CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Overage Luchuk and rookie Wolf claim CHL honours 

Spitfires’ Aaron Luchuk named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Aaron Luchuk of the Windsor Spitfires is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending October 29 after recording nine points in three games including four goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-2.

Aaron Luchuk of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Aaron Luchuk of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Luchuk delivered two multi-point performances last week for the Spitfires who picked up a pair of victories on the road.  His week was highlighted by a career-high five points in a 7-2 bounce back effort Friday night against the Sudbury Wolves following a 4-0 loss on Thursday to the North Bay Battalion.  The five-point production included his first career hat-trick and earned him one of two straight first star honours.  He also received first star recognition on Sunday with a goal and three assists in a 5-4 win against the Owen Sound Attack finishing the week tied for the lead in overall OHL scoring with 28 points and alone atop the goals race with 15. 

A 20-year-old from Kingston, Ont., Luchuk is playing in his fourth full season with the Spitfires who chose him in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  The overage forward was named team captain to start the 2017-18 campaign after helping the club capture their third Mastercard Memorial Cup title scoring the game-winning goal on home ice last May.  His 28 points in 15 games so far this season bring his offensive totals to 163 points in 221 career games.

Also considered for the award this week was Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Brett Howden of the Moose Jaw Warriors who scored five goals and two assists for seven points in three games, and Julien Tessier of the Moncton Wildcats with six points in three games including two goals and four assists.

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week:

Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Drake Batherson (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Tyler Soy (Victoria Royals)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets)
 

Silvertips’ Dustin Wolf named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that rookie Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending October 29 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .965.

Wolf made his WHL debut last week for the Silvertips where he turned aside 82 shots and recorded two victories in his first two career games.  On Friday night in Kamloops he made 38 saves as part of a 3-1 win over the Blazers, then made 44 saves on Sunday in Portland to preserve a 3-2 victory over the Winterhawks who boast one of the league’s strongest offenses.

A 16-year-old from Tustin, California, Wolf was a fifth round pick of the Silvertips in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft and will be eligible for the NHL Draft in 2019.  He is one of six different goaltenders to suit up for the Silvertips this season who have played to a 6-9-1-0 record to start 2017-18. 

Also considered for the award this week was 2018 NHL Draft prospect Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads who went 3-0-0-0 stopping 78 shots and posting a goals-against-average of 1.32 and save percentage of .951.  In the QMJHL, Reilly Pickard of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan went 2-0-1-0 making 74 saves while posting a goals-against-average of 1.65 and save percentage of .937. 

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:

Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranada Huskies)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Logan Flodell (Swift Current Broncos)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Dereck Baribeau (Quebec Remparts)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

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Spitfires’ Aaron Luchuk named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Aaron Luchuk of the Windsor Spitfires is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending October 29 with nine points in three games including four goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-2.

Aaron Luchuk of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Aaron Luchuk of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Luchuk recorded a pair of multi-point performances last week elevating him into a tie atop the OHL’s overall scoring race while taking over the league lead in goals and helping the Spitfires earn a pair of road victories.  After a tough 4-0 loss to the North Bay Battalion on Thursday, Luchuk and the Spitfires rebounded Friday in Sudbury where the team produced a season-high seven goals including three from the captain in the 7-2 win over the Wolves.  This marked the first career hat-trick for Luchuk who also contributed two assists for a career-high five-points earning first star honours.  Luchuk was also named first star of Sunday’s contest finding the back of the net for the 15th time this season while adding three assists in a 5-4 triumph over the Owen Sound Attack.

A 20-year-old from Kingston, Ont., Luchuk is playing in his fourth full season with the Spitfires who chose him in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  The overage forward was named team captain to start the 2017-18 campaign after helping the club capture their third Mastercard Memorial Cup title scoring the game-winning goal on home ice last May.  His 28 points in 15 games so far this season bring his offensive totals to 163 points in 221 career games and are currently tied with last week’s award recipient Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting for the league lead.  Luchuk is the second member of the Spitfires to earn the weekly honour following goaltender Michael DiPietro who was recognized for his opening week play

Watch video highlights of Luchuk and the Spitfires against the Wolves and Attack

Kyrou was also considered for the award again this week after scoring four goals and two assists for six points in two games helping the Sting extend their winning-streak to 13.  Fellow St. Louis Blues prospect Robert Thomas of the London Knights finished the week right behind Luchuk in points with seven including four goals and three assists in three games as another candidate for recognition.  In goal, 2018 NHL Draft prospect Jacob Ingham backstopped the Mississauga Steelheads to three straight wins stopping 78 shots and posting a goals-against-average of 1.32 and save percentage of .951.

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

Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Hockey Canada Announces Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp

Hockey Canada has releases the list of goaltenders invited to their Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp that will take place in Calgary Alberta June 9-11, 2017. It is the first evaluation camp for goaltenders who could take part at the Under-17, Under-18 and Under-20 competitions.

Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Michael DiPietro (Windsor – OHL) is the youngest goaltender participating at the Under-20 camp. He is joined by Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke – QMJHL), Carter Hart (Everett – WHL), Jacob McGrath (Sudbury – OHL), Ian Scott (Prince Albert – WHL), Stuart Skinner (Lethbridge – WHL) and Dylan Wells (Peterborough – OHL).

Participating at the Under-18 camp are: Alexis Gravel (Halifax – QMJHL), Jacob Ingham (Mississauga – OHL), Hunter Jones (Stouffville – OJHL), Jordan Kooy (London – OHL), Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton – QMJHL), Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville – QMJHL) and Carl Stankowski (Seattle – WHL).

Invited to the Under-17 camp are: Roman Basran (Yale Hockey Academy – CSSHL), Boston Bilous (Fraser Valley – BCMML), Cole Brady (Ajax/Pickering – ONMMAAA), Luke Cavallin (Kemptville – HEOMAAA), Tommy Da Silva (Collège Charles-Lemoyne LHMAAAQ), Ryan Dugas (Mississauga Reps – ONMAAAA), Byron Fancy (Lethbridge AMHL), Taylor Gauthier (Calgary Buffaloes – AMHL), Mack Guzda (Detroit Honeybaked USU16), Fabio Iacobo (Laval-Montreal – LHMAAAQ), Ethan Langevin (Whitby – ONMMAAA),  Jonathan Lemieux (Collège Antoine-Girouard – LHMAAAQ), Nolan Maier (Yorkton – SMAAAHL), Trent Miner (Brandon – MMAAAHL), Zach Roy (Toronto Young Nationals (ONMMAAA) and Christian Sbaraglia (Vaughan – ONMMAAA).

Storm’s Ryan Merkley named OHL Rookie of the Year

OHL Announces First and Second All-Rookie Teams

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that defenceman Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm is the 2016-17 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Merkley led all OHL rookies with 55 points in 62 games played scoring 12 goals and 43 assists positioning him eighth overall among all OHL defenders.  He became the first rookie in franchise history to lead the team in scoring, and is the first OHL defenceman since London’s Rick Corriveau in 1987-88 to lead all rookies in scoring.

Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL  Images.
Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

“It is an honour to be selected as the OHL Rookie of the Year,” said Merkley. “Knowing that there are so many talented first year players, makes the award extra special.  I would like to thank my teammates and the Storm organization for all their help and support.”

The 16-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., selected first overall by the Storm in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, is just the second member of the organization to earn the award following fellow Storm first overall pick Jeff O’Neill during the 1992-93 season.  Merkley’s 55 points are the most by a Storm 16-year-old since O’Neill’s 79 during his first campaign.

“Being selected as OHL Rookie of the Year is a special honour, but one that Ryan richly deserves,” said Mike Kelly, Guelph’s departing General Manager. “Even as a 16-year-old, Ryan was a critical part of a very young Guelph Storm Hockey team, and he provided our fans, and fans throughout the OHL with some spectacular hockey memories.  As good as Ryan was this past year, he will be even more special in upcoming seasons.”

Merkley joined the OHL after earning GTHL Player of the Year honours with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and made an immediate impact with recognition as the OHL’s Rookie of the Month for October and December and represented Team Canada Red at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie.  He recorded 16 multi-point performances during 2016-17 and was voted third in both the Best Playmaker and Best Stickhandler categories in the Western Conference Coaches Poll.

First presented in 1973, Emms Family Award recipients include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie 1977-78), Joe Thornton (Sault Ste. Marie 1995-96), Rick Nash (London 2000-01), Taylor Hall (Windsor 2007-08), and most recently Alex DeBrincat (Erie 2014-15), and Alex Nylander (Mississauga 2015-16).  Merkley is the eighth player to earn the Emms Family Award after also earning the Jack Ferguson Award as the first overall pick in the OHL Priority Selection beginning with O’Neill, 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), and Travis Konecny (Ottawa 2013-14).

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.  Players received five points for a first vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

Merkley earned 75 of a possible 95 voting points ahead of forward Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs who finished second with 44 voting points and forward Allan McShane of the Oshawa Generals who finished in third with 24 voting points. 

The Emms Family Award will be formally presented to Merkley at the OHL’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Thursday June 8.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Rookie of the Year to be announced at the Mastercard Memorial Cup on Saturday May 27.

Merkley was also announced to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team alongside NHL Draft prospect Eemeli Rasanen of the Kingston Frontenacs on defence, and goaltender Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads.  First team forwards include McShane at centre, Thomas at right wing, and Kingston’s Linus Nyman at left wing.  Second team honours went to NHL Draft prospects Adam Ruzicka of the Sarnia Sting, Alex Formenton of the London Knights, and Greg Meireles of the Kitchener Rangers at forward, while 16-year-olds Giovanni Vallati of Kitchener, and Owen Lalonde of the Sudbury Wolves comprise the defence.  Second team goaltending honours went to Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

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. 

2016-17 OHL All-Rookie Teams (voting points in brackets):

First Team:
Centre – Allan McShane, Oshawa Generals (85)
Left Wing – Linus Nyman, Kingston Frontenacs (73)
Right Wing – Akil Thomas, Niagara IceDogs (93)
Defence – Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (91)
Defence – Eemeli Rasanen, Kingston Frontenacs (74)
Goaltender – Jacob Ingham, Mississauga Steelheads (73)

Second Team:
Centre – Adam Ruzicka, Sarnia Sting (51)
Left Wing – Alex Formenton, London Knights (38)
Right Wing – Greg Meireles, Kitchener Rangers (39)
Defence – Giovanni Vallati, Kitchener Rangers (44)
Defence – Owen Lalonde, Sudbury Wolves (39)
Goaltender – Matthew Villalta, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (70)

Steelheads’ Jacob Ingham named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that rookie goaltender Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 19 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .958.

Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Ingham stopped 91 shots last week winning all three of his games for the Central Division champion Steelheads who improve their record to 34-20-6-7 with wins in nine of their last 10.  His week included a pair of first star performances against the Niagara IceDogs who were aggressively pursuing a post-season berth.  Ingham shut the door with a 43-save effort on Thursday as first star of a 4-1 road win and ending with 33 saves on Sunday claiming first star honours in the 6-1 win at home against the Dogs.  Ingham also played the final 40 minutes of Friday’s contest against the Barrie Colts making 15 saves to preserve the 4-2 win.  The Steelheads have secured second place in the OHL’s Eastern Conference however Tuesday’s final home game against the Sudbury Wolves will determine their first round playoff opponent which could be Sudbury or the Ottawa 67’s.

A 16-year-old from Barrie, Ont., Ingham was chosen by the Steelheads in the second round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.  Appearing in 30 games this season the January recipient of the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month award carries a 17-5-3-3 record including two shutouts with a goals-against-average of 2.68 and save percentage of .907.  This season he’s the first rookie to earn the league’s weekly honour, the eighth goaltender to be recognized, and the third Steelhead following teammates Michael McLeod and Spencer Watson who both won in the span of three weeks during February.

Watch video highlights of Ingham and the Steelheads against the IceDogs, Colts, and IceDogs.

Also considered for the award this week was Ethan Szypula who recorded 11 points including a goal and 10 assists in four games for the Owen Sound Attack who wrapped up their best regular season finish in franchise history with 49 wins and 102 points.  In addition, 2017 NHL Draft prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs scored three goals and six assists for nine points in three games helping his club secure fourth place and first round home ice advantage against the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Mar. 13 – Mar. 19: Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
Mar. 6 – Mar. 12: Petrus Palmu (Owen Sound Attack)
Feb. 27 – Mar. 5: Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)
Feb. 20 – Feb. 26: Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Joseph Murdaca (Erie Otters)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Spencer Watson (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)