OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Jackson Edward of the London Knights, Matthew Mania of the Sudbury Wolves, Brad Gardiner of the Ottawa 67’s and Bryce McConnell-Barker of the Soo Greyhounds have been named Academic Players of the Month for February.

East Division: Ottawa 67’s rookie forward Brad Gardiner is the OHL East Division Academic Player of the Month for February.

Gardiner achieved an 88 percent average in grade 11 university-level Functions and English, as well as grade 12 World Issues and International Business, completing four credits over two quadmesters. He is now taking Grade 12 university-level English as well as Nutrition and Health at Blyth Academy.

“Brad’s excellent marks are a direct reflection of his solid work ethic and dedication to his educational goals,” said 67’s academic advisor Eileen Duffin. “His teachers describe him as well organized, conscientious, and dedicated to working hard.”

“Bradley has proved to be an organized and conscientious student athlete in his first season with the 67’s,” said general manager James Boyd. “As a result, he has shown continuous development throughout the season, both on and off of the ice.”

The 16-year-old from Aurora, Ont. has played 42 games this season, recording three goals and four assists for a total of seven points. Gardiner was Ottawa’s third round (40th overall) pick in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.

Central Division: Sudbury Wolves rookie defender Matthew Mania is the OHL Central Division Academic Player of the Month for February.

Mania is currently enrolled in Algebra, Chemistry, Art and English where he is maintaining a straight-A average at Great River Connections Academy.

“Matthew is a an excellent student and dedicated player,” said Wolves academic advisor Gord Ewin.

The 16-year-old Olmsted, Ohio native has recorded two goals and six assists in 35 games this season. He was Sudbury’s fourth round (60th overall) pick in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.

Midwest Division: Draft eligible London Knights rookie defenceman Jackson Edward is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for February.

Edward achieved a 93.5 percent average in Data Management, English, Communications Technology and Classical Civilizations at Blyth Academy.

“Jackson is an exemplary student,” said Knights academic advisor Wendy Glover. “In addition to achieving high grades, he attends all academic advising meetings and assists other players as a peer tutor when needed. He exhibits the work ethic and desire to learn more than the required material in all classes.”

The Newmarket, Ont. native has played 32 games this season, recording four assists for the Knights, who selected him in the second round (22nd overall) of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. He’s the 75th-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings.

West Division: Draft eligible Soo Greyhounds forward Bryce McConnell-Barker is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for February.

McConnell-Barker earned  an overall average of 87 percent  in his  three grade 12 university-level courses, highlighted by a mark of 98 percent in English at Superior Heights Secondary School.

“Bryce shows qualities of a team leader and a positive role model,” said Greyhounds academic advisors Jerry Bumbacco and Mary Lynne Lukenda. “He has been described by his teachers and classmates as a mature young man who is well respected by the younger players. He has demonstrated, by his actions and achievements, that he is an outstanding representative of the Soo Greyhounds and the OHL.”

The rookie from London, Ont. has scored 14 goals, 18 assists and 32 points in 50 games this season. McConnell-Barker was the fourth overall pick of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection and is the 28th-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Draft Rankings.

2021-22 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
February – Brad Gardiner (Ottawa 67’s)
January – Luca Marrelli (Oshawa Generals)
December – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Cole Brown (Hamilton Bulldogs)
October – Sam Alfano (Peterborough Petes)

Central Division:
February – Matthew Mania (Sudbury Wolves)
January – Pano Fimis (Niagara IceDogs)
December – Owen Van Steensel (North Bay Battalion)
November – Hunter Haight (Barrie Colts)
October – Owen Beck (Mississauga Steelheads)

Midwest Division:
February – Jackson Edward (London Knights)
January –  Jackson Parsons (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Matthew Poitras (Guelph Storm)
November – Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)
October – Cal Uens (Owen Sound Attack)

West Division:
February – Bryce McConnell-Barker (Soo Greyhounds)
January – Ryder McIntyre (Sarnia Sting)
December – PJ Forgione (Saginaw Spirit)
November – Ethan Hay (Flint Firebirds)
October – Bronson Ride (Windsor Spitfires)

A total of 343 graduates utilized their OHL Scholarship at post-secondary institutions across North America during the 2020-21 academic year, with a total contribution by teams of over $3.1 million. Over the past 10 seasons, OHL Scholarship payments have totalled more than $25 million.

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


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.

Bryce McConnell-Barker – Soo Greyhounds – Player Profile

Bryce McConnell-Barker of the Soo Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images
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The fourth overall pick at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, Bryce McConnell-Barker of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds, is in the same boat as most players from the OHL: the missed season of 2020-2021 lost them a year of development and puts scouts in the difficult position of not being able to evaluate development from one season to the next.

With that being said, here’s what I see:

McConnell-Barker is an accomplished 3-zone player already. But I do wonder why the offensive part of his game is not where I thought it would be. He has an NHL caliber shot but he’s averaging just two shots per game and that is way down the list of leaders for the Greyhounds.

The eye test sees two things. One, he is not getting into the dangerous areas enough to get that high quality shot at the target. And two, the Greyhounds are such a veteran team, that he’s not always in the best offensive positions. But he is getting powerplay time and to date has 3 goals and 3 assists on the PP which shows he can shoot the puck and also set up.

BMB is a good skater with some good speed, but not a burner. He gets in on the forecheck effectively and will not shy away from taking the body. Combine that with his shot, and I am left wondering whether BMB would be more effective on the wing as opposed to the middle.

But then I look at his defensive game and how far along he is in that department and with the added defensive responsibilities a center has, I believe playing down the middle is where he would be most successful at the next level.

BMB will attack the opposition through the neutral zone and ride them off the puck before they have the chance to enter his zone. If they are in the offensive zone, BMB isn’t shy about attacking the puck either, but he stays within himself and the system and won’t get caught out of position.

There are times when he’s shown he can break out of his zone and transition to offence. He has the ability to gain the zone and lead the attack.

At this point, I think BMB has shown enough that he could be a solid top-9 at the next level who can play a solid defensive role and kill penalties while providing the odd bit of offense. Finding consistency at this level in the second half will go a long way into deciding if he could provide more offensive production.

The tools are there as is the work ethic.  

OHL ANNOUNCES 2019-20 MINOR MIDGET PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Press Release

Midget Players of the Year

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the seven recipients of Minor Midget Player of the Year Awards for players representing the four Ontario Hockey Federation Member Partners including the ALLIANCE, Greater Toronto Hockey League, Northern Ontario Hockey Association, and both the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s ETA and SCTA regions, along with Hockey Eastern Ontario, and Hockey Northwestern Ontario.

This year’s winners include Bryce McConnell-Barker of the London Jr. Knights (ALLIANCE), Pano Fimis of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL), Cedrick Guindon of the Rockland Nationals (HEO), Brodie McLeod of the Thunder Bay Kings (HNO), Connor Toms of the Soo Jr. Greyhounds (NOHA), Donovan McCoy of the Quinte Red Devils (OMHA ETA) and Sam Alfano of the Southern Tier Admirals (OMHA SCTA).

“Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s awards and thank you to the families, coaches, and teammates for their tremendous support of these remarkable players over the course of the season and throughout their minor hockey careers,” said Kyle Pereira, the OHL’s Director of Player Recruitment.

“The OHL continues to recognize all the hard work, dedication, and extraordinary accomplishments from across Ontario. We thank all players for another great season and wish them the very best of luck in their hockey and academic careers.”

The recipients consist of four forwards and three defencemen. Looking up front, Alfano capped off the regular season second in SCTA scoring with 36 goals and 63 points in 32 appearances with the Admirals, while Guindon totaled 24 goals and 35 assists for 59 points over 41 games with the Nationals. McConnell-Barker tallied 29 goals and 48 points over 33 games with the Jr. Knights for fifth in ALLIANCE scoring and Fimis finished in a tie for first atop the GTHL scoring race with 14 goals and 28 assists for 42 points in 32 games with the league champion Jr. Canadiens.

On defence, McCoy recorded six goals and 29 assists for 35 points in as many games for the OMHA champion Red Devils while McLeod posted seven goals and 21 assists for 28 points in 39 games with the Kings. Toms registered eight goals and 15 assists, good for 23 points over 36 appearances with the Jr. Greyhounds.

The awards are presented annually to honour the minor midget players who best exemplify outstanding ability and the qualities of sportsmanship and leadership as voted by the minor hockey coaches, managers and organizations of each respective league.

Past Award Winners:

ALLIANCE Player of the Year:
2020 – Bryce McConnell-Barker, London Jr. Knights
2019 – Deni Goure, Chatham-Kent Cyclones
2018 – Matthew Maggio, Sun County Panthers
2017 – Ryan Suzuki, London Jr. Knights
2016 – Owen Lalonde, Windsor Jr. Spitfires
2015 – Nick Suzuki, London Jr. Knights
2014 – Anthony Salinitri, Windsor Jr. Spitfires
2013 – Travis Konecny, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs
2012 – Jared McCann, London Jr. Knights Gold
2011 – Bo Horvat, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs

GTHL Player of the Year:
2020 – Pano Fimis, Toronto Jr. Canadiens
2019 – Shane Wright, Don Mills Flyers
2018 – Jamie Drysdale, Toronto Marlboros
2017 – Nick Porco, Vaughan Kings
2016 – Ryan Merkley, Toronto Jr. Canadiens
2015 – Ryan McLeod, Toronto Marlboros
2014 – Adam Mascherin, Vaughan Kings
2013 – Dylan Strome, Toronto Marlboros
2012 – Connor McDavid, Toronto Marlboros
2011 – Nick Ritchie, Toronto Marlboros

HEO Player of the Year:
2020 – Cedrick Guindon, Rockland Nationals
2019 – Mason McTavish, Pembroke Lumber Kings
2018 – Josh Barnes, Cornwall Colts
2017 – Alexandre Hogue, Cumberland Grads U18
2016 – Paul Larabie, Nepean Raiders
2015 – Gabriel Vilardi, CIH Academy
2014 – William Bitten, Ottawa Jr. 67’s
2013 – Andrew Peski, Ottawa Jr. 67’s
2012 – Andrew Abou-Assaly, Ottawa Jr. 67’s
2011 – Nicholas Baptiste, Ottawa Senators

HNO Player of the Year:
2020 – Brodie McLeod, Thunder Bay Kings
2019 – Jack Michaelis, Thunder Bay Kings
2018 – Michael Stubbs, Thunder Bay Kings
2017 – Christian Cicigoi, Thunder Bay Kings
2016 – Quintin Loon-Stewardson, Thunder Bay Kings
2015 – Kyle Auger, Thunder Bay Kings
2014 – Brad Belisle, Thunder Bay Kings
2013 – Zach Grzelewski, Thunder Bay Kings
2012 – Bryce Martyn, Thunder Bay Kings
2011 – Nolan Nicholas, Thunder Bay Kings

NOHA Player of the Year:
2020 – Connor Toms, Soo Jr. Greyhounds
2019 – Chase Stillman, Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves
2018 – Pacey Schlueting, North Bay Trappers
2017 – Camaryn Baber, Soo Midget Greyhounds
2016 – Damien Giroux, Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves
2015 – Cayse Ton, New Liskeard Cubs
2014 – Zach Dorval, Soo Thunder
2013 – Blake Speers, Soo Thunder
2012 – Michael Amadio, Sault Ste. Marie North Stars
2011 – Ryan Kujawinski, Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves

OMHA ETA Player of the Year:
2020 – Donovan McCoy, Quinte Red Devils
2019 – Brenden Sirizzotti, Whitby Wildcats
2018 – Quinton Byfield, York Simcoe Express
2017 – Alex Newhook, York Simcoe Express
2016 – Aidan Dudas, North Central Predators
2015 – Brady Gilmour, Quinte Red Devils
2014 – Chris Paquette, Greater Kingston Jr Frontenacs

OMHA SCTA Player of the Year:
2020 – Sam Alfano, Southern Tier Admirals
2019 – Lawson Sherk, Halton Hurricanes
2018 – Cameron Tolnai, Oakville Rangers
2017 – Matthew Dunsmoor, Guelph Jr. Gryphons
2016 – Adam McMaster, Niagara North Stars
2015 – Liam Stevens, Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
2014 – Rylee St Onge, Niagara North Stars

*prior to 2014 there was a single OMHA Player of the Year award recipient

Past OMHA Players of the Year:
2013 – Matt Spencer, Oakville Rangers*
2012 – Nik Coric, York Simcoe Express*
2011 – Alex Yuill, Quinte Red Devils*

For more information please visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com.