Steelheads’ Owen Tippett named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Florida Panthers prospect Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending January 7 with seven goals and three assists for 10 points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. 

Tippett welcomed 2018 with three multi-point performances leading the Steelheads to three straight victories to start the new year improving their Central Division record to 17-22-0-1.  He earned first star honours in all three games last week beginning Wednesday night with two goals and one assist in a 5-3 road win over the Erie Otters.  Back at home Thursday facing top ranked Sault Ste. Marie, Tippett scored a natural hat-trick in the first period, the first of his career, then tallied a shootout marker to secure a 4-3 win snapping the Greyhounds 23-game win-streak.  His week wrapped up Friday in Kitchener scoring two goals and two assists for his first four-point effort of the season to extend his personal point-streak to seven games in a 6-2 triumph over the Rangers. 

Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

An 18-year-old from Peterborough, Ont., Tippett is playing in his third season with the Steelheads who chose him fourth overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  After beginning the season in the NHL with one goal in seven games, Tippett has scored 17 goals with 19 assists for 36 points in 23 OHL games since November 10.  Last season Tippett set a Steelheads record with 44 goals as part of a 75-point campaign and would become the top OHL player chosen in the 2017 NHL Draft going tenth overall to the Panthers. 

Watch video highlights of Tippett and the Steelheads against the Otters and Rangers.

Also considered for the award this week was Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Sam Miletic of the London Knights producing 10 points in four games including four goals and six assists, and Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs with nine points in three games including three goals and six assists.  In goal, Los Angeles Kings prospect Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds posted a 2-0-0-1 record making 73 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.80 and save percentage of .936.

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

Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: Ben Jones (Niagara IceDogs)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Joseph Garreffa (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
 

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Rangers’ Joseph Garreffa named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Joseph Garreffa of the Kitchener Rangers is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending December 3 after leading the league with eight points, all assists, in three games while recording a plus-minus rating of plus-3. 

Joseph Garreffa of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Joseph Garreffa of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Garreffa helped the Rangers collect three comeback wins last week delivering back-to-back four-assist performances against the Owen Sound Attack.  The forward turned defenceman earned first star honours on Wednesday night in Owen Sound as the Rangers erased a 4-2 deficit with a trio of third period tallies skating to a 5-4 victory.  On home ice Friday, the third year blue shirt was recognized as the game’s second star as the Rangers once again battled back from a 4-2 third period hole this time emerging triumphant in overtime with Garreffa intercepting a clearing attempt and feeding Kole Sherwood for his second straight game-winner.  Kitchener improved their first place Midwest Division record to 18-9-2-0 on Sunday following a 3-2 overtime road win against the Erie Otters after trailing 2-0 early in the first period. 

An 18-year-old from Toronto, Ont., the 5’6’’, 167lb Garreffa was a third round pick by the Rangers in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  He is currently second in team scoring with 28 points in 29 games powered by five goals and 23 assists after scoring 25 times in 2016-17 with 35 assists for 60 points in 68 games.  His 23 helpers are tied for 11th overall among league leaders with 13 of them coming with the man advantage good enough for a fifth place tie in the power play assist category.

Watch video highlights of Garreffa and the Rangers on the road against the Attack, at home against the Attack, and on the road against the Otters. 

Also considered for the award this week was Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs with seven assists in three games, and Colorado Avalanche prospect Conor Timmins with three goals and three assists for six points in three games helping the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds extend their winning-streak to a team record 14-straight.  In goal, Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires made 69 saves in a pair of victories including one by shutout posting a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .972.

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

Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Joseph Garreffa (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

OHL Writers Draft Eligible Player of the Month for March

Yes, it’s April 1st, but this is no April Fools joke. My Ontario Hockey League’s draft eligible player of the month for March is Kingston Frontenac’s Jason Robertson.

This was a close one, and one thing tipped the scales in Robertson’s favor: The amount of the Frontenac’s offense he provided.

Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Robertson finished the regular season with 9 goals and 9 assists in 9 games for the month of March. He tallied a total of 42 goals and 39 assists while playing in all 68 regular season games. He was far and away the leader in goals and points for the Frontenacs while being tied for tops in assists.

What is truly amazing is that Robertson scored 23.5% of the Frontenacs’ regular season goals and he has been in on 45.3% of his club’s goals.

Robertson has carried on where he left off in the playoffs as the Frontenacs currently lead the Hamilton Bulldogs 3 games to two in the opening round. Robertson leads his squad with 3 goals and 5 assists through 5 games, leaving him tied for fourth in the OHL.

Robertson led the way in March with 12 goals and 14 assists through 14 games.

Not to be outdone however was Owen Sound Attack top prospect Nick Suzuki.

In the 9 games in the month of March to finish out the regular season, Suzuki found the back of the net 11 times while setting up his teammates for 6 tallies. He would finish the regular season with 45 goals and 51 assists. His 96 points were second only to Petrus Palmu (98 points) for the Attack.

Like Robertson, Suzuki continued where he left off during the Attack’s 5 game elimination of the Kitchener Rangers. Suzuki notched 4 goals and 6 assists and his 10 points are once again second on the club to Palmu.

Suzuki finished the month of March with 15 goals and 12 assists in 14 games.

Previously

February – Nick Suzuki – Owen Sound Attack

January – Owen Tippett – Mississauga Steelheads

December – Michael DiPietro, Windsor Spitfires

November – Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack

October – Gabriel Vilardi – Windsor Spitfires

September – Greg Meireles – Kitchener Rangers

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)

Steelheads’ Michael McLeod named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that New Jersey Devils prospect Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 26 after recording 11 points in three games scoring five goals and six assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-8.

McLeod produced three multi-point performances last week helping the Steelheads win three straight games to become the first Central Division club to clinch a playoff berth with a 27-19-6-7 record.  The highlight of his week came Friday night scoring his second hat-trick of the season while adding three assists as first star of a 10-1 win over the Eastern Conference’s first place Peterborough Petes.  The six points were not only a career-high for McLeod, but also set a Steelheads single game record since the club’s inception in 2012-13.  McLeod’s week also included a pair of assists on Family Day in a 5-3 matinee victory over the Owen Sound Attack, and capped off by notching two goals and an assist on Saturday as second star of a 6-2 win against the Sudbury Wolves.  McLeod is the second Steelhead to earn the weekly honour in three weeks following teammate Spencer Watson.

Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

A 19-year-old from Mississauga, ON, McLeod was originally chosen by his hometown Steelheads fifth overall in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection after earning OHL Cup MVP honours for the minor midget champion Toronto Marlboros.  Through 48 games this season, the third year forward has collected the exact same offensive totals attained in 57 games played a year ago including 21 goals and 40 assists for 61 points.  The Steelheads captain and member of Canada’s National Junior Team was chosen by the Devils in the first round, 12th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of McLeod and the Steelheads against the Attack, Petes, and Wolves.

Also considered for the award this week was Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters who scored three goals and eight assists for 11 points in four games, and 2017 NHL Draft prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs with four goals and five assists for nine points in four games.  In goal, Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes posted a 3-0-0-0 record making 97 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.67 and save percentage of .951.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

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. 26 – Jan. 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)

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Month

We have yet to have a repeat player as our draft eligible player of the month and that continues through January.

For the month of January, look no further than Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads.

Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

The 6’2” 205 pounder appeared 9 games for the Steelheads in January while also playing in the Sherwin-Williams NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game. Tippett scored 7 goals and added 9 assists in those 9 games. The Steelheads went 7-1-4 in January and 6-1-2 with Tippett in the lineup.

Tippett received first star honors once, second star three times and third star once during January.

Tippett leads all draft eligible players in goals and points while also having the longest points, goals and assists streaks among draft eligible players. He also leads the entire Ontario Hockey League in shot attempts with 221 in 45 games played.

We also considered Jonah Gadjovich of the Owen Sound Attack who had 10 goals and 7 assists in 11 games, Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs with 9 goals and 7 assists in 12 games, and Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires who went 6-2-1 with a .941 save percentage with one shutout.

Previously

December – Michael DiPietro, Windsor Spitfires

November – Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack

October – Gabriel Vilardi – Windsor Spitfires

September – Greg Meireles – Kitchener Rangers

OHL Draft Eligible Player of the Month for December

December was one of the toughest months I’ve ever had coming up with the top performer among the Ontario Hockey League’s draft eligible players as there were literally a hand full of performances that, if you picked one over another you couldn’t go wrong.

With that out of the way, I’ve decided to go with Windsor Spitfires’ goaltender Michael DiPietro.

DiPietro started eight games during the month and came in in relief in the final game of 2016 with just 3 minutes remaining. He posted a 6-2-0-0 record with a jaw dropping 1.50 goals against average and .940 save percentage.

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

DiPietro posted three consecutive shutouts with a shutout streak that lasted 202 minutes and 57 seconds. Thus, he was named the OHL Player of the Week and the Canadian Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Week.

The scale tipped in DiPietro’s favor because he kept the Spitfires within striking distance of the Soo Greyhounds for top spot in the Central Division despite missing top scorers Logan Brown and Gabriel Vilardi for almost the entire month.

Also considered were Mississauga Steelheads’ teammates, forward Owen Tippett (11 goals, 6 assists in 12 games), and defenceman Nicolas Hague (5 goals, 8 assists in 12 games) as well as Soo Greyhounds defenceman Conor Timmins (3 goals, 9 assists in 10 games), and a pair of Owen Sound Attack forwards, Nick Suzuki (5 goals, 10 assists in 9 games) and Jonah Gadjovich (9 goals, 5 assists in 9 games).

Previously

November – Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack

October – Gabriel Vilardi – Windsor Spitfires

September – Greg Meireles – Kitchener Rangers

Jason Robertson – Kingston Frontenacs – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight:  196 pounds

Date of birth: July 22, 1999

Hometown: Northville, MI

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 4, 62nd overall, 2015 Priority Selection

Kingston Frontenacs’ left winger Jason Robertson played his minor midget hockey with the Don Mills Flyers during the 2014-2015 season. He laced up the skates in 62 games for the Flyers recording 28 goals and 33 assists.

Prior to the Flyers, Robertson played his midget hockey for the Detroit Kings where he scored 40 goals and 47 assists in 51 games. He was selected in the fourth round of the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection, sixty-second overall. He was also selected in the fifth round, seventy-fifth overall by the Omaha Lancers at the 2015 United States Hockey League’s Futures Draft.

Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Last season was Robertson’s first in the OHL. He had a productive rookie season scoring 18 goals and adding 14 assists in 53 games. His goals tied him for seventh among rookies while his 32 points were good enough to rank him 16th, and fifth among rookies eligible for the 2017 National Hockey League Draft. He was able to crack a deep Frontenacs’ roster almost immediately and impressed the coaching staff so much that he received quality powerplay and penalty killing time.

Robertson is a big bodied winger who uses his size to his advantage but could play a more physical game. His skating is a work in progress. He lacks a separation gear and quick first steps, but is okay once he gets to his top speed. He possesses good hockey IQ with an excellent work ethic.

Robertson plays with a shoot first mentality with his hard, heavy and accurate shot with a deceptive release. He has good puck skills and uses his body to protect the puck extremely well. He’s willing, and capable of taking it directly to the net. He uses his hockey sense to elude checking and find himself in quality scoring positions, allowing his teammates to find him.

Defensively, Robertson has, and continues to put in the necessary work to be effective in his own zone. He has shown that he has excellent leadership qualities.

It’s difficult to project what Robertson could become at the next level. If he can improve his skating, he could become a scoring winger in the NHL. If not, he could be a solid secondary scorer.