CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Big weeks for rising clubs as Pu and Morrone lead Knights and Tigres 

Knights’ Cliff Pu named CHL Player of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Buffalo Sabres prospect Cliff Pu of the London Knights is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 19 after recording 12 points in four games including four goals and eight assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-6.

Pu delivered four multi-point performances last week for the Knights who picked up three straight wins to improve their record to 10-10-2-0 which ranks seventh in the OHL’s Western Conference.  His week began with two assists despite a 4-2 loss to the Kitchener Rangers on Tuesday before producing a career-high four points on Thursday with a goal and three assists as second star of a 7-4 win against the Guelph Storm.  Pu continued his strong play over the weekend with a goal and two assists on Friday as second star of a 4-3 overtime win against the Saginaw Spirit, and Sunday with two goals and one assist as second star of a 4-0 win against the Windsor Spitfires.

A 19-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., Pu is playing in his fourth OHL season after being a first round choice of the Oshawa Generals in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.  He joined the Knights during his rookie campaign and helped the club to Robertson Cup and Mastercard Memorial Cup titles the following season.  He is currently tied for 15th in league scoring with nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 21 games following a 2016-17 campaign where he generated 86 points in 63 games.  The third round pick of the Sabres in the 2016 NHL Draft was recently signed to an entry-level contract and represented Team OHL in the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Also considered for the award this week was Jayden Halbgewachs of the Moose Jaw Warriors who scored six goals and five assists for 11 points in four games, and defenceman Olivier Galipeau of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens who scored three goals and two assists for five points in three games. 

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week:

Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)

Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos)

Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)

Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)

Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Drake Batherson (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Tyler Soy (Victoria Royals)

Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos)

Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets)

Tigres’ Anthony Morrone named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that rookie Anthony Morrone of the Victoriaville Tigres is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending November 19 after posting back-to-back shutouts for a 2-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 0.00 and save percentage of 1.000.

Morrone was perfect between-the-pipes last week for the Tigres turning aside all 61 shots he faced helping the club improve their record to 11-10-1-0 where they rank 12th overall in the QMJHL standings.  The shutouts were the first two of his career and earned him first star honours both games including Friday night with 27 saves in a 4-0 road win against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, and Sunday at home with a 34-save performance in a 2-0 win over the Rimouski Oceanic.

An 18-year-old from Montreal, Morrone has made eight appearances in goal for the Tigres during his first season playing to a 3-4-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 3.01 and save percentage of .906.  His shutout streak currently stands at 134 minutes and 21 seconds approaching the club record of 137 minutes and 46 seconds set last year by James Povall.

Also considered for the award this week was Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips who posted a 2-1-0-0 record including a shutout victory with 104 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.34 and save percentage of .963.  In the OHL, Joseph Raaymakers of the London Knights posted a 3-1-0-0 record including a shutout victory stopping 123 shots for a goals-against-average of 2.74 and save percentage of .918.

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:

Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Anthony Morrone (Victoriaville Tigres)

Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting)

Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)

Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranada Huskies)

Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Logan Flodell (Swift Current Broncos)

Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)

Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Dereck Baribeau (Quebec Remparts)

Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Knights’ Cliff Pu named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Buffalo Sabres prospect Cliff Pu of the London Knights is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending November 19 after leading the league with 12 points in four games scoring four goals and eight assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-6.

Cliff Pu of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Cliff Pu of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Pu recorded four multi-point performances last week helping the Knights win three straight games to improve their record to 10-10-2-0 where they rank seventh in the Western Conference standings.  After collecting two assists despite a 4-2 loss to the Kitchener Rangers on Tuesday, Pu delivered a career-high four points on Thursday with a goal and three assists earning second star honours in a 7-4 win over the Guelph Storm.  Pu was also named second star of both weekend wins for the Knights including Friday with a goal and two assists in a 4-3 overtime triumph against the Saginaw Spirit, and Sunday with two goals and one assist contributing to a 4-0 victory over the Windsor Spitfires.  Pu’s eventful week also included the CIBC Canada Russia Series where he helped Team OHL to a 4-2 victory on Monday night in Sudbury.

A 19-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., Pu is playing in his fourth OHL season after being a first round choice of the Oshawa Generals in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.  He joined the Knights during his rookie campaign and helped the club to Robertson Cup and Mastercard Memorial Cup titles the following season.  Last year he recorded a career-high 86 points in 63 games and currently ranks tied for 15th in league scoring with nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 21 games.  Pu was a third round pick by the Sabres in the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo and last month was signed to a three-year entry-level contract.

Watch video highlights of Pu and the Knights against the Storm, Spirit, and Spitfires.

Also considered for the award this week was Florida Panthers prospect Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads who scored three goals and four assists for seven points in three games, and forward Cole Coskey of the Saginaw Spirit with two goals and five assists for seven points in three games.  In goal, the Knights’ Joseph Raaymakers posted a 3-1-0-0 record including a shutout victory stopping 123 shots for a goals-against-average of 2.74 and save percentage of .918.

2017-18 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week:

Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)

Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)

Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)

Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)

Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)

Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)

Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)

Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)

Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Cliff Pu – Player Profile – London Knights

Height:  6’1”

Weight:  188 pounds

Date of birth: June 3, 1998, Richmond Hill, Ontario

Position:  Center/Right Wing

Shoots:  Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 16th overall, 2014 Priority Selection (Oshawa Generals)

Pu played his Minor Midget hockey for the Toronto Marlboros in 2013-14. In 33 games, Pu scored 23 goals and added 24 assists. He added 4 goals and 13 assists in 14 playoff games. Pu is also an OHL Cup Champion and during that run, he scored 5 goals and 4 assists in 7 games. He was also a silver medalist at the OHL Gold Cup where he scored 3 goals and 5 assists in 5 games.

Pu also represented Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17. In 5 games, Pu scored once.

Cliff Pu of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Cliff Pu of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Offense was never a problem for Pu and the Oshawa Generals picked him in the first round – 16th overall – at the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. During the 2014-15 season, Pu appeared in 17 games for the Generals and scored twice while adding an assist before a trade sent him to the London Knights.

Pu was sent to the Knights along with Josh Sterk, two second round picks and a third round pick for Dakota Mermis and Michael McCarron as the Generals loaded up for a Memorial Cup run. Pu would appear in 24 games for the Knights scoring twice and adding 4 assists.

Pu is currently ranked 83rd among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking. He finds himself in the same type of situation that the Soo Greyhounds’ Zachary Senyshyn was in a year ago – playing behind a tremendous amount of depth.

Through 43 games this season, Pu has 9 goals and 12 assists and a respectable 52.8% in the faceoff circle. His 9 goals come on 73 shots for an above average shooting percentage of 12.3%. And Pu is doing this playing a bottom six role with little to no powerplay time.

Potentially, Pu looks to be a power forward. One of his best assets is taking the puck straight to the net. But he also has good hands. He has a very good, accurate and fast shot, but could work on getting it off quicker and cleaner. He will not shy away from the physical battles; in fact he seems to relish it. And he’ll battle as hard defensively. He’s shown that he can create his own offense while also creating offense for his teammates. Pu is a very good skater who is adept at being both a playmaker and a goal scorer.

There’s been an overall improvement to his game from a year ago, where he looked to play the game from the outside. His development has continued in an upward trend and he no longer plays on the perimeter. He has the size and strength to play in the dirty areas and he’s shown that this season. He also has excellent anticipation and is using it more effectively to cause turnovers and create chances.

Like Senyshyn a year ago, it’s difficult to predict what Pu could have done with a more expanded role. Although it is a very small sample size, his most productive offensive output came while the Knights top line of Matthew Tkachuk, Christian Dvorak and Mitch Marner were at the World Junior Championships.

NHL Hall of Famer and Pu’s former coach Paul Coffey talks a little bit about Pu here

OHL Announces January Academic Players of the Month

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the OHL Academic Players of the Month for January, 2016, including forwards Brady Pataki of the Sudbury Wolves, Austen Keating of the Ottawa 67’s, Cliff Pu of the London Knights and defenceman Conor Timmins of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

OHL

East Division: Ottawa 67’s rookie forward Austen Keating is the OHL East Division Academic Player of the Month for January after maintaining an 80% average over Grade 11 English, Mathematics, Communication Technology and Physical Education courses at Blyth Academy. The 16-year-old has 12 goals, 12 assists and 25 points in 39 games with Ottawa this season and also won gold at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in British Columbia with Team Canada White. The Guelph, ON, native was Ottawa’s first round (16th overall) pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.

Central Division: Sophomore Sudbury Wolves winger Brady Pataki is the OHL Central Division Academic Player of the Month for January after excelling in University level Grade 12 Mathematics and Chemistry courses at Lasalle Secondary School. The 17-year-old is on pace to graduate with outstanding marks in June, 2016, before pursuing University studies. The Wallaceburg, ON, native has three goals, four assists and seven points in 44 games with the Wolves this season. He was the club’s fourth round (65th overall) pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.

West Division: Rookie defenceman Conor Timmins of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds has been named the OHL West Division Academic Player of the Month for January. The 17-year-old has achieved an 82% average in University-level Law, Geometrics and Data Management courses so far this semester at Superior Heights Secondary School. The Thorold, ON, native currently has two goals, five assists, seven points and a team leading plus/minus rating of plus-23 in 40 games this season. “We as an organization are very proud of Conor and his efforts both in the classroom and on the ice this season,” said Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis. “He is an OHL player who is a worthy representative of an individual combining the best of both worlds.” Timmins was Sault Ste. Marie’s fourth round (79th overall) pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.

Midwest Division: Sophomore London Knights winger Cliff Pu is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month. The 17-year-old is maintaining a 91% average in Grade 12 University-level courses at Blyth Academy. In addition to his high performance in the classroom, Pu is also the Grade 12 representative for student council at Blyth Academy and is involved with clubs within the school community. The Richmond Hill, ON, native has nine goals, 12 assists and 21 points in 43 games with the Knights this season. He was Oshawa’s first round (16th overall) pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.

2015-16 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

West Division:
January – Conor Timmins (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
December – Sasha Chmelevski (Sarnia Sting)
November – Brady Gilmour (Saginaw Spirit)
October – Kyle Keyser (Flint Firebirds)

Midwest Division:
January – Cliff Pu (London Knights)
December – Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)
November – Brock Philips (Guelph Storm)
October – Jake Lawr (Erie Otters)

Central Division:
January – Brady Pataki (Sudbury Wolves)
December – Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
November – Jacob Ramalho (North Bay Battalion)
October – Ruan Badenhorst (Barrie Colts)

East Division:
January – Austen Keating (Ottawa 67’s)
December – Riley Stillman (Oshawa Generals)
November – Sam Field (Kingston Frontenacs)
October – Jack Hanley (Hamilton Bulldogs)

During the 2014-15 season, the CHL proudly awarded 769 graduate players with academic scholarships representing an investment of over $6.2 million this season.  Scholarship Programs throughout the CHL are solely funded by the member clubs of the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Best of Both Worlds