Marco Rossi wins CHL Top Scorer of the Year Award presented by Purolator

Purolator

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that 2020 NHL Draft prospect Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Top Scorer of the Year Award presented by Purolator.

Rossi led all players with 120 points including 39 goals and 81 assists in 56 games helping the 67’s finish first in the Ontario Hockey League’s regular season standings for the second straight season.

“Purolator is delighted to partner with another iconic Canadian brand, the CHL, to recognize the young athletes who inspire others and deliver the entertainment of sport for Canadians across the country,” said Purolator Marketing Director, Melanie Cheng-Kai-On. “Congratulations, Marco Rossi on being named the 2019-20 CHL Top Scorer of the Year. With so many talented young players, winning the CHL scoring title is an incredible achievement. We look forward to watching Marco’s career continue – knowing he’ll deliver many more highlights in the future!”

The 18-year-old from Feldkirch, Austria, has now played two seasons for the 67’s after being chosen with the 18th pick in the 2018 CHL Import Draft.  This season he nearly doubled his point total following a rookie campaign in which he registered 65 points in 53 games.  He led the entire CHL with a plus-69 rating and was held off the scoresheet just four times producing an impressive 34 multi-point performances highlighted by a six-point output on November 27 scoring his first career hat-trick plus three assists against the Kingston Frontenacs.  The sixth ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s final list also finished the schedule with success in the faceoff circle winning 58.5% of his draws and is a finalist for CHL Player of the Year.

“I want to say thanks to the CHL for giving me the CHL Top Scorer Award and I want to say thanks to the Ottawa 67’s for those amazing two years,” said Rossi. “Thank you very much, stay safe, and stay healthy.”

Since the award was first presented in 1994, Rossi is just the third top scorer to have joined the league through the Import Draft process following Czech Republic born Pavel Rosa for the 1996-97 Hull Olympiques, and Russian Alexander Radulov for the 2005-06 Quebec Remparts.  He’s also the first player to win the award in his first season of NHL Draft eligibility since Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters shared the honour in 2014-15.  That list also includes Nic Petan who shared the award in 2012-13 with the Portland Winterhawks, Patrick Kane of the 2006-07 London Knights, Sidney Crosby of the 2004-05 Rimouski Oceanic, Pierre-Marc Bouchard of the 2001-02 Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Ramzi Abid of the 1997-98 Sagueneens, Daniel Briere of the 1995-96 Drummondville Voltigeurs, and Marc Savard of the 1994-95 Oshawa Generals.  Rossi is now the second member of the 67’s to win the award joining Corey Locke during the 2002-03 season.

Finalists for the award were fellow 2020 NHL Draft prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rimouski Oceanic and Minnesota Wild prospect Adam Beckman of the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs.

OHL ANNOUNCES 2019-20 ALL-STAR AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAMS

All Star Teams

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the First, Second and Third All-Star Team selections along with the First and Second All-Rookie Team selections for the 2019-20 season.

The OHL All-Star Teams were selected by the OHL’s General Managers, with voting conducted in two stages beginning with a Conference ballot followed by a final ballot that integrated the top selections from both the Eastern and Western Conference results.

Headlining the First Team is Red Tilson Trophy recipient and OHL scoring leader Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s who becomes the first 67’s player to be selected to the League’s First All-Star Team since Tyler Toffoli in 2011-12. The top 2020 NHL Draft prospect led the entire Canadian Hockey League with 120 points, producing at a 2.14 point-per-game clip for the OHL’s first place team. Joining Rossi in the forward ranks was OHL goal-scoring leader Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect who lit the lamp 55 times in just 46 games. Flanking the right side is Los Angeles Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs who scored 48 goals and posted 98 points in 57 games. OHL Defenceman of the Year Noel Hoefenmayer of the Ottawa 67’s stands out on the blue line after recording a league-best 82 points including 26 goals over 58 games. Top draft eligible rearguard Jamie Drysdale joins Hoefenmayer on the back end after a sophomore season with the Erie Otters that included 47 points over 49 games. Fellow Canadian National Junior Team gold medalist Nico Daws of the Guelph Storm, who was voted OHL Goaltender of the Year, was appointed as a First Team All-Star netminder after posting a league-high .924 save percentage and five shutouts. OHL Coach of the Year Andre Tourigny of the Ottawa 67’s rounds out the group, being voted to the OHL’s First All-Star Team for a second consecutive year.

Washington Capitals first round pick Connor McMichael is positioned down the middle on the Second Team, joined by wingers in 111-point scorer Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit and fifth-year overage veteran Joseph Garreffa of the Ottawa 67’s. Dallas Stars first round selection Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads joins New Jersey Devils prospect Kevin Bahl on the back end while 2020 OHL Humanitarian of the Year and Los Angeles Kings prospect Jacob Ingham of the Kitchener Rangers holds down the crease. Dale Hunter of the London Knights was voted Second Team Head Coach, being selected to an All-Star Team for the sixth time in his OHL coaching career.

Top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves was voted Third Team centreman. He’s accompanied on the wings by Guelph Storm 45-goal scorer Pavel Gogolev and Sarnia Sting overage veteran Sean Josling who led his team with 78 points. The Third Team defence corps consists of the London Knights tandem of Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alec Regula and San Jose Sharks first round pick Ryan Merkley while Ottawa 67’s netminder Cedrick Andree is in goal. George Burnett of the Guelph Storm was voted to an OHL All-Star Team for the seventh time in his career, being named Third Team Head Coach.

A total of 11 teams were represented among the All-Star selections led by the Hamilton Spectator Trophy recipient Ottawa 67’s with six including First Team members Rossi, Hoefenmayer and Tourigny, Second Team selections Garreffa and Bahl and Third Team selection Andree. The Midwest Division champion London Knights trailed with four selections including Second Team members McMichael and coach Dale Hunter as well as Third Team defenders Merkley and Regula.

The Ontario Hockey League also unveiled its First and Second All-Rookie Teams for the 2019-20 season.

OHL Rookie of the Year and 2019 OHL Priority Selection first overall pick Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs headlined the First All-Rookie Team, being joined by former Don Mills Flyers Minor Midget teammates in second overall OHL Priority Selection choice Brennan Othmann of the Flint Firebirds and fourth overall pick Brandt Clarke of the Barrie Colts on the back end. Sudbury Wolves winger Chase Stillman and Finnish-born Windsor Spitfires rearguard Ruben Rafkin joined London Knights standout netminder Brett Brochu in completing the First Team.

The Second Team is centred by 2019 fifth overall OHL Priority Selection choice and Peterborough Petes 29-goal scorer Mason McTavish. He’s joined up front by CHL Import Draft selections and 2020 NHL Draft prospects Martin Chromiak of the Kingston Frontenacs and Oliver Suni of the Oshawa Generals. On the blue line, North Bay Battalion rearguard Paul Christopoulos joins Saginaw Spirit defender Mitchell Smith in front of North Bay goaltender Joe Vrbetic to round out the group.

A total of 10 different teams were represented among the All-Rookie Team selections led by the Kingston Frontenacs and North Bay Battalion with a pair each.

2019-20 OHL All-Star Teams:

First All-Star Team:
C – Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67’s (OHL’s Most Outstanding Player) – voted 2nd all-rookie team in 2018-19
LW – Nick Robertson, Peterborough Petes
RW – Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton Bulldogs – voted 2nd team in 2018-19, 2nd all-rookie team in 2017-18
D – Noel Hoefenmayer, Ottawa 67’s (OHL Defenceman of the Year)
D – Jamie Drysdale, Erie Otters – voted 1st all-rookie team in 2018-19
G – Nico Daws, Guelph Storm (OHL Goaltender of the Year)
Coach – Andre Tourigny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL Coach of the Year) – voted 1st team in 2018-19

Second All-Star Team:
C – Connor McMichael, London Knights
LW – Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit – voted 1st all-rookie team in 2018-19
RW – Joseph Garreffa, Ottawa 67’s
D – Thomas Harley, Mississauga Steelheads – voted 3rd team in 2018-19
D – Kevin Bahl, Ottawa 67’s
G – Jacob Ingham, Kitchener Rangers – voted 1st team all-rookie in 2016-17
Coach – Dale Hunter, London Knights – voted 3rd team in 2018-19, 1st team in 2009-10, 2nd team in 2005-06, 1st team in 2004-05, 1st team in 2003-04

Third All-Star Team:
C – Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves – voted 1st all-rookie team in 2018-19
LW – Pavel Gogolev, Guelph Storm
RW – Sean Josling, Sarnia Sting
D – Alec Regula, London Knights – voted 1st team all-rookie in 2017-18
D – Ryan Merkley, London Knights – voted 1st team all-rookie in 2016-17
G – Cedrick Andree, Ottawa 67’s
Coach – George Burnett, Guelph Storm – voted 2nd team in 2012-13, 2nd team in 2008-09, 3rd team in 2007-08, 2nd team in 1997-98, 1st team in 1991-92, 1st team in 1990-91

2019-20 OHL All-Rookie Teams:

First All-Rookie Team:
C – Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL Rookie of the Year)
LW – Brennan Othmann, Flint Firebirds
RW – Chase Stillman, Sudbury Wolves
D – Brandt Clarke, Barrie Colts
D – Ruben Rafkin, Windsor Spitfires
G – Brett Brochu, London Knights

Second All-Rookie Team:
C – Mason McTavish, Peterborough Petes
LW – Martin Chromiak, Kingston Frontenacs
RW – Oliver Suni, Oshawa Generals
D – Paul Christopoulos, North Bay Battalion
D – Mitchell Smith, Saginaw Spirit
G – Joe Vrbetic, North Bay Battalion

For full coverage of the 2020 OHL Awards, be sure to visit ontariohockeyleague.com or follow along on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

67’s’ MARCO ROSSI VOTED OHL’S MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Rossi, Marco 2

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2020 NHL Draft prospect Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s is the 2019-20 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the League.

Rossi becomes the eighth different 67’s player to win the award and first since Corey Locke’s second of back-to-back honours in 2003-04. He follows reigning Red Tilson Trophy recipient Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves as the second European import player to ever be recognized.

“Thank you to all of the accredited OHL media writers for awarding me the prestigious Red Tilson Trophy,” said Rossi of the honour. “I would like to acknowledge the great Mr. Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II, a true hero. In these COVID-19 unprecedented times, I honor the men and women, doctors and nurses and all of those putting their lives on the line for all of us across the globe, true heroes that follow in Mr. Tilson’s footsteps.”

Rossi finished atop the CHL scoring charts with 120 points including 39 goals, 81 assists and an impressive plus/minus rating of plus-69 over just 53 games. His 2.14 point-per-game pace led the OHL and is the highest such figure by a Red Tilson Trophy recipient since Erie’s Connor McDavid (2.55) in 2014-15. He was recently recognized as the first Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy recipient of European descent since Stan Mikita of the St. Catharines Teepees claimed the honour in 1958-59.

“I am extremely grateful to receive this recognition,” Rossi continued. “This is truly a team award, and I want to thank the entire first-class 67’s organization for their support over the 2019-20 season. From the ownership group, to the management staff, to the coaching staff, to the training staff, to my teammates, to my billeting family, to my immediate family, to the fans and to everyone who provided a helping hand during this last season and the time leading up to it: thank you! I am honored and forever grateful to receive this prestigious award.”

The 18-year-old from Feldkirch, Austria helped power the first place 67’s with the League’s top power play, rounding out the campaign with a total of 34 multi-point performances, 23 of which included three points or more. He earned three star of the game recognition a total of 23 different times, a figure that includes eight first star selections. The 5-foot-9, 187Ib. centreman finished the schedule with an impressive 58.5% success rate in the faceoff circle and was held off the scoresheet just four times.

Rossi’s 120 points are the most by a 67’s player in a single season since Locke (151) in 2002-03. His plus-69 rating is the fifth-highest by any player since the League began tracking plus/minus in 1996-97, trailing fellow 67’s Nick Boynton (plus 81, 1996-97) and Sean Blanchard (plus-74, 1996-97) as well as London’s Danny Syvret (plus-70, 2004-05) and Sault Ste. Marie’s Morgan Frost (plus-70, 2017-18).

“Marco brought fans out of their seats on numerous occasions this season, consistently showcasing his skill and smarts,” said 67’s general manager James Boyd. “Marco played with a commitment to the team concept and attention to detail defensively and on many nights dominated the game with his play at both ends of the ice. Marco is an outstanding player and it is fitting that he be awarded the Red Tilson Trophy for his contributions to our team this season.”

The sixth-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings competed in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this past January in Hamilton. Rossi, who was named to the OHL’s second all-rookie team in 2018-19, has accumulated 185 points (68-117–185) over just 109 regular season games since being selected by the 67’s with the 18th overall pick of the 2018 CHL Import Draft. He was widely recognized in the 2019-20 OHL Coaches Poll, appearing in six different categories as he earned recognition as the Eastern Conference’s smartest player, best playmaker and best shootout shooter.

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League.  First presented in 1945, the trophy is named in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

Accredited media were asked to select their top choice from the 20 nominees submitted by all 20 member clubs. Rossi led the way, receiving 62% of the overall vote followed by the League’s second-highest point producer in Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit with 13% of the vote and OHL goal-scoring leader Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes with his share of 12%.

This marks the 10th time a 67’s player has earned the award as Rossi follows the aforementioned Corey Locke (2002-03, 2003-04), defenceman Brian Campbell (1998-99), two-time winner Alyn McCauley (1995-96, 1996-97), Andrew Cassels (1987-88), Jim Fox (1979-80), Bobby Smith (1977-78) and Peter Lee (1975-76) in having his name engraved on the trophy. In addition to Luukkonen, other recent winners include Sarnia’s Jordan Kyrou (2018), Erie’s Alex DeBrincat (2017) and London’s Mitch Marner (2016). Rossi joins Connor McDavid (Erie 2015), Tyler Seguin (Plymouth 2010), John Tavares (Oshawa 2007), David Legwand (Plymouth 1998), Eric Lindros (Oshawa 1991) and Jack Valiquette (Sault Ste. Marie 1974) as the seventh player to claim the honour prior to his NHL Draft selection.

The Red Tilson Trophy winner is the OHL’s nominee for Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year to be announced in the coming weeks.

2020 OHL Awards announcements continue on Friday when the OHL recognizes the 2019-20 recipient of the Ken Bodendistel Character Award for Officials.

For full coverage of the 2020 OHL Awards, be sure to visit ontariohockeyleague.com or follow along on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

67’s’ MARCO ROSSI RECOGNIZED AS EDDIE POWERS MEMORIAL TROPHY RECIPIENT AS TOP SCORER PRESENTED BY KUBOTA CANADA

Marco Rossi

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to recognize Ottawa 67’s forward Marco Rossi who claims the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as the League’s Top Scorer presented by Kubota Canada.

The draft eligible centreman finished atop the CHL scoring charts with 120 points including 39 goals, 81 assists and an impressive plus/minus rating of plus-69 over just 53 games. His 2.14 point-per-game pace led the OHL and is the highest such figure by an OHL scoring champion since London’s Patrick Kane (2.50) in 2006-07. He becomes the first Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy recipient of European descent since Stan Mikita of the St. Catharines Teepees claimed the honour in 1958-59.

“Kubota Canada is thrilled to be the presenting sponsor for the OHL 2019-20 Top Scorer award. Even though the season was abbreviated, we saw some great performances this season and it gives me great pleasure on behalf of Kubota’s employees and the Kubota dealers across Canada to congratulate Marco Rossi as this year’s OHL Top Scorer!,” said Rob Allison, Director of Brand & Corporate Partnerships for Kubota Canada Ltd. “Well done, Marco!”

The 18-year-old from Feldkirch, Austria helped power the first place 67’s with the League’s top power play, rounding out the campaign with a total of 34 multi-point performances, 23 of which included three points or more. His top performances included a five assist showing on October 20th against Hamilton, another five point outing on November 17th in Sarnia and a career-high six point output on November 27th in Kingston. The 5-foot-9, 187Ib. centreman finished the schedule with an impressive 58.5% success rate in the faceoff circle and was held off the scoresheet just four times.

“Thank you to the Ontario Hockey League for awarding me the Eddie Powers Trophy,” said Rossi. “I am extremely grateful to receive this recognition. This award is truly a team award, and I want to thank the entire first-class 67’s organization for their support over the 2019-20 season.  From the ownership group, to the management staff, to the coaching staff, to the training staff, to my teammates, to my billeting family, to my immediate family, to the fans and to everyone who had a helping hand for me during this last season and the time leading up to it: Thank you! I am honored and forever grateful to receive this prestigious award.”

Rossi’s 120 points are the most by a 67’s player in a single season since Corey Locke (151) in 2002-03. His plus-69 rating is the fifth-highest by any player since the League began tracking plus/minus in 1996-97, trailing fellow 67’s Nick Boynton (plus 81, 1996-97) and Sean Blanchard (plus-74, 1996-97) as well as London’s Danny Syvret (plus-70, 2004-05) and Sault Ste. Marie’s Morgan Frost (plus-70, 2017-18).

“Marco plays a team game and the way that he shares the puck with his teammates was a pleasure to watch this season,” commented 67’s general manager James Boyd. “The fact that Marco was able to lead such a talented group of peers in league scoring, while maintaining the highest standard of defensive play, makes this achievement even more remarkable.”

The sixth-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings competed in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this past January in Hamilton. Rossi, who was named to the OHL’s second all-rookie team in 2018-19, has accumulated 185 points (68-117–185) over just 109 regular season games since being selected by the 67’s with the 18th overall pick of the 2018 CHL Import Draft. He was widely recognized in the 2019-20 OHL Coaches Poll, appearing in six different categories as he earned recognition as the Eastern Conference’s smartest player, best playmaker and best shootout shooter.

Rossi becomes the seventh player in 67’s franchise history to earn the award, following Tyler Toffoli (2011), two-time winner Corey Locke (2003, 2004), Andrew Cassels (1988), Jim Fox (1980), Bobby Smith (1978) and Blake Dunlop (1973). He follows other recent OHL standouts who won the award in their draft eligible seasons including Erie’s Dylan Strome (2015), Windsor’s Taylor Hall (2010), Plymouth’s Tyler Seguin (2010), London’s John Tavares (2009) and London’s Patrick Kane (2007).

The Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy was donated by the Toronto Marlboro Athletic Club in memory of Eddie Powers and was first awarded in 1945-46 to Tod Sloan of St. Michael’s who scored 79 points in 25 games.  Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs was last year’s recipient with 117 points in 62 games including 48 goals and 69 assists.  Other recent winners include Barrie’s Aaron Luchuk (2018), Erie’s Alex DeBrincat (2017) and Barrie’s Kevin Labanc (2016).

2020 OHL Awards announcements continue on Monday when the League announces its Matt Leyden Trophy recipient as OHL Coach of the Year.

For full coverage of the 2020 OHL Awards, be sure to visit ontariohockeyleague.com or follow along on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s – Player Profile

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 187 Pounds

Date of birth: September 23, 2001

Hometown: Feldkirch, Austria

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 18th overall, 2018 CHL Import Draft

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
A Prospect A Prospect 5 N.A.

6 N.A.

What do Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner and Michael Raffl all have in common? They are all Austrian born players to have played 470-plus games in the National Hockey League. Ottawa 67’s center Marco Rossi certainly has the potential to not only join that group, but also to be the best Austrian player to skate in the NHL.

As a 16-year-old during the 2017-2018 season, Rossi played in the Swiss Under-20 Elit League with the GCK Lions where he finished ninth in league scoring on 22 goals and 29 assists in 34 games. He would add 5 goals and 5 assists in 9 playoff games and his 10 points were tops in the league.

Selected with the 18th overall pick at the 2018 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, Rossi would make his way to North America and join the 67’s for the 2018-2019 season and he made quite the impact. Rossi appeared in 53 games, scoring 29 goals and 36 assists for 65 points. Among the Big-Three draft eligible forwards, Rossi, Cole Perfetti and Quinton Byfield, Rossi finished second in rookie scoring and named to the OHL’s Second All-Rookie Team. (Byfield won both OHL and CHL Rookie of the year). Rossi would add 6 goals and 17 helpers in 16 playoff games.

Rossi, Marco
Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s. Photo by OHL Images

Rossi would take things to another level this season. Shortened because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Rossi appeared in 56 games scoring 39 goals and adding 81 assists. Rossi led or was near the top on almost every statistical category among draft eligible players.

The 67’s had just six games remaining when the season was cancelled, so this is not a small sample size. Rossi led the entire league in assists, points and plus/minus, all by a comfortable margin.

Rossi is without question a top-5 talent for the upcoming draft and one could make the argument that top-3 might be the case. The issue that comes up when anyone talks about Rossi is the 5’9 size. NHL Central Scouting, and teams for that matter, gravitate towards players with size that can skate. The question I am asked most frequently is: If Rossi was 4 inches taller, could he challenge for top pick in the draft?

To me, the answer to that question is yes. I recently had a conversation with Brock Otten, who has his own must follow site, to talk about Quinton Byfield (among other things) and posed that very same question to Brock. You can have a listen below.

Half way through the season, I was told on many occasions Rossi could not sustain his 22% shooting percentage through the entire season and that a serious regression towards the league average was due. Well, he finished the season at 20.2%. Players that were ahead of him like Damien Giroux and Joseph Garreffa saw their shooting percentage drop by three times as much as Rossi. That said, if you watched enough of Rossi last season and this season, you’ll see that one of the most improved assets he has is his shot. He has worked hard in improving his quickness on his release and gained confidence in his shooting ability.

Rossi was always the greatest of skaters, but like his shot, he put in the necessary work to improve. And the difference is night and day. He has superb agility and his edgework is outstanding. He has an excellent ability to change gears. His strength on his feet has also improved and is increasingly difficult to knock off balance, despite his size. He can weave through and dissect defences just with his skating. He is also a possession beast with the puck on his stick.

Rossi is not a full speed ahead north-south player. In fact, he is more of an east-west type player who looks to break defences apart, draw players towards him and then use his patience, vision, possession skills and superb passing abilities to set up teammates for high percentage scoring plays. And without the puck he is elusive, finds open areas of the ice and makes himself an available option. He even goes to the front without the puck.

All the things I’ve mentioned make Rossi a dangerous offensive force, so just imagine how dangerous he is with space on the powerplay. He can run the powerplay from the half wall or he can run it from anywhere else in the offensive zone. With just 7 powerplay markers on the season it’s easy to see he is more of the set-up guy then the shooter – he finished second only to Ryan Merkley on powerplay helpers and powerplay assists per game.

With a September 23 birthdate, Rossi is also further along in his development then his peers – he missed last years draft class by just 8 days so, there should be no doubt that Rossi is one of the better 200-foot players in the draft class.

Rossi is the go-to-guy when the 67’s are down a man. His PK skills are bordering on elite. When leading with a minute to go in the game, he’s the guy coaches look to send over the boards first to protect that lead. His attention to detail when defending is at the same level as it is offensively. His positioning is excellent, he takes lanes away with his stick, and few come back on the backcheck as hard as he does.

Finally, I would like to address the size. Rossi doesn’t play like he’s 5’9”, in fact he plays much bigger. He is usually the first guy on the forecheck with a motor that never quits. He won’t shy away from contact and is always willing to battle against much bigger opponents, and yes, he comes away with the puck more then his fair share of the time. And as mentioned earlier, Rossi is not shy about going to the net.

Many people think he may be better suited to play wing at the NHL level because of his size. And that may be the case. But I think the opportunity has to be given to him to show he can handle the riggers of playing down the m idle in the NHL. The playmaking skills, the commitment to the defensive game are their, as well as being an elite faceoff man.

Rossi’s upside is that of a first line center. At worst, he can be a third line pivot who could turn into an elite penalty killer, take on defensive responsibilities and provide some offence.

Have a listen to my chat with Brock:

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Year

First off, I want to begin by saying I hope you are all safe and healthy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We all have to do our part to keep our families, our friends, our neighbours and ourselves from catching and spreading this terrible virus.

We don’t know when hockey will return, and for this piece here, we don’t know when the National Hockey League Draft will take place and how exactly the NHL will conduct the draft or how the draft order will be set. But here at OHLW, we will continue to bring you the usual content regarding the draft as we will get through this and it will eventually take place.

Our draft eligible player of the year isn’t always a reflection of the player we believe should be the first Ontario Hockey League player selected at the draft, but rather the player that performed the best from the first drop of the puck to the final horn of the season.

This year, for us, that player is Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s.

Rossi, Marco
Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s. Photo by OHL Images

Rossi led the entire OHL in assists (81) and points (120) and finished tenth in goals (39) en route to capturing the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy for most points on the season. He also led the entire league in plus/minus with a plus-69, and finished second in powerplay assists (31).

Rossi was named in the recent Coaches Poll as the Eastern Conference’s smartest player, best playmaker and best shootout shooter. He finished second in the voting as best on face-offs and defensive forward. He was voted as the third best penalty killer by the coaches.

On three occasions, November, December and February, Rossi was selected our draft eligible player of the month. The quest for perfection was interrupted twice by a player we gave consideration here to: Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit.

Perfetti finished second only to Rossi in the OHL scoring race with 111 points and assists (74). It’s the first time since the 2014-2015 season when teammates Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters that draft eligible players finished one-two in the OHL scoring race. Prior to those two accomplishing the feat, you’d have to go back to 2009-2010 when Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin both finished with 106 points and went one-two respectively at the NHL Draft.

We also gave some quick consideration to London Knights’ netminder Brett Brochu. In a season where there were more questions then answers coming into the season, Brochu took to the crease and ran with it. He set an OHL record with 32 wins for a first year netminder on lost just 6 games on the year. Not bad for a goaltender not ranked on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch Lists or mid-term rankings!

OHL ANNOUNCES 2019-20 REGULAR SEASON AWARD WINNERS

OHL awards

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the recipients of four of the league’s annual awards following the conclusion of the 2019-20 regular season.

Offensively, 2020 NHL Draft prospect Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s captured the League’s scoring title earning the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy, while Los Angeles Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs is the recipient of the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy for Top Scoring Right Winger.  Recognizing defensive efforts, the goaltending tandem of the team with the fewest goals against goes to Ottawa 67’s Cedrick Andree and Will Cranley who earn the Dave Pinkney Trophy, while Brett Brochu of the London Knights claims the F.W “Dinty” Moore Trophy as the rookie with the best goals-against average.

Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Scoring Champion): Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67’s

Marco Rossi finished atop the regular season scoring charts earning the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy with a CHL-leading 120 points including 39 goals, 81 assists and an impressive plus/minus rating of plus-69 over just 53 games. His 2.14 point-per-game pace led the OHL and is the highest such figure by an OHL scoring champion since London’s Patrick Kane (2.50) in 2006-07. He becomes the first Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy recipient of European descent in the award’s 74-year history.

The 18-year-old from Feldkirch, Austria helped power the first place 67’s with the League’s top power play, rounding out the campaign with a total of 34 multi-point performances, 23 of which included three points or more. His top performances included a five assist showing on October 20th against Hamilton, another five point outing on November 17th in Sarnia and a career-high six point output on November 27th in Kingston. The 5-foot-9, 187Ib. centreman finished the season with an impressive 58.5% success rate in the faceoff circle.

The fifth-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Draft Rankings competed in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this past January in Hamilton. Rossi, who was named to the OHL’s second all-rookie team in 2018-19, has accumulated 185 points (68-117–185) over just 109 regular season games since being selected by the 67’s with the 18th overall pick of the 2018 CHL Import Draft.

Rossi becomes the seventh player in 67’s franchise history to earn the award, following Tyler Toffoli (2011), two-time winner Corey Locke (2003, 2004), Andrew Cassels (1988), Jim Fox (1980), Bobby Smith (1978) and Blake Dunlop (1973). He follows other recent OHL standouts who won the award in their draft eligible seasons including Erie’s Dylan Strome (2015), Windsor’s Taylor Hall (2010), Plymouth’s Tyler Seguin (2010), London’s John Tavares (2009) and London’s Patrick Kane (2007).

The Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy was donated by the Toronto Marlboro Athletic Club in memory of Eddie Powers and was first awarded in 1945-46 to Tod Sloan of St. Michael’s who scored 79 points in 25 games.  Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs was last year’s recipient with 117 points in 62 games including 48 goals and 69 assists.  Other recent winners include Barrie’s Aaron Luchuk (2018), Erie’s Alex DeBrincat (2017) and Barrie’s Kevin Labanc (2016).

Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy (Top Scoring Right Winger): Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton Bulldogs

Los Angeles Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs finished fifth in OHL scoring but led all right wingers with 98 points including 44 goals and 54 assists in 57 games.

The 18-year-old from Staten Island, NY became the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in both career points (248) and goals (126) this past season, leading the team offensively while setting a new single season club mark for assists with 54.

Kaliyev was the OHL’s Player of the Month for October. His season was highlighted by 29 different multi-point performances including a career-high five-point effort on January 9th in Niagara. The former second round (26th overall) pick of the Bulldogs in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection finished with the League’s second-highest total of 288 shots on goal as he becomes the first Hamilton player in OHL history to earn the award.

Kaliyev, who was a second team all-star in 2018-19 and represented the United States at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, was a second round (33rd overall) pick by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2019 NHL Draft. He follows in the footsteps of former long-time Kings forward Jim Fox (Ottawa 67’s, 1979-80) as well as recent Kings winger Tyler Toffoli (Ottawa 67’s, 2011-12) in winning the award.

The Jim Mahon Trophy was first presented following the 1971-72 season by the players and management of the Peterborough Petes in memory of their right winger Jim Mahon who was accidentally killed that summer.  Justin Brazeau of the North Bay Battalion was last year’s recipient with 113 points in 68 games scoring 61 goals with 52 assists.  Recent winners also include Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting in 2018, Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters in 2017, Kevin Labanc of the Barrie Colts in 2016, and Mitch Marner of the London Knights in 2015.

Dave Pinkney Trophy (Lowest Team Goals Against): Cedrick Andree and Will Cranley, Ottawa 67’s

The Ottawa 67’s allowed the fewest goals in the OHL for the second straight season, surrendering just 164 over a 62-game schedule backstopped by the tandem of Cedrick Andree and Will Cranley.

Andree and Cranley guided the 67’s to a second consecutive Hamilton Spectator Trophy as OHL regular season champions as Ottawa played to an overall record of 50-11-0-1 for 101 points. It marks the third time in franchise history that the Barber Poles have won 50 games and the fifth time they’ve finished first overall in the regular season standings.

Andree finished with the League’s second-lowest goals-against average of 2.42, second-highest win total of 32 as part of a 32-9-0-1 record along with a .916 save percentage and four shutouts over 43 games. The 19-year-old from Orleans, Ont. was a 12th round (232nd overall) pick by the club in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. He claimed the Pinkney Trophy alongside Michael DiPietro in 2018-19 and becomes the first back-to-back recipient since Mississauga’s JP Anderson won consecutively in 2010 and 2011.

Cranley, who appeared in just 11 games with the 67’s in 2018-19, went an impressive 18-2-0-0 with a 2.81 goals-against average, .894 save percentage and four shutouts over 21 appearances. His 18 wins are the most by a 67’s designated rookie since Lukas Mensator (26) in 2002-03 while his four shutouts are the most by a 67’s designated rookie since Levente Szuper had just as many in 1998-99.  The 18-year-old from Peterborough, Ont. was a second round (35th overall) pick by Ottawa in 2018 and was the 16th ranked North American goaltender on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings released in mid-January.

This marks the seventh time the 67’s have led the league with the fewest goals against. They become the first back-to-back winners of the award since the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors claimed the honours in both 2010 and 2011. It marks the second time that Ottawa has won the award in consecutive seasons as a trio of Craig Hillier, Seamus Kotyk and Tim Keyes combined to earn the distinction in both 1997 and 1998. Other 67’s netminders with their names engraved on the trophy include Darren Pang (1983-84), Greg Coram (1983-84), Jim Ralph (1980-81) and Michal Larocque (1971-72).

The Dave Pinkney Trophy is awarded annually to the goaltending tandem from the team that allows the fewest goals against during the regular season.

F.W. “Dinty” Moore Trophy (Best Rookie GAA): Brett Brochu, London Knights

Brett Brochu of the London Knights capped off his record-breaking season with the best goals-against-average among OHL rookie goaltenders at 2.40, the lowest figure among recipients since 2012-13.

The 17-year-old product of Tilbury, Ont. suited up in 42 games with the Knights this season, posting a 32-6-0-0 record with the league’s lowest goals-against average and third-highest save percentage of .919. His 32 wins on the year came one short of the League lead and set a new record for the most victories by a 16 or 17-year-old first-year goaltender in OHL history, surpassing the previous mark set by John Vanbiesbrouck (Sault Ste. Marie, 1980-81) and Andrew Loverock (Mississauga, 2006-07).

Brochu was recognized as OHL Rookie and Goaltender of the Month in January and was awarded the League’s top goaltender honours once again in February. A sixth round pick of the Knights in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection out of the Chatham-Kent Cyclones Minor Midget program, Brochu spent the 2018-19 season with the PJHL’s Dresden Jr. Kings where was named Stobbs Division Rookie of the Year with a 27-11-0 record, 2.46 goals-against average and .915 save percentage over 38 regular season games. He proceeded to go 6-5 in the playoffs with a 2.10 goals-against average, a .931 save percentage and two shutouts.

Brochu becomes the fourth Knight to earn the distinction after former teammate Jordan Kooy (3.11 GAA in 2017-18), Ryan MacDonald (2.06 GAA in 2003-04), Sean Basilio (3.65 GAA in 1989-90), and Barry Heard (3.28 GAA in 1976-77).

The trophy is named after F.W. “Dinty” Moore of Port Colborne, Ont., who served as OHA President from 1942-45. In order to qualify for this rookie award, a goaltender must play a minimum of 900 minutes. Last year’s recipient was Sault Ste. Marie’s Ethan Taylor with a 3.24 goals-against average.

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Month for February

Much like it was for us in the month of January, selecting one performance over another  for our draft eligible player of the month was a difficult task once again in February. And this time, we have a different outcome.

Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s becomes the third time winner as our choice as the top performer among players eligible for the National Hockey League Draft.

Rossi, who leads the Ontario Hockey League in assists (73) and points (108) appeared in 13 games through the month of February and tallied 6 goals to go along with 17 assists. Despite putting up amazing offensive numbers in those 13 games, Rossi was only named a game’s star twice, receiving 1 first star honor and one second star mention.

Rossi, Marco
Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s. Photo by OHL Images

Following close behind Rossi was teammate Jack Quinn who potted 8 goals while assisting on 11 others through February. But unlike Rossi, the powers at be found Quinn to do enough to be named the game’s second star on 4 different occasions.

Also considered was Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit with 8 goals and 11 assists in 11 games. Honorable mention has to go to James Hardie of the Mississauga Steelheads with 6 goals and 7 assists in 10 games and Kingston Frontenacs’ Zayde Wisdom with 7 goals and 9 assists in 13 games played.

In goal, Brett Brochu continues to shine. Brochu appeared in 8 games with a 7-1-0-0 record while stopping 244 of 264 shots for an impressive .924 save percentage and a 2.38 goals-against-average.

OHL Writers Draft Eligible Players of the Month

February – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

January – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

December – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

November – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

October – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Month for January

In the years that I have been doing this, I don’t ever recall a month like January where so many players could have been chosen our Draft Eligible Player of the Month. Tyson Foerster, Luke Evangelista, Brett Brochu, James Hardie, Ty Tullio, Jack Quinn, Marco Rossi, Cole Perfetti and Quinton Byfield were all, for different reasons, deserving.

Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

We settled on Mr Consistency, Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit for the second time this season.

Through 13 games in the month of January, Perfetti found the back of the net 8 times while assisting on 21 others and finishing a plus-16. He was held off the score sheet just once, a January 15th matchup against the Soo Greyhounds. In the 12 remaining contests, 9 were multi point games.

Perfetti was named the game’s first star 3 times and the game’s third star twice. But let’s not get into the Ontario Hockey League’s three-star selection process.

Serious consideration was given to London Knights netminder Brendan Brochu. The rookie keeper appeared in 9 games in January winning all of them while posting a sparkling 1.89 goals-against-average and a .940 save-percentage.

Foerster appeared in 11 games scoring 8 goals and assisting on 9 others. Evangelista scored 6 goals and 11 assists in 11 games, Hardie 12 goals and 8 assists in 11 games, Tullio 7 goals and 9 assists in 13 games, Quinn 17 goals and 7 assists in 12 games, Rossi 6 goals and 16 assists in 12 games and Byfield 7 goals and 6 assists in 7 games.

OHL Writers Draft Eligible Players of the Month

January – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

December – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

November – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

October – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

OHL THIS WEEK: JANUARY 16 TO 19, 2020

OHL This Week

THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2020

Toronto, Ont. – It’s a special Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game edition of the OHL This Week. Here’s the scoop on what’s happening Thursday in Hamilton into a full weekend of OHL action with nine games on both Friday and Saturday.

KUBOTA CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME SET FOR THURSDAY IN HAMILTON:
The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game returns to Ontario on Thursday January 16th in Hamilton as 40 of the Canadian Hockey League’s top draft eligible players bring fans and scouts out to see a best-on-best competition.
READ MORE / PHOTO GALLERY – TOP PROSPECTS ARRIVE IN HAMILTON

THE BOOK ON THE OHL’S TOP PROSPECTS WITH NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING DIRECTOR DAN MARR:
NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr provides his insights on four of the OHL’s top prospects ahead of the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He takes a closer look at Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, Erie’s Jamie Drysdale, Saginaw’s Cole Perfetti and Ottawa’s Marco Rossi.
WATCH

RISING STARS BYFIELD AND DRYSDALE ENJOYING THE RIDE TOGETHER:
NHL Central Scouting’s second and third ranked North American skaters Quinton Byfield and Jamie Drysdale are enjoying the journey to the 2020 NHL Draft together. The two Canadian National Junior Team gold medalists are competing in the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
READ MORE

STING’S PERREAULT DRAWING FROM PRO INFLUENCES:
It’s amazing what kind of wisdom can be drawn from a combined 43 years of National Hockey League experience, just ask Sarnia Sting forward Jacob Perreault, who continues to benefit from a well-travelled trifecta of hockey influencers.
READ MORE

PERFETTI DOING BIG THINGS IN SAGINAW:
Coming off a tremendous rookie campaign, Saginaw Spirit sophomore Cole Perfetti has an opportunity to be the first player in club history to go top-10 at the NHL Draft.
READ MORE

57 OHL PLAYERS INCLUDED ON NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING’S MIDTERM DRAFT RANKINGS:
Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, Erie’s Jamie Drysdale, Saginaw’s Cole Perfetti and Ottawa’s Marco Rossi account for four of the top five ranked North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting Midterms.All 20 of the OHL’s member teams feature at least one player included on the list, with the Soo Greyhounds (7), Windsor Spitfires (6), Erie Otters (5) and Guelph Storm (5) leading the way.
FULL RANKINGS

67’s, SPITFIRES AND PETES IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s remain the top-ranked team in the CHL this week while the Windsor Spitfires and Peterborough Petes round out the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Kitchener Rangers and Saginaw Spirit remain honourable mentions for a second straight week.
FULL RANKINGS

COSKEY, TOMASINO AND MERKLEY NAMED TO VAUGHN CHL TEAM OF THE WEEK:
Saginaw’s Cole Coskey, Oshawa’s Philip Tomasino and London’s Ryan Merkley have been named to the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week.
READ MORE

GENERALS’ TOMASINO NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Nashville Predators prospect Philip Tomasino of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending January 12th. Tomasino earns the award for the second time this season after making his mark in his first weekend as a General. He put up three consecutive two-goal performances in wins over Windsor, Sarnia and Peterborough.
READ MORE

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK – JANUARY 15, 2020:
Without further ado, we present a red hot edition of Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week, featuring some of the nicest goals scored across the League this season. The newest Oshawa General Philip Tomasino gets things started shorthanded on the back hand before Sudbury Wolves addition Matej Pekar shows off the eyes in the back of his head. Erie’s Jamie Drysdale puts his best moves on display with a nifty centering feed for Austen Swankler and London Knights star Connor McMichael wows us with a between the legs beauty. Flint’s Ty Dellandrea finishes things off with an unassisted, shorthanded overtime game winner.
WATCH

VAUGHN SAVES OF THE WEEK – JANUARY 14, 2020:
It’s that time again. Let’s roll back the tape for Vaughn Saves, featuring the best saves across the Ontario Hockey League. Press play and check out the fine work of Owen Sound’s Mack Guzda, Windsor’s Kari Piiroinen, Ottawa’s Cedrick Andree, Soo’s Bailey Brkin, Hamilton’s Zachary Roy, Oshawa’s Jordan Kooy, Sudbury’s Mitchell Weeks, Mississauga’s Kai Edmonds, Windsor’s Xavier Medina and Niagara’s Andrew MacLean.
WATCH

CHL SHOWDOWN – WEEK ENDING JANUARY 12, 2020:
Flint Firebirds forward Ty Dellandrea is the OHL’s representative in this week’s CHL Showdown featuring one great play from all three leagues.
WATCH & VOTE AT CHLSHOWDOWN.CA

FOUR PLAYERS SCORE FIRST OHL GOALS:
Sudbury’s Adam Samuelsson, Hamilton’s Gavin White, Niagara’s A.J. Cook and Mississauga’s Rylan Bowers all scored first career OHL goals this past week.
WATCH

OHL WEEKEND NOTEBOOK – JANUARY 13, 2020:
The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice. Here are 10 of the leading stories from this past weekend.
READ MORE

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Quinte Red Devils are on top of the rankings for a sixth consecutive week while the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Toronto Titans, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and Toronto Nationals continue to trail in spots two through five. The Southern Tier Admirals are up one slot to sixth  while the Vaughan Kings continue to trend in the right direction, rising to ninth ahead of the Toronto Marlboros who round out the Top 10.
FULL RANKINGS

#PLAYERSFIRST – OHL SUPPORT AND PLAYER WELFARE:
The OHL takes extreme pride in the player environment and fostering a safe place for young men to develop both as hockey players and as people. Saginaw Spirit graduate Kris Bennett, who now plays U SPORTS Men’s Hockey at the University of New Brunswick, shares how the OHL #TalkToday program positively impacted his time in the League.
FACT OF THE WEEK / ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

5 QUESTIONS WITH OTTAWA 67’s FORWARD MARCO ROSSI:
Ever since joining the Canadian Hockey League last season as the 18th overall pick in the 2018 Import Draft, Austrian forward Marco Rossi has been one to watch for the Ottawa 67’s. He quickly developed into one of the league’s elite offensive playmakers and not only leads the Ontario Hockey League in scoring but has solidified himself as a top prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft.
READ MORE

PETES HONOUR COLIN CAMPBELL WITH BANNER RAISING CEREMONY:
The Peterborough Petes paid tribute to former defenceman, long-time NHL player and executive Colin Campbell on Saturday night prior to a 4-0 shutout win over the Ottawa 67’s. A native of Tillsonburg, Ont., Campbell was a part of Peterborough’s 1972 Robertson Cup championship squad alongside familiar names in Bob Gainey, Stan Jonathan and Doug Jarvis.
WATCH

TOP 2020 NHL DRAFT PROSPECT JAN MYSAK COMMITS TO BULLDOGS:
The Hamilton Bulldogs have received a commitment from top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Jan Mysak, who comes off representing his native Czech Republic at the 2020 World Juniors. The 17-year-old had registered nine points (5-4–9) through 26 games with the HC Litvinov Czech Extraliga squad this season and was the ninth-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting’s International Midterm Rankings.
READ MORE

NHL DRAFT PROSPECT NICK MALIK COMMITS TO GREYHOUNDS:
The Soo Greyhounds have received a commitment from 17-year-old Czech netminder Nick Malik who they selected in the first round of the 2019 CHL Import Draft. Malik represented the Czech Republic this past Christmas at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship along with fellow Greyhound Jaromir Pytlik. One year ago he was a member of his home country’s entry at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
READ MORE

RYLAN BOWERS COMMITS TO STEELHEADS:
The Mississauga Steelheads have received a commitment from 2018 12th round OHL Priority Selection choice Rylan Bowers. The 17-year-old has appeared in 33 games with the Listowel Cyclones (GOJHL) this season and registered 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists). The Komoka, Ontario native was selected to represent his minor hockey association at the OHL Gold Cup in 2018, where he recorded 1 point (1 goal) over 4 games.
READ MORE

WOLVES ADD BYFIELD TO LEADERSHIP GROUP:
The Sudbury Wolves announced prior to Sunday’s game against Mississauga that Quinton Byfield will serve as an alternate captain with the club. Byfield recently returned from the World Junior Championship where he won gold with Team Canada. The 17-year-old Newmarket, Ont. native leads the Wolves in scoring with 63 points in 32 games this season including 25 goals. The highly ranked NHL prospect has already surpassed his point totals from his rookie season in half the number of games.
READ MORE

SPITFIRES GRAD SLATER DOGGETT NAMED U SPORTS TOP 8 ACADEMIC ALL-CANADIAN:
U SPORTS announced Thursday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2018-19 season. Among them, Queen’s Gaels men’s hockey star Slater Doggett was recognized with the honour. Doggett played three OHL seasons between the Kingston Frontenacs and Windsor Spitfires from 2012-15.
READ MORE

RANGERS CHIEF OPERATION OFFICER STEVE BIENKOWSKI TO RETIRE IN JUNE 2020:
After 18 years as the Kitchener Rangers Chief Operating Officer & Governor, Steve Bienkowski has announced his plan to retire in June 2020. Bienkowski became the Rangers first Chief Operating Officer in addition to its permanent OHL Governor in 2002 after serving six years on the Rangers Executive Committee. Synonymous with professionalism on and off the ice, he has been essential to the Rangers success for nearly 40 years.
READ MORE

DATES UNVEILED FOR 13TH ANNUAL OHF/OHL U15 PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE CAMPS:
The dates are set for the 13th annual OHF/OHL U15 Program of Excellence Camps. Held in April and May of this year across Ontario, the camps will focus on a variety of on and off-ice sessions, helping to ensure players are provided with the most up-to-date development strategies.  
READ MORE

ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR COMES TO HAMILTON:
The Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is in Hamilton on Thursday, followed by the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour as hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone share Steeltown’s best hockey stories. OHL grads Shayne Corson and Steve Thomas will be on hand for the weekend.
FULL SCHEDULE AT HOMETOWNHOCKEY.COM

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Quinton Byfield launches Q’s Kids: Top NHL Draft prospect Quinton Byfield has partnered with NEO Kids Foundation for his new Q’s Kids initiative. Ahead of his gold medal performance with the Canada’s National Junior Team, Quinton invited three NEO kids and their families to a Sudbury Wolves game as his special guests, and has plans to host many more families over the course of the second half of the season. As part of the program, Byfield will continue to invite families to games, providing tickets, popcorn, and special shirts for the kids. Byfield will meet with the families, sign autographs, and join them on a tour of the dressing room following the game.
READ MORE AT SUDBURYWOLVES.COM

Firebirds tour Ottawa Senators facility: During their day off on Thursday ahead of Friday’s tilt with the Ottawa 67’s, the Firebirds were welcomed to the Canadian Tire Centre for a behind-the-scenes look at the Ottawa Senators’ digs as former OHL Coach of the Year D.J. Smith provided a tour.
PHOTO GALLERY AT FLINTFIREBIRDS.COM

Knights to honour Patrick Kane with jersey retirement on Friday: The London Knights will retire Patrick Kane’s number 88 prior to puck drop on Friday when they play host to the Sudbury Wolves. Kane, who was named CHL Rookie of the Year following a 145-point season in 2006-07, has gone on to put up nearly 1,000 points over 951 career NHL contests over 13 seasons, hoisting the Stanley Cup three different times.
READ MORE

Toonie Hot Dog Day in Ottawa: Fans coming out to Saturday afternoon’s tilt with the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs at TD Place will be able to purchase hot dogs for a toonie. The 67’s examined five reasons to attend Saturday’s game.
FULL INFO AT OTTAWA67s.COM

Bell Let’s Talk Night, SickKids Night in Peterborough: Saturday’s clash with the Flint Firebirds will be the Peterborough Petes’ Bell Let’s Talk Game, aimed at recognizing the initiative’s tenth anniversary and continuing to encourage meaningful conversation around mental health. The first 2,000 fans will receive toques courtesy of Bell Let’s Talk, and clappers will be available at their booth during the game. The Niagara IceDogs will be visiting the Petes this Sunday in a makeup game for the previously scheduled Dec. 14. matchup. SickKids night will see a pre-game ceremony featuring Oliver, a local boy who has been treated at SickKids for Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. There will also be a chuck-a-puck during the second intermission where proceeds from all pucks purchased will support SickKids. Fans will also be able to attend a post-game skate where Petes players will be signing autographs and have availability for photos.
MORE DETAILS AT GOPETESGO.COM

IceDogs host Blood Drive in honour of Tucker Tynan: On Jan. 28, the Niagara IceDogs will be hosting a Blood Drive at the St. Catharines Blood Donor Clinic with goaltender Tucker Tynan in mind. People are welcome to attend between 3-7 pm, and attendees will receive a $2 voucher to any upcoming IceDogs home game.
READ MORE AT NIAGARAICEDOGS.NET

Rangers join goaltender Jacob Ingham for ’68’ Blood Drive: Join Kitchener Rangers goaltender #68, Jacob Ingham, and support Hockey Gives Blood and Canadian Blood Services by making a donation during the Rangers’ 68 Blood Drive. Starting January 24th and running until March 31st, fans can sign up under the Kitchener Rangers team ID to make a donation on behalf of Ingham.
FULL INFORMATION AT KITCHENERRANGERS.COM

ALUMNI NOTES:

DeBoer takes over as head coach in Vegas: The Vegas Golden Knights hired former two-time OHL Coach of the Year Peter DeBoer as their new head coach on Wednesday, replacing Gerard Gallant behind the bench. DeBoer, who began the season as head coach of the San Jose Sharks, takes over at the helm in Vegas with a Golden Knights club that is currently 24-19-6 for fifth in the Pacific Division. The 51-year-old native of Dunnville, Ont. coached in the OHL from 1993-2008, winning three OHL Championships and a Memorial Cup along the way. He’s worked in the NHL since 2008-09, holding down jobs with Florida, New Jersey, San Jose and now Vegas.

Spezza plays in 1100th NHL contest: OHL graduate Jason Spezza suited up in his 1,100th career NHL game on Tuesday, recording an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New Jersey Devils 7-4. The 36-year-old Spezza has played parts of 17 NHL seasons since he was the second overall pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2001 NHL Draft. Spezza, who played in the OHL as an underage player, played five seasons between Brampton, Mississauga, Windsor and Belleville from 1998-2002. He’s accumulated 933 points (338-595–933) over his 1,100 game NHL regular season career.

Wilson becomes youngest forward in Caps franchise history to play 500 games: OHL graduate Tom Wilson suited up in his 500th career NHL contest on Monday, becoming the youngest forward in Capitals franchise history to do so. The 25-year-old Toronto, Ont. native had an assist as the Caps defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. Wilson was Washington’s first round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The big power winger played three OHL seasons with the Plymouth Whalers from 2010-13, recording 91 points (35-56–91) over 125 regular season games. Wilson has 31 points (13-18–31) over 46 games in Washington this season.

Bunnaman scores first NHL goal: Former Kitchener Rangers captain Connor Bunnaman scored his first career NHL goal with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. The 21-year-old from Guelph, Ont. has appeared in six games with the Flyers this season after registering five points (4-1–5) through 21 games with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Bunnaman, who was Philadelphia’s fourth round pick in 2016, played four seasons in Kitchener from 2014-18.

Smith scores first NHL goal: Kitchener Rangers graduate Givani Smith scored his first career NHL goal on Tuesday. The Detroit Red Wings forward found the back of the net in a loss to the New York Islanders. Smith has played in 11 games and recorded a pair of points in the process. The former second round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft spent last season and the beginning of this season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. He played four OHL seasons between the Barrie Colts, Guelph Storm and Kitchener Rangers from 2014-18.

Griffith taking his best shots in AHL: London Knights graduate Seth Griffith got some good advice from his dad Brian over the offseason, getting to work on improving his shot. The 27-year-old Wallaceburg, Ont. native has racked up 32 points, including 18 goals over 39 games with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose this season, affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. Griffith, who won back-to-back OHL Championships in London in 2012 and 2013, has now spent seven seasons in the pro ranks, appearing in 79 NHL contests along the way. He was originally a fifth round pick of the Boston Bruins in 2012 in the midst of a four-year career in London. The Winnipeg Free Press’ Mike Sawatzky has more.
READ MORE AT WINNIPEGFREEPRESS.COM

 

KEY MATCHUPS:

Sudbury Wolves at London Knights
Friday, January 17th

The Central Division leaders are heading to London on Friday, with Sudbury hungry for what could be their first win over the London Knights in five years.

Newest member of the Wolves, Matej Pekar, has proven to be a strong addition. His welcome party last weekend included seven points in three games, notably five assists in Friday’s 8-2 blowout of the North Bay Battalion.

Since rejoining the lineup following his gold medal performance at the World Juniors, newly appointed alternate captain Quinton Byfield put up six points of his own last weekend, and also put forth a five-point showing in front of the Troops that saw two goals and three assists, earning him OHL first star honours on the night.

With regards to the guys in green, Connor McMichael will look to follow up on last weekend’s flashy performance. His seven point total over the course of a three-in-three included a hat trick in Saturday’s tilt against Saginaw, as well as a flashy between-the-legs display in one of two goals he put past the Soo Greyhounds as part of a 7-1 victory. Columbus Blue Jackets draftee Liam Foudy and San Jose Sharks first rounder Ryan Merkley both put up six points.

The Knights, who tie the Kitchener Rangers at 54 points and just one point back of the Western Conference leading Windsor Spitfires, hold a 9-0-0-0 record over the course of the last five seasons against the Wolves. This will be the second and final meetup of the two clubs this season.

Saginaw Spirit at Windsor Spitfires
Sunday, January 19th

It’s a tilt we’re familiar with. The battle of the top of the West Division will see the visiting Saginaw Spirit face off against the conference-leading Windsor Spitfires Sunday afternoon.

The Spits took lead of the conference once again following their overtime win over the Kitchener Rangers, who trail just one point back of first in the Midwest. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Tyler Angle continues to lead all Windsor skaters with 46 points (21-25-46) to his name, and Nashville Predators pick Egor Afanasyev, last Sunday’s overtime hero, sits directly behind with 45 points (18-27-45).

Over on Saginaw’s side, New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey will be skating in off a five-goal weekend, and top NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti will look to see his point streak reach a 12th game.

The sixth of eight matchups on the season, both clubs are no stranger to the depth on either side. The Spits will, however, see a new opponent in Carolina Hurricanes prospect Ryan Suzuki, who joined the Spirit last week and registered three assists in two games.

The Spirit currently hold a 3-2-0-0 tally against the Spits. Last season’s eight-game regular season series between the two proved to be an even one, with a 4-4-0-0 record on Windsor’s side and a 4-3-1-0 record in favour of Saginaw.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Thursday January 16th:
Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Hamilton, Ont. – 7:00pm on Sportsnet and NHL Network

Friday January 17th:
Hamilton at Kingston – 7:00pm
Barrie at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at Ottawa – 7:00pm
Erie at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Saginaw at Soo – 7:07pm
Owen Sound at Guelph – 7:30pm
North Bay at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Sudbury at London – 7:30pm
Mississauga at Oshawa – 7:35pm

Saturday January 18th:
Hamilton at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sudbury at Sarnia – 4:05pm
Kitchener at Guelph – 7:00pm
North Bay at Niagara – 7:00pm
Flint at Peterborough – 7:05pm
Soo at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Erie at Windsor – 7:05pm
Mississauga at Barrie – 7:30pm
Oshawa at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday January 19th:
Flint at Kingston – 2:00pm
Guelph at Kitchener – 2:00pm
Erie at London – 2:00pm
Saginaw at Windsor – 2:05pm
Niagara at Peterborough – 2:05pm
Ottawa at Oshawa – 6:05pm