Foerster, Zary power Team White to victory at Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

HAMILTON — Three-point efforts from Barrie Colts right-wing Tyson Foerster and Kamloops Blazers centre Connor Zary lifted Team White to a 5-3 win at the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton on Thursday.

Trailing 2-1 after 20 minutes of action, Foerster put up back-to-back markers to open the middle frame with each drawing a helper from Zary. Team White’s scoring succession continued just over three minutes after Foerster’s second of the night when Brandon Wheat Kings blue-liner Braden Schneider skated in to the right circle before grabbing a quick pass from Foerster and netting the eventual game winner.

Tyson Foerster To Prospects Game
Tyson Foerster of the Barrie Colts competes at the Top Prospects Sport Testing Combine. Photo by Brandon Taylor / CHL Images

“I think my linemates and everyone was really skilled out there. We had some really good chemistry and I was able to find the net,” Foerster said postgame. “I think Zary is really skilled and made some great passes. He’s really smart and I was glad to have him as my centerman.”

The 41st ranked prospect in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Report, Foerster was honoured as Team White’s Player of the Game following the victory.

“I felt good out there and as the game went on it just got better, so it was a good game tonight,” added Zary, who ranked 12th in the midterm assessment. “Obviously something clicked there tonight (with Foerster) and everything worked out well.”

Also lighting the lamp for Team White on Thursday included Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Kaiden Guhle and Saginaw Spirit centre Cole Perfetti, while finding the scoresheet for the opposition was Saint John Sea Dogs blue-liner Jeremie Poirier, Chicoutimi Sagueneens centre Dawson Mercer, and Ottawa 67’s right-wing Jack Quinn.

“It was a tough loss but it was a good experience,” said Quinn, the ninth-ranked North American skater and Team Red’s Player of the Game. “I wanted to showcase myself like everyone else, work hard, and compete hard, and I think that’s what I did. I wasn’t expecting (to win Player of the Game) but it’s definitely a pretty big honour.”

Between the pipes, Victoria Royals netminder Brock Gould impressed in playing the full 60 minutes for Team Red after top-ranked goaltender Nico Daws of the Guelph Storm suffered an upper-body injury in warm-up. In all, Gould wrapped up the night with 27 saves, coming just two short of the event record set by Roberto Luongo (Val-d’Or Foreurs) in 1997. At the opposite end for Team White, Samuel Hlavaj (Sherbrooke Phoenix) stopped 11 of 13 shots while Dylan Garand (Kamloops Blazers) turned aside 10 of 11 pucks.

The 25th edition of the annual prospect showcase paid tribute to former NHL Director of Central Scouting Jim Gregory, a longtime builder of the sport and former Ontario Hockey League general manager who passed away in October at age 83. In honour of his significant impact, in the 2012 the Canadian Hockey League announced that the Player of the Game awards at the annual Top Prospects Game would be named in his honour, while this season the OHL also launched the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award in recognition of the GM who best excels in his role.

The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game marked another successful event that drew more than 300 talent evaluators from hockey’s highest level and a crowd of over 6,400 enthusiastic junior hockey supporters to Hamilton in what was ultimately another instant classic.

Game Summary
Highlights

For more information please visit http://kubotatopprospects.ca.

OHL THIS WEEK: JANUARY 16 TO 19, 2020

OHL This Week

THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2020

Toronto, Ont. – It’s a special Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game edition of the OHL This Week. Here’s the scoop on what’s happening Thursday in Hamilton into a full weekend of OHL action with nine games on both Friday and Saturday.

KUBOTA CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME SET FOR THURSDAY IN HAMILTON:
The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game returns to Ontario on Thursday January 16th in Hamilton as 40 of the Canadian Hockey League’s top draft eligible players bring fans and scouts out to see a best-on-best competition.
READ MORE / PHOTO GALLERY – TOP PROSPECTS ARRIVE IN HAMILTON

THE BOOK ON THE OHL’S TOP PROSPECTS WITH NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING DIRECTOR DAN MARR:
NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr provides his insights on four of the OHL’s top prospects ahead of the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He takes a closer look at Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, Erie’s Jamie Drysdale, Saginaw’s Cole Perfetti and Ottawa’s Marco Rossi.
WATCH

RISING STARS BYFIELD AND DRYSDALE ENJOYING THE RIDE TOGETHER:
NHL Central Scouting’s second and third ranked North American skaters Quinton Byfield and Jamie Drysdale are enjoying the journey to the 2020 NHL Draft together. The two Canadian National Junior Team gold medalists are competing in the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
READ MORE

STING’S PERREAULT DRAWING FROM PRO INFLUENCES:
It’s amazing what kind of wisdom can be drawn from a combined 43 years of National Hockey League experience, just ask Sarnia Sting forward Jacob Perreault, who continues to benefit from a well-travelled trifecta of hockey influencers.
READ MORE

PERFETTI DOING BIG THINGS IN SAGINAW:
Coming off a tremendous rookie campaign, Saginaw Spirit sophomore Cole Perfetti has an opportunity to be the first player in club history to go top-10 at the NHL Draft.
READ MORE

57 OHL PLAYERS INCLUDED ON NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING’S MIDTERM DRAFT RANKINGS:
Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, Erie’s Jamie Drysdale, Saginaw’s Cole Perfetti and Ottawa’s Marco Rossi account for four of the top five ranked North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting Midterms.All 20 of the OHL’s member teams feature at least one player included on the list, with the Soo Greyhounds (7), Windsor Spitfires (6), Erie Otters (5) and Guelph Storm (5) leading the way.
FULL RANKINGS

67’s, SPITFIRES AND PETES IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s remain the top-ranked team in the CHL this week while the Windsor Spitfires and Peterborough Petes round out the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Kitchener Rangers and Saginaw Spirit remain honourable mentions for a second straight week.
FULL RANKINGS

COSKEY, TOMASINO AND MERKLEY NAMED TO VAUGHN CHL TEAM OF THE WEEK:
Saginaw’s Cole Coskey, Oshawa’s Philip Tomasino and London’s Ryan Merkley have been named to the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week.
READ MORE

GENERALS’ TOMASINO NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Nashville Predators prospect Philip Tomasino of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending January 12th. Tomasino earns the award for the second time this season after making his mark in his first weekend as a General. He put up three consecutive two-goal performances in wins over Windsor, Sarnia and Peterborough.
READ MORE

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – JANUARY 15, 2020:
Without further ado, we present a red hot edition of Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week, featuring some of the nicest goals scored across the League this season. The newest Oshawa General Philip Tomasino gets things started shorthanded on the back hand before Sudbury Wolves addition Matej Pekar shows off the eyes in the back of his head. Erie’s Jamie Drysdale puts his best moves on display with a nifty centering feed for Austen Swankler and London Knights star Connor McMichael wows us with a between the legs beauty. Flint’s Ty Dellandrea finishes things off with an unassisted, shorthanded overtime game winner.
WATCH

VAUGHN SAVES OF THE WEEK – JANUARY 14, 2020:
It’s that time again. Let’s roll back the tape for Vaughn Saves, featuring the best saves across the Ontario Hockey League. Press play and check out the fine work of Owen Sound’s Mack Guzda, Windsor’s Kari Piiroinen, Ottawa’s Cedrick Andree, Soo’s Bailey Brkin, Hamilton’s Zachary Roy, Oshawa’s Jordan Kooy, Sudbury’s Mitchell Weeks, Mississauga’s Kai Edmonds, Windsor’s Xavier Medina and Niagara’s Andrew MacLean.
WATCH

CHL SHOWDOWN – WEEK ENDING JANUARY 12, 2020:
Flint Firebirds forward Ty Dellandrea is the OHL’s representative in this week’s CHL Showdown featuring one great play from all three leagues.
WATCH & VOTE AT CHLSHOWDOWN.CA

FOUR PLAYERS SCORE FIRST OHL GOALS:
Sudbury’s Adam Samuelsson, Hamilton’s Gavin White, Niagara’s A.J. Cook and Mississauga’s Rylan Bowers all scored first career OHL goals this past week.
WATCH

OHL WEEKEND NOTEBOOK – JANUARY 13, 2020:
The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice. Here are 10 of the leading stories from this past weekend.
READ MORE

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Quinte Red Devils are on top of the rankings for a sixth consecutive week while the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Toronto Titans, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and Toronto Nationals continue to trail in spots two through five. The Southern Tier Admirals are up one slot to sixth  while the Vaughan Kings continue to trend in the right direction, rising to ninth ahead of the Toronto Marlboros who round out the Top 10.
FULL RANKINGS

#PLAYERSFIRST – OHL SUPPORT AND PLAYER WELFARE:
The OHL takes extreme pride in the player environment and fostering a safe place for young men to develop both as hockey players and as people. Saginaw Spirit graduate Kris Bennett, who now plays U SPORTS Men’s Hockey at the University of New Brunswick, shares how the OHL #TalkToday program positively impacted his time in the League.
FACT OF THE WEEK / ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

5 QUESTIONS WITH OTTAWA 67’s FORWARD MARCO ROSSI:
Ever since joining the Canadian Hockey League last season as the 18th overall pick in the 2018 Import Draft, Austrian forward Marco Rossi has been one to watch for the Ottawa 67’s. He quickly developed into one of the league’s elite offensive playmakers and not only leads the Ontario Hockey League in scoring but has solidified himself as a top prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft.
READ MORE

PETES HONOUR COLIN CAMPBELL WITH BANNER RAISING CEREMONY:
The Peterborough Petes paid tribute to former defenceman, long-time NHL player and executive Colin Campbell on Saturday night prior to a 4-0 shutout win over the Ottawa 67’s. A native of Tillsonburg, Ont., Campbell was a part of Peterborough’s 1972 Robertson Cup championship squad alongside familiar names in Bob Gainey, Stan Jonathan and Doug Jarvis.
WATCH

TOP 2020 NHL DRAFT PROSPECT JAN MYSAK COMMITS TO BULLDOGS:
The Hamilton Bulldogs have received a commitment from top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Jan Mysak, who comes off representing his native Czech Republic at the 2020 World Juniors. The 17-year-old had registered nine points (5-4–9) through 26 games with the HC Litvinov Czech Extraliga squad this season and was the ninth-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting’s International Midterm Rankings.
READ MORE

NHL DRAFT PROSPECT NICK MALIK COMMITS TO GREYHOUNDS:
The Soo Greyhounds have received a commitment from 17-year-old Czech netminder Nick Malik who they selected in the first round of the 2019 CHL Import Draft. Malik represented the Czech Republic this past Christmas at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship along with fellow Greyhound Jaromir Pytlik. One year ago he was a member of his home country’s entry at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
READ MORE

RYLAN BOWERS COMMITS TO STEELHEADS:
The Mississauga Steelheads have received a commitment from 2018 12th round OHL Priority Selection choice Rylan Bowers. The 17-year-old has appeared in 33 games with the Listowel Cyclones (GOJHL) this season and registered 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists). The Komoka, Ontario native was selected to represent his minor hockey association at the OHL Gold Cup in 2018, where he recorded 1 point (1 goal) over 4 games.
READ MORE

WOLVES ADD BYFIELD TO LEADERSHIP GROUP:
The Sudbury Wolves announced prior to Sunday’s game against Mississauga that Quinton Byfield will serve as an alternate captain with the club. Byfield recently returned from the World Junior Championship where he won gold with Team Canada. The 17-year-old Newmarket, Ont. native leads the Wolves in scoring with 63 points in 32 games this season including 25 goals. The highly ranked NHL prospect has already surpassed his point totals from his rookie season in half the number of games.
READ MORE

SPITFIRES GRAD SLATER DOGGETT NAMED U SPORTS TOP 8 ACADEMIC ALL-CANADIAN:
U SPORTS announced Thursday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2018-19 season. Among them, Queen’s Gaels men’s hockey star Slater Doggett was recognized with the honour. Doggett played three OHL seasons between the Kingston Frontenacs and Windsor Spitfires from 2012-15.
READ MORE

RANGERS CHIEF OPERATION OFFICER STEVE BIENKOWSKI TO RETIRE IN JUNE 2020:
After 18 years as the Kitchener Rangers Chief Operating Officer & Governor, Steve Bienkowski has announced his plan to retire in June 2020. Bienkowski became the Rangers first Chief Operating Officer in addition to its permanent OHL Governor in 2002 after serving six years on the Rangers Executive Committee. Synonymous with professionalism on and off the ice, he has been essential to the Rangers success for nearly 40 years.
READ MORE

DATES UNVEILED FOR 13TH ANNUAL OHF/OHL U15 PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE CAMPS:
The dates are set for the 13th annual OHF/OHL U15 Program of Excellence Camps. Held in April and May of this year across Ontario, the camps will focus on a variety of on and off-ice sessions, helping to ensure players are provided with the most up-to-date development strategies.  
READ MORE

ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR COMES TO HAMILTON:
The Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is in Hamilton on Thursday, followed by the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour as hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone share Steeltown’s best hockey stories. OHL grads Shayne Corson and Steve Thomas will be on hand for the weekend.
FULL SCHEDULE AT HOMETOWNHOCKEY.COM

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Quinton Byfield launches Q’s Kids: Top NHL Draft prospect Quinton Byfield has partnered with NEO Kids Foundation for his new Q’s Kids initiative. Ahead of his gold medal performance with the Canada’s National Junior Team, Quinton invited three NEO kids and their families to a Sudbury Wolves game as his special guests, and has plans to host many more families over the course of the second half of the season. As part of the program, Byfield will continue to invite families to games, providing tickets, popcorn, and special shirts for the kids. Byfield will meet with the families, sign autographs, and join them on a tour of the dressing room following the game.
READ MORE AT SUDBURYWOLVES.COM

Firebirds tour Ottawa Senators facility: During their day off on Thursday ahead of Friday’s tilt with the Ottawa 67’s, the Firebirds were welcomed to the Canadian Tire Centre for a behind-the-scenes look at the Ottawa Senators’ digs as former OHL Coach of the Year D.J. Smith provided a tour.
PHOTO GALLERY AT FLINTFIREBIRDS.COM

Knights to honour Patrick Kane with jersey retirement on Friday: The London Knights will retire Patrick Kane’s number 88 prior to puck drop on Friday when they play host to the Sudbury Wolves. Kane, who was named CHL Rookie of the Year following a 145-point season in 2006-07, has gone on to put up nearly 1,000 points over 951 career NHL contests over 13 seasons, hoisting the Stanley Cup three different times.
READ MORE

Toonie Hot Dog Day in Ottawa: Fans coming out to Saturday afternoon’s tilt with the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs at TD Place will be able to purchase hot dogs for a toonie. The 67’s examined five reasons to attend Saturday’s game.
FULL INFO AT OTTAWA67s.COM

Bell Let’s Talk Night, SickKids Night in Peterborough: Saturday’s clash with the Flint Firebirds will be the Peterborough Petes’ Bell Let’s Talk Game, aimed at recognizing the initiative’s tenth anniversary and continuing to encourage meaningful conversation around mental health. The first 2,000 fans will receive toques courtesy of Bell Let’s Talk, and clappers will be available at their booth during the game. The Niagara IceDogs will be visiting the Petes this Sunday in a makeup game for the previously scheduled Dec. 14. matchup. SickKids night will see a pre-game ceremony featuring Oliver, a local boy who has been treated at SickKids for Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. There will also be a chuck-a-puck during the second intermission where proceeds from all pucks purchased will support SickKids. Fans will also be able to attend a post-game skate where Petes players will be signing autographs and have availability for photos.
MORE DETAILS AT GOPETESGO.COM

IceDogs host Blood Drive in honour of Tucker Tynan: On Jan. 28, the Niagara IceDogs will be hosting a Blood Drive at the St. Catharines Blood Donor Clinic with goaltender Tucker Tynan in mind. People are welcome to attend between 3-7 pm, and attendees will receive a $2 voucher to any upcoming IceDogs home game.
READ MORE AT NIAGARAICEDOGS.NET

Rangers join goaltender Jacob Ingham for ’68’ Blood Drive: Join Kitchener Rangers goaltender #68, Jacob Ingham, and support Hockey Gives Blood and Canadian Blood Services by making a donation during the Rangers’ 68 Blood Drive. Starting January 24th and running until March 31st, fans can sign up under the Kitchener Rangers team ID to make a donation on behalf of Ingham.
FULL INFORMATION AT KITCHENERRANGERS.COM

ALUMNI NOTES:

DeBoer takes over as head coach in Vegas: The Vegas Golden Knights hired former two-time OHL Coach of the Year Peter DeBoer as their new head coach on Wednesday, replacing Gerard Gallant behind the bench. DeBoer, who began the season as head coach of the San Jose Sharks, takes over at the helm in Vegas with a Golden Knights club that is currently 24-19-6 for fifth in the Pacific Division. The 51-year-old native of Dunnville, Ont. coached in the OHL from 1993-2008, winning three OHL Championships and a Memorial Cup along the way. He’s worked in the NHL since 2008-09, holding down jobs with Florida, New Jersey, San Jose and now Vegas.

Spezza plays in 1100th NHL contest: OHL graduate Jason Spezza suited up in his 1,100th career NHL game on Tuesday, recording an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New Jersey Devils 7-4. The 36-year-old Spezza has played parts of 17 NHL seasons since he was the second overall pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2001 NHL Draft. Spezza, who played in the OHL as an underage player, played five seasons between Brampton, Mississauga, Windsor and Belleville from 1998-2002. He’s accumulated 933 points (338-595–933) over his 1,100 game NHL regular season career.

Wilson becomes youngest forward in Caps franchise history to play 500 games: OHL graduate Tom Wilson suited up in his 500th career NHL contest on Monday, becoming the youngest forward in Capitals franchise history to do so. The 25-year-old Toronto, Ont. native had an assist as the Caps defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. Wilson was Washington’s first round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The big power winger played three OHL seasons with the Plymouth Whalers from 2010-13, recording 91 points (35-56–91) over 125 regular season games. Wilson has 31 points (13-18–31) over 46 games in Washington this season.

Bunnaman scores first NHL goal: Former Kitchener Rangers captain Connor Bunnaman scored his first career NHL goal with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. The 21-year-old from Guelph, Ont. has appeared in six games with the Flyers this season after registering five points (4-1–5) through 21 games with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Bunnaman, who was Philadelphia’s fourth round pick in 2016, played four seasons in Kitchener from 2014-18.

Smith scores first NHL goal: Kitchener Rangers graduate Givani Smith scored his first career NHL goal on Tuesday. The Detroit Red Wings forward found the back of the net in a loss to the New York Islanders. Smith has played in 11 games and recorded a pair of points in the process. The former second round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft spent last season and the beginning of this season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. He played four OHL seasons between the Barrie Colts, Guelph Storm and Kitchener Rangers from 2014-18.

Griffith taking his best shots in AHL: London Knights graduate Seth Griffith got some good advice from his dad Brian over the offseason, getting to work on improving his shot. The 27-year-old Wallaceburg, Ont. native has racked up 32 points, including 18 goals over 39 games with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose this season, affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. Griffith, who won back-to-back OHL Championships in London in 2012 and 2013, has now spent seven seasons in the pro ranks, appearing in 79 NHL contests along the way. He was originally a fifth round pick of the Boston Bruins in 2012 in the midst of a four-year career in London. The Winnipeg Free Press’ Mike Sawatzky has more.
READ MORE AT WINNIPEGFREEPRESS.COM

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Sudbury Wolves at London Knights
Friday, January 17th

The Central Division leaders are heading to London on Friday, with Sudbury hungry for what could be their first win over the London Knights in five years.

Newest member of the Wolves, Matej Pekar, has proven to be a strong addition. His welcome party last weekend included seven points in three games, notably five assists in Friday’s 8-2 blowout of the North Bay Battalion.

Since rejoining the lineup following his gold medal performance at the World Juniors, newly appointed alternate captain Quinton Byfield put up six points of his own last weekend, and also put forth a five-point showing in front of the Troops that saw two goals and three assists, earning him OHL first star honours on the night.

With regards to the guys in green, Connor McMichael will look to follow up on last weekend’s flashy performance. His seven point total over the course of a three-in-three included a hat trick in Saturday’s tilt against Saginaw, as well as a flashy between-the-legs display in one of two goals he put past the Soo Greyhounds as part of a 7-1 victory. Columbus Blue Jackets draftee Liam Foudy and San Jose Sharks first rounder Ryan Merkley both put up six points.

The Knights, who tie the Kitchener Rangers at 54 points and just one point back of the Western Conference leading Windsor Spitfires, hold a 9-0-0-0 record over the course of the last five seasons against the Wolves. This will be the second and final meetup of the two clubs this season.

Saginaw Spirit at Windsor Spitfires
Sunday, January 19th

It’s a tilt we’re familiar with. The battle of the top of the West Division will see the visiting Saginaw Spirit face off against the conference-leading Windsor Spitfires Sunday afternoon.

The Spits took lead of the conference once again following their overtime win over the Kitchener Rangers, who trail just one point back of first in the Midwest. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Tyler Angle continues to lead all Windsor skaters with 46 points (21-25-46) to his name, and Nashville Predators pick Egor Afanasyev, last Sunday’s overtime hero, sits directly behind with 45 points (18-27-45).

Over on Saginaw’s side, New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey will be skating in off a five-goal weekend, and top NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti will look to see his point streak reach a 12th game.

The sixth of eight matchups on the season, both clubs are no stranger to the depth on either side. The Spits will, however, see a new opponent in Carolina Hurricanes prospect Ryan Suzuki, who joined the Spirit last week and registered three assists in two games.

The Spirit currently hold a 3-2-0-0 tally against the Spits. Last season’s eight-game regular season series between the two proved to be an even one, with a 4-4-0-0 record on Windsor’s side and a 4-3-1-0 record in favour of Saginaw.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Thursday January 16th:
Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Hamilton, Ont. – 7:00pm on Sportsnet and NHL Network

Friday January 17th:
Hamilton at Kingston – 7:00pm
Barrie at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Erie at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Soo – 7:07pm
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:30pm
North Bay at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Sudbury at London – 7:30pm
Mississauga at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday January 18th:
Hamilton at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Sarnia – 4:05pm
Kitchener at Guelph – 7:00pm
North Bay at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Soo at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Erie at Windsor – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm
Oshawa at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday January 19th:
Flint at Kingston – 2:00pm
Guelph at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Erie at London – 2:00pm
Saginaw at Windsor – 2:05pm
Niagara at Peterborough – 2:05pm
Ottawa at Oshawa – 6:05pm

OHL Writers Draft Eligible Player of the Month for December.

We hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. While we enjoyed the holidays with friends and family and the great entertainment of the World Junior Championships, we need to take care of a little business and announce our draft eligible player of the month for December.

And that player is Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s.

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

Rossi appeared in six games through the month of December, scoring 9 goals and adding 7 helpers. He had three multi goal games, two multi assist games and all but one game was a multi point game. Rossi was named the game’s first star in four contests and second star in another.

Not only does Rossi lead all draft eligible players in most offensive categories, but leads the entire OHL in points (66), sixth in goals (24), second in assists (42) and has a large lead over the rest of the league with a plus-42.

Also considered were Brandon Coe of the North Bay Battalion with 7 goals and 7 assists in 9 games, Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting with 8 goals and 7 assists in 10 games and Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit with 7 goals and 6 assists in 8 games.

In goal, Owen Bennett of the Guelph Storm gets the nod as he tries to hold the fort while Nico Daws represents Canada at the World Junior Championships. Bennett went 4-2-0-1 through December with a .903 Save Percentage.

Our previous players of the month

December – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

November – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

October – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

40 Players Selected for 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

2020 Top Prospects Game

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with National Hockey League Central Scouting announce the 40 players invited to compete in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.


The 25th annual showcase of top CHL players eligible for the NHL Draft takes place on Thursday January 16, 2020, and is hosted by the Hamilton Bulldogs.  The 40 players selected were chosen by NHL clubs and feature talent from across the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.


“All 31 NHL clubs have a say in the player selection process and take great interest in this best-on-best showcase,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “The Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is a great opportunity for scouts and general managers to evaluate talent and we look forward to seeing which players will make their mark in Hamilton.”

Among the players named to the preliminary roster are Canadian National Junior Team members such as CHL top scorer and reigning Player of the Year Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic, fellow forwards Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves and Dawson Mercer of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, defenceman Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters, and goaltender Nico Daws of the Guelph Storm.  Three more players including Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit, Connor Zary of the Kamloops Blazers, and defenceman Braden Schneider of the Brandon Wheat Kings will also compete after attending Canada’s Selection Camp.

31 of the CHL’s 60 member clubs are represented with a total of 17 OHL players from 13 different teams, 13 WHL players from 10 different teams, and 10 QMJHL players from eight different teams. Nine different teams have two players listed including Brandon, Drummondville, Kamloops, the Ottawa 67’s, Prince Albert Raiders, Shawinigan Cataractes, Soo Greyhounds, Sudbury, and the Windsor Spitfires.


19 of the players selected received ‘A’ ratings as first round candidates determined by NHL Central Scouting in their November Players to Watch list including 13 forwards and six defencemen.  17 players were given ‘B’ ratings including 11 forwards and six defencemen, while all four goaltenders were listed as ‘C’ rated prospects.


2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Roster:

*denotes ‘A’ rated first round candidates


Goaltenders:
Nico Daws (Guelph Storm)
Dylan Garand (Kamloops Blazers)
Brock Gould (Victoria Royals)
Samuel Hlavaj (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

Defencemen:
Justin Barron (Halifax Mooseheads)*
Lukas Cormier (Charlottetown Islanders)
Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters)*
Kaiden Guhle (Prince Albert Raiders)*
Daemon Hunt (Moose Jaw Warriors)*
Thimo Nickl (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
Ryan O’Rourke (Soo Greyhounds)
Jeremie Poirier (Saint John Sea Dogs)*
Braden Schneider (Brandon Wheat Kings)*
Donovan Sebrango (Kitchener Rangers)
Christoffer Sedoff (Red Deer Rebels)
Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)

Forwards:
Mavrik Bourque (Shawinigan Cataractes)
Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves)*
Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Will Cuylle (Windsor Spitfires)*
Jack Finley (Spokane Chiefs)
Tyson Foerster (Barrie Colts)
Jean-Luc Foudy (Windsor Spitfires)*
Ridly Greig (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Seth Jarvis (Portland Winterhawks)
Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic)*
Hendrix Lapierre (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)*
Dawson Mercer (Drummondville Voltigeurs)*
Jake Neighbours (Edmonton Oil Kings)
Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)*
Jacob Perreault (Sarnia Sting)*
Vasiliy Ponomarev (Shawinigan Cataractes)
Jaromir Pytlik (Soo Greyhounds)
Jack Quinn (Ottawa 67’s)*
Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)*
Justin Sourdif (Vancouver Giants)*
Antonio Stranges (London Knights)*
Oliver Suni (Oshawa Generals)
Ozzy Wiesblatt (Prince Albert Raiders)
Connor Zary (Kamloops Blazers)*

The 40 players will be divided into teams by NHL Central Scouting and announced along with coaching staffs in January.

12 CHL players from last year’s game in Red Deer were chosen in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft led by Saskatoon Blades forward Kirby Dach picked third overall and currently competing as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. In 24 years, a total of 329 CHL players from this event have been chosen by NHL clubs in the first round of the NHL Draft representing close to 45% of all players selected. Since the event was first introduced in 1996 the game has featured 14 players selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft including Nico Hischier (2017), Connor McDavid (2015), Aaron Ekblad (2014), Nathan MacKinnon (2013), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Taylor Hall (2010), John Tavares (2009), Steven Stamkos (2008), Patrick Kane (2007), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003), Rick Nash (2002), Vincent Lecavalier (1998), Joe Thornton (1997), and Chris Phillips (1996).


The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by new title partner Kubota Canada, and CHL associate partners CIBC, Kia Canada, and Cooper Tires.  The game will be broadcast live across Canada on Sportsnet and TVA Sports, and in the United States on NHL Network.


Tickets are on sale for the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at ticketmaster.ca or call 855-985-4357.  For group and promotional inquiries, please contact the Hamilton Bulldogs at 905-529-8500.

For more information please visit http://kubotatopprospects.ca.

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Kubota Canada Ltd. (KCL) is a subsidiary of Kubota Corporation, a tractor and heavy equipment manufacturer based in Osaka, Japan. KCL markets and distributes Kubota-engineered and manufactured equipment, which includes a complete line of tractors (up to 210-horsepower), performance-matched implements, compact and utility tractors, compact construction, landscaping and public work equipment, residential lawn and garden equipment, commercial turf products and utility vehicles. For product literature or dealer locations, visit: kubota.ca

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Month for October

The Ontario Hockey League has completed its first full month of the season and as we have done for several years now, it is time to select the Draft Eligible Player of the Month for October from the group of players eligible for the 2020 National Hockey League Draft for the first time.

And for the month of October our pick is Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit.

Perfetti appeared in 11 games through the month of October and scored 4 goals while assisting on 16 others. He recorded points in 9 of his 11 contests with 6 multi-point games. He was held off the score sheet just twice.

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

Perfetti’ s performance was one of the quietest in recent memory, receiving first star honors in just one contest, second star in another and getting two third star mentions in the month.

Perfetti sits second among draft eligible players with points (27), first in assists (22) and first in shots on goal (61). He leads the Spirit in points and assists.

Also considered was Tyson Foerster of the Barrie Colts. Foerster notched 9 goals and assisted on 6 others in 10 games. Foerster is third among draft eligible players in points (23), first in goals (13), tenth in assists (10), ninth in plus/minus (+7) and fifth in shots on goal (47).

In goal, Tucker Tynan of the Niagara IceDogs has drawn our attention on multiple occasions. Despite having just, a 3-3-1-0 record for the month of October, no goaltender has faced more rubber then Tynan. He has faced 70 more shots then the next busiest netminder Jacob Ingham of Mississauga while only playing in one more game.

Tucker had a .902 save percentage for the month of October

OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR OCTOBER

Academic Players for October

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the OHL Academic Players of the Month for October 2019, including Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs, Pacey Schlueting of the North Bay Battalion, Zack Terry of the Guelph Storm and Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit.

East Division: Kingston Frontenacs rookie and 2019 OHL Priority Selection first overall pick Shane Wright is the OHL East Division Academic Player of the Month for October. The 15-year-old from Burlington, Ont. is off to a great start in his Grade 10 studies at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, achieving a 95% average in his academic math, business, computer technology and high performance athlete courses.

“Shane’s exceptional work ethic and dedication to his academic studies have been every apparent right from the first week of school,” said Frontenacs academic advisor Kim Hulton. “The staff at Holy Cross are exceptionally impressed with his maturity, commitment to his studies and his ability to act as a role model in his new school.”

On the ice, the exceptional status rookie has 11 points (5-6–11) through his first 14 contests, leading OHL rookies with 48 shots on goal.  He’ll be representing Canada Black at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge starting this weekend in Medicine Hat, Alta. and Swift Current, Sask. He’s a graduate of the Don Mills Flyers Minor Midget program.

Central Division: North Bay Battalion defenceman Pacey Schlueting is the OHL Central Division Academic Player of the Month. The sophomore defenceman owns an 84% average in Grade 12 chemistry, philosophy and functions courses at Chippewa Secondary School. This marks the second time Schlueting has received the honour after doing so in February 2019.

“Pacey is very self-directed and has shown himself to be a very motivated learner,” said Battalion academic advisor Colleen Point.

The 17-year-old hometown product of North Bay, Ont. has three assists over 14 games in his second OHL season after suiting up in 60 regular season contests as a rookie. Schlueting was North Bay’s first round (9th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the North Bay Trappers Minor Midgets.

Midwest Division: Guelph Storm defenceman Zack Terry is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month. The second-year blueliner and reigning Ivan Tennant Memorial Award winner as the OHL’s top academic secondary school student owns an A+ average in his Grade 12 studies at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School, managing a course load that includes english, chemistry and advanced functions. This marks the second time Terry has received the honour after doing so in February 2019.

“Zack is the consummate student-athlete,” said Storm academic advisor Colleen Driscoll. He has continued to excel in the classroom maintaining his high academic standards as evidenced in his A+ average. His teachers describe him as hard working; conscientious; possessing great potential and skills. His strong academic achievement is a direct reflection of his strong work ethic and commitment to excellence.”

The 17-year-old Oakville, Ont. native has two assists through his first 12 games of the season after hoisting the Robertson Cup as an OHL champion with the Storm last spring. The 6-foot-2, 189Ib. defenceman was Guelph’s second round (36th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Oakville Rangers Minor Midgets.

West Division: Saginaw Spirit forward and top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti is the OHL West Division Academic Player of the Month for October. Perfetti owns an overall average of 95% in his Grade 12 studies at Heritage High School, learning about subjects such as algebra as well as elite athlete and leadership courses. This marks the second time Perfetti has received the honour after doing so in February 2019.

“Cole is an outstanding, conscientious individual with an excellent work ethic,” said Spirit academic advisor Pam Moretuzzo. “He welcomes academic and personal challenges and works diligently which is evident in his high achievements. Cole’s grade 11 average was 93% which included university-level and international baccalaureate courses. He is a very strong student and has assumed the role of peer tutor in numerous study sessions. He is well-liked and respected by his peers and adults alike and has proven himself to be a true leader in and out of school.”

After setting a Spirit franchise record with 37 goals as a rookie in 2018-19, Perfetti has continued his production, leading the team with 27 points (5-22–27) through 16 games this season. He’ll be representing Team OHL in next week’s CIBC Canada Russia Series. Perfetti was Saginaw’s first round (5th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Vaughan Kings Minor Midgets.

2019-20 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
October – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)

Central Division:
October – Pacey Schlueting (North Bay Battalion)

Midwest Division:
October – Zack Terry (Guelph Storm)

West Division:
October – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)

Last season, the OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 340 OHL Alumni at 69 different academic institutions across North America with a total scholarship payment in excess of $3.2 million. Since the 2007-08 season, OHL Scholarship payments have totalled more than $25 million.

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

OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders for October

The Ontario Hockey League took last night off as fans and players alike braved the weather (depending on where you are) to attend costume parties, head to work dressed up and yes, even go trick or treating. Thus, the OHL completed its first full month of the season a day early and we here at OHL Writers can update you on the statistical leaders among players eligible for the 2020 National Hockey League Draft.

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

If you look at the point leaders, you’ll see projected top 5 pick Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves leading the way with 31 points in 16 games. And for the better part of the season, Byfield has led the entire league in the scoring race.

But, focus your attention three spots lower to Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s. Rossi has 19 points in just 8 games played. He missed five games due to suspension but is averaging 2.38 points per game while Byfield is averaging 1.94 points per game. That’s almost half a point per game better then Byfield.

It doesn’t end there. Cole Perfetti leads the list in assists with 22 in 16 games, or 1.38 assists per game. Rossi is just two spots below with Byfield sandwiched in between with 15 helpers in 8 games or 1.88 assists per game, exactly .50 assists per game better then the leader.

But with 4 goals in eight games, Rossi doesn’t make our top ten, yet. He is averaging .50 goals per game and based on that, would be seventh on the list. Barrie Colts’ Tyson Foerster tops the list with 13 goals in 14 games, or .93 goals per game.

Wait. We’re not finished just yet. Despite playing in only eight games, Rossi has taken more faceoffs then anyone in the top 10 in faceoff percentage and has won a whopping 62.6 per cent of his draws. Not only is that good enough to top draft eligible players, but tops in the entire league among players with 60 or more faceoff attempts.

Had enough Marco Rossi talk?

Among goaltenders, no OHL goaltender has faced as much rubber as Niagara IceDogs’ puck stopper Tucker Tynan. And we’re not talking just draft eligible goaltenders. Tynan has faced 70 more shots then the next closest goaltender, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads who has faced 419. To put that into context, Tynan has played in just one more game then Ingham.

Yet Tynan is fourth among draft eligible goaltenders with a 3.60 goals-against-average and tops in save percentage at .920. Let’s put that into perspective as well: That’s second among all goalies who have played in 3 or more games, tied with Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes, the top OHL goaltender drafted in 2019.

Here’s a look at the leader board. While we take great care in compiling stats, always refer to the OHL website for official stats.

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 11 20 31
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 16 5 22 27
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 13 10 23
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 8 4 15 19
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 15 6 13 19
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 14 5 14 19
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 15 10 7 17
Luke Evangelista London Knights 12 5 11 16
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 14 8 8 16
Oliver Suni Oshawa Generals 14 5 10 15
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 13 0.93
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 11 0.69
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 15 10 0.67
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 14 8 0.57
Antonio Stranges London Knights 12 7 0.58
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 13 7 0.54
Zayde Wisdom Kingston Frontenacs 14 7 0.50
Hayden Fowler Erie Otters 12 6 0.50
Logan Morrison Hamilton Bulldogs 13 6 0.46
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 15 6 0.40
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 16 22 1.38
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 20 1.25
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 8 15 1.88
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 14 14 1.00
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 15 13 0.87
Tanner Dickinson Soo Greyhounds 15 12 0.80
Luke Evangelista London Knights 12 11 0.92
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 13 11 0.85
Jacob Perrault Sarnia Sting 10 10 1.00
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 10 0.71
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 14 5 14 19
Jack Thompson Sudbury Wolves 16 6 7 13
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 13 1 11 12
Ryan O’Rourke Soo Greyhounds 13 5 6 11
Ville Ottavainen Kitchener Rangers 13 3 5 8
Donavan Sebrango Kitchener Rangers 10 1 7 8
Ole Bjorgvik-Holm Mississauga Steelheads 13 0 6 6
Dylan Robinson Windsor Spitfires 13 1 4 5
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
Ryan O’Rourke Soo Greyhounds 13 +13
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 +12
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 8 +11
Igor Chibrikov Owen Sound Attack 13 +8
Ville Ottavainen Kitchener Rangers 13 +8
Mark Woolley Owen Sound Attack 9 +7
Luke Evangelista London Knights 12 +7
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 14 +7
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 +7
Kirill Steklov London Knights 12 +6
Penalty Minutes Leaders
Player Team GP PIM M/G
Ryan O’Rourke Soo Greyhounds 13 21 1.62
Reid Valade Kitchener Rangers 8 19 2.38
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 13 18 1.38
Mark Woolley Owen Sound Attack 9 17 1.89
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 16 1.00
Faceoff Leaders (Minimum 30 faceoffs)
Player Team GP FOA FOW %
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 8 179 112 62.6
Isaac Langdon Kitchener Rangers 10 78 48 61.5
Nick Wong Kingston Frontenacs 14 39 23 59.0
Jacob Perrault Sarnia Sting 10 33 19 57.6
Luke Drewitt Kingston Frontenacs 12 110 63 57.3
Hayden Fowler Erie Otters 12 35 20 57.1
Ethan Cardwell Saginaw Spirit 16 76 43 56.6
Longest Goal Scoring Streak
Player Team From To Gms Goals
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 10/19 10/24 3 4
Longest Assist Streak
Player Team From To Gms Assts
Jabob Perreault Sarnia Sting 9/20 10/18 9 10
Longest Point Streak
Player Team From To Gms Pts
Jacob Perrault Sarnia Sting 9/20 10/20 10 14
Shots On Goal Leaders
Player Team GP SOG
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 16 61
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 15 60
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 52
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 14 48
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 47
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average (Min 300 minutes)
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
Brett Brochu London Knights 8 427 19 2.67
Aiden Campbell Erie Otters 7 370 19 3.08
Marco Costantini Hamilton Bulldogs 8 486 27 3.33
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 12 650 39 3.60
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage (Min 300 minutes)
Player Team GP SH SVS SV%
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 12 489 450 0.920
Marco Costantini Hamilton Bulldogs 8 276 249 0.902
Brett Brochu London Knights 8 187 168 0.898
Aiden Campbell Erie Otters 7 162 143 0.883
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 5 135 118 0.874
Goaltending Leaders – Wins
Player Team GP W L OL
Brett Brochu London Knights 8 6 1 0
Aiden Campbell Erie Otters 7 5 1 0
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 12 5 4 3
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 5 3 1 1
Marco Costantini Hamilton Bulldogs 8 3 4 2
Goaltending Leaders – Shutouts
Player Team GP SO
Brett Brochu London Knights 8 1

PETES’ HUNTER JONES NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jones

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Minnesota Wild prospect Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week of regular season action running from October 14th through the 20th with a 3-0 record, 1.67 goals-against average and .943 save percentage.

Jones earns the award for the first time in his OHL career after backstopping the Petes to a perfect 3-0 record. He made 22 saves in Thursday’s home opening win over the Hamilton Bulldogs before posting back-to-back road wins with one goal allowed on Friday and Sunday. Jones earned first star honours, turning aside 32 of 33 shots on Friday night in Ottawa as the Petes defeated the 67’s 3-1. He proceeded to stop 28 of 29 in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the CHL’s top-ranked Oshawa Generals, earning his 40th career OHL win in the process.

A 19-year-old native of Brantford, Ont., Jones is off to a 9-1-0-0 start to the 2019-20 season, posting a league-leading 2.41 goals-against average along with a .919 save percentage and one shutout. He owns a career 40-34-2-2 record over 82 career OHL regular season contests, posting a 3.54 goals-against average and .896 save percentage with four shutouts. Originally Peterborough’s fifth round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, Jones was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Also considered for the award this week was Sarnia Sting forward Sean Josling who helped his team recover from an 0-7 start with three straight wins, recording 11 points (6-5–11) in the process. Draft eligible Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti also had a strong week, putting up 10 points (3-7–10) over three games as the Spirit went 3-0.

 

OTR_2017_Logo

2019-20 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Oct. 14 – Oct. 20: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 13: Mack Guzda (Owen Sound Attack)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 6: Philip Tomasino (Niagara IceDogs)
Sept. 26 – Sept. 29: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 22: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (Peterborough Petes)

Wolves’ Quinton Byfield named OHL Rookie of the Year

OHL Announces First and Second All-Rookie Teams

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves is the 2018-19 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Byfield joined the league as the first overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and finished third in rookie scoring with 61 points in 64 games including 29 goals and 32 assists helping the Wolves win more than 40 games for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

“It’s super humbling,” Byfield said. “There’s a lot of good rookies this year that could have won it. I think a lot of them deserved it as well. I couldn’t have done it by myself and owe a lot to my coaches who put trust in me, gave me every opportunity to succeed, and put me in every situation. And my teammates, our off-ice chemistry was unbelievable. We had a very special group, we’re super tight, and that helped us on the ice and really helped me too.

“My billet family, since day one, welcomed me into their family and they supported me along the way,” added Byfield. “To my Mom, Dad, Sister, Oma, they all believed in me, supported me, and sacrificed everything for me just so I could go play hockey. This is just really special for me and I’m really honoured.”

The Newmarket, Ont., native, and graduate from the OMHA champion York-Simcoe Express, scored in his Wolves debut on September 21, part of a two-point performance, the first of 16 multi-point games this season.  The 2020 NHL Draft prospect also represented Canada as an alternate captain at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in November.  He finished second overall in Wolves scoring and lit the lamp more than any other 16-year-old rookie to play for ‘the Pack’ in the last 20 years following Norm Milley’s 30 goals in 1996-97.

“For Quinton coming in, being the number one pick after really wanting to be first overall, he’s done everything for us since the start of the season,” said Wolves head coach Cory Stillman, who won OHL Rookie of the Year honours himself as a member of the Windsor Spitfires in 1990-91. “He’s an extremely talented player and is a treat to come to the rink and watch every night.

Byfield, Quinton (1)
Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by OHL Images

“What makes Quinton special, to me, is how hard he plays in all areas of the game,” Stillman added. “He plays on the power play and on the penalty kill. He plays in the last minute if we’re up a goal or if we’re down a goal. I think the biggest thing with Quinton is that he’s only going to get better.”

Byfield is just the third Wolves player to win Rookie of the Year honours following Benoit Pouliot in 2004-05, and Pat Verbeek in 1981-82.  He is also the ninth player to win after also earning the Jack Ferguson Award as the league’s first overall pick following Jeff O’Neill (Guelph 1992-93), Patrick O’Sullivan (Mississauga 2001-02), Rob Schremp (Mississauga 2002-03), John Tavares (Oshawa 2005-06), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie 2011-12), Connor McDavid (Erie 2012-13), Travis Konecny (Ottawa 2013-14), and Ryan Merkley (Guelph 2016-17).  Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts was last season’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.  Voting was conducted in two stages beginning with a Conference only vote followed by a Final ballot that included the top three candidates from the initial Conference phase.  Players received five points for a first vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

Byfield earned 61 points in a very close voting process just one point ahead of Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit who finished with 60 voting points.  Defenceman Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters finished in third place with 32 voting points.

All three players were also named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team with Byfield at centre, Perfetti at left wing, and Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting at right wing.  Drysdale was voted on defence alongside NHL Draft prospect Vladislav Kolyachonok of the Flint Firebirds.  Jet Greaves of the Barrie Colts was voted in goal.  Second All-Rookie Team honours were awarded to forwards Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s, Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires, and Tyler Tullio of the Oshawa Generals.  Ryan O’Rourke of the Soo Greyhounds and Daniil Chayka of the Guelph Storm were voted on defence, and Zachary Roy of the Hamilton Bulldogs was chosen in goal.

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.

The Emms Family Award will be formally presented to Byfield at the OHL’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Wednesday June 5.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Rookie of the Year to be announced at the Memorial Cup presented by Kia on Saturday May 25.

2018-19 OHL All-Rookie Teams (voting points in brackets):
First Team:
Centre – Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves (87)
Left Wing – Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit (91)
Right Wing – Jacob Perreault, Sarnia Sting (89)
Defence – Jamie Drysdale, Erie Otters (95)
Defence – Vladislav Kolyachonok, Flint Firebirds (69)
Goaltender – Jet Greaves, Barrie Colts (58)
Second Team:
Centre – Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67’s (52)
Left Wing – Will Cuylle, Windsor Spitfires (52)
Right Wing – Tyler Tullio, Oshawa Generals (35)
Defence – Ryan O’Rourke, Soo Greyhounds (53)
Defence – Daniil Chayka, Guelph Storm (38)
Goaltender – Zachary Roy, Hamilton Bulldogs (39)

OHL Announces Top Performers of the Month for March

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in March, 2019, including Kitchener Rangers forward Greg Meireles, London Knights defenceman Evan Bouchard and Saginaw Spirit teammates Cole Perfetti and Ivan Prosvetov.

OHL Player of the Month – Greg Meireles (Kitchener Rangers):

Kitchener Rangers forward Greg Meireles has been named the OHL Player of the Month for March, finishing tied for the league lead with 18 points including five goals and 13 assists over eight games. Meireles recorded points in all eight contests as part of an ongoing 20-game point streak, the OHL’s longest of the 2018-19 season. The 5-foot-11, 188Ib centre recorded at least three points three different times including a three-assist showing on Mar. 1st against London, a goal and three assists in an 8-4 win over the Erie Otters on Mar. 8th followed up by a goal and two helpers on Mar. 10th in Guelph. Meireles potted a pair of power play goals to help the Rangers’ top-ranked power play finish the season with a 29% success rate, the league’s highest since the 2016 Memorial Cup champion London Knights. He also had a hand in helping teammate Jonathan Yantsis reach the 50-goal mark, assisting on four of his goals in the month of March.

A 20-year-old native of Ottawa, Ont., Meireles finished the season as Kitchener’s leading scorer, recording 97 points 36-61–97) over 68 games, 43 of which came on the man advantage. Meireles led the Rangers with 249 shots on goal this season and went 54.1% in the faceoff circle. The former first round (12th overall) pick of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection remains without an NHL contract but attended rookie camp with the St. Louis Blues in 2017.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Evan Bouchard (London Knights):

For the second straight month a London Knights blueliner has been named the OHL’s Defenceman of the Month. Edmonton Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard takes the torch from teammate Adam Boqvist, recording nine points including five goals and four assists over eight games for the Midwest Division champion Knights. The veteran captain started the month with a season-high four point performance, scoring while adding three assists in an 8-6 road win over the Kitchener Rangers on Mar. 1st. Bouchard also found the back of the net in a 3-2 overtime win over the Flint Firebirds on Mar. 8th before recording back-to-back two-point contests to close out the month, helping the Knights lock down first place in the Western Conference. He scored twice in a 6-3 road loss to the Soo Greyhounds on Mar. 15th before scoring a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over the Saginaw Spirit on Mar. 16th. Bouchard recorded at least five shots on goal on five different occasions in the month of March.

A 19-year-old product of Oakville, Ont., Bouchard recorded 53 points (16-37–53) over 45 games in an abbreviated season after returning from the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers where he played seven games and scored his first goal to start the campaign. Bouchard’s 201 career regular season points (54-147–201) sit second in franchise history for defencemen behind Rick Corriveau (1987-92). Originally London’s first round (17th overall) pick in 2015, Bouchard was chosen by the Oilers with the 10th overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit):

Cole Perfetti‘s tremendous rookie season continued this past month as the Saginaw Spirit winger has been named OHL Rookie of the Month for a second consecutive term. Perfetti led all rookies with seven goals along with four assists for 11 points over eight games along with a plus-10 rating. The 5-foot-10 left-winger helped the Spirit secure its first West Division title since 2011, putting up three different multi-point performances beginning with a goal and an assist in an 8-0 win over the Peterborough Petes on Mar. 3rd. He put up a season-high four goals in a 4-1 road win over the London Knights on Mar. 9th, becoming the OHL’s first 16-year-old rookie to do so since Peterborough’s Ryan Spooner in March 2009. Perfetti followed that sterling performance up with a goal and two assists on Mar. 12th as the Spirit took a 6-2 road win over the Sarnia Sting. In total, Perfetti earned Three Star recognition three different times in the month of March.

A 17-year-old native of Whitby, Ont., Perfetti finished the season tied with Owen Tippett for the Spirit scoring lead, recording a league-leading 74 points (37-37–74) among rookies over 63 games. Perfetti’s 37 goals are a new Spirit franchise record for rookies as he finished with the OHL’s sixth-highest shooting percentage of 22.4% while netting seven game winners. Eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft, Perfetti was Saginaw’s first round (5th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Vaughan Kings Minor Midgets.


Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Ivan Prosvetov (Saginaw Spirit):


Arizona Coyotes prospect Ivan Prosvetov is the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for March, backstopping his team to a West Division title. Prosvetov played to a 4-1-0-1 record with a 1.99 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and one shutout over six games, turning aside 197 shots in the process. He started the month with four consecutive wins as part of a larger eight-game trend,  posting his fourth shutout of the season with a 27-save effort against the Peterborough Petes on Mar. 3rd. He earned second star honours, turning aside 47 of 48 shots in a 4-1 road win over the London Knights on Mar. 9th. Prosvetov turned aside 29 shots on Mar. 12th in Sarnia to backstop the Spirit to a franchise record 46th win and a club mark nine consecutive victories. He stopped 25 shots two nights later on Mar. 14th as the Spirit fell 2-1 in overtime to the Soo Greyhounds but locked down their first West Division title since 2011.

A 20-year-old native of Moscow, Russia, Prosvetov played to an overall mark of 36-11-2-1 with a 2.94 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and four shutouts in his first OHL season. The 6-foot-5, 185Ib netminder owns a league-leading .924 save percentage since Jan. 1st, playing to a 19-5-1-1 mark in that span. Chosen with the 13th overall pick of the 2018 CHL Import Draft, Prosvetov was a fourth round (114th overall) pick of the Arizona Coyotes last summer.


2018-19 OHL Performers of the Month:


Player of the Month:

March – Greg Meireles (Kitchener Rangers)
February – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
January – Ben Jones/Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)
December – Tye Felhaber (Ottawa 67’s)
November – Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
October – Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)


Defenceman of the Month:

March – Evan Bouchard (London Knights)
February – Adam Boqvist (London Knights)
January – Sean Durzi (Guelph Storm)
December – Bode Wilde (Saginaw Spirit)
November – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)
October – Mac Hollowell (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)


Rookie of the Month:

March – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)
February – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)
January – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)
December – Jacob Perreault (Sarnia Sting)
November – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)
October – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)


Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:

March – Ivan Prosvetov (Saginaw Spirit)
February – Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)
January – Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)
December – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
November – Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights)
October – Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)