OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Year

First off, I want to begin by saying I hope you are all safe and healthy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We all have to do our part to keep our families, our friends, our neighbours and ourselves from catching and spreading this terrible virus.

We don’t know when hockey will return, and for this piece here, we don’t know when the National Hockey League Draft will take place and how exactly the NHL will conduct the draft or how the draft order will be set. But here at OHLW, we will continue to bring you the usual content regarding the draft as we will get through this and it will eventually take place.

Our draft eligible player of the year isn’t always a reflection of the player we believe should be the first Ontario Hockey League player selected at the draft, but rather the player that performed the best from the first drop of the puck to the final horn of the season.

This year, for us, that player is Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s.

Rossi, Marco
Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s. Photo by OHL Images

Rossi led the entire OHL in assists (81) and points (120) and finished tenth in goals (39) en route to capturing the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy for most points on the season. He also led the entire league in plus/minus with a plus-69, and finished second in powerplay assists (31).

Rossi was named in the recent Coaches Poll as the Eastern Conference’s smartest player, best playmaker and best shootout shooter. He finished second in the voting as best on face-offs and defensive forward. He was voted as the third best penalty killer by the coaches.

On three occasions, November, December and February, Rossi was selected our draft eligible player of the month. The quest for perfection was interrupted twice by a player we gave consideration here to: Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit.

Perfetti finished second only to Rossi in the OHL scoring race with 111 points and assists (74). It’s the first time since the 2014-2015 season when teammates Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters that draft eligible players finished one-two in the OHL scoring race. Prior to those two accomplishing the feat, you’d have to go back to 2009-2010 when Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin both finished with 106 points and went one-two respectively at the NHL Draft.

We also gave some quick consideration to London Knights’ netminder Brett Brochu. In a season where there were more questions then answers coming into the season, Brochu took to the crease and ran with it. He set an OHL record with 32 wins for a first year netminder on lost just 6 games on the year. Not bad for a goaltender not ranked on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch Lists or mid-term rankings!

OHL ANNOUNCES 2019-20 REGULAR SEASON AWARD WINNERS

OHL awards

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the recipients of four of the league’s annual awards following the conclusion of the 2019-20 regular season.

Offensively, 2020 NHL Draft prospect Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s captured the League’s scoring title earning the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy, while Los Angeles Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs is the recipient of the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy for Top Scoring Right Winger.  Recognizing defensive efforts, the goaltending tandem of the team with the fewest goals against goes to Ottawa 67’s Cedrick Andree and Will Cranley who earn the Dave Pinkney Trophy, while Brett Brochu of the London Knights claims the F.W “Dinty” Moore Trophy as the rookie with the best goals-against average.

Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Scoring Champion): Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67’s

Marco Rossi finished atop the regular season scoring charts earning the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy with a CHL-leading 120 points including 39 goals, 81 assists and an impressive plus/minus rating of plus-69 over just 53 games. His 2.14 point-per-game pace led the OHL and is the highest such figure by an OHL scoring champion since London’s Patrick Kane (2.50) in 2006-07. He becomes the first Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy recipient of European descent in the award’s 74-year history.

The 18-year-old from Feldkirch, Austria helped power the first place 67’s with the League’s top power play, rounding out the campaign with a total of 34 multi-point performances, 23 of which included three points or more. His top performances included a five assist showing on October 20th against Hamilton, another five point outing on November 17th in Sarnia and a career-high six point output on November 27th in Kingston. The 5-foot-9, 187Ib. centreman finished the season with an impressive 58.5% success rate in the faceoff circle.

The fifth-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Draft Rankings competed in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this past January in Hamilton. Rossi, who was named to the OHL’s second all-rookie team in 2018-19, has accumulated 185 points (68-117–185) over just 109 regular season games since being selected by the 67’s with the 18th overall pick of the 2018 CHL Import Draft.

Rossi becomes the seventh player in 67’s franchise history to earn the award, following Tyler Toffoli (2011), two-time winner Corey Locke (2003, 2004), Andrew Cassels (1988), Jim Fox (1980), Bobby Smith (1978) and Blake Dunlop (1973). He follows other recent OHL standouts who won the award in their draft eligible seasons including Erie’s Dylan Strome (2015), Windsor’s Taylor Hall (2010), Plymouth’s Tyler Seguin (2010), London’s John Tavares (2009) and London’s Patrick Kane (2007).

The Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy was donated by the Toronto Marlboro Athletic Club in memory of Eddie Powers and was first awarded in 1945-46 to Tod Sloan of St. Michael’s who scored 79 points in 25 games.  Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs was last year’s recipient with 117 points in 62 games including 48 goals and 69 assists.  Other recent winners include Barrie’s Aaron Luchuk (2018), Erie’s Alex DeBrincat (2017) and Barrie’s Kevin Labanc (2016).

Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy (Top Scoring Right Winger): Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton Bulldogs

Los Angeles Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs finished fifth in OHL scoring but led all right wingers with 98 points including 44 goals and 54 assists in 57 games.

The 18-year-old from Staten Island, NY became the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in both career points (248) and goals (126) this past season, leading the team offensively while setting a new single season club mark for assists with 54.

Kaliyev was the OHL’s Player of the Month for October. His season was highlighted by 29 different multi-point performances including a career-high five-point effort on January 9th in Niagara. The former second round (26th overall) pick of the Bulldogs in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection finished with the League’s second-highest total of 288 shots on goal as he becomes the first Hamilton player in OHL history to earn the award.

Kaliyev, who was a second team all-star in 2018-19 and represented the United States at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, was a second round (33rd overall) pick by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2019 NHL Draft. He follows in the footsteps of former long-time Kings forward Jim Fox (Ottawa 67’s, 1979-80) as well as recent Kings winger Tyler Toffoli (Ottawa 67’s, 2011-12) in winning the award.

The Jim Mahon Trophy was first presented following the 1971-72 season by the players and management of the Peterborough Petes in memory of their right winger Jim Mahon who was accidentally killed that summer.  Justin Brazeau of the North Bay Battalion was last year’s recipient with 113 points in 68 games scoring 61 goals with 52 assists.  Recent winners also include Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting in 2018, Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters in 2017, Kevin Labanc of the Barrie Colts in 2016, and Mitch Marner of the London Knights in 2015.

Dave Pinkney Trophy (Lowest Team Goals Against): Cedrick Andree and Will Cranley, Ottawa 67’s

The Ottawa 67’s allowed the fewest goals in the OHL for the second straight season, surrendering just 164 over a 62-game schedule backstopped by the tandem of Cedrick Andree and Will Cranley.

Andree and Cranley guided the 67’s to a second consecutive Hamilton Spectator Trophy as OHL regular season champions as Ottawa played to an overall record of 50-11-0-1 for 101 points. It marks the third time in franchise history that the Barber Poles have won 50 games and the fifth time they’ve finished first overall in the regular season standings.

Andree finished with the League’s second-lowest goals-against average of 2.42, second-highest win total of 32 as part of a 32-9-0-1 record along with a .916 save percentage and four shutouts over 43 games. The 19-year-old from Orleans, Ont. was a 12th round (232nd overall) pick by the club in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. He claimed the Pinkney Trophy alongside Michael DiPietro in 2018-19 and becomes the first back-to-back recipient since Mississauga’s JP Anderson won consecutively in 2010 and 2011.

Cranley, who appeared in just 11 games with the 67’s in 2018-19, went an impressive 18-2-0-0 with a 2.81 goals-against average, .894 save percentage and four shutouts over 21 appearances. His 18 wins are the most by a 67’s designated rookie since Lukas Mensator (26) in 2002-03 while his four shutouts are the most by a 67’s designated rookie since Levente Szuper had just as many in 1998-99.  The 18-year-old from Peterborough, Ont. was a second round (35th overall) pick by Ottawa in 2018 and was the 16th ranked North American goaltender on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings released in mid-January.

This marks the seventh time the 67’s have led the league with the fewest goals against. They become the first back-to-back winners of the award since the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors claimed the honours in both 2010 and 2011. It marks the second time that Ottawa has won the award in consecutive seasons as a trio of Craig Hillier, Seamus Kotyk and Tim Keyes combined to earn the distinction in both 1997 and 1998. Other 67’s netminders with their names engraved on the trophy include Darren Pang (1983-84), Greg Coram (1983-84), Jim Ralph (1980-81) and Michal Larocque (1971-72).

The Dave Pinkney Trophy is awarded annually to the goaltending tandem from the team that allows the fewest goals against during the regular season.

F.W. “Dinty” Moore Trophy (Best Rookie GAA): Brett Brochu, London Knights

Brett Brochu of the London Knights capped off his record-breaking season with the best goals-against-average among OHL rookie goaltenders at 2.40, the lowest figure among recipients since 2012-13.

The 17-year-old product of Tilbury, Ont. suited up in 42 games with the Knights this season, posting a 32-6-0-0 record with the league’s lowest goals-against average and third-highest save percentage of .919. His 32 wins on the year came one short of the League lead and set a new record for the most victories by a 16 or 17-year-old first-year goaltender in OHL history, surpassing the previous mark set by John Vanbiesbrouck (Sault Ste. Marie, 1980-81) and Andrew Loverock (Mississauga, 2006-07).

Brochu was recognized as OHL Rookie and Goaltender of the Month in January and was awarded the League’s top goaltender honours once again in February. A sixth round pick of the Knights in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection out of the Chatham-Kent Cyclones Minor Midget program, Brochu spent the 2018-19 season with the PJHL’s Dresden Jr. Kings where was named Stobbs Division Rookie of the Year with a 27-11-0 record, 2.46 goals-against average and .915 save percentage over 38 regular season games. He proceeded to go 6-5 in the playoffs with a 2.10 goals-against average, a .931 save percentage and two shutouts.

Brochu becomes the fourth Knight to earn the distinction after former teammate Jordan Kooy (3.11 GAA in 2017-18), Ryan MacDonald (2.06 GAA in 2003-04), Sean Basilio (3.65 GAA in 1989-90), and Barry Heard (3.28 GAA in 1976-77).

The trophy is named after F.W. “Dinty” Moore of Port Colborne, Ont., who served as OHA President from 1942-45. In order to qualify for this rookie award, a goaltender must play a minimum of 900 minutes. Last year’s recipient was Sault Ste. Marie’s Ethan Taylor with a 3.24 goals-against average.

Brett Brochu– London Knights – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 156 Pounds

Date of birth: September 9, 2002

Hometown: Tilbury, Ontario

Catches: Left

OHL Draft: Round 6, 114th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. N.R.

The first thing some of you may be asking yourselves is why we are discussing a goaltender here that National Hockey League Central Scouting has not had ranked all season? Well, we can answer that with three words: He should be.

While we initially missed the boat here at OHLW in the preseason, it didn’t take long for us to have him as a player to watch. But first, a little Bio.

During the 2018-2019 season, Brochu manned the crease for the Dresden Jr Kings of the Provincial Junior Hockey League where he comfortably led the league in games played (38) and wins (27). He posted a 2.46 goals-against-average and a .915 save-percentage. Brochu was even better through 11 playoff contests posting a 2.10 goals-against-average and .931 save-percentage.

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

Brochu was listed in the Ontario Hockey League’s Draft Guide as 5’ 7.5” and at just 131 pounds for the 2018 Priority Selection, but the Knights saw something there and the rest as they say, is history.

With a September 9, 2002 birthdate, Brochu is one of the youngest players in the 2020 NHL draft class, having made the cut off date by just 6 days. So, just what has Brochu accomplished in a season to garner interest?

The OHL rookie appeared in 42 games for the Knights when the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus and that ranked 7th among netminders and tied for first among rookie netminders with North Bay’s Joe Vrbetic. Brochu led all netminders with a 2.40 goals-against-average and second behind the top ranked Guelph netminder Nico Daws with a .924 save-percentage. He also finished second with wins – 32 in 42 appearances, finishing the season with a 32-6-0-0 record. The 32 victories is an OHL record for rookies that has stood for 39 years.

So, what exactly is the knock on Brochu? The only conclusion we have is that Central Scouting continues to have a bias towards bigger goaltenders. Whether that’s right or wrong is up for NHL scouts to decide come draft day. The Nashville Predators appear to have done okay with the 5’11” Juuse Saros for example.

Sure, one could make the argument that the Knights are a sound defensive team with a lot of offense. But consider this: Brochu was 16-1-0-0 when facing 29 or more shots, and the Knights were outshot in 9 of those contests. Take the Sudbury Wolves as an example. Their offense was just as dynamic as the Knights. Yet Brochu was 2-0-0-0 versus the Wolves stopping 57 of 58 shots and in the game the Knights were outshot, he shut them out. All those numbers mean is that Brochu was just as important to the Knights as any other aspect of their team. For a team that had more questions then answers in the crease when the season began, I’m sure Brochu gave the Knights even more then they expected

Brochu is a netminder that possesses superb agility and movement in the crease. He gets out to the top of the blue paint in a flash to challenge shooters. He also gets into position quickly to make second and even third chance stops. He tracks the puck extremely well and never gives up on a play. In that sense, there are a lot of similarities to former Windsor Spitfires netminder Michael DiPietro. Watch the video below of his first career shutout versus the high-flying Ottawa 67’s to get a sense of his puck tracking abilities and how he recovers for second and third chances.

Brochu is as technically sound as any netminder available in the draft class. He plays the butterfly style to perfection and is able to get on his knees quickly and recovers just as quick. He rarely overplays a situation and lets trusts his positioning and allows the puck to hit him. His quickness and athleticism allow him to pounce on loose pucks in front of the paint. And we think his puck handling abilities are also superb.

All we can add is that we don’t believe NHL teams should pass on this kid because of his size.

OHL Goaltender of the Month for February

OHL Goaltender and Rookie of the Month for January

 

OHL THIS WEEK: MARCH 5 TO 8, 2020

OHL This Week

Toronto, Ont. – The 2019-20 regular season is winding down and the playoff races are heating up! Here’s all you need to know in the latest edition of the OHL This Week.

OHL THIS WEEK PODCAST WITH SUDBURY WOLVES VETERAN MACAULEY CARSON:
Sudbury Wolves captain Macauley Carson discusses his upcoming record-breaking night in his hometown of Barrie as he’ll play his 302nd career regular season game to climb atop the Wolves’ all-time list. He shares some of his memories and some details on the friendships he’s made along the way. Erie Otters captain Jack Duff also joins the show, sharing his new community initiative with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northwest Pennsylvania.
LISTEN

OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY:
Kingston’s Shane Wright and London Knights teammates Alec Regula and Brett Brochu are OHL Top Performers for February 2020.
READ MORE

OHL ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY:
Hamilton’s Lawson Sherk, Barrie’s Ethan Cardwell, Erie’s Aidan Campbell and Flint’s Braeden Kressler are the OHL’s Academic Players of the Month for February.
READ MORE

SPITFIRES AND RANGERS SQUARE OFF SUNDAY ON SPORTSNET:
OHL action comes to Sportsnet on Sunday afternoon as the Kitchener Rangers pay a visit to the Windsor Spitfires at 2:05pm. See the game across the country on Sportsnet as two Western Conference teams bound for the OHL Playoffs meet in Windsor.

67’s, KNIGHTS, RANGERS AND SPIRIT IN KIA CHL TOP 10:
The Ottawa 67’s remain as the second-ranked team in this week’s Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings while the London Knights, Kitchener Rangers and Saginaw Spirit are also on the national radar.
FULL RANKINGS

KNIGHTS’ FOUDY NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Liam Foudy of the London Knights is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week with seven points over three victories.
READ MORE

FOUDY AND YETMAN NAMED TO VAUGHN CHL TEAM OF THE WEEK:
Forwards Liam Foudy of the London Knights and Chad Yetman of the Erie Otters have been named to the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week.
READ MORE

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – MAR. 4, 2020:
Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week is brought to you by some perfect passes and some outstanding goals. Catch Windsor’s Jean-Luc Foudy with some jump in his step, Kingston’s Shane Wright with an effortless move behind the skates, Owen Sound’s Adam McMaster splitting the defenders, Niagara’s Jackson Doherty capping off a toe drag with a wicked snipe and Niagara’s Ivan Lodnia getting real fancy on his way to the net.
WATCH

VAUGHN SAVES OF THE WEEK – MAR. 3, 2020:
We’ve got glove saves, pad saves and even a save off the mask in this week’s Vaughn Saves roundup! Tune in for the good stuff from Mississauga’s Kai Edmonds, Flint’s Peyton Grainer, Hamilton’s Zachary Roy, Sarnia’s Benjamin Gaudreau, Sudbury’s David Bowen, London’s Brett Brochu, Niagara’s Andrew MacLean, Windsor’s Xavier Medina, Oshawa’s Jordan Kooy, Peterborough’s Hunter Jones, Saginaw’s Tristan Lennox and Ottawa’s Cedrick Andree.
WATCH

ICEDOGS’ LODNIA REPRESENTS OHL IN CHL SHOWDOWN:
Niagara IceDogs forward Ivan Lodnia is the OHL’s representative in this week’s CHL Showdown featuring one great play from all three leagues.
WATCH & VOTE AT CHLSHOWDOWN.CA

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS:
The top-ranked Toronto Jr. Canadiens and fourth-ranked Vaughan Kings are squaring off in the GTHL Championship Series while third-ranked Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and fifth-ranked Hamilton Huskies are going head-to-head for ALLIANCE Minor Midget supremacy. In the OMHA, Top-10 teams in the Quinte Red Devils (2), Southern Tier Admirals (8) and Whitby Wildcats (9) are off to this weekend’s OMHA Championship in Belleville alongside the Niagara North Stars and the Oshawa Generals. A total of seven teams have now secured spots at the 2020 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour.
FULL RANKINGS

VETERANS AND ROOKIES WORKING TOGETHER ON THE OHL OFFICIATING TEAM:
Veterans and rookies work together on the OHL Officiating Team as 21-year linesman Kevin Hastings skates alongside newcomer Matt Mannella in this behind the scenes look.
WATCH

A TALE OF TWO LONDON KNIGHTS DRAFT ELIGIBLE SOPHOMORES:
Luke Evangelista and Antonio Stranges are reaping the rewards of lessons learned during their rookie seasons, developing valuable skills and a long-term vision under the coaching of Dale Hunter.
WATCH

67’s LOCK UP SECOND STRAIGHT EAST DIVISION TITLE:
The Ottawa 67’s are East Division champions for a second straight year following Friday’s 4-1 win over the visiting Oshawa Generals. The 2020 East Division title secures the franchise’s 17th Leyden Trophy.
READ MORE

SPITFIRES HEADED TO THE POSTSEASON:
The Windsor Spitfires are headed to the 2020 OHL Playoffs for the fifth straight season. Their 10-2 win over the Kingston Frontenacs, led by multi-point performances from a pair of top NHL Draft prospects in Jean-Luc Foudy (2-2—4) and Will Cuylle (2-1—3), solidified their spot in the postseason with a 34-19-6-0 tally on the season and 74 points for fifth in the Western Conference, becoming the fifth Western team to enter the playoff tree.
READ MORE

COLTS BACK IN THE PLAYOFF PICTURE:
The Barrie Colts are officially back in the playoff picture. Despite a 6-1 loss to the Peterborough Petes on Sunday, the Niagara IceDogs’ loss to the North Bay Battalion vaulted the Colts into the playoff tree with their 27-26-4-2 record and 60 points at fifth in the Eastern Conference.
READ MORE

BULLDOGS PART WAYS WITH HEAD COACH VINCE LAISE:
The Hamilton Bulldogs announced Tuesday that Vince Laise has been relieved of his coaching duties effective immediately. President and general manager Steve Staios will oversee the coaching staff for the remainder of the season.
READ MORE

FIREBIRDS’ TUCKER SIGNS WITH BLUES:
Flint Firebirds defenceman Tyler Tucker has signed a three-year entry level NHL contract with the St. Louis Blues. The 20-year-old has 55 points (17-38–55) over 52 games between the Firebirds and Barrie Colts this season. He was St. Louis’ seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
READ MORE

PETES’ ROBERTSON IS OHL’S FIRST TO 50 GOALS IN 2019-20:
Nick Robertson is the Canadian Hockey League’s first to 50 in 2019-20. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect netted a hat-trick in Sunday’s 6-1 Peterborough Petes win over the visiting Barrie Colts to hit the 50-goal mark, doing so in just his 43rd game. He’s in good company, joining 13 other names to accomplish the feat in the storied history of the Peterborough Petes.
READ MORE

FRONTENACS’ ROOKIE WRIGHT SETS NEW FRANCHISE MARK FOR GOALS BY A ROOKIE:
Shane Wright made Kingston Frontenacs history on Saturday, recording his first OHL hat-trick to become the franchise’s all-time leading goalscorer among rookies.
READ MORE

ATTACK’S LYLE SETS FRANCHISE RECORD FOR CAREER GOALS BY A DEFENCEMAN:
Overage defenceman Brady Lyle scored 58 seconds into action on Wednesday in Flint, burying the Attack’s first shot of the game to become the franchise’s all-time leader in career goals by a defenceman.
READ MORE

NOLAN FORSTER COMMITS TO STORM:
The Guelph Storm have received a commitment from 2019 eighth round selection Nolan Forster. Forster enjoyed a great rookie season with the Cambridge Redhawks of the GOJHL, recording 14 goals and 44 assists for a total of 58 points in 47 regular season games.  Forster finished the season second in team scoring.
READ MORE

5 QUESTIONS WITH JACOB INGHAM:
Los Angeles Kings prospect Jacob Ingham of the Kitchener Rangers shares thoughts about a season where he has made an impact on and off the ice.
READ MORE

OHL PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: SPOTS FILLING UP FAST!
The OHL Performance Development League launches April 26th and spots are filling up fast! The registration deadline is April 22nd. Don’t miss out, book your spot today!
DETAILS

BEYOND THE BOARDS:

Captain Jack’s Kids: Erie Otters Captain Jack Duff has teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of NW PA for an initiative he’s called Captain Jack’s Kids. Duff invites a new kid and their family to each Otters home game, meets with them after the game, gifts them a signed puck, and gives them an overall one-of-a-kind experience. Inspired by visits from the Kingston Frontenacs when he was a child in school, Duff wants to be an inspiration for younger kids, reach out to the less fortunate and help them “do whatever it is they want to do” in the future.
VISIT OTTERSHOCKEY.COM FOR MORE

Canadore Community Appreciation Night in North Bay: Fans are asked to join Canadore College and their guests for a fun-filled night at the Memorial Gardens on Thursday as the Troops host the Kingston Frontenacs. There’ll be plenty of prizes to win along with a special intermission promo fans won’t want to miss! Fans are asked to wear their Canadore ‘Red’ clothing to the game and bring their favourite noise maker.

Guelph’s annual Pick Up The Tab Night: The Storm are collecting beer tabs for their annual Pick Up The Tab night this Friday when they face off against the Oshawa Generals. They’re teaming up with Sleeman Breweries and the tabs are being collected for Elora Legion Branch 229 “Tabs for Wheelchairs” program. Money raised from the recycled tabs will go towards new wheelchairs, new walkers, and new motorized scooters.
MORE INFO AT GUELPHSTORM.COM

OHL ONSIDE touches down in Kitchener: With the Barrie Colts in town Friday, the Kitchener Rangers are hosting their fourth annual OHL ONSIDE event in support of ending gender-based violence with the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region. There will be an information table set up at the game as well as a ceremonial puck drop. OHL ONSIDE is an initiative between the Ontario Hockey League and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) aimed at increasing the understanding and awareness of players’ responsibility to demonstrate respect for women and people of all genders.
READ MORE AT KITCHENERRANGERS.COM

Niagara IceDogs’ ‘Night School’ Game: The Icedogs’ “Night School” game will take place this Saturday against the visiting Erie Otters in partnership with the Education Foundation of Niagara and Niagara Foundation for Catholic Education. The team will be sporting the jerseys designed by elementary school student Owen McNeish-Fortune.
MORE DETAILS AT NIAGARAICEDOGS.NET

Oshawa Generals and Hockey Gives Blood host upcoming Blood Drive: On Tuesday, March 10th, the Oshawa Generals and their Hockey Gives Blood player ambassador Lleyton Moore will be host a Blood Drive. All those interested in taking part can visit OshawaGenerals.com to book an appointment.
SIGN UP AT OSHAWAGENERALS.COM

Peterborough Petes looking for Playoff Slogan: The Petes are on the hunt for a playoff slogan and they’ve reached out to the community for help. Entries are being accepted until March 15th and the winner will receive some great prizes.
CONTINUE READING AT GOPETESGO.COM

ALUMNI NOTES:

Hishon, Bieber’s close friendship blasts Attack into social media stratosphere: The CHL’s smallest market hit the world stage early Monday morning when Justin Bieber blasted out a photo wearing a personalized Owen Sound Attack jersey while posing with assistant coach Joey Hishon, a former Attack star who helped guide the team to an OHL Championship in 2010-11. The image was sent out to Bieber’s 129-million Instagram followers, becoming an instant viral sensation. Hishon and Bieber, the Stratford duo, have been hitting the ice in Los Angeles and New York recently as Bieber prepares for his eventual 10-breakaway challenge against former Attack goaltender and NHL all-star Jordan Binnington. The Owen Sound Sun-Times’ Greg Cowan has the story.
READ MORE AT OWENSOUNDSUNTIMES.COM

Studnicka a shorthanded force for Bruins: Niagara IceDogs graduate and long-time Oshawa Generals forward Jack Studnicka received high praise over at bostonbruins.com this week. The 21-year-old centreman has scored an AHL-leading seven shorthanded goals this season as part of a 46-point (22-24–46) rookie campaign. Studnicka was Boston’s second round pick in 2017 and played four seasons in the OHL from 2015-19.
READ MORE AT NHL.COM/BRUINS

Garlent named ECHL Player of the Month: Peterborough Petes graduate Hunter Garlent of the Florida Everblades has been named ECHL Player of the Month for February. The 25-year-old recorded seven goals, 12 assists and 19 points in 12 games, tacking on a plus-15 rating. Garlent is tied for seventh among ECHL rookies with 41 points (16-25–41) in 51 games this season. Following a five-year OHL career between Guelph and Peterborough from 2011-16, he played U SPORTS Men’s Hockey at St. Mary’s University from 2016-19.
READ MORE AT ECHL.COM

12 OHL alumni set to battle for Queen’s Cup: The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and University of Guelph Gryphons are headed to the 109th Queen’s Cup Final with a total 12 former OHL skaters suiting up for the one game showdown.
READ MORE

CHL Leaders – Zack Shepley: There are no shortage of parallels between Zack Shepley’s current career and his former days in the Ontario Hockey League. Currently serving as a firefighter in the Windsor, Ont., area, Shepley vastly enjoys his new work environment, one that comes with a recollection of his time around his teammates and the friendships that came with it during his five seasons with the Plymouth Whalers and Brampton Battalion from 2003-08.
READ MORE

KEY MATCHUPS:

Erie Otters at Niagara IceDogs
Saturday, March 7

The Erie Otters (25-25-4-7) are looking to maintain that Western Conference eighth place seed and the Niagara IceDogs (18-36-5-1) are hoping to get the leg up on the Kingston Frontenacs for eighth in the East.

The Otters are led by third year skaters Maxim Golod (25-52—77) and Chad Yetman (41-31—72), and have top NHL Draft prospect Jamie Drysdale monitoring the blueline.

The IceDogs have struggled to find themselves in the win column as of late with only one win in their last 17 games, but they currently sit tied with the eighth place Kingston Frontenacs, meaning that playoff berth could be anyone’s.

Minnesota Wild prospect Ivan Lodnia sits atop the Niagara scoring race with 60 points to his name (26-34—60) and is followed up by fellow overager Oliver Castleman, posting a 57-point total (21-36—57).

The Otters hold a 4-0-0-1 tally over the course of the season and will wrap up their series with the ‘Dogs on Saturday night at the Meridian Centre.

Kingston Frontenacs at Soo Greyhounds
Saturday, March 7

Dwindling in eighth place and tied for 42 points on the year with Niagara, the Kingston Frontenacs (19-36-2-2) will head to Sault Ste. Marie Saturday hungry to hold down the playoff spot and widen that point cushion.

The next few wins are just as crucial for the ninth place Greyhounds (26-31-3-1), who trail the Erie Otters by five points over in the Western Conference.

Shane Wright continues to lead the squad with a franchise record-setting 66 points, whose numbers match Connor McDavid’s rookie total as a fellow exceptional status skater. The 16-year-old rookie notched his first OHL hat-trick last weekend to hit the 38 goal-marker, surpassing former Kingston Canadian Bernie Nicholls’ 36 rookie goals scored over a single season. Linemate Zayde Wisdom has kept up consistent numbers, boasting 58 points over his 59 appearances.

Zack Trott leads the pack in Sault Ste. Marie, boasting 61 points over 59 games in his third OHL season, and trailing five points behind him is sophomore skater Rory Kerins with his team-highest 29 goals.

Saturday will see the two squads square off for the second and final time this season. The ‘Hounds scored five in a row to defeat the Fronts 5-2 back in late January in their first meeting.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Thursday, March 5th:
Saginaw at Mississauga – 11:00pm
Kingston at North Bay – 7:00pm
Hamilton at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Owen Sound at Windsor – 7:05pm
Sudbury at Barrie – 7:30pm

Friday, March 6th:
North Bay at Mississauga – 7:00pm
Soo at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Oshawa at Guelph – 7:30pm
Barrie at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Sarnia at London – 7:30pm

Saturday, March 7th:
Saginaw at Hamilton – 4:00pm
Windsor at Flint – 7:00pm
Erie at Niagara – 7:00pm
Mississauga at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Kingston at Soo – 7:07pm
Ottawa at Barrie – 7:30pm
London at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday, March 8th:
Saginaw at Erie – 2:00pm
Peterborough at Niagara – 2:00pm
Ottawa at North Bay – 2:00pm
Kingston at Sudbury – 2:05pm
Kitchener at Windsor – 2:05pm (Live on Sportsnet)
Guelph at Sarnia – 4:05pm
Oshawa at London – 6:00pm

OHL ANNOUNCES TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in February 2020, including Kingston Frontenacs forward Shane Wright and London Knights teammates Alec Regula and Brett Brochu.

OHL Player & Rookie of the Month – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs):
First overall OHL Priority Selection choice and exceptional status forward Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs has been recognized as both the OHL Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for February. The 16-year-old led the League with 14 goals while adding 10 assists for 24 points over 13 contests as his Frontenacs got back into the playoff hunt with five victories to pull into a tie for eighth in the Eastern Conference. Wright lit the lamp in 10 of his 13 February outings, netting three multi-goal efforts along the way. He opened the month with two goals and an assist in a 5-3 road loss to the Barrie Colts on Feb. 1st before registering another multi-goal showing with a pair in a 4-3 win over the Peterborough Petes on Feb. 5th. Wright went on to string together three straight three-point performances on Feb. 9th, 12th and 14th, tallying a goal and two assists in each game. He stepped up with the overtime winner as the Frontenacs defeated the Oshawa Generals on Feb. 21st. Wright saved his biggest performance of the month for last, surpassing Bernie Nicholls for the Frontenacs’ all-time franchise rookie goal-scoring mark with his 39th of the season as part of his first career OHL hat-trick in a 6-1 road win over the Flint Firebirds. Wright received star of the game recognition five times over the course of the month.

A product of Burlington, Ont., Wright leads OHL rookies with 39 goals and 66 points over 55 games this season. His 66 points are equal to Connor McDavid‘s total over 63 games as an exceptional status rookie with the Erie Otters in 2012-13. The 2004-born talent captained Team Canada Black at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, recording seven points (4-3–7) over five games. He was selected first overall by the Frontenacs last spring after being named GTHL Player of the Year with 150 points (66-84–150) over 72 games as a member of the OHL Cup champion Don Mills Flyers.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Alec Regula (London Knights):
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alec Regula of the London Knights is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for February, leading all blueliners with 11 goals while adding seven assists for 18 points over 11 contests with a plus/minus rating of plus-10. Regula recorded points in 10 of his 11 February outings, starting the month with a two-goal showing on Feb. 1st in Sarnia. He matched a season-high with three points including a goal and two helpers in a 6-3 win over the Kitchener Rangers on Feb. 14th, chipping in with a pair of assists a night later as London defeated Kingston 7-5. After recording a goal and an assist in a win over the Windsor Spitfires on Feb. 20th, Regula became the first Knights defenceman to score a hat-trick since March 2009 when he netted three on Feb. 21st against Guelph. Regula finished February on a high note, picking up a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over the Soo Greyhounds on Feb. 28th.

A 19-year-old native of West Bloomfield, Mich., Regula leads OHL defenders with 26 goals while adding 31 assists for 57 points over 53 games this season. The 6-foot-4, 207Ib. third-year veteran sits owns a team co-leading plus-34 rating and his 26 goals are the most by a Knights rearguard since Dennis Wideman potted 27 during the 2001-02 season. Regula has accumulated 121 points (44-77–121) over 186 career regular season games with the Knights dating back to 2017 after he was selected in the fourth round (74th overall) of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. He was a third round (67th overall) pick of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2018 NHL Draft before being dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks in an October 2019 move that saw OHL graduate Brendan Perlini go the other way. The Blackhawks signed Regula to a three-year entry level contract in November.

OHL Goaltender of the Month – Brett Brochu (London Knights):
For the second straight month, London Knights rookie Brett Brochu has been recognized with OHL Top Goaltender honours. Brochu led all netminders with a 2.36 goals-against average to go with a 7-1-0-0 record and .926 save percentage over eight games. He put together a season-high 43 saves on Feb. 17th in Ottawa as the Knights defeated the CHL’s top-ranked 67’s 4-2, with the rookie earning second star honours. Brochu built off that, stopping 36 of 38 on Feb. 20th in Windsor as the Knights defeated the Spitfires 4-2. He rounded out the month with a record-setting 29th win on Feb. 28th, making 26 saves against the Soo Greyhounds to pass Ryan MacDonald on the Knights’ all-time list for wins by a rookie goaltender.

A 17-year-old native of Tilbury, Ont., Brochu has won 19 of his last 20 outings for an overall record of 29-6-0-0 with the league’s third-best 2.50 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and two shutouts over 39 games. His 29 wins are the most by an OHL 17-year-old rookie since Niagara’s Andrew Loverock won 31 during the 2006-07 campaign. The 5-foot-11, 156Ib. puckstopper was London’s sixth round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He spent last season with the Dresden Kings Jr. C club, earning PJHL Stobbs Division Rookie of the Year honours.

2019-20 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
February – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
January – Philip Tomasino (Oshawa Generals)
December – Cole Schwindt (Mississauga Steelheads)
November – Jan Jenik (Hamilton Bulldogs)
October – Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Defenceman of the Month:
February – Alec Regula (London Knights)
January – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)
December – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)
November – Connor Corcoran (Windsor Spitfires)
October – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)

Rookie of the Month:
February – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
January – Brett Brochu (London Knights)
December – Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes)
November – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
October – Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes)

Goaltender of the Month:
February – Brett Brochu (London Knights)
January – Brett Brochu (London Knights)
December – Jacob Ingham (Kitchener Rangers)
November – Nico Daws (Guelph Storm)
October – Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

OHL ANNOUNCES TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR JANUARY

Top Performers January

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in January 2020, including Oshawa Generals forward Philip Tomasino, Ottawa 67’s defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer and London Knights goaltender Brett Brochu.

OHL Player of the Month – Philip Tomasino (Oshawa Generals):
Nashville Predators prospect Philip Tomasino of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL Player of the Month for January, posting a league-leading 34 points including 15 goals and 19 assists over just 13 games.  Tomasino recorded three points or more on seven different occasions and earned star of the game recognition in nine of his 13 outings, 10 of which came as a member of the Oshawa Generals following a trade from the Niagara IceDogs. He wrapped up his tenure in Niagara with 10 points over his final three contests including a five-point showing (1-4–5) in a 9-8 win over North Bay on Jan. 2nd. He followed that up two nights later with four points (2-2–4), setting up the OT winner as the IceDogs defeated the Kitchener Rangers 7-6 on Jan. 4th. Tomasino started his time as an Oshawa General with a bang on Jan. 9th in Windsor, registering five points (2-3–5) in a 6-3 triumph over the Spitfires. That performance was followed by back-to-back two-goal outings on Jan. 10th in Sarnia and Jan. 12th back on home ice against the Peterborough Petes, helping Tomasino earn OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week honours. Other outstanding January performances included another four-point effort (2-2–4) on Jan. 20th in Owen Sound as he set up the winning goal in a 5-4 victory over the Attack. He wrapped up January with three consecutive multi-point outings headlined by a goal and three assists on Jan. 25th in a 7-4 win over the Kingston Frontenacs on Sportsnet.

An 18-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., Tomasino leads the Generals in scoring this season with 83 points (34-49–83) over 48 games, good for the league’s fourth-highest total. Now in his third OHL season, the former fifth overall pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection has amassed 179 points (73-106–179) over 176 career regular season games. He was the highest-drafted OHL forward at last summer’s 2019 NHL Draft, going 24th overall to the Nashville Predators who signed him to a three-year entry level NHL contract on October 21st.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s):
Ottawa 67’s overage defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer has been named OHL Defenceman of the Month for the third time this season. The fifth-year veteran led all rearguards with 18 points including three goals and 15 assists over 13 games to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-13. Hoefenmayer recorded points in 11 of his 13 January outings including three assists on Jan. 18th against the Hamilton Bulldogs, a two-goal showing on Jan. 25th against the Niagara IceDogs and a goal and one helper on Jan. 30th on the road against the same IceDogs. Hoefenmayer helped the 67’s rise to the top of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings with wins in 13 of 14 January contests. He wrapped up the month on an eight-game point streak.

A 21-year-old native of North York, Ont., Hoefenmayer leads OHL defenders with 67 points including 19 goals and 48 assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-44 over 46 games. The 6-foot-1 rearguard has been a big contributor on Ottawa’s top-ranked 30.6% power play this season, registering 32 points on the man advantage. A fifth-year veteran, Hoefenmayer is currently inside the franchise top-8 for both career points by a defenceman (207) and career games played (286). His 19 goals from the back end are the most in a single season by a 67’s defenceman since Jon Zion in 2000-01. Hoefenmayer was a fourth round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2017 NHL Draft before going unsigned and attended rookie camp with the Carolina Hurricanes in September. Hoefenmayer was a second round pick of the 67’s in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.

OHL Goaltender & Rookie of the Month – Brett Brochu (London Knights):
London Knights netminder Brett Brochu is both the OHL Goaltender and OHL Rookie of the Month for January after posting an impressive 9-0-0-0 record along with a 1.89 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in nine games. Brochu made at least 30 saves on four different occasions highlighted by a 40-save effort on Jan. 3rd as the Knights defeated the Mississauga Steelheads 3-1. He surrendered just one goal in back-to-back games on Jan. 12th in Sault Ste. Marie and Jan. 17th at home to the Sudbury Wolves before turning in another fine performance with 35 saves in a 4-1 defeat of the Hamilton Bulldogs on Jan. 24th. Brochu closed out January on an 11-game winning streak.

A 17-year-old native of Tilbury, Ont., Brochu leads OHL rookie goaltenders with a 2.52 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and a record of 21-5-0-0, becoming the first Knights rookie to win 20 games in a season since Ryan MacDonald back in 2003-04. The 5-foot-11, 156Ib. puckstopper was London’s sixth round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He spent last season with the Dresden Kings Jr. C club, earning PJHL Stobbs Division Rookie of the Year honours.

2019-20 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
January – Philip Tomasino (Oshawa Generals)
December – Cole Schwindt (Mississauga Steelheads)
November – Jan Jenik (Hamilton Bulldogs)
October – Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Defenceman of the Month:
January – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)
December – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)
November – Connor Corcoran (Windsor Spitfires)
October – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)

Rookie of the Month:
January – Brett Brochu (London Knights)
December – Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes)
November – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
October – Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes)

Goaltender of the Month:
January – Brett Brochu (London Knights)
December – Jacob Ingham (Kitchener Rangers)
November – Nico Daws (Guelph Storm)
October – Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Month for January

In the years that I have been doing this, I don’t ever recall a month like January where so many players could have been chosen our Draft Eligible Player of the Month. Tyson Foerster, Luke Evangelista, Brett Brochu, James Hardie, Ty Tullio, Jack Quinn, Marco Rossi, Cole Perfetti and Quinton Byfield were all, for different reasons, deserving.

Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

We settled on Mr Consistency, Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit for the second time this season.

Through 13 games in the month of January, Perfetti found the back of the net 8 times while assisting on 21 others and finishing a plus-16. He was held off the score sheet just once, a January 15th matchup against the Soo Greyhounds. In the 12 remaining contests, 9 were multi point games.

Perfetti was named the game’s first star 3 times and the game’s third star twice. But let’s not get into the Ontario Hockey League’s three-star selection process.

Serious consideration was given to London Knights netminder Brendan Brochu. The rookie keeper appeared in 9 games in January winning all of them while posting a sparkling 1.89 goals-against-average and a .940 save-percentage.

Foerster appeared in 11 games scoring 8 goals and assisting on 9 others. Evangelista scored 6 goals and 11 assists in 11 games, Hardie 12 goals and 8 assists in 11 games, Tullio 7 goals and 9 assists in 13 games, Quinn 17 goals and 7 assists in 12 games, Rossi 6 goals and 16 assists in 12 games and Byfield 7 goals and 6 assists in 7 games.

OHL Writers Draft Eligible Players of the Month

January – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

December – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

November – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

October – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit