OHL This Week for May 28 to June 5, 2017

Toronto, ON – It’s the final edition of ‘OHL This Week’ for the 2016-17 season!  All of the champions have been crowned, the action on-ice is complete, but  another season is just around the corner.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening around the league:
WINDSOR SPITFIRES ARE 2017 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS:

For the third time in franchise history the Windsor Spitfires are Mastercard Memorial Cup champions. Fourth-year veteran Aaron Luchuk scored the game winner 5:07 into the third period as the host Spitfires defeated the OHL champion Erie Otters 4-3 before a capacity crowd of 6,519 at the WFCU Centre. Read more / Highlights / Photo Gallery

SPITFIRES CELEBRATE MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP TITLE:

Less than 72 hours after hoisting the Memorial Cup on home ice, the Windsor Spitfires took the streets to celebrate the franchise’s third championship with fans, parading the prestigious trophy down Ouellette Avenue. They couldn’t have asked for better weather either as the sun shone down on the lengthy caravan that greeted supporters down a stretch headed toward the banks of the Detroit River. Watch

LOTS OF #MCMEMORIALCUP LOVE FOR @SPITSHOCKEY:

Social media provides a platform to share moments and emotions with the world. The Windsor Spitfires 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup title flooded digital devices with content celebrating the team’s historic win on home ice. Read more

DiPIETRO DELIVERED FOR SPITFIRES:

2017 NHL Draft prospect Michael DiPietro led the Windsor Spitfires to the ultimate prize with a sensational Mastercard Memorial Cup performance. The native of nearby Amherstburg hoisted the Memorial Cup on home ice while also becoming one of the few 17-year-olds to earn the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s most outstanding goaltender. Read more

SADNESS SHADOWS SUCCESS AS OTTERS REFLECT ON SEASON:

While the home team celebrated on the ice, the OHL champion Erie Otters reflected on a disappointing end to an otherwise successful season. The legacy this group of Otters players leaves behind is considerable. The much talked-about four 50-win campaigns, two OHL final appearances and one Robertson Cup speak for themselves. When the dust settles, as many as a half-dozen Otters are expected to one day suit up in the NHL. Read more

OHL TAKES CLEAN SWEEP OF MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP AWARDS & ALL-STARS:

Erie Otters teammates Dylan Strome and Anthony Cirelli along with Windsor Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro all received Mastercard Memorial Cup awards while DiPietro and five other OHL players were named to the tournament all-star team. Read more

DeBRINCAT, McNIVEN, SUZUKI, McGILL AND CHMELEVSKI EARN CHL AWARDS:

Erie Otters forward Alex DeBrincat, the Owen Sound Attack trio of Michael McNiven, Nick Suzuki and coach Ryan McGill as well as Ottawa 67’s forward Sasha Chmelevski all earned CHL Awards handed out at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor. Read more / Photo Gallery

22 OHL PLAYERS INVITED TO 2017 NHL SCOUTING COMBINE:

22 OHL players have been invited to the 2017 NHL Scouting Combine that is being held from Monday May 29th to Saturday June 3rd at First Niagara Center and the nearby Harbor Center in Buffalo, NY. The list of OHL invitees includes 16 forwards, five defencemen and one goaltender. OHL talent represents 21% of the 104 players invited to attend the event. Read more

ETHAN KEPPEN COMMITS TO FIREBIRDS:

The Flint Firebirds have received a commitment from 2017 first round (10th overall) selection Ethan Keppen. A native of Whitby, Ont., Keppen earned 35 points (14G, 21A) in 33 games played last season with the Toronto Nationals Minor Midget AAA Hockey Club. Read more

TOP PICKS ROWE AND PERROTT COMMIT TO KNIGHTS:

The London Knights have received commitments from 2017 first round (18th overall) selection Lucas Rowe and second round (34th overall) pick Andrew Perrott. Rowe helped lead the Mississauga Reps to an OHL Cup Championship when they defeated the Toronto Nationals by a 3-2 score.  Rowe will wear number 21 for the Knights this season. Perrott spent last season playing for his hometown Detroit HoneyBaked 16U, where the 6’0” 195-pound defenceman recorded 25 points in 46 games.  Perrott will wear number 24 for the Knights this season. Read more

CLARKE AND ANDREE COMMIT TO 67’s:

The Ottawa 67’s have received commitments from 2017 first round (6th overall) selection Graeme Clarke and 2016 12th round selection Cedrick Andree. An Ottawa native, Clarke was touted as the best pure goal scorer in the draft and prior to his first development camp with the hockey club, Clarke was on the gold medal-winning team at the OHL Gold Cup. Andree was a twelfth round selection in 2016 and spent the past year playing in the United States at The Gunnery Prep School and also practiced with the 67’s at various points throughout the year. Read more

ARTHUR KALIYEV COMMITS TO BULLDOGS:

The Hamilton Bulldogs have received a commitment from 2017 second round (26th overall) selection Arthur Kaliyev. The Russian-born Kaliyev played last season for the Detroit Compuware U16 where he scored 13 goals and 5 assists, for 18 points in 19 games. He then went on to lead the team to the USA Hockey Youth Tier 1 U16 National championship where he led the tournament in scoring. Read more

IAN MARTIN COMMITS TO ICEDOGS:

The Niagara IceDogs have received a commitment from 2017 third round (51st overall) selection Ian Martin. The 5-foot-10 forward shined in Minor Midget this past season, posting 15 goals in just 22 games as a member of the Ajax-Pickering Raiders. Read more

OTTERS PROSPECT DEVELOPMENT CAMP JUNE 3-4:

The OHL champions welcome prospects to the city this weekend for the club’s annual Development Camp which includes fitness testing, on-ice sessions, and scrimmages at Mercyhurst Ice Center.  All on-ice activities are open to the public.  For more information visit ottershockey.com.


OHL COACHES CONFERENCE SET FOR JUNE 3RD:

The 2017 OHL Coaches Conference is under a month away, taking place on Saturday June 3rd on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa. Many of the guest speakers for the 4th annual installment of the day-long conference have been confirmed and will provide minor hockey coaches the opportunity to learn from OHL, AHL, and NHL personnel in an interactive professional development day. Read more

OHL ALUMNI GOLF TOURNAMENT FAST APPROACHING:

The 2017 OHL Alumni Association Golf Tournament is fast approaching! The 2nd annual event is set to take place on Monday June 5th at the Devil’s Pulpit, one of Canada’s most acclaimed private golf clubs located in Caledon, Ont. This event is one of several networking events focused on bringing together former players from all generations.  Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Gudbranson Stem Cell Research Grant, which helps fund research for Stem Cell Treatments. Space is limited! Read more

BIG FATHER’S DAY SAVINGS AT OHLSHOP.COM

Don’t miss out on Father’s Day deals at OHLShop.com! Until Father’s Day use the promo code ‘DAD25’ to get a 25% discount off the full men’s collection. Visit OHLShop.com to get in on the savings.

2017-18 OHL REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE:

The 2017-18 Ontario Hockey League regular season schedule will be announced the week of June 5 beginning with home opener details published on Monday afternoon, followed by a full schedule release on Tuesday morning.  Keep track of the action online using #OHLOpeningWeek.

ALUMNI NOTES:

14 OHL graduates competing in Stanley Cup Final: A total of 14 OHL graduates, eight from the Pittsburgh Penguins and six from the Nashville Predators, will battle in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final of the NHL Playoffs. The Western Conference champion Predators advanced to their ever first Stanley Cup Final following a series win over the Anaheim Ducks. Nashville has had strong OHL alumni contributions from defencemen Ryan Ellis (Windsor Spitfires) and P.K. Subban (Belleville Bulls) while forwards James Neal (Plymouth Whalers) and Austin Watson (London Knights) have also factored into the team’s success. Predators captain Mike Fisher (Sudbury Wolves) has been limited by injuries of late while defenceman Yannick Weber (Kitchener Rangers) has skated in all 16 of the club’s playoff contests. Read more

22 OHL graduates competing in Calder Cup Final: A total of 22 OHL graduates, 12 from the Grand Rapids Griffins and 10 from the Syracuse Crunch, will battle in the 2017 Calder Cup Final of the AHL Playoffs. The Western Conference champion Griffins advanced to their first Calder Cup Final since 2013 with a 4-1 series victory over the San Jose Barracuda. Graduate Eric Tangradi (Belleville Bulls) is tied for the Grand Rapids team lead in playoff scoring with 15 points (2-13–15) while Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph Storm) has also been impressive with 13 points (6-7–13). The Eastern Conference crunch advanced to their first Final since 2013 with a 4-1 series victory over the Providence Bruins. Graduates Slater Koekkoek (Windsor Spitfires), Jake Dotchin (Barrie Colts) and Dominik Masin (Peterborough Petes) have been regulars on the Syracuse blue line. Read more

4 Former OHL officials working 2017 Stanley Cup Final: Four former OHL officials have been assigned to work the Stanley Cup Final of the 2017 NHL Playoffs. Referees Dan O’Halloran and Kevin Pollock are joined by OHL playing and officiating graduate Scott Cherrey and Brad Kovachik on the lines.

2017 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP FINAL:

Sunday May 28th:
Windsor Spitfires 4 vs. Erie Otters 3 – Highlights

CHL announces 2016-17 Award winners

Windsor – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the 10 national award winners for the 2016-17 season including Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters who earned Sportsnet CHL Player of the Year honours.

Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images
2017 CHL Award Winners. Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images

The awards were presented as part of the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities in Windsor.

2016-17 CHL Award Winners:

Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award: Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings

Brandon Wheat Kings captain Nolan Patrick is listed number one in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings for the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago.  The 18-year-old forward from Winnipeg, MB, wrapped up his third WHL season with 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points limited to just 33 games played due to injury.  He is the first WHL player to earn this award since Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in 2013, and could be the first western Canadian to be chosen first overall since Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels in 2011.  Finalists for the award include Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads who was listed second by NHL Central Scouting, and Gabe Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires ranked fourth.

Chrysler Top Scorer Award: Sam Steel, Regina Pats

Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel led the CHL with 131 points in 66 games played scoring 50 goals and 81 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-49 helping the Regina Pats to a first place finish atop the WHL’s regular season standings.  The 19-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, delivered the CHL’s highest point total since Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans recorded 134 points in 69 games played during the 2011-12 campaign.  Finalists for the award were Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters with 127 points in 63 games, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques who scored 104 points in 66 games this season.

 BRP Sportsman of the Year Award: Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack

2017 NHL Draft prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack finished fifth in OHL scoring with 96 points including 45 goals and 51 assists in 65 games played with a plus-minus rating of plus-51 while recording just 10 penalty minutes.  The 17-year-old from London, ON, is listed tenth by NHL Central Scouting and helped the Attack secure franchise best marks of 49 wins and 102 points this season.  Finalists for the award were Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos and Hugo Roy of the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

Mastercard Humanitarian of the Year Award: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong is the CHL’s Humanitarian of the Year after being named a finalist for the award last season, establishing himself as an exceptional ambassador for his team and the league both on and off the ice.  The 21-year-old from Cochrane, AB, carried forward the ‘Canes KidSport program he introduced a year ago which donates $5 to KidSport Lethbridge & Taber for each goal he scores.  Powered by 51 goals of his own and with the help from teammates, alumni, and the community, the initiative surpassed all expectations and raised over $13,000 this season.  Finalists for the award were Garrett McFadden of the Guelph Storm and two-time nominee Samuel Laberge of the Rimouski Oceanic.

CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Sasha Chmelevski, Ottawa 67’s

2017 NHL Draft prospect Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s achieved a 98% average across his six Grade 12 courses through Michigan’s Virtual Charter Academy.  The 17-year-old from Northville, Michigan, also scored 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points in 58 games appearing 43rd among North American players listed by NHL Central Scouting.  Finalists for the award were Brian King of the Everett Silvertips and Antoine Samuel of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Ryan McGill, Owen Sound Attack

Ryan McGill led the Owen Sound Attack to an all-time franchise best record of 49-15-2-2 for 102 points surpassing the club’s previous highs of 46 wins and 97 points set during the 2010-11 season.  The 48-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, helped the Attack become the league’s most improved team in just his second season behind the bench increasing their win total by 17 and point total by 27 while establishing a franchise record 15-game winning-streak and surrendering an OHL-low 177 goals against.  McGill was previously nominated for this award in 2013 during his tenure with the Kootenay Ice.  Finalists for the award were John Paddock of the Regina Pats and Danny Flynn of the Saint John Sea Dogs.


CCM Rookie of the Year Award: Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads

2017 NHL Draft prospect Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads led all rookies in scoring with 86 points in 57 games including 38 goals and 48 assists.  The 18-year-old from Naters, Switzerland, was chosen sixth overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft and is listed second in NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings.  He becomes the second Moosehead to win the award following current Winnipeg Jet Nikolaj Ehlers in 2014, and will challenge for the NHL’s top pick in June where he would follow 2013 first overall pick and Moosehead grad Nathan MacKinnon who currently stars with the Colorado Avalanche.  Finalists for the award were Aleksi Heponiemi of the Swift Current Broncos and Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm.

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award: Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack
Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack carried a record of 41-9-2-2 including six shutout victories that tied for an OHL-high, while also posting a league-low goals-against-average of 2.30 and save percentage of .915 that ranked sixth overall in the OHL.  The 41 wins by the 19-year-old from Georgetown, ON, led the OHL this season and established a new Attack single season record while his shutout tally brings his three-year career total to 11 which is also a new team mark.  Finalists for the award were Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart who was the 2015-16 recipient, and Francis Leclerc of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Superstore Defenceman of the Year Award: Thomas Chabot, Saint John Sea Dogs
Ottawa Senators prospect Thomas Chabot of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the CHL’s Defenceman of the Year after scoring 10 goals and 35 assists for 45 points in just 34 games played.  The 20-year-old from Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, QC, was also a member of Canada’s National Junior Team earning a silver medal and Tournament MVP honours at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.  The 18th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft helped the Sea Dogs to a first place finish in the QMJHL this season.  Finalists for the award were Edmonton Oilers prospect Ethan Bear of the Seattle Thunderbirds and Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters.

Sportsnet Player of the Year Award: Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters led the OHL with 127 points in 63 games scoring 65 goals and 62 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-60.  The 19-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan, helped the Otters capture a second straight regular season title and set a CHL record with their fourth straight 50-win season.  The former CHL Rookie of the Year set a team record for goals in a season while eclipsing the 50-goal and 100-point plateau for the third straight season.  He is the second Otter to win the award in three seasons following current Edmonton Oilers star and NHL Top Scorer Connor McDavid who received the honour in 2015.  Finalists for the award were Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel of the Regina Pats, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques.

Attack’s Michael McNiven Named OHL Goaltender of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack is the 2016-17 recipient of the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year award.

McNiven played in 54 games this season carrying a record of 41-9-2-2 including six shutout victories that tied for a league-high, while also posting a league-low goals-against-average of 2.30 and a save percentage of .915 that ranked sixth overall.  His 41 wins not only led the OHL this season but established a new Attack single season record surpassing Jordan Binnington’s previous mark of 32 set during his award winning 2012-13 season. 

Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.
Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.

“This is a huge honour,” McNiven said. “At the beginning of the year I made it my goal to be the best goalie I could be on a night in, night out basis, and to be named Goaltender of the Year in a league with so many fantastic goalies means a lot to me. That said, this should be viewed as a team award. I wouldn’t have been able to make the saves I did if it wasn’t for my teammates who blocked shots, cleared players from the front of the net, and made my job easier.”

During the 2016-17 campaign, McNiven was part of an Attack squad that set franchise records for wins (49) and points (102) while surrendering a league-low 177 goals-against earning the league’s Dave Pinkney Trophy with partner Emanuel Vella.  He won 11 straight games from December 9 through January 21 contributing to the club’s record 15-game winning-streak and was recognized with Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week honours on January 2.  McNiven also earned Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month honours for February and was acknowledged in the Western Conference Coaches Poll finishing second in the Best Puckhandling Goalie vote, and first in the Best Shootout Goalie vote.

“Michael is extremely deserving of this award,” said Attack General Manager Dale DeGray. “His work ethic and dedication to getting better every day is unmatched and his performance this year showed just how hard he worked. Michael was a large part of our success this year and the entire organization is extremely proud of him.”

A 19-year-old from Georgetown, Ont., McNiven was chosen by the Attack in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  He has now played three full seasons in Owen Sound accumulating 77 career wins which ranks second in franchise history behind Binnington’s 86 recorded over four seasons from 2009-13.  McNiven did surpass Binnington this season for first on the club’s all-time shutout list with 11.  He becomes the third Attack goaltender to earn this award following Binnington (2012-13) and Jamie Storr (1993-94).  In September, 2015, McNiven signed a free agent entry-level contract with the Canadiens.

The OHL Goaltender of the Year is awarded to the league’s most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers.  Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club.  Goaltenders received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

McNiven received 89 of a possible 95 points in the voting process, followed by Calgary Flames prospect Tyler Parsons of the London Knights who finished in second place with 27 voting points, and 2017 NHL Draft prospect Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires who finished in third place with 26 voting points.

The award was first presented in 1987-88 to Rick Tabaracci (Cornwall) with other notable winners including Manny Legace (Niagara Falls 1992-93), Craig Anderson (Guelph 2000-01), Steve Mason (London 2006-07), the league’s only back-to-back winner Mike Murphy (Belleville 2007-08 and 2008-09), Mark Visentin (Niagara 2010-11), Michael Houser (London 2011-12), Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth 2013-14), Lucas Peressini (Kingston 2014-15), and Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie 2015-16).

McNiven will be formally presented with the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award on Thursday June 8 at the OHL Awards Ceremony held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He is also the OHL’s nominee for CHL Goaltender of the Year to be announced on Saturday May 27 at the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor.

OHL Announces 2016-17 Regular Season Award Winners

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the recipients of four of the league’s annual awards following the conclusion of the 2016-17 regular season.

Offensively, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters captured the league’s scoring title earning the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy along with the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy presented to the Top Scoring Right Winger.  The other two awards recognize defensive efforts including the Dave Pinkney Trophy for the goaltending tandem of the team with the fewest goals against won by Owen Sound Attack netminder Michael McNiven and Emanuel Vella, and the F.W “Dinty” Moore Trophy awarded to Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds as the rookie with the best goals-against-average.

OHL Logo

Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Scoring Champion) and Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy (Top Scoring Right Winger): Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters:

Alex DeBrincat recorded 65 goals and 62 assists for 127 points in 63 games to lead all OHL players in regular season scoring.

The 19-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan, delivered a multitude of scoring records over the course of the 2016-17 campaign helping the Otters capture their second straight Hamilton Spectator Trophy, third straight Midwest Division crown, and record fourth straight 50 win season.

His 65 goals represent a new Erie Otters single season record after cementing his position as the first player since Dale McCourt (1974-77) to record three-straight 50-goal seasons and matching Mike Ricci’s 1988 mark with goals in 19 consecutive games.  DeBrincat also became just the eighth player in the league’s modern era to record three-straight 100-point seasons, and the third Otter to reach the prestigious 300 career-point milestone.  In 191 career games over three seasons, the undrafted free agent signee has scored 167 goals and 165 assists for 332 points.  He is the Otters all-time leading goal scorer and the leading American goal scorer in OHL history.

The second round pick of the Blackhawks in the 2016 NHL Draft is the third Otter to earn the league’s scoring title doing so in a span of four years following Dylan Strome (2014-15) and Connor Brown (2013-14).  In addition to the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy, Brown was also the club’s first Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy recipient.

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.  Kevin Labanc of the Barrie Colts was last year’s recipient with 127 points in 65 games including 39 goals and 88 assists.  Other notable winners include Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin who tied for the league’s scoring title before being chosen first and second overall respectively in 2010, while fellow first overall NHL picks John Tavares (2009), and Patrick Kane (2007) are also recent winners.

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.  Labanc was also the 2015-16 recipient.

Dave Pinkney Trophy (Lowest Team Goals Against): Michael McNiven and Emanuel Vella, Owen Sound Attack

The Owen Sound Attack allowed the fewest goals in the OHL this season with just 177 against, backstopped by the tandem of Michael McNiven and Emanuel Vella.

McNiven, a 19-year-old from Georgetown, ON, led the league with a 2.30 goals-against-average and finished the 2016-17 campaign with a .915 save percentage in 54 games.  The Montreal Canadiens prospect carried a record of 41-9-2-2 which led the league in wins and also set an Attack single season record.  His six shutouts were tied for a league-high and brought his career total to 11 which is also a new franchise mark.  Vella, an 18-year-old from Toronto, ON, played eight games for the Attack posting a 5-2-0-0 record with a goals-against-average 3.21 and save percentage of .863 after being acquired from the London Knights in November.

2016-17 marks the best season in franchise history for the Attack with a 49-15-2-2 record for 102 points surpassing their previous best of 46 wins and 97 points set in their 2011 OHL Championship season.

The Dave Pinkney Trophy is awarded annually to the goaltending tandem from the team that allows the fewest goals against during the regular season.  Last season, the London Knights allowed 182 goals against with the award presented to Tyler Parsons and Brendan Burke.

The 2012-13 Attack tandem of Jordan Binnington and Brandon Hope allowed just 165 goals against to claim the club’s only other Dave Pinkney Trophy in Owen Sound history.

F.W. “Dinty” Moore Trophy (Best Rookie GAA): Matthew Villalta, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Matthew Villalta had the best goals-against-average among OHL rookie goaltenders in 2016-17 with a mark of 2.41 for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds who captured their third West Division title in four years.

Not only did his 2.41 GAA lead all rookies, it was the fifth lowest across the entire league, and set a new Greyhounds record besting Kyle Gajewski’s 2.44 mark in 2007-08.

A 17-year-old from Godfrey, ON, Villalta committed to the Greyhounds prior to the 2016-17 campaign after competing last season as a member of the Greater Kingston AAA Midget Hockey Club.  The rookie played in 33 games this season carrying a record of 25-3-0-0 including one shutout with a save percentage of .918 while posting 16-straight victories from September 24 to February 10.  His 25 wins are the most by a 17-year-old OHL rookie in 10 years following Mississauga’s Andrew Loverock (31) and Guelph’s Thomas McCollum (26) in 2006-07.

The trophy is named after F.W. “Dinty” Moore of Port Colborne, ON, 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.  Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires won the award last season with a 2.45 goals-against-average.

Villalta is the fifth Greyhound to win the award following Gajewski (2004-05), Kevin Hodson (1990-91), Gerry Iuliano (1983-84), and John Vanbiesbrouck (1980-81).

OHL Announces Top Performers of the Month for February

Toronto, ON –  The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in February 2017, including Erie Otters teammates Alex DeBrincat and Darren Raddysh, Sarnia Sting forward Adam Ruzicka and Owen Sound Attack goaltender Michael McNiven.

OHL Player of the Month – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters):
For the second time this season, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat has been named OHL Player of the Month. DeBrincat led all players with 32 points including 17 goals and 15 assists with a plus/minus rating of plus-10 in 12 games to help the Otters set a new franchise record with 14 consecutive wins. Now in the midst of an 18-game point streak and 14-game goal scoring streak, DeBrincat had eight different multi-point outings in the month of February, highlighted by a stretch of 13 points in three games from Feb. 4th to 11th. DeBrincat had two goals and three assists in an 8-4 road win over Ottawa on Feb. 4th. He followed that effort with a four point (2-2–4) night in a 6-1 win in Kingston the next day. The Otters returned home on Feb. 11th to defeat the Saginaw Spirit 9-4 as DeBrincat registered a goal and three assists. In total, DeBrincat has received star of the game recognition nine different times, including three first star designations. His month of February included several Otters franchise milestones and career accomplishments including becoming the club’s all-time leading goal-scorer, reaching the 300-career point mark, recording his third consecutive 100-point campaign, becoming the second player in league history to register three-straight 50-goal seasons and passing Rob Schremp as the leading American goal-scorer in OHL history.

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

A 19-year-old native of Farmington Hills, Mich., DeBrincat currently leads the OHL in scoring with 113 points including 55 goals and 58 assists in 54 games, helping steer the Otters into first place in the Western Conference. He is a three-time Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week recipient and a two-time CHL Player of the Week during the 2016-17 season. A former CHL and OHL Rookie of the Year in 2015, DeBrincat was Chicago’s second round (39th overall) pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters):
Veteran Erie Otters rearguard Darren Raddysh is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for the second time this season. Raddysh led OHL defencemen with 17 points including three goals and 14 assists with a plus/minus rating of plus-14 in 12 games. He had points in 10 of his 12 February contests, highlighted by a plus-4 outing in a commanding 5-1 win over the London Knights on Feb. 15th that included a goal and an assist. Raddysh recorded three points (1-2–3) on Feb. 25th as the Otters defeated the Barrie Colts 7-3 on the road. After becoming the Otters’ franchise leader in career points by a defenceman last month, Raddysh surpassed Chris Campoli’s single-season mark of 66 points on Feb. 27th with a pair of assists in a 4-2 loss to the Owen Sound Attack.

A 21-year-old native of Caledon, Ont., Raddysh leads OHL defencemen in points by a 10-point margin, recording 68 points including 16 goals and 52 assists in 53 games with the league’s second best plus/minus rating of plus-59. The fifth-year rearguard recently passed Shawn Szydlowski (2007-11) for fourth on the Otters’ all-time games played list. Though undrafted, Raddysh attended training camp with the San Jose Sharks this past September.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting):
2017 NHL Draft prospect Adam Ruzicka of the Sarnia Sting is the OHL Rookie of the Month for February. Ruzicka elevated his game, leading all rookies with 12 points including nine goals and three assists in 12 games to help the Sting in their quest for a Western Conference playoff berth. The Slovakian forward’s month was highlighted by a trio of two-goal performances beginning on Feb. 2nd in North Bay as the Sting fell 7-4 to the Battalion. Ruzicka again scored twice on Feb. 15th against Guelph, earning first star honours as the Sting took a 6-2 win. His latest two-goal showing came in a key 6-3 road win over the Flint Firebirds on Feb. 25th where he again received first star recognition.

A 17-year-old native of Bratislava, Slovakia, Ruzicka sits second in OHL rookie scoring with 41 points including 23 goals and 18 assists in 54 games this season. He represented Team Cherry at the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City and is ranked 27th among North American skaters in NHL Central Scoutings’ Midterm Draft Rankings. Ruzicka represented Slovakia at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship and was Sarnia’s first round (14th overall) pick in the 2016 CHL Import Draft.

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 Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack):
Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack is the OHL Goaltender of the Month for February. McNiven’s outstanding month featured an 8-2-0-1 record with a 1.72 goals-against average, a .936 save percentage and three shutouts over 11 games to help the Attack climb the standings in the Midwest Division. McNiven’s three shutouts placed him ahead of Jordan Binnington on the Attack’s franchise leaderboard, giving him 11 on his OHL career. The first two came in back-t0-back games, beginning with a 26-save effort in a 5-0 road win over the Kingston Frontenacs on Feb. 12th. McNiven then made 16 saves in a 4-0 blanking of the visiting Flint Firebirds on Feb. 15th. His latest shutout came on Feb. 23rd, making 23 saves in a 5-0 road triumph over the division rival Kitchener Rangers. McNiven’s 31-save effort in a 7-3 victory over the London Knights on Feb. 26th was his 33rd win of the season, a new Attack single-season mark for a goaltender

A 19-year-old native of Georgetown, Ont., McNiven leads OHL goaltenders with a 2.13 goals-against average and 34 wins this season. He also features a .921 save percentage and is tied for the league lead in shutouts with six. The third year veteran is currently second behind Binnington on the Attack’s franchise wins list with 70 in his OHL career. McNiven was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens in September 2015.

2016-17 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
February – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
January – Adam Mascherin (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Zach Gallant (Peterborough Petes)
November – Alex DeBrincat/Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

Defenceman of the Month:
February – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
January – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
December – Stephen Desrocher (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Mathieu Henderson (Flint Firebirds)

Rookie of the Month:
February – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)
January – Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals)
December – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
November – Linus Nyman (Kingston Frontenacs)
October – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
February – Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
January – Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires
November – Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
October – Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)

Otters’ Joseph Murdaca named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that goaltender Joseph Murdaca of the Erie Otters is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 19 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.67 and save percentage of .964.

Murdaca was near perfect last week turning aside 54 of 56 shots faced backstopping Erie to a trio of victories as the Otters established a new franchise record for consecutive wins.  On Wednesday night he made 16 saves in a battle for first place atop the Midwest Division standings defeating the London Knights by a 5-1 score.  Over the weekend Murdaca got the best of his former team the Mississauga Steelheads in a home-and-home series beginning Friday night on the road with 19 saves in the 4-1 win, and Saturday at home with another 19 save performance as first star recording the 3-0 shutout.  The Otters are the OHL’s top team with 87 points courtesy of a 42-10-2-1 record and powered of late by 13-straight wins surpassing the club’s previous high of 11 set during the 2013-14 season.

An 18-year-old from Niagara Falls, ON, Murdaca was acquired by the Otters in December and has won each of his last 11 starts since January 13.  He carries an overall record of 11-1-0-1 with the Otters including two shutouts, a goals-against-average of 2.13, and save percentage of .905 in 13 appearances.  The sophomore is now the seventh goaltender to receive the league’s weekly award, while this marks the fifth time an Otters player has been recognized following Alex DeBrincat (3) and fellow netminder Troy Timpano.

Watch video highlights of Murdaca and the Otters against the Knights, and Friday and Saturday against the Steelheads.

Two other goaltenders were considered for the award this week as their clubs clinched OHL Playoff berths including Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack and Jeremy Brodeur of the Oshawa Generals.  McNiven, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, went 2-0-0-1 with 72 saves and a shutout victory for a goals-against-average of 0.97 and save percentage of .960.  Brodeur stopped 82 shots and was a perfect 17/17 across two shootout victories carrying a goals-against-average of 2.77 and save percentage of .932.  Up front, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Otters led the league with seven points including three goals and four assists in three games eclipsing the century mark for points in a season a third straight time.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Joseph Murdaca (Erie Otters)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Spencer Watson (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Attack’s Santino Centorame named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that defenceman Santino Centorame of the Owen Sound Attack is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 8 after scoring once with six assists for seven points in three games recording a plus-minus rating of plus-8.

Centorame helped the Attack win a trio of home games last week against tough Western Conference competition extending their winning-streak to 10 which equals franchise records set in 1996-97 and 2004-05.  On Wednesday night the captain picked up an assist in a 6-1 victory over the league’s best road team the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, then matched a season-high with four assists on Saturday as second star of a 5-1 win over the Mastercard Memorial Cup host Windsor Spitfires.  On Sunday the blueliner finished his week scoring a goal and an assist as part of a the 5-2 record tying win over Midwest Division rivals the Kitchener Rangers improving the club’s record to 26-13-1-0 for fifth place in the conference.  Centorame is the first defenceman to win the league’s weekly award this season, and second straight member of the Attack to be recognized following goaltender Michael McNiven.

A 20-year-old from Mississauga, ON, Centorame is playing in his fourth full OHL season joining the Attack midway through the 2013-14 campaign from the London Knights.  So far in his overage year he’s scored twice with 31 assists for 33 points in 40 games chasing his career-best of 41 points in 67 games recorded last season.  Over the course of the club’s 10-game winning-streak, Centorame notched 17 points tying for the team lead during that stretch.

Watch video highlights of Centorame and the Attack against the Greyhounds, Spitfires, and Rangers.

Also considered for the award this week was Minnesota Wild prospect Dmitry Sokolov of the Sudbury Wolves who scored six goals and one assist for seven points in three games, and 2017 NHL Draft prospect Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads who scored four goals and three assists for seven points in three games.  In goal, Montreal Canadiens prospect and last week’s award recipient Michael McNiven of the Attack posted a 3-0-0-0 record making 69 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.39 and save percentage of .945.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Royals’ Griffen Outhouse named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Griffen Outhouse of the Victoria Royals is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending January 1 after posting a 4-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.75 and save percentage of .979.

Outhouse stopped an incredible 138 shots following the holiday break helping the Royals gain some ground in the WHL’s Western Conference standings where they hold a 21-15-4-0 record.  His return from the holiday break included a pair of victories over the division’s first place Prince George Cougars including a 42-save effort last Tuesday as second star of a 5-1 win, and a 40-save shutout on Wednesday as first star of the 3-0 triumph.  On Friday night Outhouse stopped 26 shots in a 2-1 road win against the Kelowna Rockets receiving first star honours, then celebrated New Year’s Eve making 30 saves in a 6-1 road win against the Kamloops Blazers.

An 18-year-old from Williams Lake, BC, Outhouse is playing in his second season with the Royals.  Carrying a 21-12-3-0 record, Outhouse is tied for second in the WHL in wins while his 2.66 goals-against-average ranks fourth and his .921 save percentage is third best overall..

Also considered for the award this week was Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack who made 73 saves while posting a 3-0-0-0 record including two shutout victories along with a goals-against-average of 0.33 and save percentage of .986, and Matthew Welsh of the Charlottetown Islanders who made 72 saves posting a 2-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .960.

 2016-17 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Griffen Outhouse (Victoria Royals)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Connor Ingram (Kamloops Blazers)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Patrick Dea (Edmonton Oil Kings)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Reilly Pickard (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Ryan Kubic (Vancouver Giants)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Flodell (Saskatoon Blades)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Liam Herbst (Guelph Storm)

Attack’s Michael McNiven named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 1 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record including two shutouts for a goals-against-average of 0.33 and save percentage of .986.

McNiven stopped 73 of 74 shots faced last week helping the Attack extend their winning-streak to seven games and improving their record to 23-13-1-0 for fifth place in the Western Conference standings.  He opened the second half of the 2016-17 campaign in perfect form recording two straight shutouts following the holiday break including a 23-save performance Wednesday as second star of a 3-0 win over the North Bay Battalion, then a 28-save effort Friday to blank the Kitchener Rangers 3-0 on the road.  His week wrapped up on New Year’s Day making 22 saves as part of a 5-1 win over the Barrie Colts however bringing an end to his personal shutout streak at 174:38.  McNiven becomes the third straight goaltender to claim the OHL’s weekly award, and fifth different netminder recognized so far this season.

Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.
Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.

A 19-year-old from Georgetown, ON, McNiven is playing in his third career season with the Attack who chose him in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.  Carrying an overall record of 18-7-1-0, McNiven now leads the OHL with a 2.16 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage.  His three shutouts so far this season give him nine over his career bringing him one shy of Jordan Binnington’s franchise record of 10.  McNiven was signed by the Canadiens to an entry-level contract as a Free Agent in 2015.

Watch video highlights of McNiven and the Attack against the Battalion, Rangers, and Colts.

Also considered for the award this week was Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Ang of the Peterborough Petes who led the league with seven points in three games including a goal and six assists.  2017 NHL Draft prospect Conor Timmins also had a strong weekend on the blue line for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds scoring twice with four assists for six points in three games, while Canadiens prospect Jeremiah Addison of the Windsor Spitfires scored five goals in three games.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)