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.

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Month for February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OHL Writers Draft Eligible Players of the Month

February – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

January – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

December – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

November – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

October – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

KNIGHTS’ CONNOR McMICHAEL NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK

McMichael

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Washington Capitals prospect Connor McMichael of the London Knights is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week with seven points including three goals and four assists over two games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-4.

McMichael claims the honour for the third time this season, helping the Knights stretch their current winning streak to eight with multi-point efforts in a pair of victories. He opened up the weekend on Friday with his league-leading sixth hat-trick of the campaign, tacking on an assist for four points in a 7-4 win over the CHL’s ninth-ranked Windsor Spitfires. McMichael collected three assists in Saturday’s 5-2 road win over the Sarnia Sting as the Knights climbed into first place in the Midwest Division with a 32-13-1-1 record with 66 points.

A 19-year-old native of Ajax, Ont., McMichael sits third in OHL scoring with 83 points including 37 goals and 46 assists over 37 games, good for the league’s highest rate of 2.24 points-per-game. He continues to ride a 12-game point streak as the Knights have surged up the Western Conference standings. McMichael was a first round (25th overall) pick of the Washington Capitals last summer and was originally a first round (11th overall) pick of the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. He recently won gold with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Also considered for the award this week were Mississauga Steelheads teammates Cole Schwindt (1-6–7) and Keean Washkurak (2-5–7) who each recorded seven points in a pair of victories this past weekend.

OTR_2017_Logo

2019-20 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Jan. 27 – Feb. 2: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Jan. 20 – Jan. 26: Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 13 – Jan. 19: Mitchell Hoelscher (Ottawa 67’s)
Jan. 6 – Jan. 12: Philip Tomasino (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 30 – Jan. 5: Jacob Ingham (Kitchener Rangers)
Dec. 16 – Dec. 29: Joseph Garreffa (Ottawa 67’s)
Dec. 9 – Dec. 15: Jacob Ingham (Kitchener Rangers)
Dec. 2 – Dec. 8: Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 25 – Dec. 1: Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)
Nov. 18 – Nov. 24: Riley McCourt (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 11 – Nov. 17: Jan Jenik (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Nov. 4 – Nov. 10: Cam Hillis (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 28 – Nov. 3: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Oct. 21 – Oct. 27: Nico Daws (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 14 – Oct. 20: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 7 – Oct. 13: Mack Guzda (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 24 – Oct. 6: Philip Tomasino (Niagara IceDogs)
Sept. 23 – Sept. 29: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 22: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (Peterborough Petes)

OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR JANUARY

Academic players for January

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Tye Austin of the Peterborough Petes, Ethan Del Mastro of the Mississauga Steelheads, Logan LeSage of the Owen Sound Attack and Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires have been named OHL Academic Players of the Month for January.

East Division: Peterborough’s Tye Austin is January’s East Division Academic Player of the Month. The 17-year-old netminder is taking grade 12 university-level courses in English, Functions, and Biology, and boasts a 100% mark in his Math class.

“Tye is extremely worthy of the Academic Player of the Month tribute,” wrote Kim Driscoll, Co-operative Education Teacher at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School. “He works diligently on his school work whether that means staying up late after practice or a game, working on a bus during a road trip or working through lunch while at school.” Austin has future plans to pursue biochemistry and medical school.

In his second year in net for the Petes, Austin holds a 4.16 goals-against average and an .868 save percentage through his first 14 appearances. The Pembroke, Ont. native was a third round pick of the Petes in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

Central Division: Ethan Del Mastro has been recognized as January’s Central Division Academic Player of the Month. The Mississauga Steelheads rookie holds an 86% grade in his Accounting class, 80% in Biology, 88% in Data Management and an 84% in his Co-op program.

Head coach James Richmond praised Del Mastro’s performance. “Ethan has played in our top four all year against the other team’s best players night in and night out,” said Richmond. “To do that as a 16-year-old is very impressive.”

The 17-year-old defender is described as “quiet” and “diligent” by Philip Pocock Secondary School’s Guidance Councillor, Genevieve Wong.

Del Mastro has recorded five assists in his first 43 games with the Steelheads. He was drafted 12th overall in last year’s OHL Priority Selection following a 44-point season (8-36-44) with the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midgets.

Midwest Division: Logan LeSage of the Owen Sound Attack is January’s Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month. The 18-year-old centreman is a student at Owen Sound District Secondary School and has maintained a 100% grade in his International Business class. He also holds a 99% in Organizational Business, 97% in Leadership, and a 99% through two periods of Co-op.

His teachers commented that his assignments always exceed the stated expectations, and are completed with extensive research and extreme attention to detail. He’s described as an “absolute joy to teach” and a “leader among his peers.”

“Logan has demonstrated an outstanding effort this semester,” wrote Academic Advisor Sarah Rowe. “He always has a positive attitude and is the first to help other students who have difficulty.”

Through the first 10 games of his rookie season, LeSage has recorded one assist. He was a second round pick of the Attack at the 2019 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection, and spent the 2018-19 season with the Carleton Place Canadians where he amassed 35 points (15-20-35) in 39 games.

West Division: Will Cuylle has been named the West Division’s Academic Player of the Month for January. The Windsor Spitfires sophomore’s studies at St. Anne Catholic High School include Grade 12 Data Management, Grade 12 Business Leadership, and an online Accounting Class. He maintains an overall 80% average.

“Will’s academic achievement is a direct reflection of his work ethic and commitment to being the best student athlete that he can be,” wrote Windsor’s Academic Advisors. “He sets goals to improve and he applies the work to achieve that goal.” He’s described by his teachers as “an overall good character person” who shows respect.

The 17-year-old winger, eligible for this summer’s NHL Draft, has 16 goals and 32 points in 43 games. He was recently ranked 21st in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings among all North American Skaters.

2019-20 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
January – Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
December – Cameron Tolnai (Ottawa 67’s)
November – Lleyton Moore (Oshawa Generals)
October – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)

Central Division:
January – Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Giordano Biondi (Sudbury Wolves)
November – Jonah De Simone (Niagara IceDogs)
October – Pacey Schlueting (North Bay Battalion)

Midwest Division:
January – Logan LeSage (Owen Sound Attack)
December – Stuart Rolofs (London Knights)
November – Michael Vukojevic (Kitchener Rangers)
October – Zack Terry (Guelph Storm)

West Division:
January – Will Cuylle (Windsor Spitfires)
December – Jacob Holmes (Soo Greyhounds)
November – Ryan Mast (Sarnia Sting)
October – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)

Last season, the OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 340 OHL Alumni at 69 different academic institutions across North America with a total scholarship payment in excess of $3.2 million. Since the 2007-08 season, OHL Scholarship payments have totalled more than $25 million.

Click here for more information about ‘OHL Players First’ programs.

OHL THIS WEEK: JANUARY 3 TO 5, 2020

Press Release

 

OHL This Week

Toronto, Ont. – Welcome back, it’s 2020! Here’s a look at what’s happening across the Ontario Hockey League this week.

HAPPY NEW YEAR – A DECADE OF OHL CHAMPIONS:
There’s lots to look back on from the past decade. The OHL spent the days leading up to New Year’s Eve recounting past champions and some of the greatest moments of the past 10 years.
WATCH • DECADE IN REVIEW

HAYTON’S PAIR PROPELS CANADA PAST SLOVAKIA IN QUARTERFINALS:
Soo Greyhounds graduate Barrett Hayton scored a pair of goals to lead Canada past Slovakia 6-1 and into the semi-finals at the 2020 World Juniors. Canada will now face off against Finland in Saturday’s semi-final game with a 1pm ET puck drop.
READ MORE

OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR DECEMBER:
Mississauga’s Cole Schwindt, Ottawa’s Noel Hoefenmayer, Peterborough’s Mason McTavish and Kitchener’s Jacob Ingham are OHL Top Performers for November 2019.
READ MORE

KNIGHTS’ EVANGELISTA ADDED TO KUBOTA CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME:
London Knights forward Luke Evangelista has been added to the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He’ll replace injured Oshawa Generals forward Oliver Suni. Evangelista has 33 points (14-19–33) over 35 games with the Knights this season after being the club’s first round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.
READ MORE

ROOKIE PHENOM WRIGHT TAKING THE LEAD IN KINGSTON:
At 15-years-old, Kingston Frontenacs rookie star Shane Wright has been entrusted with an ‘A’ on his jersey. The OHL’s Sarah Jean Maher caught up with Wright and his Frontenacs teammates this past week.
READ MORE

67’s, PETES AND STORM IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s remain the second-ranked team in the CHL this week while the Peterborough Petes and Guelph Storm are also inside the Top 10. The Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit both received honourable mentions.
FULL RANKINGS

KIA CHL TOP 10 SPOTLIGHT – SAGINAW SPIRIT:
As the season enters its second half, the Saginaw Spirit are recognized as an honourable mention in the latest Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings. The Spirit are currently riding a six-game winning streak and sit tied atop the West Division.
READ MORE

67’s’ GARREFFA NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Joseph Garreffa of the Ottawa 67’s is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week of games spanning December 18-29 with 10 points over three contests.
READ MORE

GARREFFA, HOEFENMAYER AND SCHWINDT NAMED TO VAUGHN CHL TEAM OF THE WEEK:
Ottawa 67’s teammates Joseph Garreffa and Noel Hoefenmayer join Mississauga Steelheads forward Cole Schwindt on the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week.
READ MORE

VAUGHN SAVES OF THE WEEK – JAN. 1, 2020:
The first 2020 edition of Vaughn Saves will have you coming back for more! Check out big stops from the Oshawa Generals duo of Zachary Paputsakis and Andrew MacLean, Hamilton’s Zachary Roy, Sault Ste. Marie’s Bailey Brkin, Peterborough’s Hunter Jones, Barrie’s Jet Greaves, Ottawa’s Cedrick Andree, Windsor’s Xavier Medina and Kitchener’s Jacob Ingham.
WATCH

OHL WEEKEND NOTEBOOK: DEC. 30, 2019:
The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice. Here are 10 of the leading stories from this past weekend.
READ MORE

CHROMIAK, MCGURN SCORE FIRST OHL GOALS:
The latest instalment of OHL Milestone Moments features two young forwards who scored their first OHL goals this past week. Kingston Frontenacs forward Martin Chromiak scored in his OHL debut on Thursday after London’s Sean McGurn found the back of the net on New Year’s Eve.
WATCH

SPIRIT’S DUHART REPRESENTS OHL IN CHL SHOWDOWN:
Saginaw Spirit forward Dalton Duhart is this week’s OHL representative in CHL Showdown, a weekly contest that features one great play from all three leagues.
WATCH & VOTE AT CHLSHOWDOWN.CA

#PLAYERSFIRST – HOLISTIC APPROACH TO PLAYER DEVELOPMENT:
The OHL’s holistic approach to player development allows it to produce great hockey players as well as well-rounded young men. The League and its member teams strive to develop the whole person through education, awareness and community involvement.
FACT OF THE WEEK • ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS:
The Quinte Red Devils remain on top of the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Minor Midget Top-10 Rankings after finishing in the final four of last weekend’s Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic. The Toronto Titans, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and Toronto Nationals are also on the rise inside the Top-5.
FULL RANKINGS

67’s EARN FRANCHISE RECORD 15TH CONSECUTIVE WIN:
The Ottawa 67’s set a new franchise record on Thursday, defeating the Kingston Frontenacs 8-4 for their 15th consecutive win. Ottawa’s 15-game winning streak surpasses the franchise’s prior mark set during the 1998-99 season.
READ MORE

STORM’S PHILLIPS RETURNS FROM KINGS ORGANIZATION:
The Los Angeles Kings have reassigned overage defenceman Markus Phillips back to the Guelph Storm where he won an OHL Championship last spring. The 20-year-old defenceman has spent the majority of this season with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, recording six assists over 20 games.
READ MORE

67’s’ OKHOTYUK SIGNS WITH DEVILS:
The New Jersey Devils have signed Ottawa 67’s defenceman Nikita Okhtoyuk to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 19-year-old defenceman has six assists in an injury-shortened 12 game season to this point after being New Jersey’s second round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-1 defenceman recorded 17 points (2-15–17) with the 67’s last season.
READ MORE

ATTACK’S DUDAS SIGNS WITH KINGS:
The Los Angeles Kings have signed Owen Sound Attack captain Aidan Dudas to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The Owen Sound Attack captain is currently representing Canada at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The Parry Sound, Ont. native has 30 points (11-19–30) in Owen Sound this season.
READ MORE

TOP CHL IMPORT DRAFT SELECTION MARTIN CHROMIAK COMMITS TO FRONTENACS:
The Kingston Frontenacs have received a commitment from 2019 second overall CHL Import Draft selection Martin Chromiak. Chromiak spent the beginning of this season with HK Dukla Trencin of the Slovakian Tipsport Liga. While playing against men in a professional league he scored five goals and an assist in 32 games.
READ MORE

5 QUESTIONS WITH JAMIE DRYSDALE:
Defenceman Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters shares his thoughts about being named to Canada’s National Junior Team and playing in his NHL Draft season.
READ MORE

HOW OWEN BRADY’S CANCER DIAGNOSIS DIDN’T STOP HIS NHL DREAM:
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman spoke with Oshawa Generals prospect Owen Brady as part of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour’s coverage this past weekend in Whitby, Ont. Friedman chats with Brady about his journey through an osteosarcoma diagnosis followed by a brave fight and current recovery as he looks to make a return to the ice.
WATCH AT SPORTSNET.CA

ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR VISITS COBOURG:
The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour shifts to Cobourg, Ont. this weekend after last weekend’s stop in Whitby covered such stars as OHL graduate James Neal. Cobourg is the home of OHL graduate and three-time Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams. Visit hometownhockey.com for all of this weekend’s coverage.

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Quinton Byfield Bobblehead Night in Sudbury: He won’t be in the lineup, but there’ll be plenty of his bobbleheads at the Sudbury Community Arena on Friday as the Wolves host Quinton Byfield Bobblehead Night at home to the Barrie Colts. The first 1,000 fans into the arena on Friday will received a free Quinton Byfield Bobblehead!
READ MORE AT SUDBURYWOLVES.COM

Firebirds Fight Hunger: The Flint Firebirds have partnered with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for the team’s fifth annual “Firebirds Fight Hunger” campaign. Fans are encouraged to bring in a minimum of five non-perishable food items to be donated during Friday’s game against the visiting Oshawa Generals, as well as Saturday’s tilt against the London Knights.
MORE DETAILS AT FLINTFIREBIRDS.COM

Storm presents “Angels in the Stands”: As the Storm host the Peterborough Petes on Friday, January 3rd, they’ll be presenting their first annual “Angels in the Stands” game in support of Michael House. Michael House provides pregnancy and parenting support services to pregnant and parenting women in the community. There will be contests held and “Holiday Hoopla” Fan Bags containing Guelph Storm baseball caps and other fun items available for purchase. All donations will go toward Michael House.
READ MORE AT GUELPHSTORM.COM

Ted Lindsay Night in Saginaw: The Saginaw Spirit pay homage to a Detroit Red Wings all-time great on Saturday on Ted Lindsay Night at the Dow Event Center. Fans will have the opportunity to have their photo taken alongside the Ted Lindsay MVP Trophy in the Red Room prior to game time.
FULL DETAILS AT SAGINAWSPIRIT.COM

67’s host Teddy Bear Toss: Sunday’s tilt against the visiting Erie Otters is the Ottawa 67’s Teddy Bear Toss game, where fans are welcome to bring new or gently used stuffed animals to be launched onto the ice following the first Ottawa goal, where they will then be collected and later donated. Bears will also be available for purchase.
MORE INFO AT OTTAWA67s.COM

Isaac Nurse Bobblehead Night in Hamilton: The first 1000 fans to arrive for Sunday’s matchup between the host Hamilton Bulldogs and the Niagara IceDogs will receive an exclusive Isaac Nurse Bobblehead, one of three different bobbleheads available at Bulldogs games this season.

ALUMNI NOTES:

3 OHL grads win Spengler Cup with Canada: Three OHL graduates are Spengler Cup champions after representing Canada at the annual clash in Davos, Switzerland. Canada returned to the top of the podium after settling for second place last year, winning their 16th event title and fourth in the past five years. OHL graduates Brendan Burke (Univ. of Alberta/London Knights), Dustin Jeffrey (Lausanne HC/Soo Greyhounds) and Mathew Maione (Dinamo Riga/Niagara IceDogs) were part of the Canadian squad.

Stephens scores first NHL goal: Former Saginaw Spirit and London Knights forward Mitchell Stephens scored his first career NHL goal on Saturday. The 22-year-old helped the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4, scoring in his eighth career contest. A second round pick of the Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft, Stephens had registered 10 points (5-5–10) in 24 games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch to start the season and now has a goal through 11 contests with the Lightning. Stephens played in the OHL from 2013-17, spending three and a half seasons in Saginaw before finishing his career in London. The Peterborough, Ont. native put up 160 points (73-87–160) over 209 career regular season contests.

Marchment makes NHL debut: Mississauga Steelheads graduate Mason Marchment made his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. The 24-year-old from Uxbridge, Ont. was called up by the Leafs earlier this week after recording four points (2-2–4) in 11 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies to start the season. Marchment, who was a Calder Cup champion with the Marlies in 2018, played two OHL seasons between Erie, Hamilton and Mississauga from 2014-16. He is the son of OHL graduate and long-time NHL defenceman Bryan Marchment.

Smith makes NHL debut: It was a long time coming for Dalton Smith, but the Ottawa 67’s graduate made his NHL debut at 27-years-old on New Year’s Eve as the Buffalo Sabres fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4. Smith, who has spent parts of eight seasons in the minors since graduating from the 67’s in 2011-12, was sent back to the the AHL’s Rochester Americans following the game, but will always have the memory of his first NHL contest. The 6-foot-2, 217Ib. winger spent four seasons in Ottawa from 2008-12, recording 105 points (50-55–105) over 196 career regular season contests. He was a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010.

11 OHL grads named to AHL All-Star rosters: A total of 11 OHL grads have been named to AHL All-Star Game rosters including Andrew Aggozzino (WBS Penguins/Niagara IceDogs), Reid Boucher (Utica Comets/Sarnia Sting), Kyle Capobianco (Tucson Roadrunners/Sudbury Wolves), Morgan Frost (Lehigh Valley Phantoms/Soo Greyhounds), Joey Keane (Hartford Wolf Pack/London Knights), Rasmus Sandin (Toronto Marlies/Soo Greyhounds), Michael Sgarbossa (Hershey Bears/Sudbury Wolves), Anthony Stolarz (San Diego Gulls/London Knights), Jack Studnicka (Providence Bruins/Niagara IceDogs), Chris Terry (Grand Rapids Griffins/Plymouth Whalers), Owen Tippett (Springfield Thunderbirds/Saginaw Spirit). Former OHL coaches behind the bench will include Kris Knoblauch (Hartford Wolf Pack/Erie Otters) and Jay Varady (Tucson Roadrunners/Kingston Frontenacs) as well as OHL playing graduate Chris Taylor (Rochester Americans/London Knights). The 2020 AHL All-Star Classic is set for January 26-27 in Ontario, California.
READ MORE AT THEAHL.COM

Dansk named AHL Goaltender of the Month: Erie Otters graduate Oscar Dansk is the AHL Goaltender of the Month for December, going 7-0 with a 1.57 goals-against average and .943 save percentage with the Chicago Wolves, top affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. Dansk is 11-6 with a 2.75 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in Chicago this season. The 25-year-old played two seasons in Erie from 2012-14, going 40-32-4-3 with a 3.25 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. He was a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012.

Timmins’ game continuing to come around: Soo Greyhounds graduate Conor Timmins has battled injury since graduating from the OHL in 2018. The 21-year-old Colorado Avalanche prospect is finding success in 2019-20 though, recording 13 points (3-10–13) in 22 games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. TheAHL.com’s Demitri Herrera takes a closer look at where Timmins fits into Colorado’s plans as he continues to develop in their farm system.
READ MORE AT THEAHL.COM

Parsons named ECHL Goaltender of the Week: London Knights graduate Tyler Parsons is the ECHL Goaltender of the Week, going 2-0 with a shutout and a 1.00 goals-against average for the Kansas City Mavericks. The 22-year-old is 6-3 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 10 games with Kansas City this season. The Chesterfield, Mich. native is a Calgary Flames prospect who was selected in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. Parsons, who won a Memorial Cup with London in 2016, played three OHL seasons with the Knights from 2014-17, going 75-25-4-6 with a 2.65 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Maletta makes return to ice with Brock Badgers: It’s been a long road back for OHL graduate Jordan Maletta, but the 24-year-old, who once signed a three-year entry level deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has returned to the ice with the Brock Badgers Men’s Hockey program. Maletta suits up under former Niagara IceDogs head coach Marty Williamson in St. Catharines after missing out on the entire 2018-19 season. The 6-foot-3, 215Ib. centreman played two pro seasons in the Columbus organization before being sidelined with an injury. The former first round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection played five OHL seasons between Windsor and Niagara, recording 191 points (82-109–191) over 314 regular season games.

KEY MATCHUPS:

Peterborough Petes at Guelph Storm
Friday, January 3rd

Coming off a 5-0 loss, their third defeat in four games since returning from the holiday break, and trailing two points behind the league-leading Ottawa 67’s, the Peterborough Petes will be as hungry as ever for victory when they head to Guelph Friday evening for their second game of the New Year.

This will be the second meeting of the two clubs, with Guelph having claimed victory in their first tilt just recently on Dec. 28 by a 3-2 OT tally. Former Pete Pavel Gogolev notched the overtime winner against his previous team just 12 seconds in.

Rookie Mason McTavish continues to impress, skating in with 32 points to his name through just as many games atop the rookie scoring list. He netted his first career hat trick and career-high five point showing last weekend in his club’s 7-3 trampling over the Niagara IceDogs.

Guelph skates into the match having won six of their last 10 games. Gogolev leads the team with 57 points (27-30-57) and goals in his last nine games. He’s followed by Montreal draft pick Cam Hillis and then Eric Uba, who’s picked up seven points (2-5-7) in his last four games.

Saginaw Spirit at Kitchener Rangers
Friday, January 3rd

Two must-see Western Conference teams in Saginaw and Kitchener will go head-to-head on Friday evening at the Aud, looking to build on their win streaks and kick off the New Year in the win column.

The Rangers have won 11 of their last 12 games and are heading into Friday’s tilt on a three-game win skid that has seen multi-point performances from their leading trio of Riley Damiani, Jonathan Yantsis, and Greg Meireles. In fact, Meireles, a sixth round draft pick of the Florida Panthers last June, has picked up points in his last seven games. Jacob Ingham has continued to stand tall between the pipes with 11 wins in his last 13 starts and two shutouts within the last month.

Saginaw rolls in with six straight wins under their belt. In the absence of many of the league’s top scorers to their respective World Junior squads, top NHL Draft hopeful Cole Perfetti has seamlessly continued to soar among the league’s point leaders, heading into Friday’s game with an eighth-best 55 (20-35-55) to his name. He’s amassed points in his last five games.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Friday January 3rd:
Oshawa at Flint – 7:00pm
Erie at Kingston – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Windsor at Soo – 7:07pm
Peterborough at Guelph – 7:30pm
Saginaw at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Mississauga at London – 7:30pm

Saturday January 4th:
Kingston at Hamilton – 4:00pm
London at Flint – 7:00pm
Kitchener at Niagara – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Windsor at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Sarnia at Soo – 7:07pm
North Bay at Barrie – 7:30pm
Guelph at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday January 5th:
Kitchener at Guelph – 2:00pm
Niagara at Hamilton – 2:00pm
Peterborough at Mississauga – 2:00pm
Windsor at North Bay – 2:00pm
Erie at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sarnia at Saginaw – 5:30pm