40 OHL PROSPECTS INVITED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL UNDER-17 DEVELOPMENT CAMP

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is proud to announce that 40 OHL prospects have been invited to Hockey Canada’s National Under-17 Development Camp, set to take place July 10-16 at the Markin McPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alta.

A total of five goaltenders, nine defencemen and 26 forwards will participate in the camp that includes 100 players invited from across Canada. Players in attendance will be split into five teams for on- and off-ice training, fitness testing, practices, intrasquad games and classroom sessions.

Alan Millar, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada, led the player selection process, with assistance from U17 head scout Byron Bonora and regional scouts Rob Simpson (London Knights/Ontario), Pierre Cholette (Quebec), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (OHL/Ontario), as well as Member representatives.

“The national under-17 development camp is the first stage in introducing these athletes to the Program of Excellence, and it is a great opportunity for them to develop as players and learn what it takes to wear the Maple Leaf,” said Millar.  “We look forward to enhancing these young players’ ongoing development during this camp and starting the process of building our three national U17 teams for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge this fall.”

Following the camp, players will continue to be evaluated through the early portion of the 2022-23 season before 66 are named to one of three Canadian national teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White – that will compete at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, scheduled for Nov. 5-12 in Langley and Delta, B.C.

So far, 77 of the 100 players invited have been drafted by Canadian Hockey League teams, including 40 from the Ontario Hockey League and 37 from the Western Hockey League, while the remaining 23 are prospects for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft, to be held July 4-5.

40 OHL Prospects Invited to Canada’s National Under-17 Development Camp:

2022 OHL Priority Selection position in brackets

Goaltenders (5):
David Egorov (Hamilton Bulldogs, 64th overall)
Carter George (Owen Sound Attack, 53rd overall)
Jacob Gibbons (Erie Otters, 38th overall)
Ryerson Leenders (Mississauga Steelheads, 32nd overall)
Landon Miller (Soo Greyhounds, 42nd overall)

Defencemen (9):
David Bedkowski (Oshawa Generals, 36th overall)
Anthony Cristoforo (Windsor Spitfires, 22nd overall)
Ben Danford (Oshawa Generals, 14th overall)
Sam Dickinson (Niagara IceDogs, 4th overall)
Frankie Marrelli (Ottawa 67’s, 21st overall)
Henry Mews (Ottawa 67’s, 7th overall)
Zayne Parekh (Saginaw Spirit, 19th overall)
Braedyn Rogers (Owen Sound Attack, 30th overall)
Nathan Schaap (Flint Firebirds, 100th overall)

Forwards (26):
Nathan Aspinall (Flint Firebirds, 33rd overall)
Jacob Battaglia (Kingston Frontenacs, 27th overall)
Cole Beaudoin (Barrie Colts, 10th overall)
Christopher Brown (Soo Greyhounds, 16th overall)
Ben Cormier (Owen Sound Attack, 11th overall)
Gabriel Frasca (Kingston Frontenacs, 17th overall)
Liam Greentree (Windsor Spitfires, 34th overall)
Michael Hage (Kitchener Rangers, 9th overall)
Kevin He (Niagara IceDogs, 25th overall)
Lucas Karmiris (Mississauga Steelheads, 13th overall)
Carter Lowe (Barrie Colts, 26th overall)
Jett Luchanko (Guelph Storm, 12th overall)
Porter Martone (Sarnia Sting, 5th overall)
Michael Misa (Saginaw Spirit, 1st overall)
Sam O’Reilly (London Knights, 37th overall)
Kaden Pitre (Flint Firebirds, 18th overall)
Ethan Procyszyn (North Bay Battalion, 20th overall)
Beckett Sennecke (Oshawa Generals, 8th overall)
Malcolm Spence (Erie Otters, 2nd overall)
Bode Stewart (Saginaw Spirit, 24th overall)
Antonio Tersigni (Owen Sound Attack, 35th overall)
Luca Testa (London Knights, 15th overall)
Jack Van Volsen (Peterborough Petes, 6th overall)
Marek Vanacker (Hamilton Bulldogs, 23rd overall)
Nathan Villeneuve (Sudbury Wolves, 3rd overall)
Kieron Walton (Sudbury Wolves, 28th overall)

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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.

BULLDOGS’ STEVE STAIOS VOTED JIM GREGORY OHL GENERAL MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENT

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Steve Staios of the Hamilton Bulldogs is the 2021-22 recipient of the Jim Gregory OHL General Manager of the Year Award as voted by his peers.

First announced in August 2019, the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award is presented annually to the General Manager who best excelled in his role during the regular season. The award honours the memory of one of the game’s great builders in former long-time NHL executive Jim Gregory who passed away in October 2019 at the age of 83.

“My dad would be so proud to have a man of Steve’s character and hockey knowledge be the winner of this award,” said David Gregory, who serves as a Senior Manager with NHL Central Scouting. “Steve has had a great career in hockey, playing in over 1000 NHL games. This year Steve and his staff have their team competing for the OHL Championship. Congratulations Steve, the Gregory family is so proud to have your name alongside that of my father’s on his namesake trophy.”

Under the guidance of Head Coach Jay McKee, Staios’ Bulldogs captured the franchise’s first-ever Hamilton Spectator Trophy as regular season champions, boasting a record of 51-12-3-2. The East Division champion Bulldogs surrendered the League’s fewest goals (176), scored the second most (300), owned the best home record (27-4-1-2), put together the second-ranked power play (27.6%) and fifth-best penalty kill (80.9%). The Bulldogs scored 10 goals in a game four times during the regular season and featured seven different players on their roster that registered at least a point-per-game (Morrison, Hayes, Diaco, Staios, Mysak, McTavish, Winterton).

“It is a great honour to receive this award in the name of the late Mr. Jim Gregory who mentored and influenced many people so positively in our great game of hockey,” said Staios. “Mr. Gregory set a high standard of leadership and it is a proud moment for me to accept this award on behalf of the entire Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club.”

Hamilton’s roster benefitted from a pair of key mid-season acquisitions in Anaheim Ducks first round pick Mason McTavish and overage Montreal Canadiens blue line signee Arber Xhekaj. Big minute defenders in captain Colton Kammerer and OHL Defenceman of the Year Nathan Staios were also past additions by Staios, while other core elements of the club were identified through the OHL Priority Selection. Former first round picks Logan Morrison and Ryan Winterton join other players developed within the organization such as goaltender Marco Costantini, forwards Avery Hayes, George Diaco, Ryan Humphrey and Lawson Sherk, Under-18 Priority Selection pick Gavin White on the back end and CHL Import Draft find Jan Mysak down the middle.

“This is a Team Award,” Staios added. “It allows me to recognize our owner Michael Andlauer, players, coaches, scouts, front office staff and billet families for their tireless work, commitment and dedication that makes our Hamilton Bulldogs a best in class organization.”

A Hamilton product, Staios played three seasons on the blue line in the OHL between Niagara Falls and Sudbury from 1990-93. Selected in the second round of the 1991 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues, Staios went on to play a 19-year professional career that featured 1,001 regular season games in the NHL. Staios reached the 2006 Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Edmonton Oilers and enjoyed success on the international stage, winning World Championship gold with Canada in 2003 and 2004 along with a silver medal in 2008. He’s currently in his seventh year as President and General Manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs, having steered the club to its first OHL Championship in 2018. The Bulldogs have played to an overall regular season record of 205-156-29-12 in his time as GM.

A builder and good friend of the Ontario Hockey League along with countless people across the hockey world, Jim Gregory was a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee in 2007 who made significant contributions to the game throughout his lengthy career. Gregory got his managerial start by guiding St. Michael’s College School and the Toronto Marlboros to great success, winning a total of three Memorial Cup titles before becoming General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1969-79. He then transitioned into an executive role with the National Hockey League, one that spanned the course of four decades as he most recently served as the NHL’s Sr. Vice President of Hockey Operations.


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.

SPITFIRES’ WYATT JOHNSTON VOTEDOHL’S MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYERPRESENTED BY KIA

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League announced today that Dallas Stars prospect Wyatt Johnston of the Windsor Spitfires is the 2021-22 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy, an award presented annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player during the regular season as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the League. The OHL’s Most Outstanding Player Award is presented by Kia.

Johnston led the Canadian Hockey League with 124 points (46-78–124) in 68 games and follows past greats in Ryan Ellis (2011), Ernie Godden (1981) and Glenn Hall (1951) as the fourth player in Spitfires history to have his name etched on the Red Tilson Trophy.

“As a proud partner of the CHL and presenting sponsor of the Memorial Cup, Kia is excited to congratulate Wyatt Johnston of the Windsor Spitfires, winner of the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL Most Outstanding Player,” said Michael Kopke, Director of Marketing for Kia Canada. “At Kia, we believe in movement that inspires, and Wyatt exemplifies this in his play. We can’t wait to see more of him on the ice for years to come.”

Johnston led the OHL, putting up 1.82 points-per-game during the regular season to finish with a total of 124, the fifth-highest single season total in Spitfires franchise history behind Ernie Godden (153, 1980-81), Bill Bowler (135, 1994-95), Kelly Cain (133, 1987-88) and Blair Barnes (130, 1979-80). His 46 goals were the most by a Spitfire since Steve Ott scored 50 in 2000-01.

“It is an amazing honour to be receiving the Red Tilson Trophy,” said Johnston. “There are countless people who have had massive contributions to helping me in this accomplishment. It is a huge privilege based on all the great players in this league. It is definitely a pretty cool feeling.”

The 19-year-old native of Toronto, Ont. finished with 42 multi-point performances on the campaign including four different games with at least four points. He becomes the first player since Jason Allison of the 1993-94 London Knights to claim each of the Red Tilson Trophy, the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as the League’s top scorer, as well as the William Hanley Trophy as the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player all in the same season.

“It’s obvious Wyatt is an elite talent,” said Spitfires General Manager Bill Bowler, “but he is a better teammate and person.  Speaking for the organization, we are so proud of him. He deserves this award and he will continue to get better and that is great for both the Spitfires and the Dallas Stars.”

Johnston follows current Stars forward Tyler Seguin, who claimed the honour as a member of the Plymouth Whalers during the 2009-10 season. The 6-foot-2, 181Ib. centreman who helped Canada’s National Under-18 Team win gold in 2021 has amassed 154 points (58-96–154) over 121 career regular season games since being selected by the Spitfires with the sixth overall pick of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. He was Dallas’ first round (23rd overall) choice in the 2021 NHL Draft.

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 choice from separate ballots that featured a team-nominated representative from each of the League’s Eastern and Western Conference teams. Johnston emerged as the Western Conference frontrunner, receiving over 73 percent of the vote while North Bay Battalion forward Brandon Coe was voted as the Eastern Conference’s Most Outstanding Player. Johnston drew 80 percent of the vote on the final ballot to be named the Most Outstanding Player in the Ontario Hockey League.

The Red Tilson Trophy winner is the OHL’s nominee for Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year, an award that will be announced prior to the conclusion of the 2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia that takes place in Saint John, New Brunswick from June 20-29.


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.

D’Amico and Medina Named OHL Top Performers of the Week

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of playoff games ending Sunday, June 5, 2022.

Spitfires’ Daniel D’Amico Named OHL Player of the Week

Daniel D’Amico of the Windsor Spitfires is the OHL Player of the Week, guiding his team to a Western Conference title with seven points including five goals and two assists in four games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-6.

D’Amico provided the Spitfires with the offensive firepower they’d need to get past the Flint Firebirds, scoring twice in a 3-2 overtime win in Game 6 of the series before recording a hat trick at home in Game 7 to help Windsor secure the Wayne Gretzky Trophy. After being held off the scoresheet in Windsor’s 4-3 overtime win in Game 1 of the OHL Championship Series against Hamilton, D’Amico came back with a pair of primary assists in Game 2 as Windsor fell short 5-4.

A 21-year-old native of Caledon, Ont., D’Amico sits third in Spitfires playoff scoring with 18 points (9-9–18) in 20 games. He comes off an overage season that included 32 goals, 26 assists and 58 points in 67 games, rounding out his OHL regular season career with 88 goals, 85 assists and 173 points in 254 games, all as a Spitfire. The 5-foot-10, 197Ib. winger was originally Windsor’s sixth round (109th overall) pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. He attended rookie camp with the St. Louis Blues last fall.

Also considered for the award this week, Hamilton Bulldogs forward Avery Hayes put up five points (3-2–5) in two outings while teammate Logan Morrison recorded four assists in a pair of contests.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Playoffs:
May 30 – June 5: Daniel D’Amico (Windsor Spitfires)
May 23 – May 29: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
May 16 – May 22: Avery Hayes (Hamilton Bulldogs) 
May 9 – May 15: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
May 2 – May 8: Joseph Serpa (Kitchener Rangers)
Apr. 25 – May 1: Zayde Wisdom (Kingston Frontenacs)
Apr. 19 – Apr. 24: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Apr. 11 – Apr. 18: Robert Calisti (Soo Greyhounds)
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Martin Chromiak (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Mason McTavish (Hamilton Bulldogs) 
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Dalton Duhart (Saginaw Spirit)
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Matthew Maggio (Windsor Spitfires)
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 28 – Mar. 6: Theo Hill (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs).
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Luke Evangelista (London Knights)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Riley Piercey (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan 9: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: James Hardie (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Ty Tullio (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Tucker Robertson (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)


Spitfires’ Xavier Medina Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Xavier Medina of the Windsor Spitfires is the OHL Goaltender of the Week, going 3-1 with a 2.07 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and one shutout.

Medina backstopped the Spitfires to a Western Conference title, entering Game 5 of their series against the Flint Firebirds before helping them win the following two contests. Medina turned aside 31 of 33 in Windsor’s 3-2 overtime win over Flint in Game 6 of the Western Conference Championship Series before logging a 38-save shutout in a 4-0 victory in Game 7. He guided Windsor to a 4-3 overtime win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in Game 1 of the OHL Championship Series on Friday night, turning aside 43 of the 46 shots that came his way. Medina made 22 saves in Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Hamilton. This marks the first time Medina has claimed the honours this season.

A 20-year-old native of Detroit, Mich., Medina has played to a 3-2 record with a 2.03 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and one shutout in the 2022 OHL Playoffs. The 6-foot, 171Ib. netminder played to a mark of 18-8-1-2 during the regular season, registering a 3.05 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in 30 games. He owns a career record of 35-19-5-2 over two seasons after being Windsor’s third round (59th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Playoffs:
May 30 – June 5: Xavier Medina (Windsor Spitfires)
May 23 – May 29: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
May 16 – May 22: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
May 9 – May 15: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
May 2 – May 8: Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
Apr. 25 – May 1: Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
Apr. 18 – Apr. 24: Tucker Tynan (Soo Greyhounds)

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Apr. 11 – Apr. 17: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Michael Simpson (Peterborough Petes)
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Joey Costanzo (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Nick Chenard (Owen Sound Attack)
Feb. 28 – Mar. 6: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Pavel Cajan (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: Mitchell Weeks (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan. 9: Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: Joe Ranger (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Owen Bennett (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Roman Basran (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Jacob Oster (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Tucker Tynan (Niagara IceDogs)

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.

Rodwin Dionicio – Niagara IceDogs – Player Profile

HTWTDOBPOSSHOOTSCHL DRAFTNHLCSCOUNTRY
6’22033-30-04DL18th 2021118 NAUSA
SEASONLEAGUETEAMGPGAPTS
2020-21Under-17 ElitBern U-1710268
2020-21Under-20 ElitBern U-203121012
2020-21Under-17Switzerland3100
2020-21Under-18Switzerland2000
2021-22Hlinka/GretzkySwitzerland4000
2021-22Under-18Switzerland7325
2021-22OHLNiagara IceDogs5762531
#94 Rodwin Dionicio of the Niagara IceDogs. Brandon Taylor/ OHL Images

Born in Newark New Jersey, Niagara IceDogs defenceman Rodwin Dionicio has both American and Swiss citizenship, but because he has represented Switzerland at numerous IIHF sanctioned tournaments, he will be considered Swiss in future tournaments. And because he was playing in Switzerland at the time of the OHL Draft, he had to be selected in the CHL Import Draft. And the IceDogs did just that using the 18th overall pick at the 2021 Import Draft. The Dionicio parents were both from the Dominican Republic and moved to Switzerland when Dionicio was just 5 months young.

There is a lot to like about Dionicio. He has good size and his frame is solidly built. He uses that size and bulk to play a physical game. And when he hits, he hits to hurt – not in the literal sense, but he hits very hard. And he uses that physical stature in his competitiveness when it comes to the board battles and in front of his goaltender. He just will not give up.

Dionicio can lead the attack from transition, he handles the puck extremely well, he sees the ice well and he can make plays. He is willing to jump up in the attack and can pace himself to be the late man. In short, you have to be intrigued by the offensive potential. He has the skill set, the IQ and the willingness. But something is lacking.

Dionicio lacks speed. He’s not bad once he gets going, but his first steps are in need of some improvement, He has the strength in his legs, so maybe just fine tuning his technique will get him there. It will only help develop all the offensive instincts he already possesses.

But it’s just not the speed he needs to work on. His pivots from forward to backward skating needs improving as does his east-west mobility – or his lateral movement. The improvements will not just help him offensively, but defensively. It would help him to get to puck retrievals quicker and help stay with opponents and keep them wide or to the outside. It is something he is lacking that leads him to take foolish and unnecessary penalties.

I’ve often said that skating doesn’t worry me as much as it once did because of the coaching players receive when they get to the next level. And it’s possible Dionicio didn’t receive that level of coaching in Switzerland.

That said, the skill set would have me taking Dionicio higher than where I will rank him, but I do have some concern about the skating here and that will cause him to drop.

But he could be a surprise find in later rounds if he can put it together.

OHL Finals Preview and Prediction

The stage is set as the Ontario Hockey League’s top two teams during the regular season face off for the J. Ross Robertson Cup and the winner advancing to the Memorial Cup in Saint John New Brunswick from June 20 through June 29.

The finals begin Friday June 3 as the Windsor Spitfires face off against the Hamilton Bulldogs in the steel city at 7:00 pm. Game two will be a matinee addition on Sunday at 2:00 pm, also in Hamilton.

Before we break down how the two teams stack up, here’s a look at how the two teams got to this point along with my predictions:

CONFERENCE QUARTER FINALS

EASTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Hamilton vs (8) PeterboroughHamilton in 4Hamilton wins 4-0
(2) North Bay vs (7) OttawaNorth Bay in 5North Bay wins 4-0
(3) Kingston vs (6) OshawaKingston in 6Kingston wins 4-2
(4) Mississauga vs (5) BarrieMississauga in 7Mississauga wins 4-2
WESTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Windsor vs (8) SarniaWindsor in 5Windsor wins 4-2
(2) London vs (7) KitchenerLondon in 6Kitchener wins 4-3
(3) Flint vs (6) Owen SoundFlint in 6Flint wins 4-3
(4) Sault Ste Marie vs (5) GuelphSault Ste Marie in 7Sault Ste Marie wins 4-1

CONFERENCE SEMI FINALS                                                                                                                                        

EASTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Hamilton vs (4) MississaugaHamilton in 5Hamilton wins 4-0
(2) North Bay vs (3) KingstonNorth Bay in 6North Bay wins 4-1
WESTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Windsor vs (7) KitchenerWindsor in 6Windsor wins 4-1
(3) Flint vs (4) Sault Ste MarieSault Ste Marie in 7Flint wins 4-1

CONFERENCE FINALS

EASTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Hamilton vs (2) North BayHamilton in 5Hamilton wins 4-0
WESTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Windsor vs (3) FlintWindsor in 7Windsor wins 4-3

There were no head-to-head matches between the Bulldogs and Spitfires as all games were played within their own conference because of the concerns of the COVID-19 Pandemic. But let’s take a look at how their regular season matched up:

 HAMILTONWINDSOR
Record51-12-544-17-7
Home Record24-4-325-7-2
Road Record24-8-219-10-5
Goals For300305
Goals Against176248
Power Play27.6%26.1%
Power Play (Home)25.0%28.1%
Power Play (Away)31.3%24.5%
Penalty Kill80.9%82.6%
Penalty Kill (Home)79.1%%78.2%
Penalty Kill (Away)83.1%86.8%
Leading After First34-2-423-5-0
Leading After Second43-2-232-0-2
Trailing After First3-6-07-7-2
Trailing After Second3-9-26-14-3
Outshooting Opponents36-5-234-12-4
Out Shot By Opponents15-7-310-4-3

The Bulldogs are the favorites and I don’t think the Spitfires mind being the underdog. Statistically speaking, the two teams match up pretty well except in one category: Goals against. The Bulldogs allowed a whopping 72 fewer goals then the Spits in the 68-game regular season.

But how do they matchup in the playoffs? Let’s take a look:

 HAMILTONWINDSOR
Games Played1218
Record12-012-6
Home Record6-06-4
Road Record6-06-2
Goals For6068
Goals Against2147
Power Play37.9%13.9%
Power Play (Home)37.9%16.3%
Power Play (Away)37.9%10.3%
Penalty Kill87.0%80.3%
Penalty Kill (Home)84.7%93.9%
Penalty Kill (Away)88.0%68.4%
Leading After First8-07-2
Leading After Second10-010-0
Trailing After First1-04-1
Trailing After Second0-01-5

There is a little more separation between the playoff stats and the regular season stats and of course, one must take into consideration their opponents. Some may not agree, but I believe the Bulldogs had the tougher route to the finals. Admittedly, I tried to find a loss for the Bulldogs in the first three rounds and even said that in prior articles, but it just never happened.

But I can’t count out the Spitfires who are well coached and Marc Savard has gotten more out of his younger players then anyone could have imagined.

Coming into the season, the Bulldogs were my choice to win it all. And here we are. Can the Spitfires be the team that finally puts one in the loss column for Hamilton?

Prediction: Hamilton in 6 games

OHL ANNOUNCES CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE SCENARIOS

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced scheduling scenarios for the 2022 OHL Championship Series for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

The Eastern Conference champion Hamilton Bulldogs await the winner of a Western Conference Championship Series Game 7 matchup between the host Windsor Spitfires and Flint Firebirds who play for the Wayne Gretzky Trophy tonight.

The OHL Championship Series will be aired in its entirety on CHL TV, with Bulldogs home broadcasts for Games 1 and 2 carried on Cable 14 in Hamilton and across the province on the OHL Action Pak.

Games 3-through-7 of the OHL Championship Series will be broadcast on TSN, with play-by-play voice Jon Abbott joining colour commentator and analyst Craig Button in the broadcast booth.

The Hamilton Bulldogs advance to the OHL Championship Series following three consecutive series sweeps, becoming the third team in OHL history to start the postseason with a perfect 12-0 record. The Bulldogs claimed the Hamilton Spectator Trophy as regular season champions in 2021-22, playing to a record of 51-12-3-2.

The Windsor Spitfires are in the hunt for their fourth Robertson Cup title following previous OHL championships in 1988, 2009 and 2010. The 44-17-4-3 Spitfires were West Division champions this past season for the first time since 2010.

The Flint Firebirds have their sights set on appearing in their first-ever OHL Championship Series. Flint played to a club record 42-21-1-4 mark during the regular season as the Firebirds have reached the Western Conference Championship Series for the first time in their history.

The Robertson Cup is emblematic of the Ontario Hockey League’s championship series.  The Cup was presented by J. Ross Robertson, who was president of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1901 to 1905.  Since its inception, the Robertson Cup has been won by 29 different teams with the Oshawa Generals leading the way with 13 championships including a record seven straight from 1938-44.

The winner of the Rogers OHL Championship Series will advance to the 2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia which takes place June 20-29 in Saint John, New Brunswick and also features the host Saint John Sea Dogs along with the champions from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League.

OHL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE:

SCENARIO 1 – (1E) HAMILTON BULLDOGS (51-12-3-2) vs. (1W) WINDSOR SPITFIRES (44-17-4-3)
If Windsor wins tonight
Game 1, Fri., June 3 at Hamilton, 7:00pm
Game 2 , Sun., June 5 at Hamilton, 2:00pm
Game 3, Mon., June 6 at Windsor, 7:00pm
Game 4, Fri., June 10 at Windsor, 7:00pm
Game 5, Sun., June 12 at Hamilton, 2:00pm*
Game 6, Mon., June 13 at Windsor, 7:00pm*
Game 7, Wed., June 15 at Hamilton, 7:00pm*
*if necessary

SCENARIO 2 – (1E) HAMILTON BULLDOGS (51-12-3-2) vs. (3W) FLINT FIREBIRDS (42-21-1-4)
If Flint wins tonight
Game 1, Fri., June 3 at Hamilton, 7:00pm
Game 2, Sun., June 5 at Hamilton, 7:00pm
Game 3, Wed., June 8 at Flint, 7:00pm
Game 4, Fri., June 10 at Flint, 7:00pm
Game 5, Sun., June 12 at Hamilton, 7:00pm*
Game 6, Tues., June 14 at Flint, 7:00pm*
Game 7, Wed., June 15 at Hamilton, 7:00pm*
*if necessary

2022 OHL Playoff Brackets

Don’t miss a second of the 2022 OHL Championship Series. CHL TV packages are on sale now at watch.chl.ca.


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.

BULLDOGS’ NATHAN STAIOS NAMEDOHL DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Nathan Staios of the Hamilton Bulldogs is the 2021-22 recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy presented annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman of the Year.

Staios led OHL blueliners with 66 points including 15 goals and 51 assists in 59 games to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-40. His 32 power play points led OHL rearguards while he placed third among defenders with 200 shots on goal. Staios’ offensive totals are new single season benchmarks by a Bulldogs defenceman in the six-year history of the franchise.

“I am very honoured and privileged to receive the Max Kaminsky Trophy as Defenceman of the Year,” said Staios. “Playing in the top junior league in the world has helped me develop so much as a person and player. I would like to give credit to my teammates, coaching staff, family, billets, The Hamilton Bulldogs organization, community of Hamilton and our great fans for contributing to this award. They all played a huge role in my success this year and I can’t thank them enough.”

A 21-year-old from Oakville, Ont., Staios split four OHL seasons between Hamilton and Windsor, putting up career totals that include 33 goals, 115 assists and 148 points in 237 career regular season games. The 5-foot-10, 178Ib. blueliner has appeared in nine games during the 2022 OHL Playoffs, registering eight points (2-6–8) to help Hamilton capture the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference champions. Staios was originally Windsor’s first round (17th overall) pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. He attended rookie camp with the St. Louis Blues last fall.

“Nathan’s recognition is very well deserved,” said Bulldogs head coach Jay McKee. “While being the league’s top offensive defenceman, he has also been used to help shut down our opposition’s top two lines of forwards. He has shown that his abilities on both sides of the puck are elite.”

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL General Managers.  All 20 clubs submitted a nominee but were not permitted to vote for their own player.

The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston, and Montreal.  After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1960.

Staios is the first defenceman in the entire history of the Hamilton/Belleville franchise to win the award, following recent names in Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 2020), Evan Bouchard (London 2019), Nicolas Hague (Mississauga 2018), Darren Raddysh (Erie 2017) and Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor 2016). Other prominent winners have included Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2012), two-time recipients Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2009 & 2011) and Bryan Berard (Detroit 1995 & 1996), Drew Doughty (Guelph 2008) as well as Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1993).

Staios will be the OHL’s nominee for the CHL Defenceman of the Year Award. He edged out Western Conference finalist Ryan O’Rourke of the Soo Greyhounds in the final round of voting.


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.

COSTANTINI AND OTHMANN NAMED OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of playoff games ending Sunday, May 29, 2022.

Firebirds’ Brennan Othmann Named OHL Player of the Week

New York Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann of the Flint Firebirds is the OHL Player of the Week, recording six points including a goal and five assists in four contests.

Othmann helped guide the Firebirds to a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Championship Series, scoring shorthanded while adding two assists in Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Windsor Spitfires in Game 5. Othmann assisted on both Flint goals in a 4-2 loss on Friday in Game 4, and pitched in with a helper in Wednesday’s 6-3 win over Windsor in Game 3.

A 19-year-old native of Pickering, Ont., Othmann leads the Firebirds in playoff scoring with 23 points including nine goals and 14 assists in 17 games. The 6-foot, 180Ib. left-winger led Flint with 50 goals, 47 assists and 97 points in 66 regular season games, giving him 130 points (67-63–130) through 121 career regular season games after being selected second overall by the Firebirds in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. Othmann was selected by New York with the 16th overall pick of the 2021 NHL Draft and signed a three-year entry level contract with the Rangers on August 12, 2021.

Also considered for the award this week, Windsor Spitfires forward Wyatt Johnston had six points (2-4–6) in four outings, as did Spits teammate Matthew Maggio (4-2–6) as Windsor goes to Flint for Game 6 on Tuesday trailing in the series 3-2.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Playoffs:
May 23 – May 29: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
May 16 – May 22: Avery Hayes (Hamilton Bulldogs) 
May 9 – May 15: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
May 2 – May 8: Joseph Serpa (Kitchener Rangers)
Apr. 25 – May 1: Zayde Wisdom (Kingston Frontenacs)
Apr. 19 – Apr. 24: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Apr. 11 – Apr. 18: Robert Calisti (Soo Greyhounds)
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Martin Chromiak (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Mason McTavish (Hamilton Bulldogs) 
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Dalton Duhart (Saginaw Spirit)
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Matthew Maggio (Windsor Spitfires)
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 28 – Mar. 6: Theo Hill (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs).
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Luke Evangelista (London Knights)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Riley Piercey (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan 9: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: James Hardie (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Ty Tullio (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Tucker Robertson (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)

Bulldogs’ Marco Costantini Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Hamilton Bulldogs netminder Marco Costantini is the OHL Goaltender of the Week for a third straight week, going 2-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout.

Costantini backstopped the Bulldogs to an Eastern Conference title, making 27 saves in a 6-4 victory over the North Bay Battalion in Game 3 on Wednesday. He returned to the crease for his third shutout of the OHL Playoffs on Friday as the Bulldogs took a 12th consecutive win, blanking the Battalion 6-0.

A 19-year-old product of Hamilton, Costantini was voted the Eastern Conference’s Top Goaltender this past season with league-leading figures that include a 2.32 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and six shutouts. He played to a mark of 31-9-2-2 in 45 games, improving to 41-24-8-2 with a 3.15 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in his 79-game OHL regular season career. Costantini has played to a postseason record of 12-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. He was Hamilton’s fifth round (95th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Playoffs:
May 23 – May 29: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
May 16 – May 22: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
May 9 – May 15: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
May 2 – May 8: Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
Apr. 25 – May 1: Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
Apr. 18 – Apr. 24: Tucker Tynan (Soo Greyhounds)

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Apr. 11 – Apr. 17: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Michael Simpson (Peterborough Petes)
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Joey Costanzo (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Nick Chenard (Owen Sound Attack)
Feb. 28 – Mar. 6: Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Pavel Cajan (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: Mitchell Weeks (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan. 9: Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: Joe Ranger (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Owen Bennett (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Roman Basran (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Jacob Oster (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Tucker Tynan (Niagara IceDogs)


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.

Domenic DiVincentiis – North Bay Battalion – Player Profile

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6’2”1813-4-04GL116th 202024th NACANADA
Domenic DiVincentiis of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Robert Lefebvre/OHL Images

I will admit that I am baffled at NHL Central Scouting’s ranking of North Bay Battalion Goaltender Domenic DiVincentiis. I am even more baffled that they dropped him eleven spots from their mid term ranking to their final ranking among North American Goaltenders. That change dropped him from fourth among OHL goaltenders to seventh. The fact is, there are plenty of OHL people that believe he is the top OHL goaltender for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Among draft eligible netminders, DiVincentiis finished with the best goals-against-average (winning the Dinty Moore Trophy as the rookie goaltender with the lowest GAA) and third best save-percentage, surpassed only by two draft re-entry or “overagers”. The Battalion coaching staff had enough confidence in him to start half their playoff games over the older and much more experienced teammate Joe Vrbetic.

At 6’2” DiVincentiis has good size. There are aspects of his game that are further ahead in development. He’s an athletic goaltender who is excellent on his skates and enables him to go post-to-post or dart out to the top of the paint quickly. His technique is also very good. He is square to shooters, stays tall in his net and I like how he gives opponents little to no room when in the reverse-VH. While he is no Mike Smith, he handles the puck pretty well.

Like any goaltender at this level, DiVincentiis doesn’t come without some warts – or more fairly, things to work on. His rebound control needs work as does his ability to fight through traffic to see how the play is developing. In tight with traffic, he also needs some work at staying focused and tracking the puck. These are all fixable through coaching as long as he is willing to put in the work and the effort. There is nothing to suggest he won’t.

DiVincentiis was part of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence last summer, so they too saw something in the young netminder. I’ve said it before, but I don’t believe this year’s draft class to be a great class among OHL goaltenders. We may not see one selected until late in the third round, maybe early fourth. But DiVincentiis should get some consideration to be the first one selected.