Vaughn CHL Team of the Week

The Canadian Hockey League today announced the 22nd edition of the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week for the 2019-20 season based on individual performances from February 17-23.

Among the top performers was Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Nathan Legare of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar who wrapped up the week with nine points counting six goals and three assists over a pair of appearances. Facing the Val-d’Or Foreurs on Sunday, captain Legare put up a season-high performance of five points including his second consecutive hat-trick plus two assists en route to 6-3 victory in which he was recognized as the game’s first star. For his efforts, Legare was honoured as the Ultramar QMJHL Player of the Week.

Also up front is overage right-wing Jeremy McKenna of the Moncton Wildcats whose impressive showing counted four goals and five assists for nine points over four contests extending the club’s win-streak to 12 and point-streak to 18. Currently riding a five-game point streak of his own, McKenna’s stretch includes Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime win versus the Rimouski Oceanic in which he received first-star recognition after matching a season high of four points counting two goals and two assists that included a helper on the game-winning goal.

Rounding out the forward ranks is Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit who notched five goals and two assists for seven points over three games helping the Spirit clinch a playoff berth. Against the North Bay Battalion on Sunday, the captain and fourth-year forward finished with a season high of four points, putting up two goals plus two assists in a 6-3 road win that saw him recognized as the game’s first star for the second consecutive game.

On the blue line, St. Louis Blues draft pick Tyler Tucker of the Flint Firebirds shined as he collected three goals and eight assists for 11 points over four games as the Firebirds also punched their postseason ticket. A late-season addition to the Firebirds, Tucker has impressed since joining his new club from the Barrie Colts by setting a franchise single-game record for points by a defenceman with two goals and five assists for seven points in a 12-7 victory over the Sarnia Sting last Monday. For his efforts, Tucker was honoured as the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week.

Also on the back end is Saskatoon Blades defenceman and 2020 NHL Draft hopeful Aidan De La Gorgendiere whose week counted six points including one goal and five assists over a pair of contests.  De La Gorgendiere’s best showing came against the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday as he finished with a season high of four points – all coming as helpers – to guide his squad to an 8-1 victory in which he was recognized as the game’s first star. For his efforts, De La Gorgendiere was honoured as the WHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week.

Between the pipes, Calgary Flames prospect Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips put up a dominant showing as he came away with three victories over a trio of appearances in which he combined for a .952 save percentage and a 1.00 goals-against average. Wolf’s busiest night came against the rival Portland Winterhawks on Sunday as he turned aside 35 shots en route to a 6-2 road win and first-star honours. In all, Wolf closed out the week with his league best ninth shutout of the season while stopping 60 of 63 total shots, helping him earn recognition as the WHL Eli Wilson Goaltending Goaltender of the Week.

SPIRIT’S DAMIEN GIROUX ADDED TO TEAM OHL FOR CIBC CANADA RUSSIA SERIES

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League announced today that Saginaw Spirit forward Damien Giroux has been added to Team OHL’s roster for the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Giroux replaces injured Ottawa 67’s forward Graeme Clarke on the roster and will compete in Game 3 of the series on Thursday November 7 in Kitchener.

A 19-year-old native of Hanmer, Ont., Giroux leads the Spirit in goal-scoring with 12 markers and 20 points through 16 games this season. The Saginaw captain was a fifth round pick of the Minnesota Wild in the 2018 NHL Draft and was named the club’s Most Improved Prospect at Development Camp back in June.

Giroux, who joins Spirit teammate Cole Perfetti on the roster, is in the midst of his fourth OHL season after helping the Spirit reach the Western Conference Championship Series for the first time last spring. The 5-foot-10, 180Ib. centre has amassed 139 points (69-70–139) over 204 career OHL regular season games, all spent in a Spirit uniform. He was Saginaw’s third round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.

The 2019 CIBC Canada Russia series is proudly supported by title partner CIBC, and associate sponsors Kia Canada, Cooper Tires, and Kubota Canada.  All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

For event information including how to purchase tickets please visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca.

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Spirit’s Damien Giroux named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit is the CHL Player of the Week for the regular season week ending October 14 after scoring four goals and three assists for seven points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-7.

Giroux contributed to seven of the Spirit’s eight goals last week helping extend their winning-streak to five games for a hold of first place in the OHL’s West Division standings with a 6-2-1-0 record.  His first of back-to-back multi-point performances featured a career-high five points and first hat-trick scored entirely in the third period to earn first star honours of a 6-2 win over the North Bay Battalion.  On Sunday the first year captain scored the game-winning goal for the second straight game and added one assist as second star of a 2-1 victory over the Kitchener Rangers.

An 18-year-old from Hanmer, Ont., Giroux is playing in his third season with the Spirit after being chosen by the club in the third round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  So far this season he’s produced six goals and five assists for 11 points in nine games following a sophomore season of 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points in 68 games.  Giroux was picked by the Wild in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft in June.

Also considered for the award this week was forward Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders who scored five goals and three assists for eight points in three games, and top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic who scored twice with seven assists for nine points in four games.

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Dawson Davidson (Saskatoon Blades)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Mooseheads’ Alexis Gravel named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alexis Gravel of the Halifax Mooseheads is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending October 14 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record including one shutout victory for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .970.

Gravel turned aside 65 shots last week for the Mooseheads who have now won three-straight games and rank second in the QMJHL’s overall standings with an 8-2-0-0 record.  On Thursday night his 35-save performance earned him third star honours in an 8-2 road win over the Charlottetown Islanders.  Then on Sunday his 30-save effort produced his second career shutout and first star honours blanking the Acadie-Bathurst Titan by a 5-0 score.

An 18-year-old from Asbestos, Que., Gravel is playing in his third season with the Mooseheads who chose him in the second round of the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft.  So far this season he has six wins in eight starts for the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia hosts maintaining a 2.51 goals-against-average and a .927 save percentage which improve upon his 2017-18 marks of 3.38 and .890 respectively in 39 appearances.  Gravel was a sixth round selection by the Blackhawks in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Also considered for the award this week was 2019 NHL Draft prospect Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes who posted a 4-0-0-0 record making 122 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.19 and save percentage of .968.  In the WHL, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders maintained a 3-0-0-0 record including one shutout victory while stopping a total of 77 shots for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .963.

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

Spirit’s Damien Giroux named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending October 14 after recording seven points including four goals and three assists in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-7.

Giroux produced a pair of multi-point performances that helped the West Division leading Spirit extend their winning-streak to five games bringing their first place record to 6-2-1-0.  Giroux had a hand in seven of the team’s eight goals last week highlighted by a career-high five points on Saturday earning first star honours in a 6-2 home ice win over the North Bay Battalion.  His first career hat-trick in that contest was scored entirely in the third period and included the game-winning goal erasing an early 2-0 deficit.  On Sunday Giroux scored another third period game-winner after assisting on Nick Porco’s eighth goal of the season and was named second star of a 2-1 victory over the visiting Kitchener Rangers.

An 18-year-old from Hanmer, Ont., Giroux is playing in his third season with the Spirit after being chosen by the club in the third round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  The recently appointed Spirit captain has six goals and five assists for 11 points through nine games after scoring 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points in 68 games last season.  Giroux was picked by the Wild in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft in June.

Watch video highlights of Giroux and the Spirit against the Battalion and Rangers.

Also considered for the award this week was Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs with five goals and three assists for eight points in three games, and Los Angeles Kings prospect Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs who scored twice with six assists for eight points in three games.  In goal, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes posted a 4-0-0-0 record making 122 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.19 and save percentage of .968.

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Lucas Chiodo (Barrie Colts)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)

OHL Academic Players of the Month for January

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the OHL Academic Players of the Month for January 2018, including Jakob Brahaney of the Kingston Frontenacs, Travis Mailhot of the North Bay Battalion, Tag Bertuzzi of the Guelph Storm, and Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit.

East Division: Kingston Frontenacs blueliner Jakob Brahaney is the OHL East Division Academic Player of the Month for January. The 18-year-old native of Campbellford, Ont. has maintained high academic standing in the Bachelor of Business Administration program at St. Lawrence College. “Jakob’s dedication to academics mirrors his success on the ice,” said Frontenacs academic advisor Mike Hamilton. “He has a reputation with coaches and teachers as being a committed, hard-working individual on and off the ice.” Kingston’s second round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, Brahaney leads the Frontenacs with a plus-minus rating of plus-30 this season, collecting 20 points (4-16–20) in 47 games.


Central Division: 
North Bay Battalion defenceman Travis Mailhot is the OHL Central Division Academic Player of the Month for January. The 18-year-old native of Caledon East, Ont. holds an 86% average in Grade 12 university-level Law, International Business and Co-op courses at Chippewa Secondary School. “Travis is a very consciencious student who is a hard worker and good role model in class,” noted Battalion academic advisor Colleen Point. The 6-foot-5, 210Ib. former fifth round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection has appeared in 15 games with the Troops this season. 


Midwest Division: 
Guelph Storm rookie forward Tag Bertuzzi is the OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for January. The 16-year-old native of Vancouver, BC has maintained an 80% average in Grade 11 university-level English and Accounting courses at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School. “Tag’s respectful and positive attitude make him a pleasure to teach,” said Storm academic advisor Colleen Driscoll. “His ability to balance his academic and hockey commitments is a direct result of his work ethic and determination.” The second overall pick of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, Bertuzzi has eight points (3-5–8) in 33 games this season. He represented Team Canada Black at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.


West Division: 
Saginaw Spirit sophomore forward Damien Giroux is the OHL West Division Academic Player of the Month for January. The 17-year-old native of Hanmer, Ont. holds a 96% average in Grade 12 Mathematics, Chemistry, English and French courses at Heritage High School. “Damien is an exceptional young man and a pleasure to know,” said Spirit academic advisor Pam Moretuzzo. “He is polite, responsible, honest, hard-working and a role model for others.” Saginaw’s third round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, Giroux has 33 points (15-18–33) in 48 games this season.


2017-18 OHL Academic Players of the Month:


East Division:

January – Jakob Brahaney (Kingston Frontenacs)
December – Jake Murray (Hamilton Bulldogs)
November – Chad Denault (Peterborough Petes)
October – Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s)


Central Division:
January – Travis Mailhot (North Bay Battalion)
December – Kai Edmonds (Barrie Colts)
November – Isaac Walker (Mississauga Steelheads)
October – Blake McConville (Sudbury Wolves)


Midwest Division:
January – Tag Bertuzzi (Guelph Storm)
December – Alex Gritz (Erie Otters)
November – Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack)
October – Billy Moskal (London Knights)


West Division:
January – Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
December – Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
November – Chris Playfair (Windsor Spitfires)
October – Brett Jacklin (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)


Last season, the OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 301 OHL Alumni with a total scholarship payment in excess of $3.17 million.  Since the 2007-08 season, OHL Scholarship payments have totaled more than $18.8 million.

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

OHL Announces Academic Players of the Month for December

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the OHL Academic Players of the Month for December 2016, including forwards Nathan Dunkley of the Kingston Frontenacs, Adam McMaster of the North Bay Battalion, Nick Deakin-Poot of the Guelph Storm and Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit.

East Division: Sixteen year-old rookie forward Nathan Dunkley of the Kingston Frontenacs is the East Division Academic Player of the Month for December after achieving an overall average of 78% over four university level courses at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School. Dunkley is currently studying Functions, Accounting, World Religions and High Performance Athletics and has achieved successful results in all four streams. “Nathan demonstrates an exemplary attitude, work ethic and commitment to his studies,” said Frontenacs academic advisor Kim Hulton. “He’s an excellent role model and his commitment to success is evident in both his academic achievements and his on-ice performance. Dunkley has 14 points (3-11–14) over 31 games this season and represented Canada Red at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The Campbellford, Ont. native was Kingston’s first round (17th overall) pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.

Nathan Dunkley of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Nathan Dunkley of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Central Division: Sixteen year-old rookie Adam McMaster of the North Bay Battalion is the Central Division Academic Player of the Month for December. The Beamsville, Ont. native is currently achieving high grades in Grade 11 Marketing, American History, English and Co-op courses at Chippewa Secondary School. “Adam demonstrates a thorough understanding of course materials and makes connections easily,” said Battalion academic advisor Judy Smith. “He was able to manage his school work effectively and independently while competing at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie earlier this season.” McMaster has 11 points (2-9–11) over 29 games this season after being North Bay’s first round (13th overall) pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. He was the 2016 OMHA SCTA Minor Midget Player of the Year last season.

Adam McMaster of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Adam McMaster of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Midwest Division: Guelph Storm sophomore forward Nick Deakin-Poot is the Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for December. The 17 year-old native of Georgetown, Ont. is currently studying university level English, Kinesiology and Religion courses at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Secondary School and has maintained an 87% average in his studies. “Nick is a conscientious and disciplined student with a great attitude,” said Storm academic advisor Coleen Driscoll. “His teachers have been very complimentary of his commitment to his studies as well as his positive outlook.” Deakin-Poot has a goal and four assists over 24 games this season. He was Guelph’s third round (54th overall) pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.

Nick Deakin-Poot of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL  Images.
Nick Deakin-Poot of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

West Division: Sixteen year-old rookie forward Damien Giroux of the Saginaw Spirit is the Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for December. The Hanmer, Ont. native is an ‘A’ student over Grade 11 International Baccalaureate Language and Literature, Biology, Algebra and French courses, drawing the praise of his teachers in the process. “Damien is an outgoing and enthusiastic student with an amazing personality,” said Spirit academic advisor Pamela Moretuzzo. “He incorporates his terrific sense of humor into his classes. I appreciate and embrace his natural ability to make those around him laugh and have fun, while focusing on his many scholastic, athletic and community service commitments.” Giroux, who was Saginaw’s third round (44th overall) pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, has 13 points (6-7–13) over 27 games as a rookie this season.

2016-17 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
December – Nathan Dunkley (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs)
October – Zach Gallant (Peterborough Petes)

Central Division:
December – Adam McMaster (North Bay Battalion)
November – Kyle Heitzner (Barrie Colts)
October – Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)

Midwest Division:
December – Nick Deakin-Poot (Guelph Storm)
November – Cade Robinson (Erie Otters)
October – Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)

West Division:
December – Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
November – Hunter Holmes (Flint Firebirds)
October – Cole Purboo (Windsor Spitfires)

During the 2015-16 season, the OHL centrally administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 315 OHL graduates attending 57 different academic institutions with a total scholarship payment in excess of $2.9 million.  Click here for more information about ‘OHL Players First’ programs.