KNIGHTS’ BRETT BROCHU NAMED OHL GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Brett Brochu of the London Knights is the 2021-22 recipient of the Jim Rutherford Trophy, given annually to the recipient of the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award presented by Real Canadian Superstore.

Brochu backstopped the Knights to the franchise’s third consecutive Midwest Division title, going 29-11-2-0 with a 2.75 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and two shutouts in 43 games. He stopped 15 of the 17 shootout opponents he faced, going 4-0 in shootouts on the campaign. Brochu represented Canada at the abbreviated 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.

“It’s a huge honour receiving this award,” said Brochu. “It was a big goal of mine to achieve and I’m really grateful to have been able to play behind such a great team. I’m grateful to have been able to grow my game as much as I have throughout my season playing in the OHL.”

A 19-year-old native of Belle River, Ont., Brochu rounded out his second OHL season with an impressive career mark of 61-17-2-0, owning a 2.59 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and four shutouts over 85 regular season games. The former F.W. Dinty Moore Trophy recipient and 2019-20 OHL First All-Rookie Team member made his pro debut with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins during the 2020-21 campaign, suiting up in one game. Brochu is the 31st-ranked North American goaltender on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings. He was originally London’s sixth round (114th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

“It’s well deserved and well earned,” said Knights Owner, Vice-President and General Manager Mark Hunter of the honour. “We are very proud of Brett and glad he is being recognized with this award.”

Announced in August 2019, the Jim Rutherford Trophy is presented by the League in honour of former OHL goaltender, General Manager, Chairman of the Board and two-time Executive of the Year Jim Rutherford. The current President of Hockey Operations of the Vancouver Canucks, Rutherford played 13 seasons as an NHL netminder and was the architect behind Stanley Cup championships for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2019.

The Jim Rutherford Trophy is awarded to the league’s most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers.  Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club.

Brochu follows Michael Houser (2012), Steve Mason (2007) and Adam Dennis (2006) as the fourth Knights netminder to earn the distinction of being the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year. The award was first presented in 1988 to Rick Tabaracci (Cornwall), with other notable winners including Manny Legace (Niagara Falls 1993), Andrew Raycroft (Kingston 2000), Craig Anderson (Guelph 2001), the League’s only back-to-back winner Mike Murphy (Belleville 2008 & 2009), along with current NHL goaltenders Jordan Binnington (Owen Sound 2013), Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth 2014) and MacKenzie Blackwood (Barrie 2016).

Brochu is the OHL’s nominee for CHL Goaltender of the Year honours. He edged out Eastern Conference finalist Marco Costantini of the Hamilton Bulldogs in the voting process.


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.

A Look at NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Ranking

So, I am not going to break down NHL Central Scouting’s rankings in its entirety, just those Ontario Hockey League players ranked (or not ranked). After all, this sight is all about the OHL, right?

Let’s begin in the blue paint. One name that we have been pushing on OHL Writers for most of the season is Patrick Leaver of the Oshawa Generals. We selected Leaver as our Draft Eligible Goaltender of the Year at the end of the regular season. Central scouting showed him a lot of love on their final list as Leaver had the highest jump among ranked OHL netminders climbing 13 spots from 29 on the midterm rankings to 16 on the final rankings.

Leaver wasn’t the only netminder with a massive jump. Niagara IceDogs Josh Rosenzweig went from unranked on the midterm list to 22 on the final list.

Of course, when you have risers, they must be accompanied by fallers and the OHL had their share. Brett Brochu of the London Knights dropped 15 spots from 16 to 31. Dom DiVincentiis of the North Bay Battalion dropped 10 spots from 14 to 24.  

When it comes to skaters, we have been big fans of Christian Kyrou of the Erie Otters since about the drop of the puck this season. We gave him serious consideration as our Draft Eligible Defenceman of the Year. In the annual OHL Coach’s Poll he was voted the most improved player in the Western Conference and the Most Underrated Player in the Western Conference as well as the second-best Offensive Defenceman in the Western Conference. Among draft eligible defencemen, he finished first in goals, second in points and third in assists. Central Scouting (finally) moved him up a whopping 131 spots from 179 to 48.

But that wasn’t the biggest jump. Matthew Maggio of the Windsor Spitfires jumped 149 spots from being not ranked (there were 251 players ranked on the midterm rankings so we used 252 as Maggio was not ranked) all the way up to 103 on the final rankings. Among draft eligible players, Maggio finished second in goals, assists and points. He was our runner up to Draft Eligible Forward of the Year. In the Coach’s Poll, he finished just ahead of Kyrou as the most improved player in the Western Conference and tied for third as the Hardest Worker in the Western Conference.

But the highest jump belonged to Amadeus Lombardi of the Flint Firebirds who moved up from not being ranked all the way to 94 on the final rankings. I can’t understand how he was not ranked on their midterm ranking, but they got this right.

Another player that deserves mentioning is David Goyette of the Sudbury Wolves who moved up 22 spots from 35 to 13. It’s a massive jump in its own right as that puts Goyette in the bottom third of the first round instead of middle second. And that’s a much-deserved spot for him. He deserves first round consideration.

Two of the biggest fallers are Ruslan Gazizov and Colton Smith, both of the London Knights who dropped from 62 to 149 and 129 to being not ranked respectively. For Comparison’s sake, Bob McKenzie had Gazizov at 15 and Smith as an honorable mention on his midterm rankings (only 80 players were ranked).

I do think that Central Scouting got a couple of Guelph Storm prospects correctly. For most of the season, Matthew Poitras was ranked ahead of Danny Zhilkin on a lot of lists. Poitras was ranked 23 on the midterm rankings and drops to 45 while Zhilkin was ranked 27 and drops to 35. We’re not saying we agree with the overall ranking, but that Zhilkin is rightfully ranked ahead of Poitras and we’ve been saying that for some time.

Vsevolod Gaidamak of the Ottawa 67’s was the highest ranked player on Central Scouting’s midterm rankings to fall off the chart on their final ranking. He went from 121 to being not ranked.

Nice to see a little love for James Hardie of the Mississauga Steelheads who moved up 56 spots from 204 to 148. But we are also surprised to see Tucker Robertson drop 53 spots from 109 to 162.

If you are looking for our final list, it usually comes out after the Memorial Cup. Until then, here is NHL Central Scouting’s rankings with their midterm and final ranking shown:

PLAYERTEAMNHL MIDNHL FIN
Shane WrightKingston11
Pavel MintyukovSaginaw56
Luca Del Bel BelluzMississauga118
Owen BeckMississauga1910
David GoyetteSudbury3513
Matyas SapovalivSaginaw1323
Michael BuchingerGuelph3630
Ty NelsonNorth Bay2532
Bryce McConnell-BarkerSoo2834
Danny ZhilkinGuelph2735
Vinzenz RohrerOttawa4642
Hunter HaightBarrie4744
Matthew PoitrasGuelph2345
Christian KyrouErie17948
Paul LudwinskiKingston2949
Gavin HayesFlint6851
Isiah GeorgeLondon4253
Servac PetrovskyOwen Sound5258
Cedrick GuindonOwen Sound7659
Jake KarabelaGuelph6162
Pano FimisNiagara7775
Spencer SovaErie2880
Jorian DonovanHamilton3981
Evan KonyenSudbury8885
Beau JelsmaBarrie13788
Amadeus LombardiFlint25294
Matthew MaggioWindsor252103
Lucas EdmondsKingston107104
Kiriil KudryavtsevSoo103108
Liam ArnsbyNorth Bay66115
Rodwin DionicioNiagara132118
Kocha DelicSudbury200122
Jackson EdwardLondon75123
Tnias MathurinNorth Bay152126
Zakary LavoieMississauga124134
Samuel MayerPeterborough120139
James HardieMississauga204148
Ruslan GazizovLondon62149
Aidan CastleOwen Sound155151
Brady StonehouseOttawa138152
Nolan CollinsSudbury252153
Kyle JacksonNorth Bay182158
Tucker RobertsonPeterborough109162
Gavin BryantOwen Sound160179
Bryce CookNiagara163183
Braeden BowmanGuelph217194
Kai SchwindtMississauga252196
Sam AlfanoPeterborough190207
Max NamestnikovSarnia219211
Landon SimLondon213215
Kasper LarsenMississauga252220
Kirill SteklovLondon196221
Roberto ManciniSaginaw195222
Caeden CarlisleSoo252223
Vsevolod GaidamakOttawa121225
Colton SmithLondon129225
Stuart RolofsOshawa142225
Bryce CookNiagara163225
Tyler SavardSoo183225
Brody CraneLondon188225
Ryan AbrahamWindsor210225
Nolan DannSarnia225225
Simon SlavicekFlintLV225
GOALIESNHL MIDNHL  FIN
Andrew OkeSaginaw89
Nolan LalondeErie1014
Patrick LeaverOshawa2916
Charlie SchenkelSoo1217
Jacob OsterGuelph1518
Josh RosenzweigNiagara3322
Domenic DiVincentiisNorth Bay1424
Marco CostantiniHamilton3329

OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders as of February 28, 2022

Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

The month of February has seen a change in the statistical leaders among players eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. It was more to do with lost games being made up and the gap in games played between different teams than it had to do with players picking it up or others dropping off.

Look no further then the point leaders. For almost the entire season it’s been either Tucker Robertson of the Peterborough Petes or Luca Del Bel Belluz of the Mississauga Steelheads at the top. Don’t look now but here comes projected number one pick Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs who sits in between the pair. I don’t think it will be too long before Wright is all alone at the top.

It’s no different for defencemen. Ty Nelson of the North Bay Battalion has been at the top of defencemen scoring since the first puck drop. Now he’s been passed by February’s Defenceman of the Month and Rookie of the Month Christion Kyrou of the Erie Otters as well as Pavel Mintyukov of the Saginaw Spirit and Gavin White of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Offensively, it appears there are three tiers at the top of the draft class for defenders: The first tier has Kyrou all alone as it looks like he will begin to run away with it. That’s followed by the second tier of Mintyukov, White and Nelson. They are also a clear group ahead of the third tier.

In the crease, it’s been a season long battle between Brett Brochu of the London Knights and Patrick Leaver of the Oshawa Generals and I suspect that’s how it will be right up until the last whistle.

Here’s a look at the statistical leaders in different categories. As a reminder, we are including first year and second year eligible players where in the past we’ve only done first year eligible players. While we take great care in compiling stats, please refer to the OHL Website for official stats.

Points Leaders
PlayerTeamGPGAPts
Luca Del Bel BelluzMississauga Steelheads51263864
Shane WrightKingston Frontenacs43214162
Tucker RobertsonPeterborough Petes47263157
Avery HayesHamilton Bulldogs45302353
Matthew MaggioWindsor Spitfires44242852
David GoyetteSudbury Wolves48212849
J. R. AvonPeterborough Petes44193049
Nolan BurkeSarnia Sting45271946
Kyle JacksonNorth Bay Battalion31202545
Deni GoureOwen Sound Attack48212344
Goal Scoring Leaders
PlayerTeamGPGGPG
Avery HayesHamilton Bulldogs45300.67
Nolan BurkeSarnia Sting45270.60
Luca Del Bel BelluzMississauga Steelheads51260.51
Tucker RobertsonPeterborough Petes47260.55
Matthew MaggioWindsor Spitfires44240.55
Shane WrightKingston Frontenacs43210.49
David GoyetteSudbury Wolves48210.44
Deni GoureOwen Sound Attack48210.44
Kyle JacksonNorth Bay Battalion31200.65
Nolan DannSarnia Sting43200.47
Assist Leaders
PlayerTeamGPAAPG
Shane WrightKingston Frontenacs43410.95
Luca Del Bel BelluzMississauga Steelheads51380.75
Michael BuchingerGuelph Storm46330.72
Ty NelsonNorth Bay Battalion51320.63
Gavin WhiteHamilton Bulldogs45310.69
Christian KyrouErie Otters47310.66
Tucker RobertsonPeterborough Petes47310.66
J. R. AvonPeterborough Petes44300.68
Matthew MaggioWindsor Spitfires44280.64
Jake KarabelaGuelph Storm46280.61
Defencemen Point Leaders
PlayerTeamGPGAPts
Christian KyrouErie Otters47133144
Pavel MintyukovSaginaw Spirit47102838
Gavin WhiteHamilton Bulldogs4573138
Ty NelsonNorth Bay Battalion5163238
Michael BuchingerGuelph Storm4643337
Samuel MayerPeterborough Petes4791827
Rodwin DionicioNiagara IceDogs4362026
Kasper LarsenMississauga Steelheads4052126
Sam SedleyOwen Sound Attack4732326
Kirill KudryavtsevSoo Greyhounds5032326
Plus/Minus Leaders
PlayerTeamGP+/-
Avery HayesHamilton Bulldogs45+33
Ryan HumphreyHamilton Bulldogs47+33
Isaiah GeorgeLondon Knights44+29
Luca Del Bel BelluzMississauga Steelheads51+25
Gavin WhiteHamilton Bulldogs45+18
Shane WrightKingston Frontenacs43+17
Jorian DonovanHamilton Bulldogs45+16
Jake KarabelaGuelph Storm46+16
Ty NelsonNorth Bay Battalion51+16
Ben RogerKingston Frontenacs43+15
Penalty Minutes Leaders
PlayerTeamGPPIMM/G
Landon McCallumSudbury Wolves47681.45
Samuel MayerPeterborough Petes47601.28
Ryan HumphreyHamilton Bulldogs47591.26
Roberto ManciniSaginaw Spirit46581.26
Marc BoudreauSudbury Wolves53571.08
Faceoff Leaders (minimum 240 faceoffs)
PlayerTeamGPFOAFOW%
Owen BeckMississauga Steelheads51100960660.1
Jacob MailletWindsor Spitfires4754131658.4
Stuart RolofsOshawa Generals4324814257.3
Tucker RobertsonPeterborough Petes47113264256.7
Danny ZhilkinGuelph Storm4475242556.5
Max NamestnikovSarnia Sting4541823456.0
Braeden KresslerFlint Firebirds2339421855.3
Landon McCallumSudbury Wolves4751228154.9
Nolan BurkeSarnia Sting4547925954.1
Amadeus LombardiFlint Firebirds4961233053.9
Minumum 60 faceoffs
Shooting Percentage Leaders
PlayerTeamGPShotsGoalsSH%
Braeden BowmanGuelph Storm39681927.9
Kyle JacksonNorth Bay Battalion31732027.4
Dean LoukasSaginaw Spirit44561526.8
Nolan BurkeSarnia Sting451032726.2
Thomas JohnstonOttawa 67’s39521325.0
James JodoinWindsor Spitfires2825624.0
Beau JelsmaBarrie Colts451052523.8
Tucker RobertsonPeterborough Petes471202621.7
Avery HayesHamilton Bulldogs451413021.3
Hunter HaightBarrie Colts41951920.0
LONGEST POINT STREAK
PlayerTeamFromToGMSPTS
Nolan DannSarnia Sting11/511/271115
LONGEST GOAL STREAK
PlayerTeamFromToGMSG
Tucker RobertsonPeterborough Petes10/2811/757
LONGEST ASSIST STREAK
PlayerTeamFromToGMSA
Stuart RolofsOshawa Generals2/112/2479
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average
PlayerTeamGPMinGAAvg
Brett BrochuLondon Knights3923061022.65
Max DonosoOttawa 67’s16889402.70
Dom DiVincentiisNorth Bay Battalion19996482.89
Patrick LeaverOshawa Generals341920973.03
Jacob OsterGuelph Storm211145593.09
Samuel IvanovSoo Greyhounds261432813.39
Pavel CajanKitchener Rangers2916901023.62
Nolan LalondeErie Otters3825041573.76
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage
PlayerTeamGPSHSVSSV%
Brett BrochuLondon Knights39119110890.914
Patrick LeaverOshawa Generals34110610090.912
Max DonosoOttawa 67’s164373970.908
Pavel CajanKitchener Rangers2910119090.899
Dom DiVincentiisNorth Bay Battalion194654170.897
Jacob OsterGuelph Storm215234640.887
Michael SimpsonPeterborough Petes298797760.883
Samuel IvanovSoo Greyhounds266775960.880

LEAVER AND EVANGELISTA NAMED OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of regular season games ending Sunday, February 6, 2022

Knights’ Luke Evangelista Named OHL Player of the Week

Nashville Predators prospect Luke Evangelista of the London Knights is the OHL Player of the Week with six goals, four assists and 10 points in three games with a plus/minus rating of plus-6.

Back in action for the first time since Jan. 23rd, the Knights won three straight over the weekend as Evangelista led the way, scoring in all three outings. He opened the scoring on the power play in Friday’s 5-1 win over the Windsor Spitfires before collecting a career-high five points including a hat trick and two assists in Saturday’s 6-3 defeat of the Kitchener Rangers. The 6-foot, 171Ib. right-winger was back at it on Sunday, hitting the empty net twice while adding two assists in London’s 8-3 road win over the Owen Sound Attack to extend his point streak to seven games. Evangelista surpassed his 2019-20 point total of 61 (23-38–61) recorded over 62 games in his 31st game of the season on Sunday.

A 19-year-old native of Oakville, Ont., Evangelista sits tied for the OHL goal-scoring lead with 32 tallies in just 31 games. He’s fourth in overall points with 64 (32-32–64) and leads OHL players with 2.06 points-per-game. The third-year forward was a second round (42nd overall) pick of the Nashville Predators in the 2020 NHL Draft, and signed a three-year entry level NHL contract in November 2020. Evangelista was London’s first round (14th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

Also considered for the award this week, Flint Firebirds forward Amadeus Lombardi registered a goal and five assists for six points in a pair of victories for his club. Edmonton Oilers prospect Matvey Petrov of the North Bay Battalion was also a force, scoring four goals along with two assists for six points as the Troops went 3-0 on home ice.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
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)


Generals’ Patrick Leaver Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Patrick Leaver of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL Goaltender of the Week, going 2-0-0-0 with a 1.44 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and one shutout.

Leaver claims the honour for the second time this season, helping the Generals put together a perfect weekend by stopping 64 of the 67 shots he faced. He was in the crease on Friday in Mississauga as the Generals edged the first place Steelheads 4-3 in a shootout. Leaver stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced before turning aside all nine Steelheads shootout attempts to secure the win. He was back at it on Saturday in Barrie, posting his second shutout of the season as the Generals were outshot 31-17 but managed to defeat the Colts 1-0 on a third period goal from Ryan Gagnier.

An 18-year-old from Perth, Ont., Leaver leads all OHL goaltenders with a .935 save percentage since January 1. His overall season totals include a 15-9-1-1 record, 2.95 goals-against average, .916 save percentage and two shutouts in 28 games. The former eighth round (158th overall) pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection was the 29th-ranked North American goaltender on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings released in January.

Also considered for the award this week, London Knights netminder Brett Brochu played to a 3-0-0-0 record with a 2.33 goals-against average and .936 save percentage as the Knights continue to lead the Western Conference. Luke Cavallin of the Flint Firebirds was 2-0-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .956 save percentage as the Firebirds remain hot.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
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.

OHL WRITER’S DRAFT ELIGIBLE PLAYER OF THE MONTH FOR NOVEMBER 2021

Kyle Jackson of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Terry Wilson, OHL Images

I can’t tell you how much fun it is to be back in an arena and watching live hockey. There just isn’t anything like it in the sports world.

In prior years, we here have done a draft eligible player of the month. However, just like we did for October, because of the sheer number of players re-entering the draft we have expanded it to include the draft eligible player of the month at forward position, defence and goaltending. So here we go…

FORWARD

It was an easy decision up front and that was Kyle Jackson of the North Bay Battalion. Jackson recorded eleven goals and eleven assists in just eleven games in November and now sits with fourteen goals and twenty-one assists in twenty-two games to lead all draft eligible players in scoring. Jackson was held off the scoresheet just once in November and produced seven multi-point games. He was recognized by the OHL as the top performer of the month.

We did consider Nolan Dann of the Sarnia Sting briefly. Dann played in twelve games and scored ten goals and assisted on six.

DEFENCEMAN

This could have gone any number of ways but we went with Gavin White of the Hamilton Bulldogs. White scored twice while adding eleven assists in ten games in the month of November. The reason we chose White over the others was his consistency through the month. He was only held pointless twice in those ten games and he only had two multi point games in the remaining eight. You can’t get much more consistent than that for a blueliner. White is a draft re-entry.

Also considered were a pair of Saginaw Spirit defencemen. Pavel Mintyukov had two goals and eight helpers in twelve games while Roberto Mancini had three goals and eight assists. Spencer Sova of the Erie Otters was also given consideration with his three goals and eight assists in eleven contests.

GOALTENDER

Patrick Leaver gets the nod here and it’s a token nod since he will not get the playing time, he has gotten through the first two months with the return of Oshawa Generals number one netminder from an injury. It’s not like he is not deserving though. Leaver posted a 4-2-1 record through November and a .902 save-percentage.

Of course, Brett Brochu of the London Knights was also considered. Brochu had a 6-4-1 record and a .904 save-percentage.

FORWARDS

November – Kyle Jackson – North Bay Battalion

October – Tucker Robertson – Peterborough Petes

DEFENCEMEN

November – Gavin While – Hamilton Bulldogs

October – Ty Nelson – North Bay Battalion

GOALTENDERS

November – Patrick Leaver – Oshawa Generals

October – Brett Brochu – London Knights

AUSTIN 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 regular season games ending Sunday, November 28, 2021.

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 with seven points including a goal and six assists across three games.

Othmann helped the Firebirds win two of three last week, earning first star recognition twice. He chipped in with an assist in Wednesday’s 5-3 win over the visiting rival Saginaw Spirit before a three-assist effort on Friday as Flint skated to a 6-3 win in Sarnia. Othmann had a goal and two assists along with nine shots on goal on Saturday as the Firebirds dropped a 4-3 decision on the back-end of a home-and-home against the Sting.

An 18-year-old native of Pickering, Ont., Othmann leads the Firebirds with 27 points (14-13–27) in 17 games this season. His 92 shots on goal are the third-most in the OHL as he produces at a 1.59 point-per-game clip, the fifth-highest pace in the League. A member of Canada’s gold medal-winning National Under-18 Team this past May in Frisco, Texas, Othmann was selected by the New York Rangers with the 16th overall pick of the 2021 NHL Draft. The former OHL Cup champion was Flint’s first round (2nd overall) pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection and was named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team in 2019-20 with 33 points (17-16–33) in 55 games.

Also considered for the award this week, Hamilton Bulldogs forward Logan Morrison recorded seven points (1-6–7) as his club picked up five of a possible six points. Nashville Predators prospect Luke Evangelista of the London Knights led the League with five goals along with an assist over three games, and Buffalo Sabres prospect Josh Bloom of the Saginaw Spirit had six points (3-3–6), headlined by two shorthanded goals and a game winner.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
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)


Petes’ Tye Austin Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Tye Austin of the Peterborough Petes is the OHL Goaltender of the Week after winning a pair of games while posting a 2.50 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

Austin recently returned from injury and turned aside 60 of the 65 shots that came his way last week. He made 19 saves in Thursday’s 5-3 win over the visiting North Bay Battalion, snapping the Troops’ four-game winning streak in Mason McTavish’s return to the Petes lineup. Austin provided a season-high 41 saves in Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Ottawa 67’s, earning first star recognition as the Petes were outshot 43-29, earning their third straight win.

A 19-year-old from Pembroke, Ont., Austin missed a month of action with a shoulder injury, returning to the Petes’ lineup on November 18th. The 6-foot-6, 200Ib. netminder is 3-2-0-0 with a 3.83 goals-against average and .888 save percentage in six games this season. Selected by the Petes in the third round (43rd overall) of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, Austin owns a career mark of 14-16-0-1 with a 4.16 goals-against average and .877 save percentage through 42 career regular season games in maroon and white.

Also considered for this week’s award, last week’s recipient Ben Gaudreau of the Sarnia Sting was strong once again, going 1-1-0-0 with a 2.03 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in two games. London Knights goaltender Brett Brochu was kept busy, making 113 saves over three outings. He posted a 2.95 goals-against average and .926 save percentage as the Knights went 2-1-0-0.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
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.

OHL ANNOUNCES TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR OCTOBER

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in October 2021, including Guelph Storm forward Sasha Pastujov, Sudbury Wolves defenceman Jack Thompson, Oshawa Generals rookie Calum Ritchie and London Knights goaltender Brett Brochu.

OHL Player of the Month – Sasha Pastujov (Guelph Storm):
Anaheim Ducks prospect Sasha Pastujov of the Guelph Storm is the OHL Player of the Month for October, sitting tied for the League-lead in both goals (10) and points (17) through 10 games this season. Pastujov is tied for the OHL’s second-most shots on goal with 44 and also scored a pair of game winners as the Storm played to a mark of 5-4-1-0. Pastujov wasted little time scoring his first career hat-trick, lighting the lamp three times on Oct. 9th as Guelph fell to visiting Kitchener 5-4. He proceeded to record points in eight consecutive games from Oct. 9th to 29th, headlined by three points (2-1–3) on Oct. 28th as the Storm fell to the Windsor Spitfires 6-3 before posting a season-high four points (3-1–4) on Oct. 29th in a 9-4 win over Owen Sound. Pastujov earned star of the game recognition four times, including a pair of first star and second star designations. He’s the first Storm player to earn OHL Player of the Month honours since Robby Fabbri last did so in February 2014.

An 18-year-old product of Bradenton, Fla., Pastujov has embarked on his first OHL season after being selected in the third round (66th overall) by the Anaheim Ducks out of the U.S. National Development Program last summer. A former World Under-17 Hockey Challenge silver medalist and IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship standout representing the United States, Pastujov was originally Guelph’s 14th round (276th overall) pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves):
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jack Thompson of the Sudbury Wolves is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for October, leading all blueliners with 16 points including four goals and 12 assists over 11 games. The League’s inaugural Player of the Week to start the season, Thompson leads the OHL with 50 shots on goal, is one of three defenders to score twice on the power play and is the lone rearguard to score a shorthanded goal this season. The Wolves captain registered three points (1-2–3) in his opening game of the season as Sudbury defeated visiting Peterborough 6-3. He followed that up with a career-high four points (1-3–4) as the Wolves skated to a 6-3 win in Sault Ste. Marie on Oct. 9th. He scored the deciding goal in Sunday’s 3-1 victory over North Bay. Thompson has recorded points in nine of his 11 games this season and earned star of the game recognition four times throughout October, twice being named first star along with one second and one third star designation. Thompson is the first Wolves defender to earn the honour since Frank Corrado in October 2013.

A 19-year-old native of Courtice, Ont., Thompson is in his third season with the Wolves having put up 64 points (23-41–64) over 126 career regular season contests with the franchise. He was a third round (93rd overall) pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2020 NHL Draft before spending part of the 2020-21 season with Surahammars IF of Sweden’s HockeyEttan circuit. Thompson made his pro debut with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch last season, recording an assist in his lone contest. He signed an entry-level NHL contract with the Lightning on May 19, 2021. The right-shot rearguard was originally Sudbury’s second round (30th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Clarington Toros U16 program.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals):
Calum Ritchie of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL Rookie of the Month for October, leading the field with 12 points including seven goals and five assists in 10 games. Ritchie also led rookies with 44 shots on goal and is tied for the most game winning goals with two. He opened his OHL career with goals in five consecutive games from Oct. 8th to 17th, recording a season-high four points (2-2–4) in a 6-3 win over the Peterborough Petes on Oct. 17th. The four-point performance made Ritchie the youngest General to accomplish the feat since Michael Dal Colle back on Nov. 4, 2012. His five-game goal-scoring streak brought him in line with John Tavares, who had a similar run during his exceptional status rookie season in the month of January 2006. Ritchie rounded-out the month by scoring the third period game winner on Oct. 28th in North Bay as the Generals skated to a 3-2 win.  He becomes the first General to earn OHL Rookie of the Month honours since Allan McShane last did so in January 2017.

A 16-year-old native of Oakville, Ont., Ritchie is a graduate of the Oakville Rangers U16 program, a team he captained before being chosen second overall in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection this past June.

OHL Goaltender of the Month – Brett Brochu (London Knights):
Brett Brochu of the London Knights is the OHL Goaltender of the Month after leading OHL netminders with a 2.07 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and an undefeated 8-0-0-0 record in the month of October. He also stopped 11 of 12 shootout attempts. Brochu put forth three different first star performances against the Owen Sound Attack including an Oct. 8th opening night 3-2 shootout victory that included 28 saves and four shootout denials. He was sharp against the Attack once again on Oct. 22nd, making 36 saves in a 2-1 win on home ice. Brochu turned back Owen Sound a fourth time in the month on Oct. 27th, making 32 saves in a 4-1 road win. The OHL Goaltender of the Month honour is Brochu’s third in a row dating back to January and February of 2020 prior to the season being halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A 19-year-old from Tilbury, Ont., Brochu has won 17 consecutive regular season games dating back to Feb. 14, 2020, part of a stretch in which he’s won 30 of 31 decisions since Dec. 29, 2019. The 6-foot, 176Ib. Brochu was a member of the OHL’s first all-rookie team during the 2019-20 season, leading the League with a 2.40 goals-against average to win the F.W. Dinty Moore Trophy. His 32 wins that season set a new OHL record for a 16 or 17-year-old first year goaltender. The former sixth round (114th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection made his professional debut with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2020-21, appearing in one game on May 16, 2021.

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 WRITERS’ DRAFT ELIGIBLE PLAYER OF THE MONTH: OCTOBER

Brett Brochu of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda / OHL Images

This season will be unlike any other for the players eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft that are playing in the Ontario Hockey League.

As you know, the pandemic wiped out the entire 2020-2021 OHL season and NHL scouts didn’t have an opportunity to scout the talent in the OHL with the exception of those that played in Europe or the Under-18 or the showcase tournament in Erie. We are basically combining two drafts into one and there are over 200 players eligible for the draft for the first time or re-entering the draft.

In a normal season here at OHL Writers, we look only at the players eligible for the NHL Entry Draft for the first time, but because of the number of players eligible for 2022 we have decided to include first time eligible players and players entering the draft for the second time which is why you will see some players born after September 15, 2002 throughout the season talked about here.

Also, a little different this season will be our Draft Eligible Player of the Month. Normally, we pick the player who had the best month but again, because of the volume of players available for the draft for this season we are breaking it down by position.

Our draft eligible player of the month for October up front is Tucker Robertson of the Peterborough Petes. To say Robertson had a fantastic month would be an understatement. In 9 games he notched 6 goals and 10 assists to lead all draft eligible players in scoring with 16 points. He was also 140 for 238 on the faceoff dot for a 58.8 winning percentage.

Robertson was kept off the scoresheet just twice in October while also compiling 4 multi point games and two games with 3 assists.

Also considered was North Bay Battalion’s Kyle Jackson who scored 3 goals to go along with 10 helpers in 11 games.

On defence, our choice is Ty Nelson of the North Bay Battalion. Nelson had 2 goals and 8 assists in 11 games and leads all draft eligible defensemen in scoring with 10 points and is fourth among all OHL defensemen in scoring. Nelson was held off the scoresheet just 4 times and had 4 multi-point games. He also finished with a very impressive plus-7.

Also considered was Hamilton Bulldogs defenseman Gavin White. He notched 7 helpers through 10 games and was a steadying influence at both ends of the ice. It took some time for White to find his stride, but he finished the month off with 6 helpers in Hamilton’s final 6 games of the month.

In the net Brett Brochu of the London Knights gets the nod. He’s played in every game and has a perfect 8-0-0 record. He also boasts the leagues best save-percentage if .935 and best goals-against-average of 2.07 (goalies with more than two starts).

Also considered was Oshawa Generals netminder Patrick Leaver, If it wasn’t for Brochu’s outstanding numbers, Leaver would have been the obvious choice with his .925 save-percentage and 2.49 goals-against-average.

RITCHIE AND BROCHU NAMED OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of regular season games ending Sunday, October 17, 2021.

Generals’ Calum Ritchie Named OHL Player of the Week

Rookie forward Calum Ritchie of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL Player of the Week with a league-leading seven points including four goals and three assists over three games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-4.

The second overall pick of the 2021 OHL Priority Selection, Ritchie helped the Generals take wins in two of three games last week. The 6-foot-2, 178Ib. centre started with a goal and an assist in a 7-3 road loss to the Ottawa 67’s on Thanksgiving Monday. The Generals were back in the nation’s capital on Friday and this time came away with a 4-1 win as Ritchie scored midway through the third period. He saved his best performance for last, recording two goals and two assists in a 6-3 win over the visiting Peterborough Petes on Sunday night. Ritchie becomes the youngest Generals player to record four points in a single game since Michael Dal Colle did so back on Nov. 4, 2012. His five-game goal-scoring streak brings him in line with John Tavares, who accomplished the feat in the month of January 2006 during his exceptional status rookie season.

A 16-year-old native of Oakville, Ont., Ritchie’s six goals tie him with teammate Ryan Stepien for the League lead. He sits two points back of Sudbury’s Jack Thompson for the OHL lead in points, registering nine (6-3–9) through five games. His 28 shots on goal are the most in the OHL, and his 116 faceoffs are tied for second in the League. Ritchie is a graduate of the Oakville Rangers U16 program, a team he captained before being chosen second overall this past June.

Ritchie becomes the first Generals player to claim Player of the Week honours since Philip Tomasino last did so from January 6-12, 2020.

Other Player of the Week candidates included Calgary Flames prospect Jack Beck who posted four goals and two assists over three games as his Ottawa 67’s went 2-1. Soo Greyhounds winger Cole MacKay also recorded six points (2-4–6) as the Soo Greyhounds took four of a possible six points on the road. London Knights rookie winger Colton Smith was also given consideration after scoring five goals, including his first career OHL hat-trick as the Knights went 3-0 last week.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Oct. 11- Oct. 17 – Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)

Knights’ Brett Brochu Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

London Knights netminder Brett Brochu is the OHL Goaltender of the Week with three wins, a 2.55 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.

Brochu helped the Knights improve to a League-best 5-0 record with back-to-back wins over the Windsor Spitfires before edging the Sarnia Sting in a shootout on Saturday. He turned aside 35 of the 38 shots he faced in a 4-3 Thanksgiving Monday shootout road win over the Spitfires, stopping seven of eight Windsor shootout attempts. Brochu was up to the task on Friday when the Knights played host to the Spitfires, making 32 saves in a 5-1 win while drawing an assist on Max McCue’s first goal of the season. He wrapped up the weekend making 29 saves in a 5-4 overtime road win over the Sarnia Sting, none bigger than a game-saving overtime denial that led to a Sean McGurn game winner in transition.

A 19-year-old from Tilbury, Ont., Brochu leads OHL netminders with five wins on the season while posting a 2.49 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He’s won 14 consecutive regular season games dating back to Feb. 14, 2020, part of a stretch in which he’s won 27 of 28 decisions since Dec. 29, 2019. The 6-foot, 176Ib. Brochu was a member of the OHL’s first all-rookie team during the 2019-20 season, leading the League with a 2.40 goals-against average to win the F.W. Dinty Moore Trophy. His 32 wins that season set a new Knights franchise record for rookie goaltenders. The former sixth round (114th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection made his professional debut with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2020-21, appearing in one game on May 16, 2021.

Also meriting consideration for the award this week was Ottawa Senators prospect Leevi Merilainen of the Kingston Frontenacs who played to a 2-0 mark while recording a 2.50 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. New York Islanders prospect Tristan Lennox of the Saginaw Spirit was also in the running, going 1-1 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Mar. 4 – Mar. 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.

16 OHL Players Recognized as Invitees to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp

unnamed

Calgary, Atla. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to announce that 16 OHL players have been invited to attend Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.

The camp roster features two OHL goaltenders, three defencemen and 26 forwards as part of the 41-player roster that will attend the five-day virtual camp taking place July 27-31. The camp will feature various online education sessions with a focus on player development. Hockey Canada announced last month that various programming and training sessions will be held virtually this summer due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We are excited to begin preparations for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with this group of 41 players and our full staff at our online camp, as we believe we have a good mix of veteran leadership and young talent that are eager to represent Canada during the holiday season,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “We are also pleased to have Michael and Mitch round out the coaching staff, as their Canadian Hockey League and international experience will compliment André’s leadership while we work towards defending our gold medal on home ice.”

The roster for Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp includes three OHL skaters who helped Canada win gold at the 2020 World Juniors (Byfield, Drysdale, McMichael), six OHL players who were selected at the 2019 NHL Draft (Harley, Clarke, McMichael, Rees, Suzuki, Tomasino), eight OHL players who are eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft (Brochu, Drysdale, O’Rourke, Byfield, Foerster, Perfetti, Perreault, Quinn), one who is eligible in 2021 (Lennox) and one who is eligible in 2022 (Wright).

As announced earlier this year, Ottawa 67’s head coach André Tourigny will return to Canada’s National Junior Team and serve as head coach after helping Canada to a gold medal as an assistant coach at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was named head coach of the OHL’s 67’s in 2017 and has helped them claim the Hamilton Spectator Trophy twice as back-to-back regular season champions. Tourigny was recently awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as the OHL’s Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and was named the CHL Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year presented by Janes.

The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship is set to take place in Edmonton and Red Deer this December.

OHL Players Invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp

Goaltenders:
Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Tristan Lennox (Saginaw Spirit)

Defencemen:
Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters)
Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads)
Ryan O’Rourke (Soo Greyhounds)

Forwards:
Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves)
Graeme Clarke (Ottawa 67’s)
Tyson Foerster (Barrie Colts)
Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)
Jacob Perreault (Sarnia Sting)
Jack Quinn (Ottawa 67’s)
Jamieson Rees (Sarnia Sting)
Ryan Suzuki (Saginaw Spirit)
Philip Tomasino (Oshawa Generals)
Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)

Coaches:
Head Coach – André Tourigny (Ottawa 67’s)

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on FacebookTwitter and Twitter.com/HC_Men.

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. Last season, more than nine million fans attended CHL games in the regular season, playoffs and at the Memorial Cup Presented by Kia. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U Sports than any other league.  For more information visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com.