently enrolled in Grade 12 University Biology and Grade 12 University English and carries at least a 90% average in all of his courses.

The 16-year-old King City, Ont. native was chosen 36th overall at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection following an impressive 16-point season from the blue line with the Mississauga Senators.

2020-21 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
March – Sam Alfano (Peterborough Petes)
February – Lawson Sherk (Hamilton Bulldogs)
January – Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
December – Cameron Tolnai (Ottawa 67’s)
November – Lleyton Moore (Oshawa Generals)
October – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)

Central Division:
March – Owen Beck (Mississauga Steelheads)
February – Ethan Cardwell (Barrie Colts)
January – Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Giordano Biondi (Sudbury Wolves)
November – Jonah De Simone (Niagara IceDogs)
October – Pacey Schlueting (North Bay Battalion)

Midwest Division:
March – Gavin Bryant (Owen Sound Attack)
February – Aidan Campbell (Erie Otters)
January – Logan LaSage (Owen Sound Attack)
December – Stuart Rolofs (London Knights)
November – Michael Vukojevic (Kitchener Rangers)
October – Zack Terry (Guelph Storm)

West Division:
March – Nicholas De Angelis (Windsor Spitfires)
February – Braeden Kressler (Flint Firebirds)
January – Will Cuylle (Windsor Spitfires)
December – Jacob Holmes (Soo Greyhounds)
November – Ryan Mast (Sarnia Sting)
October – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)

A total of 334 graduates utilized their OHL Scholarship at post-secondary institutions across North America during the 2019-20 academic year, with a total contribution by teams of over $3 million.  Over the past 10 seasons, OHL Scholarship payments have totalled more than $25 million.

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

13 OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL MEN’S UNDER-18 TEAM

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is proud to recognize 13 OHL players named to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team that will compete in the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship set to take place from April 26 to May 6 in Frisco and Plano, Texas.

The 13 OHL players are part of a 25-man Canadian roster consisting of three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 14 forwards to be coached by former OHL Coach of the Year Dave Barr (Guelph Storm, 2003-08) along with assistant Mike Stothers (Owen Sound Attack, 2002-07).

The Canadian roster was assembled by Hockey Canada director of player personnel Alan Millar along with manager of national teams Benoit Roy.

OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL UNDER-18 TEAM:

Goaltender: Benjamin Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)

Defence: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts), Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads), Jack Matier (Ottawa 67’s)

Forwards: Brett Harrison (Oshawa Generals), Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires), Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes), Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds), Francesco Pinelli (Kitchener Rangers), Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves), Ryan Winterton (Hamilton Bulldogs), Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs), Danny Zhilkin (Guelph Storm)

“We are excited to announce the 25 players that have been selected to wear the Maple Leaf at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship. Despite a difficult year for our players and staff, we are confident this group will represent our country with pride while giving us a chance to compete for a gold medal in Texas,” said Millar. “We are also pleased to have Dave (Barr), Mike (Stothers) and Gordie (Dwyer) as a part of our coaching staff, and to welcome a number of excellent support staff who bring unique skills to our team. We know the extensive experience of our coaching staff and the dedication of our support staff will greatly benefit our team at the world championship.”

Barr most recently served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks (2017-19). Prior to joining the Sharks, he was an associate coach with the Florida Panthers (2016-17), as well as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres (2015-16), New Jersey Devils (2011-15), Minnesota Wild (2009-11) and Colorado Avalanche (2008-09). Barr spent five seasons (2003-08) as the general manager and head coach of the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), leading the Storm to an OHL championship in 2004. He also held various positions with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League (AHL) and International Hockey League (IHL) from 1997-2003, including assistant coach, head coach, director of hockey operations, vice-president, general manager and president. He has represented Canada once as a head coach, leading Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Dwyerwas the head coach of the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. Prior to joining the Cataractes, he spent two seasons as head coach of Dinamo Minsk (2017-19) and two seasons as head coach of Medvescak Zagreb (2015-17) of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), as well as part of one season as head coach of HC Ambrì-Piotta (2016-17) of National League A (NLA). Dwyer also served two seasons as head coach of the Charlottetown Islanders (2013-15) and two seasons as head coach of the Prince Edward Island Rocket (2011-13) of the QMJHL, as well as two seasons as head coach and director of player personnel with the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL). He won bronze medals as the head coach of Team Canada at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games and as an assistant coach at the 2012 IIHF U18 World Championship and was an assistant coach at two Spengler Cups (2016, 2018).

Stothersmost recently served as head coach of the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League (AHL) for five seasons (2015-20). He has held various coaching positions in the NHL, AHL, OHL and Western Hockey League (WHL), including one season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers (2010-11) and two seasons as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers (2000-02). Stothers was also the head coach of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs (2014-15), winning a Calder Cup and Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL coach of the year, as well as the Grand Rapids Griffins (2007-08). He also served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Phantoms (1996-2000) and Hershey Bears (1991-96). His Canadian Hockey League (CHL) experience includes three seasons as head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors (2011-14) and five seasons as head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack (2002-07). Stothers had a 10-year professional playing career in the NHL and AHL, winning the Calder Cup with the Maine Mariners in 1984.

The support staff that will work with Team Canada at the IIHF U18 World Championship includes:

  • Senior vice-president of national teams Scott Salmond
  • Video coach Travis Crickard
  • Goaltending coach Matt Weninger (Moose Jaw Warriors)
  • Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown Islanders) and Doug Stacey
  • Equipment manager A.J. Murley
  • Mental performance consultant Ashwin Patel (Guelph Storm)
  • Team physician Dr. Ben Cameron (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
  • Education consultant Dave Tennant (Kitchener Rangers)
  • Coordinator of national teams Kurt Keats

Prior to travelling to Frisco on April 17, players and staff will self-isolate at home starting April 12 and will be tested for COVID-19 three times. Upon arrival in Texas, all team personnel will enter a four-day quarantine at the hotel before starting a pre-tournament camp on April 21. The team will take on Finland in its lone pre-tournament game on April 24 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Canada will open the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship against Sweden on April 26 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, and will also take on Latvia, Switzerland and Belarus in preliminary-round action. TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast select games throughout the tournament and will announce details at a later date.

Since 2002, Canada has won three gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Thomas Sirman of the Ottawa 67’s, Liam Ross of the Sudbury Wolves, Bryce Montgomery of the London Knights and Drew Wawrow of the Soo Greyhounds have been named OHL Academic Players of the Month for February.

Though the puck has yet to drop on the 2020-21 OHL Regular Season, players are striving for excellence in the classroom through their studies. The League continues to work with government and public health agencies to prepare a safe return to play. Academic players of the month are listed in correspondence with their 2019-20 divisions. Details concerning the structure of 2020-21 team alignment will be made available upon release of the OHL Regular Season schedule.

Here’s a look at the OHL’s Academic Players of the Month for February:

East Division: Rookie defenceman Thomas Sirman of the Ottawa 67’s is being recognized as February’s East Division Academic Player of the Month. The 16-year-old native of Aurora, Ont. has completed five university level high school credits at Blyth Academy Ottawa in Advanced Functions, Society Challenge and Change, Biology, English and French and holds an overall average of 85%. He is currently taking Grade 12 Economics and Food and Nutrition with plans to graduate a semester early.

Sirman’s work ethic, study habits and participation in his virtual classes have continued to impress the teaching staff at Blyth. “Thomas is a very mature and organized student who will do very well balancing full time academics and hockey when that time comes,” said 67’s academic advisor Eileen Duffin.

Sirman was drafted in the third round of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection out of the GTHL’s Toronto Jr. Canadiens U16 program where he put up 16 points (1-15—16) over the regular season and added nine points (2-7—9) in the playoffs.

Central Division: Sudbury’s Liam Ross has been named the Central Division’s Academic Player of the Month for February. The 19-year-old defenceman has completed three university courses at Laurentian University and has achieved a B in Computer Science I, an A+ in Computer Science II and an A in Linear Algebra. He is currently taking Calculus I, Psychology and Intro to Macroeconomics, the latter of which he is taking in French.

Ross is described as an “excellent leader and defenceman.”

The Markham, Ont. native recorded 15 points (2-13—15) in 63 games with the Wolves over the 2019-20 campaign. The fourth year Wolves defenceman won an OHL Cup title with the Mississauga Reps U16 program in 2017.

Midwest Division: Bryce Montgomery of the London Knights is the Midwest Division’s Academic Player of the Month for February. Over his first term at Blyth Academy, the 18-year-old defenceman achieved a 79% in English and 85% in Communication Technology. He achieved a 92% in his Interdisciplinary Studies course last summer and currently maintains an 82% in Business Leadership as well as a 78% in Equity and Social Justice.

“Bryce is a very dedicated and hardworking student both in the classroom and on the ice. He is a leader in the classroom, completing his work and being respectful to both his classmates and teachers,” wrote Knights academic advisor Trish Hurley. “Bryce has adapted well to virtual learning, arriving to his Zoom classes promptly and using the virtual environment to the best of his ability. This is an exceptional year, and Bryce should be commended for his flexibility and willingness to learn in a new environment.”

Montgomery recorded two assists in 33 games with London during the 2019-20 season. The Bowie, Maryland native joined the Knights as a free agent in 2019 after playing for Cushing Academy in the USHS-Prep circuit.

West Division: Drew Wawrow of the Soo Greyhounds is the West Division’s Academic Player of the Month for February. The 20-year-old defenceman has excelled in his studies at Algoma University with marks of 97% in Business and 94% in Introductory Psychology.

Wawrow’s academic efforts have been praised by Greyhounds academic advisor Mary-Lynne Lukenda. “During this difficult time for the players, Drew has been very positive in all aspects of his academics. He is in contact with his professors when needed and in touch with his academic advisors when necessary,” said Lukenda. “Drew has become a real leader in his University courses by keeping on top of assignments and being diligent in his homework. We are proud of his attentiveness to school and his commitment to academics.”

Wawrow recorded one goal and six points over 56 games with the Greyhounds in 2019-20. Originally a seventh round pick of the Sudbury Wolves out of the GTHL’s Toronto Titans U16 program, the third year blueliner was traded to Sault Ste. Marie during the 2018-19 season.

2020-21 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
February – Thomas Sirman (Ottawa 67’s)
January – Cooper Way (Oshawa Generals)
December – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Lawson Sherk (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Central Division:
February – Liam Ross (Sudbury Wolves)
January – Pano Fimis (Niagara IceDogs)
December – Tnias Mathurin (North Bay Battalion)
November – Hunter Haight (Barrie Colts)

Midwest Division:
February – Bryce Montgomery (London Knights)
January – Trent Swick (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Eric Uba (Guelph Storm)
November – Connor Lockhart (Erie Otters)

West Division:
February – Drew Wawrow (Soo Greyhounds)
January – Ryan Mast (Sarnia Sting)
December – Davis “T-Bone” Codd (Saginaw Spirit)
November – Gavin Hayes (Flint Firebirds)

Last season, the OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 340 OHL Alumni at 69 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 totalled more than $25 million.

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