OHL WRITER’S DRAFT ELIGIBLE PLAYER OF THE MONTH FOR NOVEMBER 2021

Kyle Jackson of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Terry Wilson, OHL Images

I can’t tell you how much fun it is to be back in an arena and watching live hockey. There just isn’t anything like it in the sports world.

In prior years, we here have done a draft eligible player of the month. However, just like we did for October, because of the sheer number of players re-entering the draft we have expanded it to include the draft eligible player of the month at forward position, defence and goaltending. So here we go…

FORWARD

It was an easy decision up front and that was Kyle Jackson of the North Bay Battalion. Jackson recorded eleven goals and eleven assists in just eleven games in November and now sits with fourteen goals and twenty-one assists in twenty-two games to lead all draft eligible players in scoring. Jackson was held off the scoresheet just once in November and produced seven multi-point games. He was recognized by the OHL as the top performer of the month.

We did consider Nolan Dann of the Sarnia Sting briefly. Dann played in twelve games and scored ten goals and assisted on six.

DEFENCEMAN

This could have gone any number of ways but we went with Gavin White of the Hamilton Bulldogs. White scored twice while adding eleven assists in ten games in the month of November. The reason we chose White over the others was his consistency through the month. He was only held pointless twice in those ten games and he only had two multi point games in the remaining eight. You can’t get much more consistent than that for a blueliner. White is a draft re-entry.

Also considered were a pair of Saginaw Spirit defencemen. Pavel Mintyukov had two goals and eight helpers in twelve games while Roberto Mancini had three goals and eight assists. Spencer Sova of the Erie Otters was also given consideration with his three goals and eight assists in eleven contests.

GOALTENDER

Patrick Leaver gets the nod here and it’s a token nod since he will not get the playing time, he has gotten through the first two months with the return of Oshawa Generals number one netminder from an injury. It’s not like he is not deserving though. Leaver posted a 4-2-1 record through November and a .902 save-percentage.

Of course, Brett Brochu of the London Knights was also considered. Brochu had a 6-4-1 record and a .904 save-percentage.

FORWARDS

November – Kyle Jackson – North Bay Battalion

October – Tucker Robertson – Peterborough Petes

DEFENCEMEN

November – Gavin While – Hamilton Bulldogs

October – Ty Nelson – North Bay Battalion

GOALTENDERS

November – Patrick Leaver – Oshawa Generals

October – Brett Brochu – London Knights

Patrick Leaver – Oshawa Generals – Player Profile

HTWTDOBPOSCATCHESOHL DRAFTNHLCSCOUNTRY
6’0”165Sept 4, 2003GLeft158 – 2019NRCanada
SEASONLEAGUETEAMWLGAASV%
2018-2019Under-18Smiths Falls Bears9102.89.902
2019-2020CCHL2Westport Rideaus1662.75.920
2020-2021 DID NOT PLAY    
Patrick Leaver of the Oshawa Generals. Photo courtesy of Robert Lefebvre – OHL Images.

Oshawa Generals netminder Patrick Leaver wasn’t listed on NHL Central Scouting’s preseason Players to Watch list not their November list. There really wasn’t much of a body of work to pass judgement on Leaver, especially with the lost season od 2020-2021.

It wasn’t until incumbent and undisputed number one netminder Zachary Paputsakis went down with an injury that still has him out of the lineup after just his third game of the season. Leaver has taken the crease and has appeared in all but one game for the Generals since then.

Leaver has done just enough to at least have a conversation about as we approach the end of November. He currently has a 9-4-2 record while sporting a 2.99 goals-against-average (sixth in the league) and a nice .914 save-percentage (second in the league) while playing the fourth most minutes.

The stats speak for themselves as Leaver enters his second go around in the NHL Entry Draft. But what about Patrick Leaver the goaltender intrigues me?

At 6’0”, Leaver doesn’t possess the typical size of the ‘new era’ goaltender. One area that needs to be improved on is that he plays small in the blue paint. While set for a shot, he is crouched over to far exposing a lot of the top of the cage and for a ‘smaller goaltender’ he will need to learn to play bigger. It’s those high shots he has the most trouble with but it is an area that can be improved with continued coaching.

On the plus side, Leaver is very athletic. His lateral movement from post to post is exceptional. He reads the play extremely well and his puck tracking is also exceptional. Size hinders him a bit in seeing long distance shots but he does an adequate job looking around players to find where the shot is coming from. In tight, he gets low and is able to take away the bottom portion of the net. He has a good glove hand and his rebound control is just okay, but not an area of concern as it’s something that can be improved.

Leaver has done nothing but give the Generals a chance to win almost every night he has taken the net. It will be interesting to see what the Generals decide to do once Paputsakis returns, but Leaver is definitely worth keeping track of as the season progresses.

LEAVER AND ROBERTSON NAMED OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of regular season games ending Sunday, October 31, 2021

Petes’ Tucker Robertson Named OHL Player of the Week

Tucker Robertson of the Peterborough Petes is the OHL Player of the Week with five points including three goals and two assists in a pair of victories.

Robertson got the Petes going on Thursday, scoring before recording two primary assists in a 4-3 home win over the Hamilton Bulldogs. He earned first star honours, going 21-for-29 in the faceoff circle as the Petes got back in the win column. Robertson was excellent again on Saturday in Niagara, scoring second period goals three-and-a-half minutes apart as the Petes nipped the IceDogs 5-4. Robertson was once again the game’s first star, going 16-for-30 at the dot while recording four shots on goal.

An 18-year-old product of Toronto, Ont., Robertson is second among OHL skaters producing 1.78 points-per-game this season. His 16 points (6-10–16) over nine contests pace the Peterborough offence while his 238 faceoffs are the third-most in the League as he currently boasts a 58.8 percent success rate. Robertson recorded 18 points (8-10–18) over 55 games in 2019-20 after being a fourth round (72nd overall) pick from the Toronto Marlboros U16 program in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. He attended rookie camp with the Carolina Hurricanes this past September.

Also considered for the award this week was Anaheim Ducks prospect Sasha Pastujov of the Guelph Storm who recorded a league-leading seven points (5-2–7) over three games as the Storm went 2-1. Los Angeles Kings prospect Brandt Clarke of the Barrie Colts was also impressive, posting six points (3-3–6) over three games as the Colts won a pair.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Tucker Robertson (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)


Generals’ Patrick Leaver Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Patrick Leaver of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL Goaltender of the Week with two wins, a 1.00 goals-against average, .976 save percentage and his first career OHL shutout.

Leaver helped the Generals take road wins in North Bay and Sudbury, stopping 82 of the 84 shots he faced. The first-year goaltender carried a shutout into the third period of Thursday’s matchup against the Battalion, turning aside 44 shots in a 3-2 win. Leaver was flawless in Sudbury on Friday, posting a 38-save shutout as the Generals prevailed by a score of 4-0.

An 18-year-old from Perth, Ont., Leaver owns a 5-2-0-1 record with a 2.49 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and one shutout through his first nine games of the season. The 6-foot-1, 180Ib. goaltender was Oshawa’s eighth round (158th overall) pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection from the Smiths Falls Bears U18 program. Leaver won a silver medal while representing Team Ontario at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.

Also in the running for this week’s award was undefeated London Knights goaltender Brett Brochu who earned a pair of wins over Owen Sound and Sarnia, posting a 1.50 goals-against average and .950 save percentage to climb to 8-0-0-0.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Jacob Oster (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Tucker Tynan (Niagara IceDogs)
 

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

OHL WRITERS’ DRAFT ELIGIBLE PLAYER OF THE MONTH: OCTOBER

Brett Brochu of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda / OHL Images

This season will be unlike any other for the players eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft that are playing in the Ontario Hockey League.

As you know, the pandemic wiped out the entire 2020-2021 OHL season and NHL scouts didn’t have an opportunity to scout the talent in the OHL with the exception of those that played in Europe or the Under-18 or the showcase tournament in Erie. We are basically combining two drafts into one and there are over 200 players eligible for the draft for the first time or re-entering the draft.

In a normal season here at OHL Writers, we look only at the players eligible for the NHL Entry Draft for the first time, but because of the number of players eligible for 2022 we have decided to include first time eligible players and players entering the draft for the second time which is why you will see some players born after September 15, 2002 throughout the season talked about here.

Also, a little different this season will be our Draft Eligible Player of the Month. Normally, we pick the player who had the best month but again, because of the volume of players available for the draft for this season we are breaking it down by position.

Our draft eligible player of the month for October up front is Tucker Robertson of the Peterborough Petes. To say Robertson had a fantastic month would be an understatement. In 9 games he notched 6 goals and 10 assists to lead all draft eligible players in scoring with 16 points. He was also 140 for 238 on the faceoff dot for a 58.8 winning percentage.

Robertson was kept off the scoresheet just twice in October while also compiling 4 multi point games and two games with 3 assists.

Also considered was North Bay Battalion’s Kyle Jackson who scored 3 goals to go along with 10 helpers in 11 games.

On defence, our choice is Ty Nelson of the North Bay Battalion. Nelson had 2 goals and 8 assists in 11 games and leads all draft eligible defensemen in scoring with 10 points and is fourth among all OHL defensemen in scoring. Nelson was held off the scoresheet just 4 times and had 4 multi-point games. He also finished with a very impressive plus-7.

Also considered was Hamilton Bulldogs defenseman Gavin White. He notched 7 helpers through 10 games and was a steadying influence at both ends of the ice. It took some time for White to find his stride, but he finished the month off with 6 helpers in Hamilton’s final 6 games of the month.

In the net Brett Brochu of the London Knights gets the nod. He’s played in every game and has a perfect 8-0-0 record. He also boasts the leagues best save-percentage if .935 and best goals-against-average of 2.07 (goalies with more than two starts).

Also considered was Oshawa Generals netminder Patrick Leaver, If it wasn’t for Brochu’s outstanding numbers, Leaver would have been the obvious choice with his .925 save-percentage and 2.49 goals-against-average.