OHL ANNOUNCES TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in February 2022, including Hamilton Bulldogs forward Logan Morrison, Guelph Storm defenceman Michael Buchinger and Flint Firebirds goaltender Luke Cavallin.

OHL Player of the Month – Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs):
With an impressive 29 points in the month of February, Hamilton Bulldogs forward Logan Morrison is the OHL Player of the Month. Morrison recorded seven goals, 22 assists and a plus/minus rating of plus-21 over 10 games as the Bulldogs played to an 11-1-0-0 record in February, ascending to first place in the OHL standings. The third-year centreman earned star of the game recognition in five of his 10 outings, racking up nine different multi-point outputs. Morrison put up four points four different times including Feb. 11th against Barrie (1-3–4), Feb. 19th against Kingston (1-3–4), Feb. 25th against North Bay (2-2–4) and Feb. 27th in Niagara (1-3–4). He won 100 of his 188 faceoffs (53.2%) over the course of the month and found the back of the net in six of his 10 contests. Morrison becomes the first Bulldog to win OHL Player of the Month honours since Jan Jenik last did so in November 2019.

A 19-year-old native of Guelph, Ont., Morrison sits sixth in OHL scoring, leading the Bulldogs with 75 points (23-52–75) over 41 games this season. Named OHL Player of the Week twice in February, Morrison has recorded 154 points (60-94–154) over 147 career regular season games since being Hamilton’s first round (18th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He attended training camp with the Los Angeles Kings last fall.

OHL Defenceman & Rookie of the Month – Michael Buchinger (Guelph Storm):
Draft eligible blueliner Michael Buchinger of the Guelph Storm is a dual award winner, claiming both OHL Defenceman and Rookie of the Month honours for February. The first-year rearguard led all OHL blueliners and rookies with 17 points including two goals and 15 assists over 12 games, helping the Storm play to a record of 6-4-2-0. Buchinger had points in 10 of his 12 contests, recording back-to-back three point performances on Feb. 21 against Owen Sound (2-1–3) and Feb. 25 against Windsor (0-3–3). He finished the month with a season-high four assists as Guelph defeated Kitchener 7-3 on Feb. 27th. Buchinger is the first Storm player to earn OHL Defenceman of the Month recognition since Sean Durzi in January 2019. He is the first Guelph player to be named Rookie of the Month since goaltender Thomas McCollum in January 2007.

A 17-year-old native of Markham, Ont., Buchinger sits second among OHL rookie defencemen with 37 points (4-33–37) along with a plus/minus rating of plus-15 in 46 games this season. The 6-foot, 185Ib. left-shot rearguard was selected by the Storm in the second round (24th overall) of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. Buchinger was the 36th-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Draft Rankings. He was recently selected to compete in the upcoming 2022 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on March 23 in Kitchener.

OHL Goaltender of the Month – Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds):
Flint Firebirds netminder Luke Cavallin is the OHL Goaltender of the Month for February, going undefeated in regulation with an 8-0-1-1 record, 2.65 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 11 games. Cavallin backstopped the Firebirds to the top of the Western Conference standings, making 358 saves over the course of the month. He opened February with a 35-save performance in Saginaw as the Firebirds prevailed 7-1 on Feb. 2nd. He was brilliant on Feb. 12th in Erie, turning aside 38 shots in a 5-1 Flint victory. Cavallin backstopped the Firebirds to a point in Sault Ste. Marie on Feb. 16th, stopping 43 of 44 in a 2-1 shootout loss. He turned aside a career-high 51 shots on Feb. 19th at home to Windsor, helping the Firebirds beat the Spitfires 3-2 in a shootout. Cavallin stopped all 34 shots he faced on Feb. 25th in Sarnia as the Firebirds won by a score of 6-0. He’s the first Firebirds netminder to ever win OHL Goaltender of the Month honours, and the first in franchise history to do so since Alex Nedeljkovic of the Plymouth Whalers in February 2013.

A 20-year-old from Greely, Ont., Cavallin has played to a 25-9-1-3 record with a 3.19 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts in 40 games this season. His 2,331 minutes played and 1,236 saves are both second in the OHL and he hasn’t lost in regulation since Jan. 16th, a run of 16 appearances. Flint’s career leader in games played (127), wins (51) and shutouts (2), Cavallin is in his fourth season with the franchise after being selected in the second round (28th overall) of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection.

2021-22 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
February – Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs)
January – Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
December – Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
November – Kyle Jackson (North Bay Battalion)
October – Sasha Pastujov (Guelph Storm)

Defenceman of the Month:
February – Michael Buchinger (Guelph Storm)
January – Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts)
December – Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads)
November – Nathan Staios (Hamilton Bulldogs)
October – Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)

Rookie of the Month:
February – Michael Buchinger (Guelph Storm)
January – David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
December – Coulson Pitre (Flint Firebirds)
November – Owen Beck (Mississauga Steelheads)
October – Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)

Goaltender of the Month:
February – Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
January – Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
December – Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
November – Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion)
October – Brett Brochu (London Knights)


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.

MORRISON AND MERILAINEN NAMED OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of regular season games ending Sunday, February 27, 2022.

Bulldogs’ Logan Morrison Named OHL Player of the Week

Hamilton Bulldogs forward Logan Morrison is the OHL Player of the Week with four goals, nine assists and 13 points in four games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-10.

Morrison earns player of the week recognition for the second time in three weeks, recording four consecutive multi-point games as the Bulldogs climbed to top spot in the Ontario Hockey League. Morrison had a goal and two assists on Family Day as Hamilton defeated Erie 7-2. He followed up with two goals and two assists on Friday, earning first star honours as the Bulldogs defeated North Bay 7-2. Morrison chipped in with two helpers on Saturday, setting up Nathan Staios for the overtime winner as the Dogs downed the Ottawa 67’s 4-3. Sunday featured another four-point effort with a goal and three assists, giving him an impressive 29 points in the month of February as the Bulldogs defeated Niagara 10-2.

A 19-year-old from Guelph, Ont., Morrison is sixth in OHL scoring with 75 points including 23 goals and 52 assists over 41 games with a League-leading plus/minus rating of plus-39. The 6-foot, 180Ib. centre has also won 56.6 percent of his faceoffs this season. Now in his third OHL season, Morrison has recorded 154 points (60-94–154) over 147 career regular season games. He was Hamilton’s first round (18th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Guelph Gryphons U16 program. He attended training camp with the Los Angeles Kings last fall.

Also considered for the award this week, 2022 NHL Draft prospect Michael Buchinger recorded 11 points (2-9–11) over four games from the blue line as the Guelph Storm played to a 3-0-1-0 mark. Bulldogs blueliner Nathan Staios recorded nine points (3-6–9) over four games with a plus/minus rating of plus-8.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs).
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Luke Evangelista (London Knights)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Riley Piercey (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan 9: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: James Hardie (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Ty Tullio (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Tucker Robertson (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)



Frontenacs’ Leevi Merilainen Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Ottawa Senators prospect Leevi Merilainen of the Kingston Frontenacs is the OHL Goaltender of the Week after going 3-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .948 save percentage.

Merilainen stopped 73 of 77 shots, helping the Frontenacs defeat Ottawa with 26 saves on Family Day before claiming back-to-back wins over Oshawa. Merilainen stood tall on TSN Friday night, stopping 25 of 27 as the Frontenacs defeated the Generals 6-2. He turned aside 22 of 23 on the road Sunday night as the Frontenacs beat Oshawa 3-1.

A 19-year-old from Oulu, Finland, Merilainen sits third in OHL wins with 24, playing to an overall record of 24-12-3-0 with a 3.43 goals-against average and .889 save percentage and two shutouts. The first-year goaltender was a third round (71st overall) pick of the Ottawa Senators in the 2020 NHL Draft, and signed an entry-level contract with the franchise on June 14, 2021. Merilainen was Kingston’s first round (48th overall) pick in the 2021 CHL Import Draft.

Also considered for the award this week, Flint Firebirds netminder Luke Cavallin went 3-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .936 save percentage, making 88 saves as the Firebirds defeated Sarnia three times. Michael Simpson of the Peterborough Petes went 2-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .948 save percentage, making 73 saves as the Petes prevailed over Barrie and Oshawa.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Feb. 21 – Feb. 27: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Feb. 14 – Feb. 20: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 7 – Feb. 13: Pavel Cajan (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 31 – Feb. 6: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 24 – Jan. 30: Max Donoso (Ottawa 67’s)
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Jan. 10 – Jan. 16: Mitchell Weeks (Sudbury Wolves)
Jan. 3 – Jan. 9: Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: Joe Ranger (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Owen Bennett (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Roman Basran (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Jacob Oster (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Tucker Tynan (Niagara IceDogs)


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.

Michael Buchinger – Guelph Storm – Player Profile

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Michael Buchinger of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Tim Cornett/OHL Images

The Guelph Storm have a few players at this point projected to go in the first two rounds of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and Defenceman Michael Buchinger is one of them. Most independent scouting services have him pegged as a late second rounder.

Buchinger is a smooth skating two-way defender. His mobility is a plus as he has great movement east to west, pivoting to skating backwards, great edgework and an ability to turn on a dime. However, I believe he needs to work on his first few steps. He can lead the breakout with his skating or a first pass, but that added speed would give him an edge.

I believe Buchinger thinks the game at a very high level. He sees the ice extremely well and processes the game quickly. He is creative with the puck and has an ability to set up high danger scoring chances for his teammates. That ability makes him dangerous with the man advantage. He can quarterback the powerplay however, he lacks the velocity or heaviness with his shot from the blueline.

I’ve been impressed with Buchinger’s competitiveness. He works extremely hard and won’t give an inch. Being outworked doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary. He had a bit of a growth spurt, being listed at 5’9” with the Jr Canadiens, so he always had to put in a better effort than his opposition. But I am happy to see he still values that work ethic after his physical growth.

I know there are those that deem Buchinger as one of those “doesn’t excel at any one thing but does well at everything” type players. I have a hard time agreeing with that. I think his willingness to put in the work, coupled with his high hockey smarts gives him an edge.

His defensive game is a work in progress – and we say this with just about every blueliner at this level. That said, the effort is there, the understanding of where to be and when to be there is evident, and his knowledge of the system the Storm employ and his execution is noticeable.

There are some good OHL defencemen available in this draft class. But I believe there is a clear top level and then a second level. Buchinger for me falls into that second group.