OHL Writers Draft Eligible Player of the Month for October

Ryan Abraham of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

Because COVID cancelled the entire 2020-2021 season meaning a large number of Ontario Hockey League players were about to go into the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft as draft re-entries, we did things a little differently here at OHL Writers.

In years past, we always name our Draft Eligible Player of the Month. But because of the sheer number of players eligible last season, we decided that would name a draft eligible forward, defencemen and goaltender. Many of you had written to us to let us know you preferred it that way and asking us to keep it the same going forward. So, here we are doing just that!

Of course, this is the first full month of the season, so this is our first list of the season. Here we go:

Draft Eligible Forward of the Month: Ryan Abraham – Windsor Spitfires

Windsor Spitfires center Ryan Abraham is a draft re-entry who had a phenomenal month of October. His 18 points in 12 games (6 goals, 12 helpers) led all draft eligible players and third best in the OHL. The 5’8”, 168-pound pivot had 6 multi point games, including 5-consecutive to close out the month. His 58.2% in the faceoff circle was second among draft eligible players.

Also considered was Saginaw Spirit forward Calem Mongone. Through 13 games, Mongone has 4 goals and 12 assists. His 16 points ranks him third among Spirit players in scoring and second among draft eligible players.

Draft Eligible Defenceman of the Month: Hunter Brzustewicz – Kitchener Rangers

On defence we chose none other than Hunter Brzustewicz of the Kitchener Rangers. Despite not scoring a goal, his prowess with setting up his teammates set him apart with 13 points (all assists of course) in just 11 games. That’s tops for draft eligible defencemen and third in the entire league among all defencemen. The 6-foot 188-pound blueliner is second in scoring on his squad as well.

Also considered was Chas Sharpe of the Mississauga Steelheads. Sharpe had 2 goals and 9 assists in 12 games in October and trails only Brzustewicz in points among draft eligible defencemen.

Draft Eligible Goaltender of the Month: Collin MacKenzie – Ottawa 67’s

This was not an easy choice, but we chose Collin MacKenzie because he has a perfect 4-0-0 record and led all draft eligible goaltenders with a 1.36 goals-against-average and .942 save percentage. I will agree playing on an Ottawa team that looks unbeatable for now has helped in terms of number of pucks he has faced and the quality of shots, he has also looked the part.

Also considered was Mason Vaccari of the Kingston Frontenacs who posted a 3-0-0 record to go along with a 2.00 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage.

Advertisement

24 OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO HOCKEY CANADA UNDER-17 ROSTER FOR INAUGURAL CAPITAL CITY CHALLENGE

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to congratulate 24 OHL players named by Hockey Canada to the Under-17 roster set to participate at the inaugural Capital City Challenge, a four-team tournament featuring three men’s under-17 teams and Canada’s National Women’s Team to take place November 26 to December 1 at TD Place in Ottawa.

The 66 players named to compete in the event will be divided into three teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White – and will compete against Canada’s National Women’s Team as part of its centralization schedule. The rosters for Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red and Team Canada White will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

The under-17 roster was selected by Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), senior vice-president of hockey operations, Alan Millar (Tottenham, Ont.), director of player personnel, and Byron Bonora (Brooks, Alta.), head scout for the U17 program. U17 Program of Excellence management group lead Philippe Boucher (Saint-Apollinaire, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL) and manager of hockey operations Benoit Roy (Sudbury, Ont.), as well as regional scouts Pierre Cholette (Quebec), Rob Simpson (Ontario), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario), also provided input with support from Hockey Canada’s 13 Members.

“We are excited to unveil the 66 players that will suit up for our three men’s under-17 teams at the Capital City Challenge and have the unique opportunity to compete against Canada’s National Women’s Team in Ottawa,” said Salmond. “Although this has not been a traditional year for our Program of Excellence and the under-17 group, we are excited to introduce these athletes to an event that replicates short-term, international competition.”

In addition to the 24 OHL players selected, a total of nine OHL hockey operations personnel have been named to the staffs of the three Canadian squads including Team Red director of operations Kyle Raftis (Soo Greyhounds), Team White head coach Rob Wilson (Peterborough Petes), assistant Chad Wiseman (Guelph Storm) and Team Black assistant coach Jordan Smith (Soo Greyhounds).

24 OHL Players Named to 2021 Capital City Challenge:

*player committed to Ontario Hockey League club

Goaltenders (3):
Joseph Costanzo (Niagara IceDogs)
Nathaniel Day (Flint Firebirds)
Mason Vaccari (Kingston Frontenacs)*

Defencemen (6):
Beau Akey (Barrie Colts)
Cam Allen (Guelph Storm)
Tristan Bertucci (Flint Firebirds)
Oliver Bonk (London Knights)*
Alexis Daviault (Sarnia Sting)
Olivier Savard (Saginaw Spirit

Forwards (15):
Denver Barkey (London Knights)
Chris Barlas (Ottawa 67’s)
Colby Barlow (Owen Sound Attack)
Easton Cowan (London Knights)*
Nick Lardis (Peterborough Petes)
Luke McNamara (Saginaw Spirit)
Ethan Miedema (Windsor Spitfires)
Luke Misa (Mississauga Steelheads)
Owen Outwater (North Bay Battalion)
Alex Pharand (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Luca Pinelli (Ottawa 67’s)
Carson Rehkopf (Kitchener Rangers)
Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Matthew Soto (Kingston Frontenacs)
Carey Terrance (Erie Otters)

Team Staff (Canada Black):
Assistant Coach – Jordan Smith (Soo Greyhounds)
Athletic Therapist – Marie-Pierre Néron (Ottawa 67’s)

Team Staff (Canada Red):
Director of Operations – Kyle Raftis (Soo Greyhounds)
Goaltending Coach – Franky Palazzese (Sarnia Sting)
Video Coach – Nick Biamonte (Guelph Storm)
Equipment Manager – Spencer Stehouwer (Sarnia Sting)
Team Physician – Dr. Wanda Millard (London Knights)

Team Staff (Canada White):
Head Coach – Rob Wilson (Peterborough Petes)
Assistant Coach – Chad Wiseman (Guelph Storm)

The Capital City Challenge opens on Nov. 26 at TD Place Arena, home of the Ottawa 67’s. Canada’s centralization roster will face Team Canada White in the tournament opener at 12 p.m. ET, followed by Team Canada Black taking on Team Canada Red at 7 p.m. ET.

Full-event ticket packages can be purchased for $80 (plus applicable fees) starting Monday, Nov. 8, while single-game tickets will be available starting as low as $5 at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets.

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Capital City Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and by using #OurGameIsBack.


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.