OHL ANNOUNCES TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in April 2022, including Soo Greyhounds teammates Rory Kerins and Jack Thompson, Peterborough Petes netminder Michael Simpson and Kingston Frontenacs rookie Paul Ludwinski.

OHL Player of the Month – Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds):
Calgary Flames prospect Rory Kerins of the Soo Greyhounds is the OHL Player of the Month for April, leading the League with 16 points including four goals and 12 assists over six games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-9. Kerins helped the Hounds finish out the regular season in fourth place in the Western Conference, registering multi-point outputs in five of his six April outings. He started the month with a goal and three assists as the Greyhounds defeated the Saginaw Spirit 9-3 on April 1st. He’d tack on four helpers in an 8-4 win over the Sudbury Wolves on April 8th. Kerins wrapped up the season by crossing the 200 career point threshold on April 15th in Flint, scoring while adding two assists as the Greyhounds defeated the Firebirds 6-3. Kerins is the first Greyhounds player to earn OHL Player of the Month honours since Morgan Frost in February 2019.

A 20-year-old from Caledon, Ont., Kerins finishes the season second in OHL scoring with 118 points including 43 goals and 75 assists over 67 games. Kerins’ 118 points are the most by a Hounds player since Joe Thornton (122) in 1996-97. He is among the League’s top faceoff performers, winning 56.8 percent of his draws throughout the season. He’s amassed 200 points (82-118–200) over 188 career regular season games with the Greyhounds. Kerins was a sixth round (174th overall) pick by the Calgary Flames in the 2020 NHL Draft and made his pro debut with the organization last season, appearing in four games with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. He signed a three-year entry level contract with the Flames on March 1st. The Greyhounds selected him with their fourth round (71st overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Mississauga Rebels U16 program.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Jack Thompson (Soo Greyhounds)
For the second time this season, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jack Thompson of the Soo Greyhounds is the OHL Defenceman of the Month. Thompson, who first earned the honour as a member of the Sudbury Wolves in October, led OHL defenders with 12 points including five goals and seven assists over seven April contests, pairing that with a plus/minus rating of plus-9. Thompson recorded a point in six of his seven matchups, starting with a goal and three assists in a 9-3 win over the Saginaw Spirit on April 1st. Thompson found the back of the net twice on April 9th, helping the Hounds beat the Sudbury Wolves 5-1. Thompson is the first Greyhounds blueliner to be named OHL Defenceman of the Month since Mac Hollowell in October 2018.

A 20-year-old native of Courtice, Ont., Thompson finished the season tied for the League lead in goals by a defenceman, equalling teammate Robert Calisti’s mark of 21. He and Calisti finished tied for sixth in scoring among OHL defencemen, putting up 57 points (21-36–57), 34 of which came as a member of the Greyhounds. In three OHL seasons, the 6-foot-1 rearguard has collected 40 goals, 65 assists and 105 points in 180 games. Thompson made his pro debut with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch last season, recording an assist in his lone contest. He has signed an entry-level NHL contract with the Lightning, who selected him in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft. The right-shot rearguard was originally Sudbury’s second round (30th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Clarington Toros U16 program.

OHL Goaltender of the Month – Michael Simpson (Peterborough Petes)
Michael Simpson of the Peterborough Petes is the OHL Goaltender of the Month, helping his team qualify for the OHL Playoffs as he played to a 4-0-0-1 record with a 2.16 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and one shutout. Simpson won his final four starts of the season, turning aside all 37 shots for his first career OHL shutout on April 5th as the Petes defeated the Barrie Colts 1-0 in overtime. He stopped 20 of 21 on April 9th as the Petes beat the Niagara IceDogs 5-1, and rounded-out the season with a 28-save performance on April 17th as Peterborough defeated Kingston 6-3. Simpson is the first Petes netminder to earn OHL Goaltender of the Month honours since Hunter Jones in October 2019.

A 19-year-old from London, Ont., Simpson played to a record of 20-18-3-1 with a 3.56 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in his first OHL season. The 6-foot, 188Ib. netminder was Peterborough’s 10th round (193rd overall) pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection from the London Jr. Knights U16 program.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Paul Ludwinski (Kingston Frontenacs)
2022 NHL Draft prospect Paul Ludwinski of the Kingston Frontenacs is the OHL Rookie of the Month for April, collecting five goals, five assists and 10 points in eight games. Ludwinski’s month was headlined by a hat trick and season-high four points on April 10th as the Frontenacs defeated the Niagara IceDogs 10-5. He’d chip in with a goal and an assist in Kingston’s final regular season game on April 17th, a 6-3 loss to the Peterborough Petes.

A soon-to-be 18-year-old from Pickering, Ont., Ludwinski recorded 43 points including 16 goals and 27 assists over 67 games in his first OHL season. The 5-foot-11, 172Ib. centreman competed in March’s Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Kitchener, and was the 29th ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings. Ludwinksi was Kingston’s first round (5th overall) pick in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection from the Toronto Marlboros U16 program.

2021-22 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:
April – Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds)
March – Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
February – Logan Morrison (Hamilton Bulldogs)
January – Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
December – Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
November – Kyle Jackson (North Bay Battalion)
October – Sasha Pastujov (Guelph Storm)

Defenceman of the Month:
April – Jack Thompson (Soo Greyhounds)
March – Pavel Mintyukov (Saginaw Spirit)
February – Michael Buchinger (Guelph Storm)
January – Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts)
December – Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads)
November – Nathan Staios (Hamilton Bulldogs)
October – Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)

Rookie of the Month:
April – Paul Ludwinski (Kingston Frontenacs)
March – Cedrick Guindon (Owen Sound Attack)
February – Michael Buchinger (Guelph Storm)
January – David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
December – Coulson Pitre (Flint Firebirds)
November – Owen Beck (Mississauga Steelheads)
October – Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)

Goaltender of the Month:
April – Michael Simpson (Peterborough Petes)
March – Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs)
February – Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds)
January – Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
December – Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
November – Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion)
October – Brett Brochu (London Knights)


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.

Paul Ludwinski – Kingston Frontenacs – Player Profile

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Paul Ludwinski of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Robert Lefebvre/OHL IMAGES

One thing we know for sure is that because Shane Wright plays for the Kingston Frontenacs, his teammate Paul Ludwinski is going to have a lot of eyes on him this season. What those eyes take away from those viewings may differ. The people I have spoken to have varying opinions.

Currently. Ludwinski is ranked as a B-Prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s players to watch list. That typically means a second or third round pick. A few of the independent scouting services has him in the 32 to 35 range while one has him as high as 27. A couple of more have him in the 40’s and just one as low as 54.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that he plays the game at an extremely high pace. His ability and willingness to motor is very noticeable. He gets in on the forecheck quickly and isn’t afraid to after anyone to try and create turnovers – and he’s actually pretty successful at it. He is more than willing to drive to the net with or without the puck. Unless you are looking for it, you won’t notice, but Ludwinski uses subtle little moves in front of the blue paint to separate himself from defenders and pounce on loose pucks for second chance opportunities.

Ludwinski is an accomplished three-zone player. He positions himself perfectly to break up plays or passes through the neutral zone or defensive zone. And when he breaks those up, he transitions quickly and with possession with an excellent ability to gain the offensive blue line. His defensive game is well into his development.

Along with Ludwinski’s pace and willingness to battle physically, he is a strong technical skater with very good top speed and acceleration. He gets to top speed quickly but he has that separation gear as well. He has a knack of being able to slow down and then burst back into top gear quickly and uses his body to protect the puck very well.  

Some question his hockey IQ. I don’t have any questions about that IQ as some of the things I have spoken of speak to his IQ. But to add to that, he sees the ice very well and can make plays to set up teammates using those smarts and passing abilities.

What I have been somewhat disappointed in his production this season. I thought he would be further along than he is. But in fairness, he has come on lately. Of his 6 goals and 12 assists through 25 games, 3 goals and 5 assists have come in his last 7 games. He’s going to have to keep close to that pace to lock himself into an early second round pick.

I don’t have a read on what Ludwinski could become at the next level. Can he be a middle six player or is he destined to be a bottom six? By the end of the season it could become clearer but for now we know his defensive game and pace of play is surely going to garner him some attention.

HOCKEY CANADA RECOGNIZES 13 OHL PLAYERS INVITED TO 2021 NATIONAL SUMMER UNDER-18 TEAM DEVELOPMENT CAMP

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has recognized 13 Ontario Hockey League players as part of a group of 45 players invited to attend Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team Development Camp at Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut’ina Nation near Calgary from July 25th to Aug 4th. Sarnia Sting head coach Alan Letang, Ottawa 67’s goaltending coach Charles McTavish and Kingston Frontenacs equipment manager Chris Cook have also been recognized, along with Owen Sound Attack therapist Andy Brown, North Bay Battalion therapist Andrew Sachkiw and Guelph Storm mental performance consultant Dr. Ashwin Patel.

One OHL goaltender, four defencemen and eight forwards were recognized as invitees to the 11-day camp. Players will be split into two teams, Red and White, and participate in practices and intrasquad games, including combined practices and intrasquad games with Canada’s National Junior Team on Aug. 2nd and 3rd.

“This stage of our Summer Showcase is about bringing together the top under-18 players in Canada to work and learn from an elite-level coaching staff, giving them the necessary skills for their hockey development to grow and succeed,” said Alan Millar, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada. “We have an opportunity to connect with the players through on- and off-ice sessions to give them the tools that will only enhance their skill set as they advance through our program and prepare for the upcoming season.”

Letang, who was appointed head coach of the Sting late last month after serving behind the Attack bench, will return to Canada’s coaching staff. Letang won a gold medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and, as a player, helped Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 1998 Spengler Cup championship and won a bronze medal at the 2006 Deutschland Cup.

The camp is typically a stepping stone in evaluating and selecting Canada’s roster for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, but Canada will not participate this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The focus will now turn to the 2022 IIHF U18 World Championship next spring, where Canada will look to defend their gold medal after claiming the top prize at this year’s tournament in Texas.

OHL Players Invited to Canada’s National Summer Under-18 Team Development Camp

Goaltenders:
Domenic DiVincentiis (North Bay Battalion)

Defencemen:
Jorian Donovan (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Donovan McCoy (Sudbury Wolves)
Ty Nelson (North Bay Battalion)
Spencer Sova (Erie Otters)

Forwards:
Sam Alfano (Peterborough Petes)
Pano Fimis (Niagara IceDogs)
David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
Cedrick Guindon (Owen Sound Attack)
Hunter Haight (Barrie Colts)
Paul Ludwinski (Kingston Frontenacs)
Bryce McConnell-Barker (Soo Greyhounds)
Matthew Poitras (Guelph Storm)

Coaches:
Assistant Coach – Alan Letang (Sarnia Sting)
Goaltending Coach – Charles McTavish (Ottawa 67’s)
Equipment Manager – Chris Cook (Kingston Frontenacs)
Therapist – Andy Brown (Owen Sound Attack)
Therapist – Andrew Sachkiw (North Bay Battalion)
Mental Performance Consultant – Dr. Ashwin Patel (Guelph Storm)

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.