67’s Noel Hoefenmayer named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Arizona Coyotes prospect Noel Hoefenmayer of the Ottawa 67’s is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the first week of playoff action ending March 25 scoring twice with four assists for six points in two games. 

Noel Hoefenmayer of the Ottawa 67's. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Noel Hoefenmayer of the Ottawa 67’s. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Hoefenmayer recorded back-to-back three-point performances for the Eastern Conference’s eighth place 67’s who opened the 2018 OHL Playoffs with a split on the road against the first place Hamilton Bulldogs.  The defenceman played a role in 75% of the 67’s scoring last week tying for the league lead in points through two post-season games.  In Game 1 on Thursday he scored twice and added an assist receiving second star honours despite a 6-3 loss, then recorded three assists in Game 2 on Sunday including a helper on Sam Bitten’s game-winner as the 67’s grinded out a 5-4 victory.  The series shifts to the nation’s capital for Game’s 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

A 19-year-old from North York, Ont., Hoefenmayer is playing in his third OHL season with the 67’s since chosen by the club in the second round of the 2015 Priority Selection.  He led the 67’s blue line in scoring for the second straight season producing seven goals and 26 assists for 33 points in 65 games.  Hoefenmayer was a fourth round pick by the Coyotes in the 2017 NHL Draft. 

Watch video highlights of Hoefenmayer and the 67’s against the Bulldogs in Game 1 and Game 2. 

Also considered for the award this week was St. Louis Blues prospect Robert Thomas of the Hamilton Bulldogs who equaled Hoefenmayer’s six points in two games by also scoring twice with four assists.  Ottawa Senators prospect Alex Formenton of the London Knights scored five goals in two games against the Owen Sound Attack, and goaltender Mario Culina of the Kitchener Rangers posted a 2-0 record against the Guelph Storm stopping 77 shots for a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .963.

 2017-18 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Playoffs:

Mar. 19 – Mar. 25: Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)

2017-18 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Mar. 12 – Mar. 18: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Mar. 5 – Mar. 11: Dmitry Sokolov (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4: Robert Thomas (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Aaron Luchuk (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Kenny Huether (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Taylor Raddysh (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: Ben Jones (Niagara IceDogs)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Joseph Garreffa (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)


Storm’s Ryan Merkley named OHL Rookie of the Year

OHL Announces First and Second All-Rookie Teams

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that defenceman Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm is the 2016-17 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Merkley led all OHL rookies with 55 points in 62 games played scoring 12 goals and 43 assists positioning him eighth overall among all OHL defenders.  He became the first rookie in franchise history to lead the team in scoring, and is the first OHL defenceman since London’s Rick Corriveau in 1987-88 to lead all rookies in scoring.

Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL  Images.
Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

“It is an honour to be selected as the OHL Rookie of the Year,” said Merkley. “Knowing that there are so many talented first year players, makes the award extra special.  I would like to thank my teammates and the Storm organization for all their help and support.”

The 16-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., selected first overall by the Storm in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, is just the second member of the organization to earn the award following fellow Storm first overall pick Jeff O’Neill during the 1992-93 season.  Merkley’s 55 points are the most by a Storm 16-year-old since O’Neill’s 79 during his first campaign.

“Being selected as OHL Rookie of the Year is a special honour, but one that Ryan richly deserves,” said Mike Kelly, Guelph’s departing General Manager. “Even as a 16-year-old, Ryan was a critical part of a very young Guelph Storm Hockey team, and he provided our fans, and fans throughout the OHL with some spectacular hockey memories.  As good as Ryan was this past year, he will be even more special in upcoming seasons.”

Merkley joined the OHL after earning GTHL Player of the Year honours with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and made an immediate impact with recognition as the OHL’s Rookie of the Month for October and December and represented Team Canada Red at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie.  He recorded 16 multi-point performances during 2016-17 and was voted third in both the Best Playmaker and Best Stickhandler categories in the Western Conference Coaches Poll.

First presented in 1973, Emms Family Award recipients include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie 1977-78), Joe Thornton (Sault Ste. Marie 1995-96), Rick Nash (London 2000-01), Taylor Hall (Windsor 2007-08), and most recently Alex DeBrincat (Erie 2014-15), and Alex Nylander (Mississauga 2015-16).  Merkley is the eighth player to earn the Emms Family Award after also earning the Jack Ferguson Award as the first overall pick in the OHL Priority Selection beginning with O’Neill, Patrick O’Sullivan (Mississauga 2001-02), Rob Schremp (Mississauga 2002-03), John Tavares (Oshawa 2005-06), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie 2011-12), Connor McDavid (Erie 2012-13), and Travis Konecny (Ottawa 2013-14).

The Emms Family Award was donated by Leighton “Hap” Emms, former owner of the Barrie, Niagara Falls, and St. Catharines OHL franchises.  The award is selected by all 20 member club General Managers.  Teams were asked to submit only one nominee from their own club for consideration on the ballot and were not permitted to vote for the player from their own hockey club.  Players received five points for a first vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

Merkley earned 75 of a possible 95 voting points ahead of forward Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs who finished second with 44 voting points and forward Allan McShane of the Oshawa Generals who finished in third with 24 voting points. 

The Emms Family Award will be formally presented to Merkley at the OHL’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Thursday June 8.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Rookie of the Year to be announced at the Mastercard Memorial Cup on Saturday May 27.

Merkley was also announced to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team alongside NHL Draft prospect Eemeli Rasanen of the Kingston Frontenacs on defence, and goaltender Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads.  First team forwards include McShane at centre, Thomas at right wing, and Kingston’s Linus Nyman at left wing.  Second team honours went to NHL Draft prospects Adam Ruzicka of the Sarnia Sting, Alex Formenton of the London Knights, and Greg Meireles of the Kitchener Rangers at forward, while 16-year-olds Giovanni Vallati of Kitchener, and Owen Lalonde of the Sudbury Wolves comprise the defence.  Second team goaltending honours went to Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

The OHL All-Rookie Teams were also selected by the OHL’s General Managers.  Players were voted on initially by position within their conference receiving five points for a first place vote, three for a second place vote, and one for a third.  Top vote getters in each position made up the final ballot that was then circulated to all 20 teams. 

2016-17 OHL All-Rookie Teams (voting points in brackets):

First Team:
Centre – Allan McShane, Oshawa Generals (85)
Left Wing – Linus Nyman, Kingston Frontenacs (73)
Right Wing – Akil Thomas, Niagara IceDogs (93)
Defence – Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (91)
Defence – Eemeli Rasanen, Kingston Frontenacs (74)
Goaltender – Jacob Ingham, Mississauga Steelheads (73)

Second Team:
Centre – Adam Ruzicka, Sarnia Sting (51)
Left Wing – Alex Formenton, London Knights (38)
Right Wing – Greg Meireles, Kitchener Rangers (39)
Defence – Giovanni Vallati, Kitchener Rangers (44)
Defence – Owen Lalonde, Sudbury Wolves (39)
Goaltender – Matthew Villalta, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (70)

Alex Formenton – London Knights – Player Profile

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 167 pounds

Date of birth: September 13, 1999

Hometown: King City, Ontario

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 11, 216th overall, 2015 Priority Selection

King City Ontario native Alex Formenton of the London Knights played his minor midget hockey during the 2014-2015 season for the Mississauga Rebels. In 65 games he scored 27 goals and 28 assists. The Knights would select him in the 11th round, 216th overall at the 2015 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. But don’t let that selection cloud your judgement. He was a tiny winger who had a huge growth spirt prior to breaking onto the Knights’ roster. It would not be incorrect to call him a steal in that draft.

One season ago, Formenton played in the Ontario Junior Hockey League for Aurora Tigers. He appeared in 54 games and scored 13 goals while adding 13 assists. He would add 2 more goals in 5 playoff games for the Tigers. The OJHL is Ontario’s Junior A league.

Alex Forementon of the London Knights. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Alex Formenton of the London Knights. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

In 64 games this season, Formenton has 16 goals and 18 assists. He can play in any situation and his skating makes him a threat on the penalty kill as well – he has one goal on the PK. His 16 goals have come on 138 shots, good for a 11.6 shooting percentage. He can also take faceoffs when called upon and is 53.3% on the dot.

Formenton’s 16 goals ranks him 9th among OHL rookies in goals and his 34 points is tied for 9th.

With a September 13, 1999 birth date, Formenton is one of the youngest players in the draft class and makes the 2017 National Hockey League Draft cut off by just two days.

Formenton is an excellent skater with excellent top end speed – could very well be one of the top 10 fastest skaters in the OHL. His acceleration is also top end. He finished atop the list in on-ice testing at the combine at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Formenton will not shy away from the gritty part of the game. He will battle along the walls and is willing to drive to the net both with and without the puck. He possesses soft hands and can beat defenders one-on-one. He’s also learning that he can beat defenders wide with his skating and speed and is becoming more comfortable doing so. He’s also a very good forechecker using his speed to get on top of opponents quickly.

Formenton creates space with his skating and his elusiveness. Once he learns that he can slow the game down at times, use his good playmaking abilities and vision, he will become more of an offensive threat.

As with all Dale Hunter coached teams, being able to play at both ends of the ice is a requirement. Formenton may be ahead of the curve there given his willingness to put the effort in his own zone as he does in the offensive zone.

Formenton was ranked 24th among north American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings in January.

Alex Formenton

This is the profile page of Alex Formenton at Elite Prospects


CHL’s Top Prospects Perform in Sport Testing Combine

Quebec City, QC – 40 of the CHL’s top prospects eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft were put to the test on Sunday at Centre Videotron one day before Team Cherry and Team Orr face-off at the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Players seized the opportunity to showcase their individual strengths with Sport Testing once again putting the next wave of NHL Draft talent through a series of tests to gauge fitness and skill levels for NHL management and scouts.


Alex Formenton of the London Knights, ranked 24th by NHL Central Scouting in their Midterm Rankings, finished atop the overall standings in the on-ice portion of the tests which included forward and backward sprints, reaction, weave agility, and transition agility each performed with and without the puck.  Defenceman Antoine Crete-Belzile of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (ranked 66th by NHL CS) finished second in on-ice tests, followed by fellow rearguard Markus Phillips of the Owen Sound Attack (ranked 62nd by NHL CS) in third position, forward Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads (ranked 2nd by NHL CS) in fourth, and Michael Rasmussen of the Tri-City Americans (ranked 6th by NHL CS) finished fifth in the skating drills.

Defenceman Jacob Paquette of the Kingston Frontenacs (ranked 90th by NHL CS) led the way in off-ice tests conducted earlier in the day which included strength testing, agility runs, sprints, and various leg power evaluations.  Forward Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (ranked 29th by NHL CS) finished second in off-ice tests, and Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads (ranked 4th by NHL CS) finished in third position.  Alex Formenton also finished near the top in off-ice tests landing in fourth place overall, followed by Isaac Ratcliffe of the Guelph Storm (ranked 20th by NHL CS) in fifth.

In specialized Sport Testing for goalies, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires claimed top honours in an array of reaction, agility, and movement challenges.

2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game – Sport Testing Combine Top Performers:

On-Ice Tests:

30M Forward Skate:

1 – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 3.991

2 – Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)

3 – Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks)

30M Forward Skate with Puck:

1 – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

2 – Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)

3 – Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks)

30M Backward Skate:

1 – Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans)

2 – Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)

3 – Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)

 30M Backward Skate with Puck:

1 – Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)

2 – Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)

3 – Antoine Crete-Belzile (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

Transition Agility:

1 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

2 – Antoine Crete-Belzile (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

3 – Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks)

Transition Agility with Puck:

1 – Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)

2 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

3 – Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)

Weave Agility:

1 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

2 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

3 – Antoine Morand (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)

Weave Agility with Puck:

1 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

2 – Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)

3 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)


1 – Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)

2 – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)

3 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

Reaction with Puck:

1 – Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans)

2 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

3 – Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans)

Off-Ice Tests:

Pro-Agility Left:

1 – Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters)

2 – Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)

3 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

Pro-Agility Right:

1 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

2 – Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans)

3 – Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters)

Vertical Jump:

1 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

2 – Jake Leschyshyn (Regina Pats)

3 – Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs)

Broad Jump:

1 – Eemeli Rasanen (Kingston Frontenacs)

2 – Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)

2 – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Medicine Ball Toss:

1 – Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads)

2 – Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

3 – Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)

Grip Left:

1 – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)

2 – Nikita Popugaev (Prince George Cougars)

3 – Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs)

Grip Right:

1 – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)

2 – Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)

3 – Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs)

Sport Testing scores provide valuable performance benchmarks to coaches and players at all levels of hockey with data collected at the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game shared with NHL Central Scouting and distributed to all 30 NHL teams.

For more information please visit www.sporttesting.com.