CHL announces 2016-17 Award winners

Windsor – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the 10 national award winners for the 2016-17 season including Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters who earned Sportsnet CHL Player of the Year honours.

Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images
2017 CHL Award Winners. Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images

The awards were presented as part of the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities in Windsor.

2016-17 CHL Award Winners:

Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award: Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings

Brandon Wheat Kings captain Nolan Patrick is listed number one in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings for the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago.  The 18-year-old forward from Winnipeg, MB, wrapped up his third WHL season with 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points limited to just 33 games played due to injury.  He is the first WHL player to earn this award since Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in 2013, and could be the first western Canadian to be chosen first overall since Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels in 2011.  Finalists for the award include Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads who was listed second by NHL Central Scouting, and Gabe Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires ranked fourth.

Chrysler Top Scorer Award: Sam Steel, Regina Pats

Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel led the CHL with 131 points in 66 games played scoring 50 goals and 81 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-49 helping the Regina Pats to a first place finish atop the WHL’s regular season standings.  The 19-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, delivered the CHL’s highest point total since Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans recorded 134 points in 69 games played during the 2011-12 campaign.  Finalists for the award were Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters with 127 points in 63 games, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques who scored 104 points in 66 games this season.

 BRP Sportsman of the Year Award: Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack

2017 NHL Draft prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack finished fifth in OHL scoring with 96 points including 45 goals and 51 assists in 65 games played with a plus-minus rating of plus-51 while recording just 10 penalty minutes.  The 17-year-old from London, ON, is listed tenth by NHL Central Scouting and helped the Attack secure franchise best marks of 49 wins and 102 points this season.  Finalists for the award were Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos and Hugo Roy of the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

Mastercard Humanitarian of the Year Award: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong is the CHL’s Humanitarian of the Year after being named a finalist for the award last season, establishing himself as an exceptional ambassador for his team and the league both on and off the ice.  The 21-year-old from Cochrane, AB, carried forward the ‘Canes KidSport program he introduced a year ago which donates $5 to KidSport Lethbridge & Taber for each goal he scores.  Powered by 51 goals of his own and with the help from teammates, alumni, and the community, the initiative surpassed all expectations and raised over $13,000 this season.  Finalists for the award were Garrett McFadden of the Guelph Storm and two-time nominee Samuel Laberge of the Rimouski Oceanic.

CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Sasha Chmelevski, Ottawa 67’s

2017 NHL Draft prospect Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s achieved a 98% average across his six Grade 12 courses through Michigan’s Virtual Charter Academy.  The 17-year-old from Northville, Michigan, also scored 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points in 58 games appearing 43rd among North American players listed by NHL Central Scouting.  Finalists for the award were Brian King of the Everett Silvertips and Antoine Samuel of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Ryan McGill, Owen Sound Attack

Ryan McGill led the Owen Sound Attack to an all-time franchise best record of 49-15-2-2 for 102 points surpassing the club’s previous highs of 46 wins and 97 points set during the 2010-11 season.  The 48-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, helped the Attack become the league’s most improved team in just his second season behind the bench increasing their win total by 17 and point total by 27 while establishing a franchise record 15-game winning-streak and surrendering an OHL-low 177 goals against.  McGill was previously nominated for this award in 2013 during his tenure with the Kootenay Ice.  Finalists for the award were John Paddock of the Regina Pats and Danny Flynn of the Saint John Sea Dogs.


CCM Rookie of the Year Award: Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads

2017 NHL Draft prospect Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads led all rookies in scoring with 86 points in 57 games including 38 goals and 48 assists.  The 18-year-old from Naters, Switzerland, was chosen sixth overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft and is listed second in NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings.  He becomes the second Moosehead to win the award following current Winnipeg Jet Nikolaj Ehlers in 2014, and will challenge for the NHL’s top pick in June where he would follow 2013 first overall pick and Moosehead grad Nathan MacKinnon who currently stars with the Colorado Avalanche.  Finalists for the award were Aleksi Heponiemi of the Swift Current Broncos and Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm.

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award: Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack
Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack carried a record of 41-9-2-2 including six shutout victories that tied for an OHL-high, while also posting a league-low goals-against-average of 2.30 and save percentage of .915 that ranked sixth overall in the OHL.  The 41 wins by the 19-year-old from Georgetown, ON, led the OHL this season and established a new Attack single season record while his shutout tally brings his three-year career total to 11 which is also a new team mark.  Finalists for the award were Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart who was the 2015-16 recipient, and Francis Leclerc of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Superstore Defenceman of the Year Award: Thomas Chabot, Saint John Sea Dogs
Ottawa Senators prospect Thomas Chabot of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the CHL’s Defenceman of the Year after scoring 10 goals and 35 assists for 45 points in just 34 games played.  The 20-year-old from Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, QC, was also a member of Canada’s National Junior Team earning a silver medal and Tournament MVP honours at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.  The 18th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft helped the Sea Dogs to a first place finish in the QMJHL this season.  Finalists for the award were Edmonton Oilers prospect Ethan Bear of the Seattle Thunderbirds and Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters.

Sportsnet Player of the Year Award: Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters led the OHL with 127 points in 63 games scoring 65 goals and 62 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-60.  The 19-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan, helped the Otters capture a second straight regular season title and set a CHL record with their fourth straight 50-win season.  The former CHL Rookie of the Year set a team record for goals in a season while eclipsing the 50-goal and 100-point plateau for the third straight season.  He is the second Otter to win the award in three seasons following current Edmonton Oilers star and NHL Top Scorer Connor McDavid who received the honour in 2015.  Finalists for the award were Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel of the Regina Pats, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques.

Otters’ Darren Raddysh Named OHL Defenceman of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters is the 2016-17 recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman of the Year.

Raddysh becomes the first Otter to ever win the award after leading all OHL defencemen in scoring this season with 81 points including 16 goals and 65 assists in 62 games while establishing new team single season records for assists and points from the blue line surpassing Chris Campoli’s marks of 46 and 66 set in 2003-04.

Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

“It’s a huge honour,” Raddysh said. “There were a lot of great defencemen this year and to be recognized as the top defenceman…I’m speechless. I can’t find the words to express how truly honoured I am to accept this award.”

The 21-year-old from Caledon, Ont., was also recently announced as the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy recipient as this season’s Overage Player of the Year.  He becomes the first player in OHL history to earn both awards, and just the second overage defenceman to earn the Max Kaminsky Trophy following current Los Angeles Kings star Jake Muzzin who received the honour as a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2009-10.

“I learned to be patient and not rush things on and off the ice,” Raddysh added. “It takes time to develop as a person. As a 16-year-old you come in and try to be a sponge and I learned from all of the guys that were here before me. We had a lot of great coaches and I had a lot of great mentors that were on the back end. I tried to learn as much as I could from them and apply it to my game.”

Raddysh finished the 2016-17 campaign with a plus-62 rating behind only his brother Taylor who recorded a league-high plus-67.  Since the OHL has recorded plus/minus beginning in 1996-97, Raddysh’s plus-62 is the fourth highest among defencemen following Nick Boynton’s plus-81 (Ottawa 1996-97), Sean Blanchard’s plus-74 (Ottawa 1996-97), and Danny Syvret’s plus-70 (London 2004-05).  Raddysh produced 26 multi-point performances this season and earned OHL Defenceman of the Month honours for November and February.  He was also recognized in the OHL’s Western Conference Coaches Poll as having the third Hardest Shot and was voted Best Offensive Defenceman.

“Darren is very deserving of this award,” said Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch. “He has sacrificed a lot for the team’s success and after all these years he’s finally being recognized for his talents. As an organization, we’re very proud of him for what he has brought to the Erie Otters organization on and off the ice.”

Originally chosen by the Otters in the fifth round of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, Raddysh played in 274 regular season games over five years accumulating 41 goals and 143 assists for 184 points.  He graduates from the Otters as the franchise’s all-time assists and points leader among defencemen surpassing Campoli’s marks of 119 and 150 from 2000-04.  Raddysh has also been instrumental in the Otters regular season success achieving a Canadian Hockey League record four-straight 50 win campaigns capped by a 2016-17 Midwest Division title and Hamilton Spectator Trophy.

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL General Managers.  All 20 clubs submitted a nominee but were not permitted to vote for their own player.  Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Raddysh received 70 points in the voting process, followed by fellow overage player Santino Centorame of the Owen Sound Attack who finished in second place with 44 voting points, and last year’s recipient Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires who finished in third place with 26 voting points.

Past winners of the award since 1970 include Craig Hartsburg (Sault Ste. Marie 1976-77), Larry Murphy (Peterborough 1979-80), Al MacInnis (Kitchener 1982-83), Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1992-93), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1998-99), Marc Staal (Sudbury 2006-07), Drew Doughty (Guelph 2007-08), Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2008-09 and 2010-11), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2011-12), Ryan Sproul (Sault Ste. Marie 2012-13), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie 2013-14), and Anthony DeAngelo (Sault Ste. Marie 2014-15).

The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston, and Montreal.  After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1960.

Raddysh will be formally presented with the Max Kaminsky Trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony which takes place June 8 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He will also be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Defenceman of the Year to be announced on May 27 at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor.

OHL This Week for April 26-30, 2017

OHL Logo

Toronto, ON – The Mississauga Steelheads have advanced to the Rogers OHL Championship Series and await the winner between the Erie Otters and Owen Sound Attack currently deadlocked at 2-2 in the Western Conference Final.  That story and more around the OHL this week.

MISSISSAUGA STEELHEADS ARE EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS:

The Mississauga Steelheads have claimed the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference Champions for the first time in team history, sending Mississauga to its first Rogers OHL Championship Series since 2011. The Steelheads took a commanding 7-0 home ice victory in Game 4 on Wednesday, taking a clean sweep of their Eastern Conference Championship Series against the Peterborough Petes. Read more / Photo Gallery / Highlights / Post-Game

WATCH EVERY PLAYOFF GAME WITH OHL LIVE PLAYOFF PACKAGES:

Don’t miss a game! Follow your team throughout the #OHLPlayoffs with new OHL LIVE Playoff Packages including the flexibility of single game, team pass and all access options. Visit OHLLIVE.com for full details.

LIFTMASTER ROAD TO THE MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP:

Get caught up on what’s going on around the entire CHL Playoffs in the third edition of LiftMaster Road to the Mastercard Memorial Cup.  11 teams remain in the hunt to join the Windsor Spitfires in May as third round action winds down.  LiftMaster is the Official Garage Door Opener of the Canadian Hockey League. Watch.

OTTERS’ DARREN RADDYSH NAMED OHL OVERAGE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

Erie Otters defenceman Darren Raddysh has been voted the 2016-17 Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy recipient presented annually to the OHL’s Overage Player of the Year. Raddysh led all overage players in scoring this season with 81 points in 62 games including 16 goals and 65 assists.  His 81 points were tops among OHL defencemen and established a new Otters single season mark for production from the blueline. Read more

ATTACK’S NICK SUZUKI NAMED OHL’S MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER:

2017 NHL Draft prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack is the William Hanley Trophy recipient awarded to the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year. Suzuki finished fifth in league scoring with 96 points including 45 goals and 51 assists in 65 games played with a plus-minus rating of plus-51 that ranked seventh among all OHL skaters.  He recorded just 10 penalty minutes in 2016-17 which was fewest among the league’s top-10 scorers serving just one minor penalty during the final 26 games of the season. Read more

CHMELEVSKI, GIBSON AND HANNA EARN 2017 OHL ACADEMIC AWARDS:

Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s is the recipient of the Bobby Smith Trophy as Scholastic Player of the Year, with Stephen Gibson of the Mississauga Steelheads earning the Roger Neilson Memorial Award as the Top Post-Secondary School Student, and Quinn Hanna of the Guelph Storm named the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award recipient for Top High School Student. All three players will be formally presented with their awards at the annual OHL Awards Ceremony on Thursday June 8.  Chmelevski will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Scholastic Player of the Year which will be announced on Saturday May 27 as part of the events at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor. Read more

STAYING THE COURSE: HOW THE STEELHEADS TURNED THINGS AROUND:

A look at the Mississauga Steelheads’ ascension from holding the OHL’s worst record in early December to being crowned Central Division champions at season’s end. Head coach James Richmond and his staff stayed the course and benefited from the midseason additions of Spencer Watson and Vili Saarijarvi. Read more

EAST DIVISION CHAMPION PETES RETURN TO PROMINENCE:

The Peterborough Petes played in their first Eastern Conference Final since 2006, becoming the talk of the town once again. Former Petes goaltender turned coach Andrew Verner reflects on his playing days in the Electric City and discusses the competitive standard this year’s club set for future seasons. Read more

GADJOVICH AND HANCOCK EMBODY ATTACK IDENTITY:

Forwards Jonah Gadjovich and Kevin Hancock represent an Owen Sound Attack hockey club that flew under the radar and improved into one of the league’s best. The two draft eligible forwards received high praise in the Western Conference Coaches Poll in categories that are the essence of this year’s Attack; improved and underrated. Read more

FOUR YEARS RUNNING FOR TRIO OF OTTERS:

Erie Otters veterans Dylan Strome, Kyle Pettit, and Darren Raddysh are competing in their fourth straight Western Conference Championship Series. The Otters hope this season will be their year to celebrate the Flagship City’s first OHL title since 2002. Read more

4 OHL PLAYERS EARN MEDALS AT WORLD UNDER-18 HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP:

Four OHL players earned medals at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Poprad and Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia. A total of 15 OHL players competed in the annual event including nine who competed for Canada in a fifth place finish following a quarterfinal loss to Sweden. Read more

ICEDOGS NAME JOEY BURKE GENERAL MANAGER:

The Niagara IceDogs have named former Director of Player Personnel Joey Burke as General Manager of the club. Burke, who has been with the IceDogs since their inaugural season in Niagara in 2007-08. He has served as the club’s Assistant General Manager since the beginning of the 2010 season. Read more

67’s ANNOUNCE RESIGNATION OF HEAD COACH & GM JEFF BROWN:

The Ottawa 67’s have announced that Head Coach and General Manager Jeff Brown has resigned for personal reasons. Brown took over coaching duties with the 67’s in the 2014-15 season and was promoted to the dual role of Head Coach and General Manager in May 2015. In his first season behind the bench, the 67’s finished second in the OHL’s Eastern Division and secured a playoff spot after missing the post-season in the two previous seasons. The team qualified for the playoffs in each year of Brown’s tenure as Head Coach. Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ KATCHOUK SIGNS WITH LIGHTNING:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds forward Boris Katchouk to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Katchouk, 18, played in 66 games with the Greyhounds this season, recording 35 goals and 64 points to go along with 46 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-1,192-pound forward ranked second on the Greyhounds for goals, third for points and fifth for assists. Katchouk paced the entire OHL for shorthanded goals with seven.  Read more

GREYHOUNDS’ KOPACKA SIGNS WITH DUCKS:

The Anaheim Ducks have signed Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Jack Kopacka to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Selected in the fourth round (93rd overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Kopacka recorded 30-19=49 points with a +8 rating and 16 PIM in 65 games with the Greyhounds in 2016-17. The 6-2, 202-pound forward set OHL career highs during the regular season in goals, points and plus/minus. He also ranked second on the Greyhounds in playoff scoring (5-6=11) and assists in 11 postseason appearances this spring. Read more

STEELHEADS’ MANCINA NAMED PIONEER ENERGY OHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK & VAUGHN CHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK:

Matthew Mancina of the Mississauga Steelheads is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 23 after posting a 2-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .944. Mancina turned aside 51 shots last week for the Steelheads who opened the Eastern Conference Championship Series with a pair of road victories to take a 2-0 series lead against the Peterborough Petes. Mancina’s standout performance also earned him Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week honours. Read more

JAMIESON REES COMMITS TO STING:

The Sarnia Sting have received a commitment from 2017 first round, ninth overall selection Jamieson Rees. Rees, who captained the Mississauga Reps to an OHL Cup title, was also named to the OHL Cup Gatorade All-Star Team after recording 11 points (6-5–11) over eight games with a rating of plus-13. Read more

ALEXANDRE HOGUE COMMITS TO STING:

The Sarnia Sting have received a commitment from 2017 second round (37th overall) selection Alexandre Hogue. The HEO Player of the Year had 14 goals, 33 assists and 47 points in 45 games with the Cumberland Grads U18 Midgets. The Embrun, Ont. native is expected to suit up for Team HEO in the upcoming OHL Gold Cup taking place at the Activia Sportsplex in Kitchener from May 4-7. Read more

NATHAN STAIOS COMMITS TO SPITFIRES:

The Windsor Spitfires have received a commitment from 2017 first round, 17th overall pick Nathan Staios. The son of longtime NHL defenceman Steve Staios – who is now president and general manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs – Staios had five goals, 11 assists and 32 penalty minutes in 16 games for the the Vaughn Kings Minor Midgets in 2016-17. Read more

BLAKE MURRAY COMMITS TO WOLVES:

The Sudbury Wolves have received a commitment from 2017 first round, seventh overall pick Blake Murray. An Uxbridge, ON, native, Murray led the Whitby Wildcats Minor Midgets to an OMHA Championship this past season before reaching the OHL Cup Quarterfinals. Read more

JOE RUPOLI COMMITS TO GENERALS:

The Oshawa Generals have received a commitment from 2016 fifth round selection Joe Rupoli. The defenceman from Oakville played with the OJHL’s Mississauga Chargers this past season, recording three goals, 12 assists and 15 points over 48 games. Read more

OHL CLUBS HOST SPRING DEVELOPMENT CAMPS:

A total of nine OHL clubs hosted Development Camps last weekend, giving prospective players and their families an opportunity to meet coaches, staff, media, and fans in their respective organizations. Players taken in the 2016 and 2017 OHL Priority Selections in addition to 2017 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection picks and other free agent invitees attended the Development Camps that featured a fitness testing element in addition to on-ice scrimmages and information sessions over the course of the weekend. Read more

7 OHL U18 PRIORITY SELECTION PICKS REPRESENTING MISSISSAUGA REBELS AT TELUS CUP:

Seven players chosen in the 2017 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection are competing in the Telus Cup with the Mississauga Rebels Midgets. The Rebels represent the Central region at this year’s event in Prince George, BC and feature OHL prospects in Evan Benwell (Windsor Spitfires), Elijah Gonsalves (London Knights), Josiah Degazon (Barrie Colts), Bair Gendunov (Saginaw Spirit), Massimo Petricca (Barrie Colts), Eric Mergelas (Sudbury Wolves and Calder Lund (Flint Firebirds). For full coverage of the 2017 Telus Cup, please visit hockeycanada.ca.

OHL TO HOST 5TH ANNUAL OHL GOLD CUP HIGH PERFORMANCE OFFICIATING CAMP:

The Ontario Hockey League will be hosting its 5th annual OHL Gold Cup High Performance Officiating Exposure Camp from May 3-7 to enhance the development and performance of the top officiating prospects in Canada. This camp will be an opportunity for officials to showcase their skills and abilities to members of the OHL Officiating Department. A total of 20 officials out of over 80 applications have been selected to participate. Read more

2017 OHL COACHES CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 3rd:

The 4th annual OHL Coaches Conference is scheduled for Saturday June 3rd on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa, ON. This event provides minor hockey coaches the opportunity to learn from OHL, AHL, and NHL personnel in an interactive professional development day. Programs are open to any coach registered within the OHF, OHA, OWHA, HEO, or HNO, coaching Pee-Wee ‘AAA’, Minor Bantam and Major Bantam ‘AE to AAA’, Minor Midget and Midget ‘AE to AAA’. Read more

WIN A TRIP TO THE MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP WITH SPORTSNET #WHATTOWIN:

What do you do to win? Show Sportsnet your skills using #WhatToWin on Twitter, and you could win a trip to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup! Details.

ENTER WITH BRP FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A TRIP TO THE MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP:

A proud partner of the Canadian Hockey League, BRP has launched a great new contest that gives fans a chance to win a trip for four to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor! Fill out all of the information and enter for your chance to win. Visit brpcontest.com.

JANES SAVES OF THE YEAR CONTEST CONTINUES:

Voting is now open for the #JanesSaves of the Year! Head to www.JanesSaves.ca and vote for the best OHL Save of the Year! Enter for your chance to win a trip for 4 to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup and score a FREE box of Janes ultimates™

VOTE SPENCER WATSON IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Los Angeles Kings prospect Spencer Watson of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL’s representative in this week’s edition of CIBC Showdown, a weekly contest that features one great play from all three leagues. Watch his play and vote at chlshowdown.ca.

OHL PLAYERS REWARDED WITH PRO OPPORTUNITIES FOLLOWING 2016-17 SEASON:

Several OHL players now on the other side of the 2016-17 season have received pro opportunities with AHL and ECHL clubs. The following players have recently signed professional and amateur tryout contracts with pro clubs since their OHL playoff elimination: Jeremy Brodeur (Oshawa Generals/Toledo Walleye – ECHL), Connor Bunnaman (Kitchener Rangers/Lehigh Valley Phantoms – AHL), Max Jones (London Knights/San Diego Gulls – AHL), Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds/Syracuse Crunch – AHL), JJ Piccinich (London Knights/Toronto Marlies – AHL), Mitchell Stephens (London Knights/Syracuse Crunch – AHL),

2017 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP SINGLE GAME TICKETS NOW ON SALE:

2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup single-game tickets are now on sale. Tickets for games featuring the host Windsor Spitfires are available at a cost of $90+HST while games featuring two of the other three participating teams are priced at $75+HST. Read more

ALUMNI NOTES:

47 OHL graduates advance to second round of NHL Playoffs: A total of 47 OHL graduates have reached the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers advanced in the Western Conference while the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins moved on in the East. Read more

Marner added to Canada’s Roster for 2017 IIHF World Championship: Fresh off an outstanding rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, London Knights graduate and 2016 CHL Player of the Year Mitch Marner has been added to Canada’s roster for the 2017 IIHF World Hockey Championship. Marner will be representing his country in international competition for the third time in his career; he won gold at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, and was part of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Thornhill, Ont. native as Toronto’s rookie leader in regular season assists, posting 42 in 77 games this past season. He played three seasons with London from 2013-16, leading the Knights to an OHL title and a Mastercard Memorial Cup championship last spring.

Brooks named OHA Coach of the Year: OHL graduate and former coach of the Guelph Storm Jason Brooks has been named the 2017 OHA Coach of the Year. Brooks steered the Listowel Jr. B Cyclones to the franchise’s first Cherrey Cup title since 2005 this season, winning 40 games during the regular season. The Cyclones defeated the Elmira Sugar Kings to win the Cherrey Cup before falling to the London Nationals in the Sutherland Cup Semi-Final. Brooks played with the Cyclones before an OHL career spent with the Ottawa 67’s and London Knights from 1993-96. He spent nine years with the Storm organization from 2001-10 in a variety of roles, winning an OHL title with the club in 2004. He finished his most recent OHL coaching stint with the Niagara IceDogs in 2013. Brooks revealed to the Stratford Beacon-Herald this past week that he began undergoing chemotherapy in early February on a benign brain tumour that continued to grow. The Ontario Hockey League wishes Jason nothing but the best in his fight and congratulates him on a great season in Listowel.

Bruins name Cassidy head coach: After filling in on an interim basis, Bruce Cassidy has been named head coach of the Boston Bruins for the 2017-18 season. The Bruins went 18-8-1 under Cassidy, making the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2014, though the Bruins did not make it out of the first round. He replaced Claude Julien, the Bruins’ coach for a decade, who was fired on Feb. 7.  Cassidy played with Brian Kilrea’s Ottawa 67’s from 1982-85 before an 11-year pro career. He coached the Kingston Frontenacs in parts of two seasons from 2006-08.

SCHEDULE:

Wednesday April 26th
Peterborough 0 at Mississauga 7 (Game 4) – Highlights
Erie 4 at Owen Sound 3 (Game 4) – Highlights

Friday April 28th:
Owen Sound at Erie (Game 5) – 7:00pm

Sunday April 30th:
Erie at Owen Sound (Game 6) – 2:00pm

Monday May 1st:
Owen Sound at Erie (Game 7) – 7:00pm*

Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com.

Otters’ Darren Raddysh named OHL’s Overage Player of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that defenceman Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters is the 2016-17 recipient of the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Overage Player of the Year.

Raddysh led all overage players in scoring this season with 81 points in 62 games including 16 goals and 65 assists.  His 81 points were tops among OHL defencemen and established a new Otters single season mark for production from the blueline.  Raddysh is just the second defenceman following Andre Benoit (Kitchener 2004-05) to win the award in 34 years and joins former Otters Cory Pecker (2001-02) and Dane Fox (2013-14) as overage award recipients.

Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

“This award means a lot to me,” Raddysh said. “As an overage player, there aren’t too many guys left in the league from when I came in, and the group of guys up for it this year are all talented and well respected. To be selected as Overage Player of the Year is an incredible honour. I look back and am proud of all the hard work put in during my five-year career with the Otters leading to this award.”

A 21-year-old from Caledon, Ont., Raddysh was originally chosen by the Otters in the fifth round of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.  Over the course of his five-year OHL tenure he played in 274 regular season games accumulating 41 goals and 143 assists for 184 points.  In addition to his single season mark, Raddysh leaves the Otters as the franchise’s all-time assists and points leader among defencemen surpassing marks of 119 and 150 set by Chris Campoli from 2000-04.  Raddysh has also been instrumental in the Otters regular season success achieving a Canadian Hockey League record four-straight 50 win campaigns capped by a 2016-17 Midwest Division title and Hamilton Spectator Trophy.

“This is a great honour for Darren and the Erie Otters organization is extremely proud of his accomplishments, not just this season but over his career with the team,” said Otters General Manager Dave Brown. “This award is the culmination of his work and efforts the past five seasons to not only grow as a player, but shape his teammates around him. This season brought Darren numerous accolades including his marks in the Otters record book for defenceman scoring in a single season and in a career. And one thing that should not get overlooked is Darren’s participation and dedication to the culture change in Erie, helping to turn our organization into an institution dedicated to excellence. We’re thrilled for Darren’s accomplishments and are grateful to have him as a representative of the Erie Otters.”

The Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the Top Overage Player of the Year as selected by OHL General Managers.  Teams were asked to submit a nominee for the award and were not permitted to vote for players from their own hockey club. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Raddysh received 62 points in the voting process, followed by runner-up and fellow defenceman Santino Centorame of the Owen Sound Attack who received 42 points, and goaltender Jeremy Brodeur of the Oshawa Generals who finished in third place with 23 voting points.

First presented in 1984, former winners of the trophy include Stan Drulia (Niagara Falls 1988-89), Bill Bowler (Windsor, 1994-95), Dan Tessier (Ottawa 99-00), Chad LaRose (Plymouth 2002-03), Ryan Callahan (Guelph, 2005-06), Jason Akeson (Kitchener 2010-11), Andrew Agozzino (Niagara 2011-12), Joseph Blandisi (Barrie 2014-15), and Kevin Labanc (Barrie 2015-16).

 The Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy was donated by the trainers of the Ontario Hockey League, in memory of the late Leo Lalonde, former Chief Scout of OHL Central Scouting.  Leo Lalonde was also formerly the Chief Scout for the Belleville Bulls as well as a scout for the Peterborough Petes.

Raddysh will be formally presented with the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy at the 2016-17 OHL Awards Ceremony scheduled for June 8 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

OHL Announces Top Performers of the Month for February

Toronto, ON –  The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in February 2017, including Erie Otters teammates Alex DeBrincat and Darren Raddysh, Sarnia Sting forward Adam Ruzicka and Owen Sound Attack goaltender Michael McNiven.

OHL Player of the Month – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters):
For the second time this season, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat has been named OHL Player of the Month. DeBrincat led all players with 32 points including 17 goals and 15 assists with a plus/minus rating of plus-10 in 12 games to help the Otters set a new franchise record with 14 consecutive wins. Now in the midst of an 18-game point streak and 14-game goal scoring streak, DeBrincat had eight different multi-point outings in the month of February, highlighted by a stretch of 13 points in three games from Feb. 4th to 11th. DeBrincat had two goals and three assists in an 8-4 road win over Ottawa on Feb. 4th. He followed that effort with a four point (2-2–4) night in a 6-1 win in Kingston the next day. The Otters returned home on Feb. 11th to defeat the Saginaw Spirit 9-4 as DeBrincat registered a goal and three assists. In total, DeBrincat has received star of the game recognition nine different times, including three first star designations. His month of February included several Otters franchise milestones and career accomplishments including becoming the club’s all-time leading goal-scorer, reaching the 300-career point mark, recording his third consecutive 100-point campaign, becoming the second player in league history to register three-straight 50-goal seasons and passing Rob Schremp as the leading American goal-scorer in OHL history.

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

A 19-year-old native of Farmington Hills, Mich., DeBrincat currently leads the OHL in scoring with 113 points including 55 goals and 58 assists in 54 games, helping steer the Otters into first place in the Western Conference. He is a three-time Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week recipient and a two-time CHL Player of the Week during the 2016-17 season. A former CHL and OHL Rookie of the Year in 2015, DeBrincat was Chicago’s second round (39th overall) pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters):
Veteran Erie Otters rearguard Darren Raddysh is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for the second time this season. Raddysh led OHL defencemen with 17 points including three goals and 14 assists with a plus/minus rating of plus-14 in 12 games. He had points in 10 of his 12 February contests, highlighted by a plus-4 outing in a commanding 5-1 win over the London Knights on Feb. 15th that included a goal and an assist. Raddysh recorded three points (1-2–3) on Feb. 25th as the Otters defeated the Barrie Colts 7-3 on the road. After becoming the Otters’ franchise leader in career points by a defenceman last month, Raddysh surpassed Chris Campoli’s single-season mark of 66 points on Feb. 27th with a pair of assists in a 4-2 loss to the Owen Sound Attack.

A 21-year-old native of Caledon, Ont., Raddysh leads OHL defencemen in points by a 10-point margin, recording 68 points including 16 goals and 52 assists in 53 games with the league’s second best plus/minus rating of plus-59. The fifth-year rearguard recently passed Shawn Szydlowski (2007-11) for fourth on the Otters’ all-time games played list. Though undrafted, Raddysh attended training camp with the San Jose Sharks this past September.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting):
2017 NHL Draft prospect Adam Ruzicka of the Sarnia Sting is the OHL Rookie of the Month for February. Ruzicka elevated his game, leading all rookies with 12 points including nine goals and three assists in 12 games to help the Sting in their quest for a Western Conference playoff berth. The Slovakian forward’s month was highlighted by a trio of two-goal performances beginning on Feb. 2nd in North Bay as the Sting fell 7-4 to the Battalion. Ruzicka again scored twice on Feb. 15th against Guelph, earning first star honours as the Sting took a 6-2 win. His latest two-goal showing came in a key 6-3 road win over the Flint Firebirds on Feb. 25th where he again received first star recognition.

A 17-year-old native of Bratislava, Slovakia, Ruzicka sits second in OHL rookie scoring with 41 points including 23 goals and 18 assists in 54 games this season. He represented Team Cherry at the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City and is ranked 27th among North American skaters in NHL Central Scoutings’ Midterm Draft Rankings. Ruzicka represented Slovakia at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship and was Sarnia’s first round (14th overall) pick in the 2016 CHL Import Draft.

 cid:image003.jpg@01CB92FA.CE165340

 Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack):
Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack is the OHL Goaltender of the Month for February. McNiven’s outstanding month featured an 8-2-0-1 record with a 1.72 goals-against average, a .936 save percentage and three shutouts over 11 games to help the Attack climb the standings in the Midwest Division. McNiven’s three shutouts placed him ahead of Jordan Binnington on the Attack’s franchise leaderboard, giving him 11 on his OHL career. The first two came in back-t0-back games, beginning with a 26-save effort in a 5-0 road win over the Kingston Frontenacs on Feb. 12th. McNiven then made 16 saves in a 4-0 blanking of the visiting Flint Firebirds on Feb. 15th. His latest shutout came on Feb. 23rd, making 23 saves in a 5-0 road triumph over the division rival Kitchener Rangers. McNiven’s 31-save effort in a 7-3 victory over the London Knights on Feb. 26th was his 33rd win of the season, a new Attack single-season mark for a goaltender

A 19-year-old native of Georgetown, Ont., McNiven leads OHL goaltenders with a 2.13 goals-against average and 34 wins this season. He also features a .921 save percentage and is tied for the league lead in shutouts with six. The third year veteran is currently second behind Binnington on the Attack’s franchise wins list with 70 in his OHL career. McNiven was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens in September 2015.

2016-17 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
February – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
January – Adam Mascherin (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Zach Gallant (Peterborough Petes)
November – Alex DeBrincat/Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

Defenceman of the Month:
February – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
January – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
December – Stephen Desrocher (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Mathieu Henderson (Flint Firebirds)

Rookie of the Month:
February – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)
January – Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals)
December – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
November – Linus Nyman (Kingston Frontenacs)
October – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
February – Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
January – Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires
November – Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
October – Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)

OHL Announces Top Performers of the Month for November

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in November 2016, including Erie Otters forwards Alex DeBrincat and Taylor Raddysh, Otters blueliner Darren Raddysh, Kingston Frontenacs rookie Linus Nyman and London Knights goaltender Tyler Parsons.

OHL Co-Players of the Month – Alex DeBrincat, Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters):
Erie Otters forwards in Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Taylor Raddysh have been named OHL Co-Players of the Month for November. Both with 27 points over 12 games, DeBrincat and Raddysh steered the Otters to a 9-2-1-0 mark in the month of November.

DeBrincat recorded 14 goals, 13 assists and 27 points over 12 contests, producing points in 10 of those games. His month was headlined by a pair of five point efforts with the first coming in a 7-3 win over the Kitchener Rangers on November 5th that included three goals and two assists. DeBrincat capped off the month on Tuesday, producing three goals and two assists in a 9-2 win over the Mississauga Steelheads. The Farmington Hills, Mich. native was named first star of the game on three different occasions in November and currently leads the league in goals with 26 along with 25 assists for 51 points in 23 games this season. He was Chicago’s second round (39th overall) pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Raddysh, who was also the OHL Player of the Month in October, registered 12 goals, 15 assists and 27 points over 12 games to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-13. The Caledon, Ont. native produced points in 11 of his 12 outings, highlighted by back-to-back four-point performances on November 4th and 5th in wins over Mississauga and Kitchener. He finished the month of November with five points (3-2–5) in a 9-2 win over Mississauga on Tuesday. The 18-year-old currently leads the OHL in scoring with 23 goals, 32 assists and 55 points over 24 games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-34. He was Tampa Bay’s second round (58th overall) pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters):
Veteran Erie Otters rearguard Darren Raddysh is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for November after leading OHL blueliners with four goals, 16 assists and 20 points over 12 contests. Raddysh’s outstanding month continued a 16-game point streak, tying his own Otters franchise record for defencemen while surpassing Adam Pelech (129, 2010-14) for fourth in Otters all-time points by a defenceman in the process. The older of the Raddysh brothers on the Otters, Darren’s month was headlined by a career-high four point (1-3–4) effort in a 7-4 win over Mississauga on November 4th. Five of his 12 November contests were multi-point efforts, capped by a three-point (1-2–3) outing in Tuesday’s 9-2 win over the Mississauga Steelheads.

A 20-year-old native of Caledon, Ont., Raddysh is currently in his fifth season with the Otters after being a fifth round (84th overall) pick by the club in 2012. He attended training camp with the San Jose Sharks this past September. Raddysh is currently tied for the OHL lead in scoring among defencemen with six goals, 22 assists and 28 points over 20 games.

 OHL Rookie of the Month – Linus Nyman (Kingston Frontenacs):
Draft eligible Kingston Frontenacs forward Linus Nyman is the OHL Rookie of the Month for November after recording eight goals, two assists and 10 points over 11 contests. The 17-year-old Finnish winger had points in seven of his 11 November contests including three different two-goal efforts. Nyman scored twice in a 4-1 win over the Guelph Storm on November 6th before doing so against the Sarnia Sting in a 5-4 road win on November 12th. Nyman earned second star honours, scoring twice in a 5-3 loss in Sudbury on November 20th.

A native of Helsinki, Finland, Nyman was Kingston’s first round (53rd overall) selection in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. He is third in Frontenacs team scoring and is currently second among OHL rookies with 14 goals, five assists and 19 points in 25 games.

cid:image003.jpg@01CB92FA.CE165340

Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Tyler Parsons (London Knights):
Calgary Flames prospect Tyler Parsons of the London Knights is the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for November after going 6-0-0-1 with a 1.83 goals-against-average and a .939 save percentage over seven games. Parsons’ standout November was headlined by a 30-save shutout performance in a 7-0 win over Kingston on November 11th. He was solid once again on November 23rd, earning second star honours with 34 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss in Owen Sound.

A native of Chesterfield, Mich., Parsons is currently 8-1-1-1 on the season, sitting second in the OHL with a 2.39 goals-against-average to go with a .917 save percentage and two shutouts over 11 games. The 19-year-old was a second round (54th overall) pick by the Calgary Flames this past summer.

2016-17 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
November – Alex DeBrincat/Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

Defenceman of the Month:
November – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Mathieu Henderson (Flint Firebirds)

Rookie of the Month:
November – Linus Nyman (Kingston Frontenacs)
October – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
November – Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
October – Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)