OHL Announces Top Performers of the Month for March

Toronto, ON –  The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in March 2017, including Owen Sound Attack teammates Petrus Palmu and Santino Centorame along with Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds goaltender Matthew Villalta.

OHL Player of the Month – Petrus Palmu (Owen Sound Attack):
Owen Sound Attack winger Petrus Palmu is the OHL Player of the Month for March after leading all players with 20 points including seven goals and 13 assists in nine games to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-13. The Finnish forward had points in all nine contests, including seven multi-point efforts headlined by a four-point performance, netting four assists in a 6-4 road win over the Niagara IceDogs on March 9th. Palmu finished the 2016-17 season with goals in six straight outings, including a two-goal, one assist showing as the Attack defeated the Sarnia Sting 9-3 on March 12th. The 19-year-old rounded out the month with a goal and two assists in Owen Sound’s 8-5 win in Guelph on Sunday as the Attack secured third place in the Western Conference.

A native of Joensuu, Finland, Palmu closed out his third OHL season with 98 points, the most by an Attack player since Bobby Ryan’s 102 in 2006-07. Palmu’s 98 points including 40 goals and 58 assists place him fourth in league scoring as the Attack finished second in the Midwest Division with a franchise-best record of 49-15-2-2. Owen Sound’s first round (22nd overall) CHL Import Draft selection in 2014, Palmu has not been drafted to the NHL but attended Training Camp with the Montreal Canadiens last fall. He represented Finland at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack):
For the second time this season, Owen Sound Attack captain Santino Centorame is the OHL’s Defenceman of the Month, leading all rearguards with 15 points including two goals and 13 assists in nine contests. Centorame surpassed Chris Bigras as Owen Sound’s all-time franchise scoring leader among defencemen during the productive month of March, recording points in eight of his nine outings. The 20-year-old recorded three assists in a 6-4 win over the Niagara IceDogs on March 9th. He earned first star honours twice, first on March 16th with a goal and two assists in Owen Sound’s 6-1 victory in Windsor to set a new franchise mark for wins in a season. He posted two assists a game later to earn first star recognition and help the Attack defeat the Kitchener Rangers 7-2 on March 18th.

A native of Mississauga, Ont., Centorame finishes his fourth and final OHL season second in league scoring among defencemen with 73 points including seven goals and a 66 assists to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-37. He ends his OHL regular season career with 29 goals, 133 assists and 162 points in 265 games between Owen Sound and London to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-55. Originally London’s fourth round (88th overall) pick in 2012, Centorame attended Training Camp with the St. Louis Blues last fall.

Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month & OHL Rookie of the Month – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds):
After an outstanding month of March, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds rookie Matthew Villalta is the first dual-award winner of the 2016-17 season. The 17-year-old is the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month and the OHL Rookie of the Month after leading all netminders with a 1.34 goals-against average and .957 save percentage along with a 5-1-0-0 record with one shutout over six games. Villalta’s month started with a bang as he turned in a 37-save performance to record his first OHL shutout in a 6-0 win over the Guelph Storm on March 3rd. He made 27 saves two nights later in a 2-1 road win over the Kitchener Rangers. Villalta made a season-high 40 saves as the Hounds defeated the Rangers 6-1 at home on March 10th. He closed out the month with a 27-save effort in a 3-1 win over the Saginaw Spirit on March 17th. He received star of the game recognition four times, including a pair of first star designations.

A native of Godfrey, Ont., Villalta finished his rookie season with an impressive 25-3-0-0 record to go with a 2.41 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He becomes the OHL’s first 17-year-old rookie to win 25 games in a season since 2006-07 and sets a new Greyhounds single-season record for lowest goals-against average as his 2.41 mark surpasses the prior benchmark of 2.44 set by Kyle Gajewski in 2007-08. Villalta enjoyed a 16-game winning streak from Sept. 24th to Feb. 10th, marking the longest winning streak by an OHL goaltender since Niagara’s Mark Visentin won 17 straight during the 2011-12 season. Signed as a free agent by the Greyhounds out of Training Camp last fall, Villalta is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

2016-17 OHL Performers of the Month:
Player of the Month:
March – Petrus Palmu (Owen Sound Attack)
February – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
January – Adam Mascherin (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Zach Gallant (Peterborough Petes)
November – Alex DeBrincat/Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

Defenceman of the Month:
March – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
February – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
January – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
December – Stephen Desrocher (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Mathieu Henderson (Flint Firebirds)

Rookie of the Month:
March – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
February – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)
January – Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals)
December – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
November – Linus Nyman (Kingston Frontenacs)
October – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
March – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
February – Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
January – Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires
November – Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
October – Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)

Islanders’ Daniel Sprong named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Daniel Sprong of the Charlottetown Islanders is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 12 after recording nine points in three games including five goals and four assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-7.

Sprong tied an Islanders franchise record on Wednesday with a seven-point performance including four goals and three assists as first star of a 12-3 win over the Moncton Wildcats.  Not only were the seven points a career-high, but the four goals were also a first following three hat-tricks earlier this season.  Sprong was held off the scoresheet in Friday’s 5-1 loss to the Saint John Sea Dogs but turned things around Saturday with a goal and assist in a 6-3 road win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.  The Islanders are currently fourth in the QMJHL’s overall standings with a 45-17-3-0 record and have won nine of their last 10 games.

A native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sprong turns 20-years-old on Friday when the Islanders host the Sea Dogs in another Maritimes Division battle before the regular season wraps up on Saturday.  Playing in his fourth season in Charlottetown, Sprong was chosen 13th overall in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft before being selected by the Penguins in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft.  Since returning from injury in January he’s tallied 31 goals and 21 assists for 52 points in just 28 games played.

Also considered for the award this week was Petrus Palmu of the Owen Sound Attack scoring four goals and four assists for eight points in three games, and 2017 NHL Draft prospect Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks scoring five goals with three assists for eight points in four games.

2016-17 CHL Players of the Week:

Mar. 6 – Mar. 12: Daniel Sprong (Charlottetown Islanders)
Feb. 27 – Mar. 5: Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)
Feb. 20 – Feb. 26: Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Christophe Boivin (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Mathew Barzal (Seattle Thunderbirds)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Tyler Boland (Rimouski Oceanic)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Alexis D’Aoust (Shawinigan Cataractes)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Brayden Burke (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Adam Brooks (Regina Pats)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Sergey Zborovskiy (Regina Pats)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Jayden Halbgewachs (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Alexander Katerinakis (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Bobby MacIntyre (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Cameron Askew (Moncton Wildcats)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Sam Steel (Regina Pats)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown Islanders)

CHL Leagues

Attack’s Petrus Palmu named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Petrus Palmu of the Owen Sound Attack is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 12 after leading the league with eight points in three games scoring four goals and four assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Palmu recorded a pair of multi-point performances for the Attack who picked up a trio of victories last week moving up to third place in the Western Conference standings with a 45-15-2-2 record.  He began the week by matching a season-high with four points on Thursday including a goal and three assists as second star of a 6-4 road win over the Niagara IceDogs.  On Saturday night Palmu scored in a 4-2 win over the Saginaw Spirit, then finished the week with two goals and an assist on Sunday afternoon in Sarnia as first star of a 9-3 win over the Sting.  Palmu now has points in eight straight games to match the Attack’s current point-streak that includes seven wins and an overtime loss in their last eight contests.

Petrus Palmu of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Petrus Palmu of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

A 19-year-old from Joensuu, Finland, Palmu is playing in his third season with the Attack who selected him in the first round of the 2014 CHL Import Draft.  He’s currently tied for fifth in league scoring with teammate Nick Suzuki recording 89 points in 58 games powered by 37 goals and 52 assists which are all career-highs.  Palmu represented Finland at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship and is the third member of the Attack to claim the league’s weekly honour following goaltender Michael McNiven and defenceman Santino Centorame who won back-to-back in January.

Watch video highlights of Palmu and the Attack against the IceDogs, Spirit, and Sting.

Also considered for the award this week was Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Los Angeles Kings prospect Matt Luff of the Hamilton Bulldogs who each produced seven points in three games including four goals and three assists.  In goal, rookie Christian Propp of the Barrie Colts made 66 saves and posted a 1-1-0-0 record including his first career shutout victory carrying a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .957.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Mar. 6 – Mar. 12: Petrus Palmu (Owen Sound Attack)
Feb. 27 – Mar. 5: Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)
Feb. 20 – Feb. 26: Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Joseph Murdaca (Erie Otters)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Spencer Watson (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)