OHL Writers Draft Eligible Player of the Month for October

Ryan Abraham of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

Because COVID cancelled the entire 2020-2021 season meaning a large number of Ontario Hockey League players were about to go into the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft as draft re-entries, we did things a little differently here at OHL Writers.

In years past, we always name our Draft Eligible Player of the Month. But because of the sheer number of players eligible last season, we decided that would name a draft eligible forward, defencemen and goaltender. Many of you had written to us to let us know you preferred it that way and asking us to keep it the same going forward. So, here we are doing just that!

Of course, this is the first full month of the season, so this is our first list of the season. Here we go:

Draft Eligible Forward of the Month: Ryan Abraham – Windsor Spitfires

Windsor Spitfires center Ryan Abraham is a draft re-entry who had a phenomenal month of October. His 18 points in 12 games (6 goals, 12 helpers) led all draft eligible players and third best in the OHL. The 5’8”, 168-pound pivot had 6 multi point games, including 5-consecutive to close out the month. His 58.2% in the faceoff circle was second among draft eligible players.

Also considered was Saginaw Spirit forward Calem Mongone. Through 13 games, Mongone has 4 goals and 12 assists. His 16 points ranks him third among Spirit players in scoring and second among draft eligible players.

Draft Eligible Defenceman of the Month: Hunter Brzustewicz – Kitchener Rangers

On defence we chose none other than Hunter Brzustewicz of the Kitchener Rangers. Despite not scoring a goal, his prowess with setting up his teammates set him apart with 13 points (all assists of course) in just 11 games. That’s tops for draft eligible defencemen and third in the entire league among all defencemen. The 6-foot 188-pound blueliner is second in scoring on his squad as well.

Also considered was Chas Sharpe of the Mississauga Steelheads. Sharpe had 2 goals and 9 assists in 12 games in October and trails only Brzustewicz in points among draft eligible defencemen.

Draft Eligible Goaltender of the Month: Collin MacKenzie – Ottawa 67’s

This was not an easy choice, but we chose Collin MacKenzie because he has a perfect 4-0-0 record and led all draft eligible goaltenders with a 1.36 goals-against-average and .942 save percentage. I will agree playing on an Ottawa team that looks unbeatable for now has helped in terms of number of pucks he has faced and the quality of shots, he has also looked the part.

Also considered was Mason Vaccari of the Kingston Frontenacs who posted a 3-0-0 record to go along with a 2.00 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage.

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OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Month for January

Matthew Maggio of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Tim Cornett – OHL Images

Just a reminder that for this season, we are breaking down our Draft Eligible Player of the Month down by position due to the number of draft eligible players this season. In previous seasons we named one player only. So, lets get right to it!

Forward

Up front we’re going with Matthew Maggio of the Windsor Spitfires. Maggio played in 8 games scoring 8 goals and adding 7 assists. He had 3 multi-goal games and 5 multi-point games while being held off the score sheet just once. He was named the game’s first star on 4 occasions and second star twice through the month.

Maggio is a late 2002 birthdate which means he is re-entering the draft in 2022. He has 18 goals and 22 assists in 34 games on the season.

Also considered was Nolan Burke of the Sarnia Sting. Burke also appeared in 8 games in January and also scored 8 goals and added 6 helpers. Like Maggio, Burke is a late 2002 birthdate and is re-entering the draft. He has 22 goals and 19 assists in 33 games on the season.

Defenceman

It’s never an easy choice when it comes to OHL blueliners, but for January we give the nod to Christian Kyrou of the Erie Otters. Kyrou is overshadowed a tad in draft circles by teammate Spencer Sova, but Kyrou is having quite the season with 9 goals and 20 helpers in 34 games.

In the month of January, Kyrou posted 4 goals and 5 assists in 8 games and finished a plus-5. He was kept off the scoresheet twice and had 3 multi-point games.

Also considered was Chas Sharpe of the Mississauga Steelheads. Sharpe posted 9 points in 11 games seemingly coming out of nowhere. He had just 2 assists in the previous 24 games heading into January. Kirill Kudryavtsev of the Soo Greyhounds also got some consideration after putting up a goal and 7 helpers in 11 games.

Goaltender

For the second time this season, Patrick Leaver of the Oshawa Generals is our choice. Leaver appeared in 7 games during the month – one of them in relief – and posted a sparkling .930 save-percentage. Unfortunately for Leaver he posted just a 3-3-0 record in his starts. One of those losses came on January 23, he stopped 48 of 49 shots in a 2-0 loss to the Kingston Frontenacs. That earned him first star honors.

Leaver had faced the Frontenacs 5 days earlier and in the contest the Fronts fired 41 shots at his net. He stopped 39 of those and leading his team to a 4-2 victory. His effort that night earned him second star honors.

On January 15 Leaver went up against Oshawa’s rivals the Peterborough Petes. He stopped 36 of 37, many of them of a difficult variety and backstopped his club to a 4-1 victory. He was named the games second star.

Also considered was Max Donoso of the Ottawa 67’s. Donoso appeared in 4 games and posted a save percentage of .939 and a 3-0-0-1 record. In his first appearance in January, he came in in relief and stopped all 12 shots he faced allowing the 67’s to come back and earn a victory in the shootout.  

On the season:

FORWARDS

January – Matthew Maggio – Windsor Spitfires

December – Luca DelBelBelluz – Mississauga Steelheads

November – Kyle Jackson – North Bay Battalion

October – Tucker Robertson – Peterborough Petes

DEFENCEMEN

January – Christian Kyrou – Erie Otters

December – Kirill Kudryavtsev – Soo Greyhounds

November – Gavin While – Hamilton Bulldogs

October – Ty Nelson – North Bay Battalion

GOALTENDERS

January – Patrick Leaver – Oshawa Generals

December – Pavel Cajan – Kitchener Rangers

November – Patrick Leaver – Oshawa Generals

October – Brett Brochu – London Knights