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 2018, including Niagara IceDogs forward Jason Robertson, Ottawa 67’s defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer, 67’s rookie Marco Rossi and London Knights goaltender Joseph Raaymakers.

OHL Player of the Month – Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs):
Niagara IceDogs forward Jason Robertson is the OHL Player of the Month for November after leading all players with 30 points including 12 goals and 18 assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-9 over 12 games. The Dallas Stars prospect split the month between the Kingston Frontenacs and Niagara IceDogs, recording points in all 12 of his November contests. He registered a pair of hat-tricks while recording four points on four different occasions, being named first star of the game four times, second star twice and third star once. Robertson’s first hat-trick came on Nov. 7th in a four-point showing with Kingston as they fell 6-4 to the Ottawa 67’s. He scored another hat-trick and four points on Nov. 11th, defeating the Oshawa Generals 5-1. Robertson picked up four assists in his final game as a Frontenac on Nov. 18th, defeating the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-3. He wrapped up the month of November with back-to-back four-point efforts with the IceDogs, recording a goal and three assists in wins on Nov. 29th and Nov. 30th. In his four November games with Niagara, Robertson had three goals, nine assists and 12 points.

A 19-year-old native of Northville, Mich., Robertson sits second in OHL scoring with 52 points including 27 goals and 25 assists over 29 games this season. His 10 power play goals and 22 power play points also lead the league while his 152 shots on goal are second-most. After four years in Kingston, Robertson finished with 124 career goals, the fourth-most by any player to wear a Frontenacs uniform.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s):
Ottawa 67’s blueliner Noel Hoefenmayer is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for November. The Arizona Coyotes prospect recorded 16 points including three goals and 13 assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-9 over 12 November contests. Hoefenmayer had five different multi-point performances headlined by a four-point showing against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Nov. 16th. Hoefenmayer had two goals and two assists in that game, including one that served as the OHL’s representative in the weekly CIBC Showdown. He finished the month with points in three straight games, wrapping things up with a goal and two assists in a 6-2 win over Kingston on Nov. 28th.

A 19-year-old from North York, Ont., Hoefenmayer has 25 points including five goals and 20 assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-14 over 29 games this season. The 6-foot-1, 204Ib. defender is currently in his fourth OHL season and picked up his 100th career point this past month. He was Arizona’s fourth round pick in 2017 and was originally a second round pick of the 67’s in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection from the Don Mills Flyers Minor Midgets.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s):
For the second straight month, Ottawa 67’s forward Marco Rossi is the OHL Rookie of the Month. The first-year centreman had nine points including four goals and five assists over seven games before suffering an elbow injury on Nov. 15th that will sideline him into the new year. Rossi had points in five of his seven outings, stringing together a five game point streak. He had a goal and an assist in an 8-2 road win over the Saginaw Spirit on Nov. 4th, a goal and two helpers in a 6-4 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs on Nov. 7th and a pair of goals in a 4-3 loss to the Oshawa Generals on Nov. 9th to headline the month’s action.

A 17-year-old, 2020 NHL Draft eligible native of Feldkirch, Austria, Rossi continues to lead OHL rookies in scoring with 13 goals, 14 assists and 27 points despite missing the past two weeks to injury. His plus-23 rating is among the best in the league while he’s also won 55.4% of his faceoffs this season. The 5-foot-9, 174Ib. centre was the 18th overall pick of the 2018 CHL Import Draft.

 

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OHL Goaltender of the Month – Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights):
Overage London Knights goaltender Joseph Raaymakers is the OHL Goaltender of the Month for November, playing to a perfect 8-0-0-0 record with a 1.99 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and one shutout. Raaymakers’ month was headlined by a pair of first star performances including a 30-save shutout in a 3-0 road win over the Kitchener Rangers on Nov. 4th. He followed up that showing with a 25-save effort in a 2-1 win over the Sudbury Wolves on Nov. 9th. Raaymakers turned aside 41 shots in a 6-3 win over the Erie Otters on Nov. 18th and closed out the month with 34 saves in an 8-1 win over the same Otters on Nov. 30th.

A 20-year-old native of Chatham, Ont., fifth-year veteran Raaymakers has helped backstop the Knights to a current 14-game winning streak, most recently earning his 90th career victory. Through 16 games he holds a 11-3-2-0 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage, earning his seventh career shutout in the process. Raaymakers attended training camp with the Columbus Blue Jackets this past September, seeing NHL pre-season action.

2018-19 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
November – Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
October – Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Defenceman of the Month:
November – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)
October – Mac Hollowell (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Rookie of the Month:
November – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)
October – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
November – Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights)
October – Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)

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IceDogs’ Jason Robertson named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending December 2 after leading the league with 10 points in three games including three goals and seven assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-7.

Robertson produced a trio of multi-point performances for the IceDogs across three victories last week extending his personal point-streak to 13 which is tied for the league-high so far this season.  On Thursday night he scored his league-leading 10th power play goal of the season and added three assists as second star of a 6-1 win against the Owen Sound Attack, then contributed another four-point effort on Friday night with a goal and three assists as first star of a 7-2 road win over the Kitchener Rangers.  His week wrapped up with a goal and an assist on Sunday collecting third star honours in a 5-1 road win against the Hamilton Bulldogs.  The three-game winning-streak has helped the IceDogs keep pace in the Central Division standings where they remain tied for first place with the Sudbury Wolves holding a 16-7-4-0 record.

This marks the second weekly award of the season for the 19-year-old from Northville, Michigan, who was previously recognized in early November as a member of the Kingston Frontenacs.  It’s also the third time a member of the IceDogs has been honoured this season following forward Akil Thomas and goaltender Stephen Dhillon.  In five games since joining the IceDogs, Robertson has scored four goals and 10 assists bringing his season totals to 27 goals and 25 assists for 52 points in 29 games which ranks second overall among league leaders.  During his four-year OHL tenure, which began as a fourth round pick by Kingston in the 2015 Priority Selection, he’s amassed 128 goals and 124 assists for 252 points in 219 games.  Robertson was chosen by the Stars in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of Robertson and the IceDogs against the Attack, Rangers, and Bulldogs.

Also considered for the award this week were a pair of Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds including Morgan Frost and Keeghan Howdeshell.  Frost, who won the award last week, scored three goals and six assists for nine points in three games to hold onto the league’s scoring lead, while Howdeshell scored seven goals and one assist for eight points in three games powered by back-to-back hat-tricks during the club’s Michigan road trip.  In goal, Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves stopped 48 of the 50 shots he faced in two victories including one by shutout for an overall goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .960.

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

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Kevin Hancock (Owen Sound Attack)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
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)

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs is the CHL Player of the Week for the regular season week ending November 11 scoring nine points in three games with six goals and three assists.

Robertson continued scoring at a goal-per-game rate last week with two hat-trick performances including last Wednesday morning in a School Day road game against the Ottawa 67’s and Saturday night at home against the Oshawa Generals.  Both contests turned into four-point efforts with an assist added in each to give him second star recognition in the 6-4 loss to Ottawa and first star honours in the 5-1 win over Oshawa.  Robertson also chipped in an assist in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

A 19-year-old from Northville, Michigan, Robertson is playing in his fourth season with the Frontenacs who made him a fourth round choice in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  This season he’s produced 22 goals and 11 assists for 33 points in 22 games which has him ranked seventh in OHL scoring contributing to almost 58% of the team’s total offense.  Robertson was a second round pick by the Stars in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Also considered for the award this week was Samuel Asselin of the Halifax Mooseheads who scored four goals and three assists for seven points in three games, and Riley Woods of the Spokane Chiefs who scored three goals and three assists for six points in two games.

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

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
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)

Spitfires’ Michael DiPietro named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending November 11 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record for a goals-against-average of 0.96 and save percentage of .969.

DiPietro began the week representing the CHL in the CIBC Canada Russia Series where he made 18 saves to backstop Team OHL to a 3-1 victory on Thursday night in Sarnia.  In league play he helped the Spitfires extend their winning-streak to four games stopping a total of 62 shots.  31 of those saves came on Saturday in a 2-1 shootout victory against the Guelph Storm where he also stopped six straight attempts to help secure the win.  His week wrapped up Sunday with 31 saves as part of a 7-1 win against the Saginaw Spirit.

A 19-year-old from Amherstburg, Ont., DiPietro is playing in his fourth OHL season after being chosen by his hometown club in the second round of the 2015 Priority Selection.  He helped the Spitfires capture the 2017 Memorial Cup on home ice and was named the 2018 OHL Goaltender of the Year.  This season he carries a 7-5-0-1 record and ranks second in OHL goals-against-average with a mark of 2.18 while his .926 save percentage is also among the league’s leaders.  DiPietro is the Spitfires all-time wins leader with 82 over his career and his 16 shutouts are tied for the OHL’s all-time mark.

Also considered for the award this week was Max Paddock of the Regina Pats who posted a 2-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory stopping 59 shots in total for a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .983.  In the QMJHL, Fabian Iacobo of the Victoriaville Tigres also went 2-0-0-0 making 59 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .967.

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

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Émile Samson (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)
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)

Frontenacs’ Jason Robertson named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending November 11 after leading the league with nine points in three games scoring six goals and three assists.

Robertson has been the league’s most prolific goal scorer to start the 2018-19 campaign and continued his torrid pace with a pair of hat-tricks last week.  He scored three and added an assist on Wednesday morning in School Day action against the Ottawa 67’s earning second star honours despite the 6-4 loss.  He also lit the lamp for three on Saturday night while adding an assist as first star of a 5-1 win over the Oshawa Generals.  In between he contributed an assist on the Frontenacs’ lone goal against the Hamilton Bulldogs in a 2-1 loss on Friday.  Robertson has averaged exactly a goal-per-game in 22 contests and has four hat-tricks this season bringing his career total to eight.

A 19-year-old from Northville, Michigan, Robertson is playing in his fourth season with the Frontenacs who made him a fourth round choice in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  He’s currently sixth in league scoring with 33 points and has accounted for nearly 40% of his team’s goals while contributing to almost 58% of their total offense.  In 212 career games he’s scored 123 times with 110 assists collecting 233 points.  Robertson was selected by the Stars in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of Robertson and the Frontenacs against the 67’s, Bulldogs, and Generals.

Also considered for the award this week was Jake Durham of the Flint Firebirds who scored six goals and two assists for eight points in three games including a School Day hat-trick of his own to lead the Firebirds to their first win of the season on Wednesday morning against the Sarnia Sting.  Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki also had a strong week for the Owen Sound Attack chipping in three goals and two assists for five points in a pair of wins against the Erie Otters after captaining Team OHL to a 3-1 victory in Sarnia at the CIBC Canada Russia Series.  In goal, Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires stopped 62 shots in a pair of victories posting a goals-against-average of 0.96 and save percentage of .969 after also representing the league in victory between-the-pipes for Team OHL with an 18-save performance Thursday night.

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

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Kevin Hancock (Owen Sound Attack)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
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)

Liam Foudy – London Knights – Player Profile

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 182 pounds

Date of birth: February 4, 2000

Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 18th overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: B Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 91st overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting final rank: Not available at present

London Knights’ center Liam Foudy comes from a sports family. His father Sean played professional football for six seasons in the Canadian Football League. His mother France Gareau is an Olympian who competed at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in the 100-meter sprint as well as the 4 X 100-meter relay where she captured a silver medal. And younger brother Jean-Luc was the tenth overall pick at the recently completed Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection by the hated Windsor Spitfires.

Foudy played his minor midget hockey with the Markham Majors during the 2015-2016 season. He appeared in 32 games scoring 19 goals and 19 assists. The Knights selected Foudy with the 18th overall pick at the 2016 Priority Selection. The scouting report from OHL Central Scouting read as follows:

Liam is the engine that makes his team go. He does a very good job of anticipating the play and jumping into holes at the right time, which is one of the reasons why he gets so many breakaways. He has deceiving quickness and changes gears well off the rush to beat defenders. He has a very high skill set and is dangerous one-on-one. Liam has good hands around the net and capitalizes on the majority of his chances. He has developed into a top GTHL prospect. 

Liam Foudy of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Liam Foudy of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

During the 2016-2017 season, Foudy would appear in 58 games for the Knights, scoring 9 goals and adding 6 assists. He would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 and post three assists in six games.

Foudy would take on a bigger role with the Knights this season and he didn’t disappoint, at least as the season progressed. He played in 65 games scoring 24 goals and adding 16 assists. He would contribute a goal and an assist in 4 playoff games.

Foudy will represent Canada at the upcoming World Junior Championship Under-18.

It’s been somewhat of a night and day season for Foudy. Depending on who you talk to, much more was expected from him. He had 3 goals and no assists in his first 22 games but finished the year strong with 17 goals and 11 assists in his final 21 games. The Knights had sold off some veteran players and Foudy seemed to relish, and succeed, in the expanded role he was given.

Foudy was added to the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects game as an injury replacement where he drew attention to his on ice and off ice testing. He finished in the top five players in each group of tests.

Foudy is an excellent skater with excellent acceleration and top end speed. It’s a well camouflaged separation gear that makes him so dangerous one-on-one. Early in the season, it appears he wasn’t always making the right decisions. It’s as though someone flipped a switch and his brain caught up to his speed. 

Also, earlier in the season, Foudy wasn’t using his speed to get in on the forecheck and create turnovers. It’s an area that has seen a massive change in the second half of the season. He’s also become a superb penalty killer and a threat on the PK as seen by his 5 goals and 3 assists while the Knights were a man down.

Foudy also has a decent shot, but he won’t overpower goaltenders. His 24 goals on the season came on just 136 shots, good for a 17.6 shooting percentage. If he is going to continue to grow as a centreman, he will need to improve on his faceoffs. He was just 121 for 257 on the dot, or 47.1%.


Stat Page of Liam Foudy from Elite Prospects

 

Colts’ Andrei Svechnikov named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that top 2018 NHL Draft prospect Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 8 after recording four points in three games including three goals and one assist with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Svechnikov extended his playoff point-streak to four and helped the Colts win two of their first three games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Kingston Frontenacs.  Last week on home ice he picked up an assist in Wednesday’s Game 1 overtime contest won 6-5 by the Colts, then scored twice in Friday’s 4-1 victory in Game 2 including a late insurance marker to earn third star honours.  He also scored once in Sunday’s Game 3 on the road despite the 4-2 loss.  Svechnikov and the Colts will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series when they resume play on Tuesday night in Kingston. 

Andrei Svechnikovof the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

A 17-year-old from Barnaul, Russia, Svechnikov is playing in his first OHL season after being selected first overall by the Colts in the 2017 CHL Import Draft.  He led all rookies in scoring with 40 goals and 32 assists for 72 points in 44 games and has been voted a finalist for the OHL’s Rookie of the Year award.  In just five games so far this post-season he’s tallied five goals and four assists for nine points.  Svechnikov represented Russia at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship and was ranked first by NHL Central Scouting in their Midterm list for the 2018 NHL Draft.  

Watch video highlights of Svechnikov and the Colts against the Frontenacs in Game 1, Game 2, and Game 3

Also considered for the award this week was Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Frontenacs with two goals and three assists for five points in three games against the Colts, and Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack with two goals and one assist for three points in two games against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.  In goal, Mario Culina of the Kitchener Rangers has one win and an overtime loss in their second round series against the Sarnia Sting making 61 saves to date for a goals-against-average of 2.30 and save percentage of .924. 

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

Apr. 2 – Apr. 8: Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts)
Mar. 26 – Apr. 1: Gabriel Vilardi (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mar. 19 – Mar. 25: Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)
 

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

Mar. 12 – Mar. 18: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Mar. 5 – Mar. 11: Dmitry Sokolov (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4: Robert Thomas (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Aaron Luchuk (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Kenny Huether (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Taylor Raddysh (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
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)

2018 NHL Draft: Where’s the Offence From the OHL?

If it sounds like we’re beating a dead horse, it’s because we are. If Barrie Colts’ superstar Andrei Svechnikov had not missed two months of the season, things would look different. Despite that, it is in the end, a legitimate question to ask.

The 2017 National Hockey League Draft was a very good draft and there were some pretty good offensive players selected from the Ontario Hockey League. But when comparing 2018 to 2017 we must ask, where’s the offense? So, let’s compare the two.

A season ago, Nick Suzuki led all draft eligible players with 96 points. This season, London Knights’ defenceman Evan Bouchard led the way with 87 points. Svechnikov placed third with 72 points behind Akil Thomas of the Niagara Ice Dogs with 81 points. It’s reasonable to assume had he not missed 24 games, Svechnikov would have surpassed Suzuki’s total.

Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

A deeper look tells us that Gabriel Vilardi missed almost as much time as Svechnikov, missing 19 games yet putting up 61 points. But when we compare the top ten producers from the 2017 draft to those that will be selected in June, some may be surprised by the comparisons.

The top ten from 2017 registered a combined 701 points in 635 games. The 2018 class played an equal number of 635 games and contributed a combined 685 points. If we were to project Svechnikov and Vilardi over a full season, then we’d find the difference at just 4 points.

Last season we saw Jonah Gadjovich (46), Suzuki (45), Owen Tippett (44) and Jason Robertson (42) all score 40 or more goals. This season saw only Svechnikov hit the mark with 40. In fact, only Aidan Dudas (31) and Pavel Gogolev (30) hit the 30-goal mark. All the top ten in 2017 scored 25 or more while 7 of the top ten hit the total this season.

Playmaking however seems to be up this year, at least according to the numbers. Last season the top ten provided teammates with 419 helpers, but this season the top ten assisted on 451 goals. Both years were led by a blueliner. Bouchard assisted on 62 goals while Conor Timmins assisted on 54. The difference though, was top heavy with the bottom five virtually equal from year to year.

Points by blueliners was also extremely top heavy. Bouchard (87) and Ryan Merkley (67) combined for 154 points this season. In 2017, Timmins (61) and Nicolas Hague (46) combined for just 107 points. Rasmus Sandin (45) and Markus Phillips (43) were virtually equal, but Sandin played in 15 fewer games. The rest of the class however is more favorable to 2017 with the next five point-getters finishing with 35 points or more, but none of the rest of the 2018 class finished with more than 26 points.

With Bouchard and Merkley out-performing their cousins from a year ago, how much does the 47-point difference skew the numbers among the forwards? Timmins was the only defenseman to place in the top 10 a year ago. If we are concentrating solely on forwards, 2017 wins hands down.

So where is the offense?

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)
 

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