Storm’s Ryan Merkley named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2018 NHL Draft prospect Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending November 12 after scoring one goal with five assists for six points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-4.

Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL  Images.
Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Merkley becomes the first defenceman to earn the award this season after recording two multi-point performances last week helping the Storm to a pair of victories.  On Friday night he scored once and added an assist as part of a 6-2 win over the North Bay Battalion, then collected a career-high four assists on Sunday as first star of a 5-1 win over the Sudbury Wolves.  The two weekend wins give the Storm three straight lifting them into a second place tie in the OHL’s Midwest Division with 22 points from a 10-7-0-2 record.

A 17-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., Merkley is playing in his second season with the Storm after being chosen first overall in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection and earning OHL Rookie of the Year honours.  The first round candidate in NHL Central Scouting’s October ‘Players to Watch’ list leads the Storm in scoring and is currently second among OHL defencemen with 24 points in 19 games including six goals and 18 assists.

Watch video highlights of Merkley and the Storm against the Battalion and Wolves.

Also considered for the award this week were a pair of Philadelphia Flyers prospects including Matthew Strome of the Hamilton Bulldogs who scored three goals and three assists for six points in two games, and Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds with three goals and two assists for five points in two games.  In goal, Justin Fazio of the Sarnia Sting posted a 1-0-1-0 record including a shutout victory making 72 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.98 and save percentage of .926.

2017-18 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week:

Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)

Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)

Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)

Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)

Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)

Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)

Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)

Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

 

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Morgan Frost – Soo Greyhounds – Player Profile

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 170 pounds

Date of birth: May 14, 1999

Hometown: Aurora, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 4, 81st overall, 2015 Priority Selection

Toronto Maple Leafs fans may recognize the last name. For those that do not, Sault Ste Marie center Morgan Frost is the son of former Leafs’ Public Address Announcer Andy Frost and the host of “Leaf Talk”, the post game Leaf radio show where fans could call in. Fans will certainly remember the legendary voice that echoed through the Air Canada Center from 1999 to 2016.

The younger Frost played his Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Barrie Colts during the 2014-2015 season and in 32 games scored 30 goals and added 25 assists. He would win a bronze medal at the OHL Gold Cup with Team OMHA Navy scoring once and adding 7 assists in 5 games. The Greyhounds would select him in the 4th round, 81st overall at the 2015 Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection.

Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Frost played his OHL rookie season a year ago, on a deep Greyhounds roster. He finished 20th among rookies on points on 7 goals and 20 assists in 65 games. This season, Frost has played a huge role for the Greyhounds. Paired mostly with Zachary Senyshyn, he sits third in points (58), and third in assists (40).

Frost has been a steady riser on many lists, but that may have been because he was underrated in some circles coming in. Originally a B prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to watch list – typically a second or third round pick – Frost was ranked 29th among North Americans on their mid-term rankings released in January. When Europeans and goaltenders are added in, you’re looking at a solid mid-to-late second round pick.

Offensively, Frost is most dangerous on the powerplay (7 goals and 13 assists) – but it’s not limited to that. His ability to see the play develop and react to it is an indication of his vision and hockey smarts. He’s calm with the puck and plays patiently with it. He can maintain possession while his teammates get into lanes and with his superb passing, he usually gets the puck on their sticks. But he’s also a very good skater with excellent acceleration and will attack lanes if he sees one open. He can also play the point on the powerplay and is responsible enough defensively to be effective on the point.

From last season, one of the issues Frost needed to work on was his faceoffs. And he’s done that going from a 47.5% winning percentage to 52.5% this season. Secondly, he had to learn to become more selfish at times and use his underrated shot more. He went from 7 goals on 69 shots (10.1%) a year ago, to 18 goals on 131 shots (13.7%) today. Finally, adding more strength and speed were necessary and he’s accomplished that, but he still has a way to go to add more size.

Morgan Frost

This is the profile page of Morgan Frost at Elite Prospects

CHL’s Top Prospects Perform in Sport Testing Combine

Quebec City, QC – 40 of the CHL’s top prospects eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft were put to the test on Sunday at Centre Videotron one day before Team Cherry and Team Orr face-off at the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Players seized the opportunity to showcase their individual strengths with Sport Testing once again putting the next wave of NHL Draft talent through a series of tests to gauge fitness and skill levels for NHL management and scouts.

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Alex Formenton of the London Knights, ranked 24th by NHL Central Scouting in their Midterm Rankings, finished atop the overall standings in the on-ice portion of the tests which included forward and backward sprints, reaction, weave agility, and transition agility each performed with and without the puck.  Defenceman Antoine Crete-Belzile of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (ranked 66th by NHL CS) finished second in on-ice tests, followed by fellow rearguard Markus Phillips of the Owen Sound Attack (ranked 62nd by NHL CS) in third position, forward Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads (ranked 2nd by NHL CS) in fourth, and Michael Rasmussen of the Tri-City Americans (ranked 6th by NHL CS) finished fifth in the skating drills.

Defenceman Jacob Paquette of the Kingston Frontenacs (ranked 90th by NHL CS) led the way in off-ice tests conducted earlier in the day which included strength testing, agility runs, sprints, and various leg power evaluations.  Forward Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (ranked 29th by NHL CS) finished second in off-ice tests, and Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads (ranked 4th by NHL CS) finished in third position.  Alex Formenton also finished near the top in off-ice tests landing in fourth place overall, followed by Isaac Ratcliffe of the Guelph Storm (ranked 20th by NHL CS) in fifth.

In specialized Sport Testing for goalies, Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires claimed top honours in an array of reaction, agility, and movement challenges.

2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game – Sport Testing Combine Top Performers:

On-Ice Tests:

30M Forward Skate:

1 – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 3.991

2 – Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)

3 – Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks)

30M Forward Skate with Puck:

1 – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

2 – Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)

3 – Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks)

30M Backward Skate:

1 – Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans)

2 – Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)

3 – Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)

 30M Backward Skate with Puck:

1 – Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)

2 – Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)

3 – Antoine Crete-Belzile (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

Transition Agility:

1 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

2 – Antoine Crete-Belzile (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

3 – Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks)

Transition Agility with Puck:

1 – Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)

2 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

3 – Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)

Weave Agility:

1 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

2 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

3 – Antoine Morand (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)

Weave Agility with Puck:

1 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

2 – Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)

3 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

Reaction:

1 – Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)

2 – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)

3 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

Reaction with Puck:

1 – Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans)

2 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

3 – Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans)

Off-Ice Tests:

Pro-Agility Left:

1 – Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters)

2 – Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)

3 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

Pro-Agility Right:

1 – Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

2 – Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans)

3 – Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters)

Vertical Jump:

1 – Alex Formenton (London Knights)

2 – Jake Leschyshyn (Regina Pats)

3 – Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs)

Broad Jump:

1 – Eemeli Rasanen (Kingston Frontenacs)

2 – Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)

2 – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Medicine Ball Toss:

1 – Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads)

2 – Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

3 – Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)

Grip Left:

1 – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)

2 – Nikita Popugaev (Prince George Cougars)

3 – Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs)

Grip Right:

1 – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)

2 – Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)

3 – Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs)

Sport Testing scores provide valuable performance benchmarks to coaches and players at all levels of hockey with data collected at the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game shared with NHL Central Scouting and distributed to all 30 NHL teams.

For more information please visit www.sporttesting.com.

OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders as Of December

Happy New Year!

As we enter the New Year, December has come to a close and we’ll look at the Ontario Hockey League’s statistical leaders among players eligible for the 2017 National Hockey League Draft.

While there are players that are still eligible, since they were passed over in 2016, we did not include them. The list is entirely of players eligible for the first time.

Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack) and Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads) have opened up a lead in the points race over third place Morgan Frost (Soo Greyhounds). Suzuki leads the way with 47 points followed closely by Tippett with 45 points. Frost sits 11 points back of the leader with 36 points. Tippett has an over whelming lead in the goal scoring department with 29, 9 more than Suzuki.

Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

The top two defenceman leading in the scoring race among rearguards have also opened up a bit of a gap. Conor Timmins (Soo Greyhounds) leads defenders with 34 points. He has a 4 point lead over Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads). There is a 10 point gap between Hague and Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s), who comes in third with 20 points.

Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires) leads in all goaltending categories including shutouts (4) that lead the entire league.

We’ve added some categories this month: longest goal scoring streak, longest assist streak, longest point streak, shot attempts and shots on goal to name a few.

Players with an asterisk (*) also lead the league in that category.

While we take great care in the stat keeping, please refer to the OHL website for official stats.   Goaltenders ranked are minimum 4 games played.

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Nick Suzuki Owen Sound Attack 36 20 27 47
Owen Tippett Mississauga Steelheads 36 29 16 45
Morgan Frost Soo Greyhounds 37 13 23 36
Ivan Lodnia Erie Otters 33 16 19 35
Austen Keating Ottawa 67’s 33 16 19 35
Jason Robertson Kingston Frontenacs 35 16 18 34
Robert Thomas London Knights 34 11 23 34
Conor Timmins Soo Greyhounds 37 6 28 34
Mattew Strome Hamilton Bulldogs 35 18 15 33
Isaac Ratcliffe Guelph Storm 36 17 16 33
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Owen Tippett Mississauga Steelheads 36 29 0.81
Nick Suzuki Owen Sound Attack 36 20 0.56
Mattew Strome Hamilton Bulldogs 35 18 0.51
Isaac Ratcliffe Guelph Storm 36 17 0.47
Jonah Gadjovich Owen Sound Attack 30 17 0.57
Ivan Lodnia Erie Otters 33 16 0.48
Jason Robertson Kingston Frontenacs 35 16 0.46
Linus Nyman Kingston Frontenacs 35 16 0.46
Sasha Chmelevski Ottawa 67’s 29 14 0.48
Macauley Carson Sudbury Wolves 37 14 0.38
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
Conor Timmins Soo Greyhounds 37 28 0.76
Nick Suzuki Owen Sound Attack 36 27 0.75
Austen Keating Ottawa 67’s 37 25 0.68
Robert Thomas London Knights 34 23 0.68
Morgan Frost Soo Greyhounds 37 23 0.62
Ivan Lodnia Erie Otters 33 19 0.58
Jason Robertson Kingston Frontenacs 35 18 0.51
Greg Meireles Kitchener Rangers 32 17 0.53
Lucas Chiodo Barrie Colts 34 17 0.50
Zach Gallant Peterborough Petes 35 17 0.49
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Conor Timmins Soo Greyhounds 37 6 28 34
Nicolas Hague Mississauga Steelheads 36 13 17 30
Noel Hoefenmayer Ottawa 67’s 31 7 13 20
Adam Thilander North Bay Battalion 32 3 15 18
Brady Lyle North Bay Battalion 36 3 12 15
Eememi Rasanen Kingston Frontenacs 35 3 12 15
Tom Hedberg Barrie Colts 28 3 11 14
Markus Phillips Owen Sound Attack 36 4 8 12
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
Robert Thomas London Knights 34 +25
Conor Timmins Soo Greyhounds 37 +25
Jonah Gadjovich Owen Sound Attack 30 +18
Isaac Ratcliffe Guelph Storm 36 +18
Nick Suzuki Owen Sound Attack 36 +18
Zach Gallant Peterborough Petes 35 +12
Ivan Lodnia Erie Otters 33 +11
Liam Hawel Soo Greyhounds 37 +10
Gabriel Vilardi Windsor Spitfires 19 +9
Elijah Roberts Kitchener Rangers 34 +9
Penalty Minutes Leaders
Player Team GP PIM M/G
Shaw Boomhower Mississauga Steelheads 33 70 2.12
Nicolas Hague Mississauga Steelheads 35 62 1.77
Drake Pilon Sudbury Wolves 28 60 2.14
Darian Pilon Sudbury Wolves 37 59 1.59
Cole Fraser Peterborough Petes 34 54 1.59
Zach Gallant Peterborough Petes 35 54 1.54
Hayden Davis Niagara Ice Dogs 34 48 1.41
Faceoff Leaders  (wins)
Player Team GP FOA FOW %
Robert Thomas London Knights 34 659 380 57.7
Zach Gallant Peterborough Petes 35 623 364 58.4
Jack Studnicka Oshawa Generals 35 501 264 52.7
Ben Jones Niagara Ice Dogs 31 506 254 50.2
Jason Willms Barrie Colts 34 486 253 52.1
Nick Suzuki Owen Sound Attack 36 456 245 53.7
Morgan Frost Soo Greyhounds 37 474 239 50.4
Nate Schnarr Guelph Storm 23 468 234 50.0
Sasha Chmelevski Ottawa 67’s 29 414 224 54.1
Matthew Philip Niagara Ice Dogs 36 424 219 51.7
Longest Goal Scoring Streak
Player Team From To Gms Goals
Owen Tippett Mississauga Steelheads 10/12 10/23 6 11
Nick Suzuki Owen Sound Attack 11/18 11/26 5 6
Isaac Ratcliffe Guelph Storm 11/27 12/9 5 6
Jonah Gadjovich Owen Sound Attack 12/11 4 7
Zach Gallant Peterborough Petes 12/3 12/15 4 5
Longest Assist Streak
Player Team From To Gms Assts
Zach Gallant Peterborough Petes 12/3 12/16 5 5
Austen Keating Ottawa 67’s 10/23 11/5 5 5
Austen Keating Ottawa 67’s 9/25 10/6 5 9
Conor Timmins Soo Greyhounds 11/25 12/8 5 7
Noel Hoefenmayer Ottawa 67’s 10/1 10/9 5 5
Longest Point Streak
Player Team From To Gms Pts
Nicolas Hague Mississauga Steelheads 12/4 12/28 8 12
Jack Studnicka Oshawa Generals 12/18 12/9 7 11
Maksim Sushko Owen Sound Attack 10/9 10/26 7 9
Lucas Chiodo Barrie Colts 11/12 11/26 7 8
Noel Hoefenmayer Ottawa 67’s 9/25 10/9 7 8
Shot Attempt Leaders
Player Team GP S/A
Owen Tippett* Mississauga Steelheads 36 183
Nick Suzuki Owen Sound Attack 36 142
Jason Robertson Kingston Frontenacs 35 137
Jonah Gadjovich Owen Sound Attack 30 125
Nicolas Hague Mississauga Steelheads 35 107
Shots On Goal Leaders
Player Team GP SOG
Nick Suzuki* Owen Sound Attack 36 108
Jonah Gadjovich Owen Sound Attack 30 99
Owen Tippett Mississauga Steelheads 36 96
Jason Robertson Kingston Frontenacs 35 76
Zach Gallant Peterborough Petes 35 73
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
Michael DiPietro Windsor Spitfires 26 1520 56 2.21
Matthew Vallalta Soo Greyhounds 14 730 32 2.63
Riley Daniels Owen Sound Attack 7 367 18 2.94
Kaden Fulcher Hamilton Bulldogs 29 1632 88 3.24
Kyle Keyser Oshawa Generals 13 667 37 3.33
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage
Player Team GP SH SVS SV%
Michael DiPietro Windsor Spitfires 26 683 627 0.918
Matthew Vallalta Soo Greyhounds 14 345 313 0.907
Jake McGrath Sudbury Wolves 18 562 506 0.900
Aidan Hughes Sarnia Sting 9 305 274 0.898
Kaden Fulcher Hamilton Bulldogs 29 817 729 0.892
Goaltending Leaders – Wins
Player Team GP W L OL
Michael DiPietro Windsor Spitfires 26 16 5 4
Kaden Fulcher Hamilton Bulldogs 29 13 11 4
Matthew Vallalta Soo Greyhounds 14 10 1 0
Jake McGrath Sudbury Wolves 18 8 6 2
Anthony Poppvich Guelph Storm 14 6 6 1
Goaltending Leaders – Shutouts
Player Team GP SO
Michael DiPietro* Windsor Spitfires 26 4
Jake McGrath Sudbury Wolves 18 1
Kaden Fulcher Hamilton Bulldogs 29 1