STEELHEADS’ JAMES RICHMOND NAMED OHL COACH OF THE YEAR

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that James Richmond of the Mississauga Steelheads is the recipient of the Matt Leyden Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Coach of the Year.

Completing his fifth season as head coach in Mississauga, Richmond steered the Steelheads to club records with 37 wins and 82 points, placing second in the Central Division standings. They surrendered the League’s second-lowest total of 189 goals, produced the OHL’s third-ranked penalty kill, finished first in both shots-per-game (35.7) and fewest shots-against-per-game (26.6), and outshot opponents in 53 of their 68 contests. The Steelheads finished the season tied for the League lead with six players included on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings, including top-10 considerations Luca Del Bel Belluz and Owen Beck.

“It’s a tremendous honour to be a finalist for Coach of the Year in the OHL and an even greater honour to ultimately win it,” said Richmond. “Knowing that your peers are responsible for the votes gives me a huge sense of humility because I can tell you, I think we have great coaches throughout this entire league. I also know I didn’t win this award on my own. The Steelheads organization is filled with wonderful hard-working people that make me better and I can’t thank them enough for everything they do.”

Richmond took the opportunity to recognize key individuals to the Steelheads’ success throughout the season.

“Mike Doyle has been with me for more than a decade and his work and friendship mean the world to me. My assistant coaches, Jeff Kyrzakos and Brendan Taylor are two unbelievable people that grind away everyday and I’m so thankful for their commitment to the Steelheads. Our goalie coach Chris Beckford-Tseu and video coach Matt Comand make our team and myself better. Our support staff, equipment manager Tom Frater and athletic therapist Binne Brouwer are two of the best in the business. Our Director of Scouting Rob Toffoli finds the character players for us to coach, and our boss the owner, Elliott Kerr, is much more than that. He’s a wonderful man that allows me to coach in this league and work at what I love to do. I’m a pretty lucky person to have the job I have. I’ve had a super group of players to lead and none of this goes unnoticed. I am truly thankful of everyone that is part of the Steelheads team.

“Most importantly I’d like to thank my family, my wife, Ainsley is by my side everyday and night encouraging me to be the best I can be. My kids, Kennedy and MacGregor love me no matter what the score is.

“With great pride and gratitude I accept the Coach of the Year Award not just for myself but for all those that surround me. Thank you so so much!”

Richmond joined the Steelheads as an assistant coach in 2015-16 after spending 10 seasons as a head coach in the OJHL between the Georgetown Raiders and Aurora Tigers while also serving on the player development staff of the Los Angeles Kings. Richmond assumed head coaching responsibilities with the Trout to begin the 2016-17 season and became the club’s general manager starting in 2017-18 after guiding the Steelheads to an East Division title and Eastern Conference championship. The 58-year-old Mississauga native owns a career OHL coaching record of 163-134-18-18 for a winning percentage of .544.

The Matt Leyden Trophy has been awarded annually to the OHL’s Coach of the Year as selected by his peers since 1972.  The award is in recognition of the contributions of Matt Leyden, past president of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1965-67, and former manager of the Oshawa Generals who spent more than 50 years with the team.

The first Matt Leyden Trophy recipient in the all-time history of the Steelheads franchise, Richmond will be the OHL’s nominee for Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year Award.

2022 OHL Awards announcements continue on Thursday when the OHL recognizes its Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy recipient as the League’s Humanitarian of the Year.


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.

OHL Playoff Preview and Predictions Round Two

Before we look at the second round series matchups, lets look back and see how poorly I did in round one:

EASTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Hamilton vs (8) PeterboroughHamilton in 4Hamilton wins 4-0
(2) North Bay vs (7) OttawaNorth Bay in 5North Bay wins 4-0
(3) Kingston vs (6) OshawaKingston in 6Kingston wins 4-2
(4) Mississauga vs (5) BarrieMississauga in 7Mississauga wins 4-2
WESTERN CONFERENCEPREDICTIONOUTCOME
(1) Windsor vs (8) SarniaWindsor in 5Windsor wins 4-2
(2) London vs (7) KitchenerLondon in 6Kitchener win 4-3
(3) Flint vs (6) Owen SoundFlint in 6Flint wins 4-3
(4) Sault Ste Marie vs (5) GuelphSault Ste Marie in 7Sault Ste Marie wins 4-1

So, 7 out of 8 correct winners. The Hockey Gods looked after the Kitchener Rangers after they were robbed of a goal as video review deemed it kicked in when it wasn’t. (The OHL officially came out and said the next day that it was an error). That call quite possibly cost the Rangers game 5. But they bounced back, tied the series and forced a game 7 in London in which they won in overtime to take the series.

But in only two of the series where I picked the correct winner did, I hit on the number of games. The biggest discrepancy was the Soo Greyhounds taking care of business against the Guelph Storm in 5 games where I had predicted it to go the distance. I don’t think anyone predicted the Storm wouldn’t give the Greyhounds a fight.

So, I try again with round two:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(1) Hamilton vs (4) Mississauga

 HamiltonMississauga
Head-to-head5-2-0-13-5-0-0
PP Regular Season27.6%20.9%
PP Playoffs39.4%33.3%
PP vs opponent16.7%14.3%
PK Regular Season80.9%81.3%
PK Playoffs91.3%75.0%
PK vs opponent85.7%83.3%
GF Regular season300229
GF Playoffs2717
GA Regular season176189
GA Playoffs913
PIM /game regular season11.3/game11.5/game
PIM /game playoffs21.5/game9.8/game

I want to say “it’s hard to imagine the Hamilton Bulldogs losing a game in these playoffs” but I can’t because it’s bound to happen at some point. Offensively, the Bulldogs dominated during the regular season and the playoffs. Defensively, the Steelheads were almost as good as Hamilton during the regular season and the playoffs.

Both teams brought their powerplays to new levels during the playoffs. Mississauga’s penalty kill took a hit during the playoffs while Hamilton’s skyrocketed. However, one must take into account their respective opponents. If special teams are going to be a factor in this series, then you have to take into account that Mississauga is taking fewer penalties in the playoffs than the regular season while Hamilton has almost doubled theirs. But I’m not going to overthink this trying to find wins for Mississauga.

Prediction: Hamilton in 5 games.

(2) North Bay vs (3) Kingston

 North BayKingston
Head-to-head4-0-0-00-4-0-0
PP Regular Season25.9%25.3%
PP Playoffs30.0%26.7%
PP vs opponent53.8%13.3%
PK Regular Season80.6%79.8%
PK Playoffs90.0%60.0%
PK vs opponent86.7%46.2%
GF Regular season267285
GF Playoffs1727
GA Regular season198242
GA Playoffs1118
PIM /game regular season9.1/game11.1/game
PIM /game playoffs7.8/game11.5/game

As you can see above, the North Bay Battalion swept the season series against the Kingston Frontenacs. Only 6 points separated the two teams in the regular season. Their powerplays were pretty even as was their penalty kills and their goals for. North Bay had a decisive advantage in the goals against department.

Where North Bay had the big advantage was on specialty teams head-to-head. North Bay’s powerplay clipped along at 53.8% against Kingston while the Fronts could only score on 13.3% of their chances against the Battalion. And in the four games head-to-head during the regular season North Bay outscored Kingston 19-10. If Kingston gets into penalty trouble, this series could be over quickly.

Prediction: North Bay in 6 games.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

(1) Windsor vs (7) Kitchener

 WindsorKitchener
Head-to-head4-3-0-14-4-0-0
PP Regular Season26.1%18.3%
PP Playoffs7.4%22.7%
PP vs opponent21.9%16.0%
PK Regular Season82.6%77.4%
PK Playoffs76.0%80.0%
PK vs opponent84.0%78.1%
GF Regular season305236
GF Playoffs1823
GA Regular season248271
GA Playoffs1123
PIM /game regular season10.3/game11.0/game
PIM /game playoffs14.3/game9.3/game

The regular season series between the Kitchener Rangers and Windsor Spitfires was pretty even. The Spits were better team on the powerplay and the penalty kill against each other and the rest of the league. The Spits scored 69 more goals than the Rangers – that’s a goal per game more and also allowed 23 fewer goals against than the Rangers.

But in the playoffs, it was the Rangers who came out on top in the special team’s department while also playing a tougher opponent in the London Knights than Windsor had against the Sarnia Sting. The Spits have some star power for sure but of Rangers goalie Pavel Cajan can play as he did versus the Knights it will be a tight series. Mathias Onuska was no slouch for Windsor in the blue paint either.

Prediction: Windsor in 6 games.  

(3) Flint vs (4) Sault Ste Marie

 FlintSault Ste Marie
Head-to-head2-1-0-23-1-1-0
PP Regular Season19.7%28.4%
PP Playoffs9.7%35.3%
PP vs opponent34.6%17.6%
PK Regular Season84.3%78.7%
PK Playoffs87.5%90.9%
PK vs opponent82.4%65.4%
GF Regular season286295
GF Playoffs2221
GA Regular season238246
GA Playoffs                              2011
PIM /game regular season10.4/game11.5/game
PIM /game playoffs10.9/game15.4/game

The Flint Firebirds and Soo Greyhounds were also very close in the regular season. Only 4 points separated them in the standings. Their offence and defence were also close. The Greyhounds win out in the powerplay department while the Firebirds topped them on the penalty kill. However, head-to-head the Firebirds dominated.

Flint couldn’t get the man advantage to work for them in their first round series against the Owen Sound Attack while the Greyhounds exploded against the Guelph Storm. Unless the Greyhounds can limit the number of penalties, they take the powerplay could be the difference in this series. It could also come down to home ice advantage. For me, this is a flip a coin series.

Prediction: Sault Ste Marie in 7

OHL Announces Eastern Conference Semi-Final Schedules

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League has announced schedules for the 2022 OHL Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, with the Hamilton Bulldogs, North Bay Battalion, Kingston Frontenacs and Mississauga Steelheads advancing to second round play.

The Regular Season champion Bulldogs eliminated the Peterborough Petes in four games, scoring at least five goals in all four of their victories, with a total of 13 power play goals in the series. They’ll face the Mississauga Steelheads, who ousted the Barrie Colts in Game 6 of their first round series on Monday night in Barrie.

The Central Division champion Battalion eliminated the Ottawa 67’s in four games, winning three of those by one goal. Leading scorer Brandon Coe scored the deciding goal in both Games 2 and 3 of the first round matchup. The Troops advance to face the Kingston Frontenacs, who bested the Oshawa Generals in six games, moving on after Shane Wright’s overtime winner on Sunday.

The puck drops on Eastern Conference second round action beginning Thursday, May 5.

2022 #OHLPlayoffs Brackets

2022 OHL Eastern Conference Playoff Schedule:

(1) Hamilton Bulldogs (51-12-3-2) vs. (4) Mississauga Steelheads (37-23-2-6) – #HAMvsMISS
Game 1, Thurs., May 5 at Hamilton, 7:00pm
Game 2, Sun., May 8 at Hamilton , 2:00pm
Game 3, Tues., May 10 at Mississauga, 7:00pm
Game 4, Fri., May 13 at Mississauga, 7:00pm
Game 5, Sun., May 15 at Hamilton, 2:00pm*
Game 6, Tues., May 17 at Mississauga, 7:00pm*
Game 7, Wed., May 18 at Hamilton, 7:00pm*

(2) North Bay Battalion (43-18-3-4) vs. (3) Kingston Frontenacs (41-22-4-1) – #NBvsKGN
Game 1, Fri., May 6 at North Bay, 7:00pm
Game 2, Sun. May 8 at North Bay, 2:00pm
Game 3, Tues., May 10 at Kingston, 7:00pm
Game 4, Thurs., May 12 at Kingston, 7:00pm
Game 5, Sat., May 14 at North Bay, 7:00pm*
Game 6, Sun., May 15 at Kingston, 6:00pm*
Game 7, Tues., May 17 at North Bay, 7:00pm*

*if necessary

Don’t miss a second of the 2022 OHL Playoffs. CHL TV playoff packages are on sale now, with complete OHL Playoff passes available for $59.99 plus tax. Get in on the CHL All Access playoff pass, or just tune into games for Round 2. See a full range of options at watch.chl.ca.


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.

STEELHEADS AND FRONTENACS INCLUDED IN WEEK 14 EDITION OF KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS

Toronto, Ont. – The Canadian Hockey League announced today the Week 14 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings for the 2021-22 season.

The Mississauga Steelheads are the top-ranked team in the OHL this week, climbing two spots to sixth after four straight wins since the last edition. The 28-8-1-3 Steelheads are the first place team in the OHL, having outscored opponents 143-93 this season. Mississauga took back-to-back wins over North Bay and Niagara, tightening their grip on first place in the Central Division. The big line of James HardieLuca Del Bel Belluz and Ty Collins continues to impress while captain Ethan Del Mastro leads the OHL with a plus-34 rating. The tandem of Roman Basran and Joe Ranger continues to hold down the fort in goal.

The Kingston Frontenacs dropped four spots to number nine on the list this week after winning two of three. The Fronts defeated the Peterborough Petes 6-3 on Thursday, edged the Oshawa Generals 4-3 on Friday and fell to the Hamilton Bulldogs by a score of 5-2 on Sunday. Kingston sits one point up on Hamilton for first place in the East Division, owning a 22-10-3-0 record. Top 2022 NHL Draft prospect Shane Wright had a productive week, recording a goal and six assists to give him 43 points (15-28–43) over 31 games this season. Overage forward Jordan Frasca leads Kingston with 24 goals.

The Hamilton Bulldogs rose into the honourable mention category after a 3-0 week. The Bulldogs defeated Niagara and Kingston without the services of star centre Mason McTavish, who is off to represent Canada at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China.

The Soo Greyhounds hold steady in the honourable mention field, defeating the Saginaw Spirit 5-1 last Wednesday before splitting consecutive overtime outcomes on home ice, losing to Flint before defeating Barrie. The Greyhounds, who feature the OHL’s top scorer in Calgary Flames prospect Rory Kerins (25-42–67), lost key centreman Tanner Dickinson for an extended period to a broken right femur on Saturday. The St. Louis Blues prospect has been productive, recording 47 points (18-29–47) over 35 games this season.

For further analysis on the Week 14 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings, visit CHL.ca.

FRONTENACS AND STEELHEADS INCLUDED IN WEEK 13 EDITION OF KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS

Toronto, Ont. – The Canadian Hockey League announced today the Week 13 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings for the 2021-22 season.

The Kia CHL Top 10 returns for the second half of the season, with the Kingston Frontenacs and Mississauga Steelheads making their way into the Top 10 while the Barrie Colts, London Knights and Soo Greyhounds earn honourable mentions.

The fifth-ranked Frontenacs skate into this week’s rankings off three consecutive wins, holding the top spot in the East Division with a 20-9-3-0 record. The Fronts defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-2 at home on Friday, skated to a 6-2 win over the Niagara IceDogs on Saturday and hit the road to blank the Oshawa Generals 2-0 on Sunday. Jordan Frasca had a weekend to remember with six points in the three wins while 2022 NHL Draft prospect Shane Wright scored a highlight reel goal on Sunday, extending his current point streak to four games.

The Steelheads come in at eighth on the rankings, rebounding from consecutive losses over the weekend with a 4-1 road win over the Peterborough Petes on Tuesday. Sitting at the top of the OHL standings with a 24-8-1-3 record, Mississauga has surrendered just 87 goals in 36 games as the goaltending tandem of Joe Ranger and Roman Basran continues to perform well. The Trout feature a pair of highly touted 2022 NHL Draft prospects in leading scorer Luca Del Bel Belluz (20-27–47) and Owen Beck (14-18–32) while veteran James Hardie leads the club with 26 goals. The Steelheads hit the ice for their next action on Thursday in North Bay, being featured as the CHL TV Game of the Week presented by Kubota Canada.

The Barrie Colts have been one of the League’s hottest teams, sporting a 19-9-3-0 record to earn an honourable mention. Joining them are the Western Conference leading Soo Greyhounds at 21-12-2-1 boasting the OHL’s top power play. The London Knights have allowed a League-low 86 goals in front of netminder Brett Brochu, rounding out a trio of OHL honourable mentions on the list this week.

For further analysis on the Week 13 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings, visit CHL.ca.


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.

FRONTENACS, STEELHEADS AND STORM INCLUDED IN WEEK 12 EDITION OF KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS

Toronto, Ont. – The Canadian Hockey League announced today the Week 12 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings for the 2021-22 season.

Though idle last week, the third-ranked Kingston Frontenacs carry an eight-game winning streak into the holiday break, sitting atop the OHL standings with a record of 17-5-3-0. Overage forward Lucas Edmonds sits second in OHL scoring with 52 points (17-35–52) in 25 games along with a league-leading 121 shots on goal. The Fronts feature three players in Shane Wright (Canada), Leevi Merilainen (Finland) and Martin Chromiak (Slovakia) representing their respective countries at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

The ninth-ranked Mississauga Steelheads are back inside the Top 10 following a three-week absence. The Trout rebounded from a loss to Kingston last Sunday to defeat the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-1 on the road Wednesday night before pulling into a first place tie atop the Central Division on Friday, defeating visiting North Bay 2-1. The Steelheads have surrendered a league-low 58 goals this season as overage netminder Roman Basran leads the OHL with a 2.40 goals-against average. James Hardie has paced Mississauga offensively with 18 goals and 32 points.

The Guelph Storm round out the Top 10, making their first appearance of the season. The Storm defeated the London Knights in a second consecutive meeting on Saturday, leapfrogging the Knights for top spot in the Western Conference standings. The 17-8-1-1 Storm are now 4-0 against London this season and have won eight of their last 10 games. Top scorer Sasha Pastujov, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, is representing the United States at the World Juniors. Guelph features three rookies with at least 15 points in forwards Matthew Poitras (9-12–21), Jake Karabela (3-16–19) and defenceman Michael Buchinger (0-15–15).

Entering the break on a six-game winning streak, the Barrie Colts received an honourable mention in Week 12. The Colts defeated the Ottawa 67’s 5-2 on the road Saturday afternoon to improve to 14-7-2-0.

For further analysis on the Week 12 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings, visit CHL.ca.


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.

KNIGHTS, STEELHEADS AND BATTALION INCLUDED IN WEEK 8 EDITION OF KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS

Toronto, Ont. – The Canadian Hockey League announced today the Week 8 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings for the 2021-22 season.

It was a big week for the Western Hockey League as WHL clubs occupy the top four spots on the list including the Winnipeg ICE, Everett Silvertips, Kamloops Blazers and Edmonton Oil Kings.

The London Knights are down two spots to fifth on this week’s list after a four-game week that yielded a pair of victories. The Knights suffered consecutive losses to the Sarnia Sting on Tuesday and Friday before rebounding to claim four points in a home-and-home with the Kitchener Rangers. Captain Luke Evangelista strung together back-to-back four-point performances on Saturday and Sunday, giving him the League’s third-highest point-per-game clip of 1.80. The Nashville Predators prospect has 27 points (15-12–27) over 15 games this season and sits second in OHL shots on goal with 87. The Knights also saw the debut of rookie netminder Owen Flores on Sunday in Kitchener as he gave Brett Brochu a rest, making 27 saves for his first OHL win.

The Mississauga Steelheads have forced their way into the Top 10 for the first time this season after another perfect week. The eighth-ranked Trout went 3-0 with wins over Niagara, Barrie and Sudbury, continuing a stretch of eight wins in their last nine games. Draft eligible centre Luca Del Bel Belluz recorded his first OHL hat-trick on Sunday against Sudbury, Chicago Blackhawks prospect and captain Ethan Del Mastro leads the OHL with a plus-20 rating and overage netminder Roman Basran leads the League with a 2.25 goals-against average. The Trout lead the OHL with an average of 38.6 shots-per-game while surrendering a League-low 24.3.

Another hot Central Division squad, the North Bay Battalion also make their season debut in the Top 10, coming in at ninth. Reigning OHL Player of the Week Brandon Coe and the Battalion scored victories over Ottawa, Oshawa and Niagara last week to improve to 12-6-0-1, three points up on second place Mississauga in the Central Division. Coe sits second in OHL scoring with 33 points (9-24–33) and is joined by teammates Kyle Jackson (11-18–29) and Matvey Petrov (15-12–27) among the OHL’s top 10 scorers. Montreal Canadiens prospect Joe Vrbetic recently came off a shutout streak of 203 minutes and four seconds in the North Bay crease. He’s one of two OHL goaltenders with a double-digit win total, owning a record of 10-2-0-1. The Troops defeated the eighth-ranked Steelheads 7-1 in their only meeting so far this season back on Oct. 15th.

The Kingston Frontenacs fell out of the Top 10 for just the second time this season despite grabbing three of a possible four points last week. The honourable mention Fronts defeated the Peterborough Petes 5-3 on Friday before falling 4-3 in a shootout to the Oshawa Generals on Sunday. Overage winger Lucas Edmonds remains hot with 10 points in his last three games.

For further analysis on the Week 8 edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings, visit CHL.ca.


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/.

CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE ANNOUNCES 2021-22 CBC BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Toronto, Ont. – The Canadian Hockey League announced today that six games from the upcoming 2021-22 regular season schedule will be televised by CBC as part of the CHL’s new multi-platform, multi-year broadcast rights partnership.
 
“We are very excited to drop the puck on Saturday afternoons during the 2021-22 season with the CBC,” said CHL President Dan MacKenzie. “Their iconic position in Canadian hockey combined with the CHL’s role as the top development league in the world will make for a winning partnership.”
 
The six games include representation from each of the CHL’s three member leagues with action beginning Saturday, Oct. 2 featuring the Regina Pats and 2023 NHL Draft favourite Connor Bedard hosting the Prince Albert Raiders. The schedule concludes with a matinee contest featuring the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads taking on the Kingston Frontenacs and 2022 NHL Draft headliner Shane Wright.
 
All six CBC games will air Saturdays in October and November at 3 p.m. Eastern time:
 
Sat., Oct. 2 – Prince Albert Raiders vs. Regina Pats (WHL) – 3 p.m. ET
Sat., Oct. 9 – Rouyn-Noranda Huskies vs. Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) – 3 p.m. ET
Sat., Oct. 16 – Calgary Hitmen vs. Red Deer Rebels (WHL) – 3 p.m. ET
Sat., Oct. 23 – Ottawa 67’s vs. Barrie Colts (OHL) – 3 p.m. ET
Sat., Nov. 6 – Saint John Sea Dogs vs. Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) – 3 p.m. ET
Sat., Nov. 13 – Mississauga Steelheads vs. Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) – 3 p.m. ET
 
“We’re proud to partner with the CHL and we’re looking forward to sharing the excitement of Canadian major junior hockey with fans across the country this fall,” said Chris Wilson, Executive Director, Sports & Olympics, CBC. “We’re committed to engaging our audiences on a regional and community level, and this partnership with the CHL helps to further that commitment by providing fans more opportunities to cheer on their local teams.”
 
In addition to being broadcast on CBC TV, all six games will also be available via CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and the free CBC Gem streaming service. Beginning in November, CBC Gem, CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports app will offer live streaming coverage of one CHL game per week through the end of the regular season. The schedule for these games will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
 
The 2021-22 CHL regular season begins September 30 as part of an exciting new campaign that features the stars of tomorrow in Bedard and Wright in addition to the return of the CHL’s signature national events including the 2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia.
 
###
 
About the Canadian Hockey League
The Canadian Hockey League is the world’s largest development hockey league with 52 Canadian and eight American teams participating in the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.
 
About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

Also of note: Many have asked me how the new TV deal affects the OHL Action Pak on the Rogers Sports Pak on cable. In an email I sent to Josh Sweetland, Director of Communications of the OHL, he replied it does not have any effect.

Hi Dominic,


The national TSN deal has no impact on the OHL Action Pak or regional coverage on Rogers, YourTV, Eastlink, Shaw or Cable 14 channels. The Action Pak will continue to carry upwards of 700 OHL games throughout the regular season and playoffs.


A complete television broadcast schedule is forthcoming.


Thanks,
Josh Sweetland

James Hardie – Mississauga Steelheads – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 180 Pounds

Date of birth: January 18, 2002

Hometown: Innisfil, Ontario

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 8th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. 213 N.A.

163 N.A.

The NHL scouting community had a difficult task ranking players for the 2020 Draft due to the cancelation of the CHL season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The opportunity to watch the players under pressure situations – a.k.a. the playoffs – was taken away from them.

One of the more glaring ranks by NHL Central Scouting is that of Mississauga Steelheads forward James Hardie. When Central Scouting released its mid-term rankings, Hardie was ranked 213th among North American skaters. By the time you add in Europeans and goaltenders, that virtually meant he would go undrafted. When they released their final rankings, they had moved him up 50 spots to 163 among North American skaters, which would put him in the 7th round.

I’m not alone in the belief that Hardie is vastly underrated by Central Scouting. OHL coaches voted him as the second most underrated player in the Eastern Conference in the OHL Coaches Poll, ahead of Ottawa’s Austen Keating, who was just voted the Overage Player of the Year.

James Hardie of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
James Hardie of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Hardie played his Minor Midget AAA hockey for the Barrie Colts during the 2017-2018 season. He appeared in 34 games, scoring 41 goals and assisting on 29. He would add 6 goals and 7 helpers in 8 playoff games and 3 goals and 5 assists in 5 games at the OHL Cup. The Steelheads selected him with the 8th overall pick at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. Here’s what OHL Central Scouting had to say:

James is a goal scorer that loves to shoot the puck. He has a junior-level shot already. It has pace, accuracy and he can pull the trigger quickly. He does a good job of finding open ice or those little quiet pockets in the offensive zone. He isn’t afraid to try and beat a defender in open ice when the chance is there. He plays for a well-structured team that does all the little things well and he knows his responsibilities in his own end. James was a big reason why his team had success in the playoffs and OHL Cup

Hardie broke onto the OHL scene a year ago and in 62 games scored 15 goals and 7 assists. When the remainder of this season was cancelled, he had already compiled 34 goals and 29 assists in 59 games. Among the OHL’s draft eligible players, Hardie finished 6th in goals, 8th in points, 4th in powerplay goals and no one took as many shots on goal as Hardie.

Part of the reason Hardie may have been ranked so lo to start is because he got off to a slow start. In his first 29 games, he had 12 goals and 7 assists but had a tremendous second half with 22 goals and 22 assists in his final 30 games.

Hardie is a shot generating machine, firing almost four and a half shots per game. It’s a hard, heavy, accurate shot that he has the utmost confidence in and he’s not afraid to use it. But he’s not always trying to beat goaltenders with it. He does shoot with a purpose, putting the disk in areas that the goaltender has a hard time directing and thus creating second chances. His release is also excellent and it is more noticeable with the man advantage when there is more space.

Hardie is a good technical skater, but we would like to see him add another gear. He’s not slow, but at 5’11” adding that gear could be beneficial. That doesn’t prevent him from challenging defenders one-on-one as he is more then willing. But he does play bigger than his size at times, willing to get in on the forecheck and throw his weight around to create turnovers.

Hardie will never be known as a playmaker first, his livelihood is his shot. He has shown some good hockey IQ offensively with the ability to find open spots in the offensive zone so that teammates can set him up for his shot.

Hardie continues to round out his offensive game. Earlier in the season, he didn’t show the drive to get to the middle of the ice and the high danger shot zone, but that was markedly improved in the second half, just like his production.

Hardie’s all-around game needs to improve. The offence is there. Just how patient an NHL team will be to develop that area of his game will determine how high he will go in the draft. But they must be thrilled with the offensive ability.

Oli Bjorgvik-Holm– Mississauga Steelheads – Player Profile

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 200 Pounds

Date of birth: May 23, 2002

Hometown: Oslo, Norway

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 32nd overall, 2019 CHL Import Draft

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. 140 N.A.

116 N.A.

A native of Oslo, Norway, Oli (Ole) Bjorgvik-Holm played midget hockey in the United States during the 2018-2019 season as an Alternate Captain Colorado Thunderbirds Under-16 squad. In 62 games he scored 21 goals and 32 assists. He was the 32nd overall pick of the Mississauga Steelheads at the 2019 CHL Import Draft. As a 15-year old (2017-2018 season) he played in Norway’s Under-16, Under-17 and Under-20 leagues.

Bjorgvik-Holm was also selected in the United States Hockey League Draft by the Tri-City Storm in the 18th round, 282nd overall at the 2018 USHL Phase II Draft. He was committed to attend the University of Denver to play NCAA Division I hockey, but on July 6, 2019 he decided to forego his NCAA eligibility and signed with the Steelheads.

Ole Bjorgvik-Holm of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Oli Bjorgvik-Holm of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Bjorgvik-Holm would appear in 57 games for the Steelheads and score twice while assisting on 17. Things looked very promising for the Mississauga defender when he registered 4 points in his first 6 games. He still managed to finish third among rookie defenders even though he slowed down from the pace he set in the first half dozen games.

Bjorgvik-Holm has some big size with some meat on his bones. He moves well for a big defender although his lateral movement could use some work. His pivoting from forward to backwards skating is smooth and rarely misses a stride. He has some good speed but could stand to work on his agility. He has a very active stick and with his long reach is very good a breaking up plays. He’s also not shy about using his big frame. He’ll use it to separate opponents from the puck and to win battles along the walls.

Bjorgvik-Holm’s bread and butter may be that of a defensive defenceman who can log big minutes, take on the oppositions top players and provide steady and efficient penalty killing for you. But he does come with some intriguing offensive abilities.

Bjorgvik-Holm is a smart player who knows what to do with and without the puck. He makes a very good first pass breaking out of his own zone, but he has shown flashes (and more confidence as the season progressed) of being able to skate out of his zone and transition to offence. He has also shown an ability to join the rush when the opportunity presents itself, but I believe he focuses more of his attention to defence so he’s not always showing that ability.

NHL Scouts are certainly going to be intrigued by the size and the ability to move, especially for a defender in today’s game. Bjorgvik-Holm will at the very least bring a solid defensive game at the next level. The question that needs answering is: how much offence can he bring to the table?

He could be a good find with a project tag attached in the later rounds.