Steelheads’ Alexander Nylander named OHL Rookie of the Year

OHL Announces First and Second All-Rookie Teams

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads is the 2015-16 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Nylander led all OHL rookies with 75 points in 57 games played scoring 28 goals and 47 assists finishing 19th overall in league scoring.  He set a new Steelheads record for points by a rookie and becomes the first player in franchise history to earn Rookie of the Year honours.

“It’s a great honour to be selected Rookie of the Year,” said Nylander. “I couldn’t do this without my teammates, coaching staff and I thank the Steelheads for the opportunity.”

Nylander, Alexander
Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

The 18-year-old from Sweden was selected by the Steelheads 12th overall in the 2015 CHL Import Draft.  He earned OHL Rookie of the Month honours in October, November, and February, finishing the season with 20 multi-point games including a trio of four-point performances.  Nylander was also recognized in the Eastern Conference Coaches Poll as being the second Best Stick-handler, second Best Shootout Shooter, and for having the third Best Shot.  The 2016 NHL Draft prospect is currently ranked third among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

 “Alex made a seamless transition into the Ontario Hockey League, quickly becoming a key member of our hockey club and a valued teammate,” said Steelheads General Manager and Head Coach James Boyd. “His exciting style of play thrilled our fans all season long. Alex is a focused player who is willing to put the work in to get better every day and is extremely deserving of this special award.”

Internationally, Nylander represented Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship where he scored four goals and five assists for nine points in seven games to lead his club in scoring.  He is also currently competing with Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

First presented in 1973, notable Emms Family Award recipients include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie 1978), Joe Thornton (Sault Ste. Marie 1996), Rick Nash (London 2001), John Tavares (Oshawa 2006), Taylor Hall (Windsor 2008), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie 2012), Connor McDavid (Erie 2013), and Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters who was last year’s recipient.

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

Nylander earned 84 of a possible 95 voting points ahead of Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion and Boris Katchouk of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds who tied for second with 30 voting points each.  The Emms Family Award will be formally presented to Nylander at the OHL’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Tuesday June 7.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Rookie of the Year to be announced at the MasterCard Memorial Cup on Saturday May 28.

Nylander was also named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team at left wing joined up front by teammate Owen Tippett at right wing, and centre Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack.  First team defencemen include Dineen, along with Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires.  Fellow Spitfire Michael DiPietro was named goaltender for the First All-Rookie Team.  Katchouk was voted to the Second All-Rookie Team at left wing alongside Spitfires Gabriel Vilardi at centre, and Cole Carter at right wing.  Olli Juolevi of the London Knights and the Steelheads’ Nicolas Hague were voted second team defencemen, joined by goaltender Stephen Dhillon of the Niagara IceDogs.

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

2015-16 OHL All-Rookie Teams (voting points in brackets):

 First Team:

Centre – Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack (57)

Left Wing – Alexander Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads (90)

Right Wing – Owen Tippett, Mississauga Steelheads (81)

Defence – Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (93)

Defence – Cam Dineen, North Bay Battalion (78)

Goaltender – Michael DiPietro, Windsor Spitfires (91)

Second Team:

Centre – Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor Spitfires (43)

Left Wing – Boris Katchouk, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (42)

Right Wing – Cole Carter, Windsor Spitfires (34)

Defence – Olli Juolevi, London Knights (72)

Defence – Nicolas Hague, Mississauga Steelheads (40)

Goaltender – Stephen Dhillon, Niagara IceDogs (40)

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OHL Announces 2015-16 Awards Finalists

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the finalists for seven of the league’s major awards for the 2015-16 regular season.

OHL

Six of the seven awards are voted on by OHL Member Teams including Rookie of the Year, Overage Player of the Year, Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, and Defenceman of the Year.  Teams were asked to submit one nominee from their club for consideration on the ballot and were not permitted to vote for the player from their own hockey club.  The first stage of voting was by conference only with the top three players from each conference making the final ballot which is voted on by all 20 OHL General Managers.

All finalists for the Red Tilson Trophy were also nominated by the Member Teams of the Ontario Hockey League as their Most Outstanding Player for the 2015-16 regular season.  The Red Tilson Trophy is voted on by the sports writers and broadcasters in the OHL.

2015-16 OHL Awards Finalists:

Rookie of the Year / Emms Family Award Finalists:

Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Max Jones (London Knights)
Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Alex Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)
Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Overage Player of the Year / Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy Finalists:

Aaron Berisha (London Knights)
Jack Flinn (Mississauga Steelheads)
Hunter Garlent (Peterborough Petes)
Gabe Guertler (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts)
Devin Williams (Erie Otters)

Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year / William Hanley Trophy Finalists:

Mike Amadio (North Bay Battalion)
Eric Cornel (Peterborough Petes)
Christian Dvorak (London Knights)
Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
Blake Speers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Spencer Watson (Kingston Frontenacs)

Coach of the Year / Matt Leyden Trophy Finalists:

Stan Butler (North Nay Battalion)
Dale Hawerchuk (Barrie Colts)
Kris Knoblauch (Erie Otters)
Paul McFarland (Kingston Frontenacs)
Rocky Thompson (Windsor Spitfires)
Mike Van Ryn (Kitchener Rangers)

Goaltender of the Year Award Finalists:

Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie Colts)
Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Alex Nedeljkovic (Niagara IceDogs)
Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
Jake Smith (North Bay Battalion)
Devin Williams (Erie Otters)

Defenceman of the Year / Max Kaminsky Trophy Finalists:

Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)
Travis Dermott (Erie Otters)
Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
Roland McKeown (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)
Mitchell Vande Sompel (Oshawa Generals)

Most Outstanding Player of the Year / Red Tilson Trophy Finalists:

Barrie – Kevin Labanc
Erie – Devin Williams
Flint – Will Bitten
Guelph – James McEwan
Hamilton – Niki Petti
Kingston – Roland McKeown
Kitchener – Ryan MacInnis
London – Mitch Marner
Mississauga – Alex Nylander
Niagara – Jordan Maletta
North Bay – Mike Amadio
Oshawa – Anthony Cirelli
Ottawa – Leo Lazarev
Owen Sound – Santino Centorame
Peterborough – Hunter Garlent
Saginaw – Mitchell Stephens
Sarnia – Pavel Zacha
Sault Ste. Marie – Zach Senyshyn
Sudbury – Dmitry Sokolov
Windsor – Christian Fischer

The 2016 OHL Awards Ceremony takes place on Tuesday June 7 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, however award recipients will be announced periodically throughout the remainder of the 2016 OHL Playoffs.  Additional player awards to be announced include Humanitarian of the Year, Academic Players of the Year, and the 2015-16 Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy recipient.

OHL Announces 2015-16 Coaches Poll Winners

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results of the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches Polls for the 2015-16 OHL regular season.

OHL

 The OHL Coaches Poll provides member club coaches with the opportunity to recognize the top three players in 20 different skill categories within their own conference.

 In the Eastern Conference, the Central Division champion Barrie Colts lead the way with eight players represented across 16 of the 20 different categories highlighted by Calgary Flames prospect Andrew Mangiapane who was named Most Underrated, Best Skater, and Best Shootout Shooter.  Fellow Colt and OHL top scorer Kevin Labanc, a San Jose Sharks prospect, appeared in five categories finishing first in Best Playmaker, and Best Penalty Killer.  The East Division champion Kingston Frontenacs finished second in team voting with six different players appearing in 12 different categories including Jeremy Helvig (Most Improved),  Spencer Watson (Most Dangerous in the Goal Area), Lawson Crouse (Best Body Checker), and Roland McKeown (Best Defensive Defenceman) finishing first.

 North Bay Battalion captain Mike Amadio was the top individual winner by appearing in the Top-3 in seven different categories.  The Los Angeles Kings prospect finished first in four different categories including Smartest Player, Hardest Worker, Best Shot, Best Defensive Forward.  Other multiple category winners in the Eastern Conference include Niagara IceDogs goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic who tied for first in the Best Puck Handling Goalie vote, and Best Shootout Goalie category.  Fellow IceDog Josh Ho-Sang was named Best Stickhandler for the second straight season.

 In the Western Conference, the Erie Otters lead the way with seven players represented in 12 of the 20 categories including a league-high nine first place votes.  Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome is the Conference’s top individual winner leading the way in three different areas including Smartest Player, Best on Face-Offs, and Best Shootout Shooter.  2016 NHL Draft prospect Alex DeBrincat was also one of seven Otters to earn first place recognition earning Most Dangerous in the Goal Area accolades for the second straight season.  The Midwest Division’s Kitchener Rangers and London Knights also factored heavily into Western Conference voting.  Seven different Rangers appeared in 11 different categories, while six different Knights were spread across nine different categories.  Most notably, the Rangers’ Adam Mascherin was listed in four categories receiving first place in Best Shot, while Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitch Marner headlined the Knights’ representation winning Best Playmaker and Best Stickhandler after appearing among the Top-3 in both categories last season.

 New York Rangers prospect Brandon Halverson of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the league’s only three-time winner earning Best Puck Handling Goalie recognition for the third consecutive season.

 The Coaches Poll is tabulated when each team submits one nominee per category, and coaches then vote for the top three players for each category within their conference.  Players receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.  Clubs are not permitted to vote for players from their own team allowing for a maximum of 45 possible points for each winner.  This season all 20 OHL clubs are represented in at least one category.

All 20 categories are listed below with Eastern Conference and Western Conference winners including their final point totals in brackets.

Most Underrated Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie Colts (28)
2. Jordan Maletta, Niagara IceDogs (16)
3. Juho Lammikko, Kingston Frontenacs (15)

Western Conference:
1. Aaron Berisha, London Knights (22)
2. Jeff King, Sarnia Sting (14)
3. Jalen Chatfield, Windsor Spitfires (12)

 Most Improved Player:
Eastern Conference:

1.Jeremy Helvig, Kingston Frontenacs (30)
2. Mathew Santos, North Bay Battalion (18)
3. Nic Hague, Mississauga Steelheads tied Riley Stillman, Oshawa Generals (10)

Western Conference:
1. Kyle Maksimovich, Erie Otters tied Logan Stanley, Windsor Spitfires (25)
3. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (10)

Smartest Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (32)
2. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (25)
3. Hunter Garlent, Peterborough Petes (8)

Western Conference:
1. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (41) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights (18)
3. Petrus Palmu, Owen Sound Attack (7)

Hardest Worker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Michael McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads tied Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (24) – McLeod finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (21) – finished first in voting in 2014-15

Western Conference:
1. Hayden Verbeek, Soo Greyhounds (32)
2. Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack tied Josh Jacobs, Sarnia Sting (13)

Best Playmaker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (31)
2. Josh Ho-Sang, Niagara IceDogs (26) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Michael Dal Colle, Kingston Frontenacs (12)

Western Conference:
1. Mitch Marner, London Knights (35) – finished second in voting in 2014-15
2. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (27)
3. Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers (12)

Most Dangerous in Goal Area:

Eastern Conference:
1. Spencer Watson, Kingston Frontenacs (35) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts tied Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (24)

Western Conference:
1. Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (37) – finished first in voting in 2014-15
2. Christian Dvorak, London Knights (32)
3. Zach Senyshyn, Soo Greyhounds (9)

Best Skater:

Eastern Conference:

1. Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie Colts (18)

2. Sean Day, Mississauga Steelheads tied Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa Generals, and Jonathan Ang, Peterborough Petes (17) – Day finished second in voting in both 2013-14 and 2014-15

Western Conference:

1. Zach Senyshyn, Soo Greyhounds (33) – finished third in voting in 2014-15

2. Victor Mete, London Knights (27)

3. Vili Saarijarvi, Flint Firebirds tied Jordan Kyrou, Sarnia Sting (7)

Best Shot:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (35)
2. Spencer Watson, Kingston Frontenacs (30)
3. Alex Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads tied Greg Betzold, Peterborough Petes (7)

Western Conference:

1. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (28)
2. Travis Konecny, Sarnia Sting (25)
3. Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (16)

Hardest Shot:

Eastern Conference:

1. Kyle Wood, North Bay Battalion (41) – finished second in voting in 2014-15
2. Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (23)
3. Rasmus Andersson, Barrie Colts (10)

Western Conference:

1. Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (30)
2. Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (20)
3. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (13)

Best Stickhandler:

Eastern Conference:
1. Josh Ho-Sang, Niagara IceDogs (35) – finished first in voting in 2014-15
2. Alex Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads (16)
3. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (15)

Western Conference:

1. Mitch Marner, London Knights (43) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. William Bitten, Flint Firebirds (13)
3. Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers tied Blake Speers, Soo Greyhounds (11)

Best on Face-Offs:

Eastern Conference:
1. Jordan Maletta, Niagara IceDogs (38)
2. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (24)
3. Juho Lammikko, Kingston Frontenacs (10)

Western Conference:
1. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (30)
2. Gustaf Franzen, Kitchener Rangers (21)
3. Christian Dvorak, London Knights (20)

Best Body Checker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (39)
2. Jacob Middleton, Ottawa 67’s (13)
3. Cameron Lizotte, Barrie Colts (11) – finished second in voting in 2014-15

Western Conference:

1. Givani Smith, Guelph Storm (34)
2. Connor Hall, Kitchener Rangers tied Jacob Friend, Owen Sound Attack (12)

Best Shot Blocker:

Eastern Conference:

1. Jacob Middleton, Ottawa 67’s (25)
2. Roland McKeown, Kingston Frontenacs (15)
3. Dylan Sadowy, Barrie Colts (14)

Western Conference:
1. Damir Sharipzyanov, Owen Sound Attack (24)
2. Darren Raddysh, Erie Otters (18)
3. Will Petschenig, Saginaw Spirit tied Patrick Sanvido, Windsor Spitfires (11)

Best Defensive Forward:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (32)
2. Juho Lammikko, Kingston Frontenacs (29) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Cordell James, Barrie Colts tied Anthony Cirelli, Oshawa Generals (9)

Western Conference:
1. Kyle Pettit, Erie Otters (31) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Ryan MacInnis, Kitchener Rangers (22)
3. Kris Bennett, Saginaw Spirit (14)

Best Penalty Killer:

Eastern Conference:

1. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (26)
2. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (25)
3. Jordan Maletta, Niagara IceDogs (17)

Western Conference:
1. Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (26)
2. Kyle Pettit, Erie Otters (19)
3. Darby Llewellyn, Kitchener Rangers (16)

Best Offensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:
1. Rasmus Andersson, Barrie Colts (31) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa Generals (23) – finished second in voting in 2014-15
3. Cam Dineen, North Bay Battalion (17)

Western Conference:
1. Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (28)
2. Vili Saarijarvi, Flint Firebirds (21)
3. Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (20)

Best Defensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:

1. Roland McKeown, Kingston Frontenacs (30) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Jacob Middleton, Ottawa 67’s (29)
3. Michael Webster, Barrie Colts (19)

Western Conference:
1. Darren Raddysh, Erie Otters (37)
2. Frank Hora, Kitchener Rangers (13)
3. Chris Martenet, London Knights tied Colton White, Soo Greyhounds (9)

Best Puck-Handling Goalie:

Eastern Conference:

1. Mackenzie Blackwood, Barrie Colts tied Alex Nedeljkovic, Niagara IceDogs (21) – Nedeljkovic finished third in 2014-15 West vote
2. Jake Smith, North Bay Battalion (18) – finished second in voting in 2013-14 and 2014-15

Western Conference:

1. Brandon Halverson, Soo Greyhounds (28) – finished first in 2013-14 and 2014-15
2. Michael Giugovaz, Guelph Storm (12)
3. Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (11)

Best Shootout Shooter:

Eastern Conference:

1. Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie Colts (29) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Alex Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads (20)
3. Josh Ho-Sang, Niagara IceDogs (16)

Western Conference:
1. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (23)
2. Christian Dvorak, London Knights (22)
3. William Bitten, Flint Firebirds tied Petrus Palmu, Owen Sound Attack (16)

Best Shootout Goalie:

Eastern Conference:

1. Alex Nedeljkovic, Niagara IceDogs (24) – finished second in 2013-14 and 2014-15 West voting
2. Mackenzie Blackwood, Barrie Colts (18) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Jack Flinn, Mississauga Steelheads (16)

Western Conference:
1. Devin Williams, Erie Otters (36)
2. Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (16)
3. Charlie Graham, Sarnia Sting (11)

OHL Announces Top Performers of the Month for January

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in January 2016, including Barrie Colts standouts Kevin Labanc and Rasmus Andersson as well as Guelph Storm goaltender Michael Giugovaz and North Bay Battalion blueliner Cam Dineen.

OHL

OHL Player of the Month – Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts):
San Jose Sharks prospect Kevin Labanc is the OHL’s Player of the Month for January after recording 12 goals, 18 assists and 30 points in 13 games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-20. The OHL’s scoring leader continued his dominant campaign in the month of January, kicking things off by tying a Barrie Colts regular season franchise record when he scored three times and added four assists for seven points in a 12-2 win over North Bay on January 2nd. Just a week later Labanc would record a six point outing with three goals, three assists and six points in a 7-4 win over Mississauga. The third-year forward had points in 11 of his 13 January contests, with eight of those being multi-point performances. Labanc earned star of the game recognition five times over the course of the month, twice earning first star honours in his previously mentioned six and seven point performances.

A native of Staten Island, NY, Labanc currently leads the OHL in scoring with 29 goals, 56 assists and 85 points in 45 contests to go with a league-leading plus/minus rating of plus-42. The sixth round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2014 comes off a 31-goal season in 2014-15 and has also seen success on the international stage, winning a pair of silver medals with the United States at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2013 World Under-18 Hockey Championship. Labanc was originally Barrie’s sixth round (103rd overall) pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Rasmus Andersson (Barrie Colts): 
While Kevin Labanc is the OHL’s Player of the Month, another Barrie Colts standout in Calgary Flames prospect Rasmus Andersson has been named the league’s Defenceman of the Month for January. Andersson helped the Colts to an 8-4-0-1 mark in the month of January, collecting 17 assists in 13 games to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-14. The Swedish blueliner had points in 11 of his 13 outings, headlined by a three assist effort on January 15th against Hamilton. Andersson has points in his last five contests while the Colts enter the month of February having gained at least a point in each of their last six games.

A native of Malmo, Sweden, Andersson currently leads OHL defencemen in scoring with seven goals, 38 assists and 45 points in 45 games to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-17 while his 159 shots on goal lead all OHL blueliners. The 19 year-old finished third in scoring among OHL defencemen in 2014-15 with 12 goals, 52 assists and 64 points in 62 games before being selected in the second round (53rd overall) by Calgary last summer. Andersson was originally Barrie’s first round (37th overall) pick in the 2014 CHL Import Draft.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion): 
For the second straight month, North Bay Battalion defenceman Cam Dineen has been named the OHL’s Rookie of the Month. The 17 year-old blueliner recorded six goals, seven assists and 13 points in as many January contests, collecting points in 10 of those outings. Dineen’s current five game point streak includes a goal and an assist on January 21st against Guelph followed by scoring an overtime winner on January 22nd in Hamilton. Three of Dineen’s six goals in January were game winners, giving him a total of five on the season to lead all OHL defencemen.

A native of Toms River, NJ, Dineen is currently second in scoring among OHL defencemen and rookies with 11 goals, 33 assists and 44 points in 47 games. His 11 goals are tied for second among blueliners. Originally North Bay’s 11th round (214th overall) pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection, Dineen is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft and was ranked 117th among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings released on January 19th.

Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Michael Giugovaz (Guelph Storm): 
Overage Guelph Storm goaltender Michael Giugovaz has been named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Month for January. The fourth year veteran played to a 6-1-1-2 record to go with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage in 10 January starts. Giugovaz rattled off five consecutive wins from January 3rd to 15th, making 43 saves to begin the month with a 7-3 victory over the rival Kitchener Rangers. He recorded his first career OHL shutout on January 13th, making 32 saves in a 3-0 win over the London Knights. The 20-year-old made 37 saves against Owen Sound on January 15th before denying all nine shooters he faced in the shootout as the Storm outlasted the Attack 4-3. Most recently, Giugovaz turned aside 41 of the 43 shots he faced to help the Storm take a 4-2 win in Saginaw on January 31st. Giugovaz earned star of the game recognition six times in the month of January, earning first star honours on three of those occasions.

A native of Brampton, ON, Giugovaz is currently in his fourth OHL season, having gone 12-7-5-2 with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 28 games between Windsor and Guelph. The veteran netminder enjoyed a 25-win campaign with the London Knights in 2014-15, going 25-12-1-1 with a 3.59 goals-against average and an .898 save percentage in 47 regular season contests. Giugovaz was originally Peterborough’s 10th round (184th overall) pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection.

2015-16 OHL Top Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
January – Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts)
December – Brendan Lemieux (Windsor Spitfires)
November – Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)
October – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)

Defenceman of the Month:
January – Rasmus Andersson (Barrie Colts)
December – Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
November – Travis Dermott (Erie Otters)
October – Vili Saarijarvi (Flint Firebirds)

Rookie of the Month:
January – Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
December – Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
November – Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)
October – Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
January – Michael Giugovaz (Guelph Storm)
December – Devin Williams (Erie Otters)
November – Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie Colts)
October – Lucas Peressini (Kingston Frontenacs)

OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders for January

January has come and gone along with the snow (hopefully?) and it’s time to look at the OHL players eligible for the NHL draft and the leaders in a variety of categories. As we’ve done in the past, we only look at players eligible for the first time. However, when it comes to the goaltenders, we look at those previously passed over.

The London Knights’ Matthew Tkachuk leads the way in the point race with 70 points in 38 games. Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters follows just behind with 65 points in 39 games. Climbing fast, and quietly, is Adam Mascherin of the Kitchener Rangers with 59 points in 44 games.

DeBrincat has a solid lead in the goal scoring department with 36 goals in 39 games. Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads leads the second tier with 26 goals in 41 games followed by Mascherin with 25 goals in 44 games.

On defence, all eyes are turning to Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion who leads with 44 points in 47 games. Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires is next with 37 points in 48 games followed by Jakob Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting with 32 points in 44 games.

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 38 16 54 70
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 39 36 29 65
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 44 25 34 59
*Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 41 26 32 58
Taylor Raddysh Erie Otters 46 18 37 55
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 47 19 35 54
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 47 22 31 53
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 46 21 27 48
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 40 9 36 45
Nathan Bastian Mississauga Steelheads 46 13 31 44
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 39 36 0.92
*Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 41 26 0.63
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 44 25 0.57
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 47 22 0.47
*Max Jones London Knights 42 21 0.50
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 46 21 0.46
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 47 19 0.40
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 38 54 1.42
Taylor Raddysh Erie Otters 46 37 0.80
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 40 36 0.90
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 47 35 0.74
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 44 34 0.77
*Cam Dineen North Bay Battalion 47 33 0.70
*Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 41 32 0.78
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
*Cam Dineen North Bay Battalion 47 11 33 44
*Mikhail Sergachev Windsor Spitfires 48 13 24 37
Jakob Chychrun Sarnia Sting 44 8 24 32
Victor Mete London Knights 47 6 25 31
Benjamin Gleason Hamilton Bulldogs 46 7 22 29
*Olli Juolevi London Knights 36 5 22 27
*Markus Niemelainen Saginaw Spirit 48 1 23 24
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
Victor Mete London Knights 47 +39
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 47 +30
*Olli Juolevi London Knights 36 +29
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 38 +25
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 44 +19
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 40 +18
*Max Jones London Knights 42 +17
Penalty Minutes Leaders
Player Team GP PIM M/G
Givani Smith Guelph Storm 45 89 1.98
Logan Stanley Windsor Spitfires 46 88 1.91
*Max Jones London Knights 42 82 1.95
Ben Hawerchuk Barrie Colts 39 66 1.69
*Brock Philips Guelph Storm 30 58 1.93
Keaton Middleton Saginaw Spirit 48 58 1.21
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 47 55 1.17
Faceoff Leaders (Wins)
Player Team GP FOA FOW %
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 47 1061 621 58.5
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 40 753 401 53.3
Cliff Pu London Knights 43 616 325 52.8
Hayden Verbeek Soo Greyhounds 42 599 287 47.9
*Domenic Commisso Oshawa Generals 47 547 265 48.4
Brandon Saigeon Hamilton Bulldogs 43 502 259 51.6
Shootout Leaders
Player Team SOG SOA Goals %
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 1 1 1 100.0
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 3 3 2 66.7
*Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 4 4 2 50.0
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 2 2 1 50.0
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 2 2 1 50.0
Shooting Percentage Leaders
Player Team GP Shots Goals SH%
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 46 100 21 21.00
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 39 173 36 20.81
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 47 106 22 20.75
*Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 41 139 26 18.71
*Boris Katchouk Soo Greyhounds 44 87 16 18.39
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
***Jeremy Helvig Kingston Frontenacs 16 902 34 2.26
Tyler Parsons London Knights 33 1908 82 2.58
*Stephen Dhillon Niagara Ice Dogs 20 1101 51 2.78
***Jeremy Brodeur Oshawa Generals 37 2131 99 2.79
***Leo Lazarev Ottawa 67’s 33 1898 89 2.81
Evan Cormier Saginaw Spirit 42 2333 134 3.45
Joseph Raaymakers Soo Greyhounds 21 1162 75 3.87
***Connor Hicks Hamilton Bulldogs 18 990 70 4.24
***Zack Bowman Sudbury Wolves 29 1535 111 4.34
Dylan Wells Peterborough Petes 20 1124 85 4.54
Troy Timpano Sudbury Wolves 21 1188 86 4.34
           
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage
Player Team GP SH SVS SV%
***Jeremy Helvig Kingston Frontenacs 16 454 420 0.925
Tyler Parsons London Knights 33 952 870 0.914
*Stephen Dhillon Niagara Ice Dogs 20 545 494 0.906
***Jeremy Brodeur Oshawa Generals 37 1029 930 0.904
***Leo Lazarev Ottawa 67’s 33 913 824 0.903
Evan Cormier Saginaw Spirit 42 1271 1137 0.895
Joseph Raaymakers Soo Greyhounds 21 663 588 0.887
Troy Timpano Sudbury Wolves 21 752 666 0.886
***Zack Bowman Sudbury Wolves 29 953 842 0.884
Dylan Wells Peterborough Petes 20 689 604 0.877
***Connor Hicks Hamilton Bulldogs 18 568 498 0.877
           
*Rookie
**Leads League
*** Was eligible for 2015 draft but not selected and eligible for 2016

OHL Draft Eligible Player of the Month for January: Cam Dineen

Cam Dineen is my first back to back winner as the draft eligible player of the month. The North Bay Battalion defender is coming off a very strong December in which he was named the Ontario Hockey League’s Rookie of the Month and Defenceman of the Month and has carried it into January.

Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Earlier this month, Dineen appeared on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rank at 117th among North American skaters. Many are realizing that ranking is just too low.

Dineen appeared in 13 games for the Battalion in the month of January. He scored 6 goals and added 7 assists in those 13 games. He was held off the score sheet just 3 times and closed out the month with a five game point scoring streak.

It wasn’t all just about the points for Dineen, but when he contributed those points. He has been “clutch” during the month, a “money player”. Consider this when you look at his six goals:  3 game tying goals to force overtime, 1 overtime game winner, and 2 game winners in regulation. It doesn’t get more clutch than that.

Dineen is now second among defencemen and rookies in the scoring race with 11 goals and 33 assists in 47 games.

Also considered were Adam Mascherin of the Kitchener Rangers and Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires. Mascherin scored 7 goals and 10 assists in 17 games while Sergachev scored 3 goals and added 9 assists in 12 games.

In goal, Evan Cormier of the Saginaw Spirit appeared in all but one game for the Spirit. He had a record of 4-6-0-1 with a goals against average of 3.03 and a save percentage of .908.

Previous winners

December – Cam Dineen

November – Matthew Tkachuk

October – Alex DeBrincat

September – Matthew Tkachuk

Cam Dineen – Player Profile – North Bay Battalion

Height:  5’11”

Weight:  182 pounds

Date of birth: June 19, 1998, Toms River, NJ

Position:  Defence

Shoots:  Left

OHL Draft:  Round 11, 214th overall, 2014 OHL Priority Selection

Don’t be deceived by the low draft pick in the OHL draft.

Dineen received a scholarship from Yale University and in November of 2013 had a verbal agreement to join them for the 2016-2017 season. With that commitment, OHL teams were doubtful whether Dineen would commit to the OHL and thus the low pick. By comparison, in 2014 he was a first round pick, 3rd overall in the USHL Futures Draft.

With his commitment to the Battalion, Dineen relinquished his NCAA eligibility.

Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Last season, Dineen played for the New Jersey Rockets of the Eastern Hockey League. There, he scored 11 goals and added 30 assists in 39 games and was named the EHL Rookie of the Year, led all defencemen in scoring and was named an all star. He also appeared in 3 games for Tri-City Storm of the USHL. He was a member of Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament contributing 2 assists in 4 games.

Dineen, in an interview on the Rocket’s web site had this to say about his signing with the Battalion:

“It was a hard decision to make because of my commitment and opportunities with Yale and Tri-City. But I truly believe the OHL, and North Bay, is where I need to be. It was the right decision for me, considering the competition and style of play.”

Just past the halfway mark of this his rookie OHL season, Dineen leads all defencemen in points on 6 goals and 27 assists in 37 games. Earlier this month, I named him draft eligible player of the month for December.  A few days later, he was named OHL rookie of the month and OHL defenceman of the month for December. He’s also tied for second with Max Jones for points by a rookie, trailing only Alexander Nylander.

Once he appeared at the North Bay Battalion prospect’s camp, Dineen knew the OHL is where he wanted to be. As with almost all defencemen at this level, playing defensive hockey is almost always one area that needs improvement. The advantage that comes with playing in North Bay is that there may not be a better coach in the Canadian Hockey League than Stan Butler when it comes to teaching the defensive side of the game.

There is no questioning Dineen’s offensive game. He is one of the top defenders in the league at starting the rush. He can make a very good first pass out of the zone or he can skate it out with his quickness and agility. He possesses an almost effortless ability at jumping into the rush. Despite being a defensive coach, it appears that Butler has the utmost confidence in his abilities and has given him the green light.

Dineen is a very good powerplay quarterback. He sees the ice extremely well. He gains the zone with relative ease and can make tape to tape passes. If there is one thing he could do more of its shoot the puck. He can get the puck through bodies and it’s accurate and when he does shoot, it’s with a purpose.

Dineen may be considered a tad undersized, but if you believe the NHL is moving towards his type of defenceman, then Dineen has to be up there. He added some bulk and muscle in the offseason and trends to get stronger, which will help him more defensively.

Dineen was ranked as a C prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary list of players to watch and their updated November list. A C-prospect is considered a 4th, 5th or 6th round pick. That could change when the NHL releases its rankings later this month. He’s garnering attention and opening eyes.

Dineen wears number 4 in North Bay. He’s represented by Orr Hockey Group. Coincidence?

Cam Dineen first OHL goal

OHL Announces Top Performers of the Month for December

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in December 2015, including forward Brendan Lemieux of the Windsor Spitfires, defenceman Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion and goaltender Devin Williams of the Erie Otters.

OHL Player of the Month – Brendan Lemieux (Windsor Spitfires):
Winnipeg Jets prospect Brendan Lemieux of the Windsor Spitfires is the OHL Player of the Month after recording 12 goals, six assists and 18 points in nine games between Windsor and Barrie. Lemieux recorded points in all nine of his December contests, helping Windsor play to a 5-1-1-0 record following his Spitfires debut on December 10th against Mississauga. Lemieux registered a pair of hat-tricks, with one coming in a 3-0 win over Sarnia on December 11th and the second in a 6-3 win over Saginaw on December 19th. He earned star of the game recognition six times, being named the first star of the game on four different occasions. The 6’1″, 210Ib. winger is currently in the midst of a 16-game point streak that dates back to November 15th.

A native of Paradise Valley, Arizona, Lemieux was Buffalo’s 2nd round (31st overall) pick in the 2014 NHL Draft before being dealt to Winnipeg in February of 2015 in a deal that saw Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford also go to the Jets for Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane. The son of former NHL forward Claude Lemieux, Brendan is in his fourth OHL season, having amassed 94 goals, 62 assists and 156 points in 183 career regular season games to this point. He currently has 20 goals, nine assists and 29 points in 19 games this season.

OHL Defenceman & Rookie of the Month – Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion): 
Seventeen year-old rookie defenceman Cam Dineen has earned the rare distinction of being named both Defenceman and Rookie of the Month after recording two goals, 12 assists and 14 points in 10 games with a plus/minus rating of plus-6. Dineen had points in eight of his 10 December contests, including a four point performance with a goal and three assists to help the Battalion defeat the Mississauga Steelheads 6-3 on New Year’s Eve. This followed a big performance on December 18th when the Troops defeated the Niagara IceDogs 2-1 in overtime, with Dineen setting up Zach Poirier for the winning goal with just four seconds remaining. The 5’11”, 182Ib. defenceman helped North Bay’s seventh ranked powerplay produce last month with six of his 14 points coming on the man advantage.

A native of Toms River, New Jersey, Dineen currently leads OHL defencemen in scoring with six goals, 27 assists and 33 points in 36 games. The draft eligible rearguard was North Bay’s 11th round (214th overall) pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. Dineen is currently tied for fourth in the league with 16 powerplay assists on the season.

Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Devin Williams (Erie Otters): 
Erie Otters overage goaltender Devin Williams has been named the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for December after going 7-1-0-0 with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage with one shutout. Williams helped the country’s top ranked Otters stay atop the Western Conference with some big performances in the month of December. Williams recorded his first shutout of the season with 17 saves against the Owen Sound Attack on December 5th before leading the Otters to a 2-1 win in Ottawa on December 11th when he made 31 saves to earn first star honours. Williams was solid again on December 19th, being named first star of the game after he made 34 saves in a 3-2 shootout win over Sarnia. Williams earned star of the game recognition six times in the month of December, taking first star honours on four occasions.

A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Williams is currently in his fifth OHL season and currently leads OHL goaltenders in goals-against average (2.11) and wins (26). The former fifth round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection set an Otters franchise record earlier this season, making 27 saves on October 28th in Owen Sound to claim his 73rd career OHL win. The 20 year-old is 91-39-4-4 with a 3.09 goals-against average and an .899 save percentage and eight shutouts in 151 career regular season games. Williams has played to a 21-9-2-0 mark with a 3.04 goals-against average and an .898 save percentage in 33 career playoff contests.

2015-16 OHL Top Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
December – Brendan Lemieux (Windsor Spitfires)
November – Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)
October – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)

Defenceman of the Month:
December – Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
November – Travis Dermott (Erie Otters)
October – Vili Saarijarvi (Flint Firebirds)

Rookie of the Month:
December – Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
November – Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)
October – Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
December – Devin Williams (Erie Otters)
November – Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie Colts)
October – Lucas Peressini (Kingston Frontenacs)

OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders: December

Happy New Year!

The second half of the Ontario Hockey League season is upon us and teams will be looking for help in the upcoming trade deadline. But for a lot of teams, they’ll be looking for their draft eligible players to continue where they left off and for others to pick up the pace.

Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

We look at the top draft eligible players in a variety of statistical categories. As always, we look only at players eligible for the draft for the first time – except for goaltenders – where those previously past over are included.

Matthew Tkachuk, Alex DeBrincat and Alexander Nylander are away at the World Junior Championships, and although the order has changed are one, two and three in points.

DeBrincat continues to lead the entire league in goals with 33, while Tkachuk leads the entire league in assists. Cam Dineen, my draft eligible player of the month for December, leads all OHL defencemen in points with 31. He’s followed by Windsor’s Mikhail Sergachev with 25.

Tyler Parsons leads the goaltenders in goals against average (2.48) and save percentage (.917). There are three other goaltenders with a sub 3.00 goals against average and over .900 save percentage.

Stats 1

OHL’s Draft Eligible Player of the Month for December

Sure the likes of Alex DeBrincat, Matthew Tkachuk, Alexander Nylander and others are away at the World Junior Championships in Finland, but that doesn’t make being recognized for what you do less worthy. With those off to Finland representing their countries, others get some recognition.

So for the month of December, my draft eligible player of the month is North Bay Battalion defenceman Cam Dineen.

In ten December games, the 5’11” defenceman scored twice and added 12 assists while finishing a plus 6. He had points in 8 of his 10 games with four of those games being multi point games.

Dineen was named the games second star versus Niagara on December 18 and first star versus Mississauga on New Year’s Eve. Which is how Dineen does things: Quietly and efficiently.

Dineen is in his rookie season and has 5 goals and 26 assists and a plus six in 34 games on the season. His 31 points are not just tops among draft eligible defencemen, but he leads all defencemen in OHL scoring. Dineen is also third in scoring among rookies trailing only Nylander and Max Jones.

Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Max Jones also received consideration. With the London Knights’ top line all over in Finland, Jones has picked up the pace in their absence. He scored 6 goals and 9 assists in 11 games – his best month of the season. Jones was held pointless in just one game.

Adam Mascherin of the Kitchener Rangers scored six times along with seven assists, recording at least one point in each of the Rangers’ eight games during December.

In goal, Troy Timpano of the Sudbury Wolves appeared in 8 games. Despite a 3-5-0 record, Timpano was more than solid in his return from injury. He posted a 3.79 goals against average and .901 save percentage while facing 30 or more shots 6 of his eight appearances and 40 plus in 3 of those games.