STORM’S CAM HILLIS NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Cam Hillis

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Montreal Canadiens prospect Cam Hillis of the Guelph Storm is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week with seven points including two goals and five assists over two weekend contests.

Hillis becomes the second Storm player to win the award in the past three weeks after goaltender Nico Daws recently received the honours. The third-year centreman helped the Storm win back-to-back games, extending their current winning streak to six. Hillis scored twice and added two assists while going 15-for-24 in the faceoff circle on Friday in Kitchener as the Storm doubled-up the rival Rangers 6-3. After a first star performance to start the weekend, Hillis earned second star honours on Saturday, picking up three assists as the Storm defeated the visiting Kingston Frontenacs 4-2. He helped set up teammate Cedric Ralph for the third period game winner as the Storm overcame a 2-0 deficit.

A 19-year-old native of Enniskillen, Ont., Hillis has rebounded strong from an injury riddled 2018-19 campaign that saw him hoist the Robertson Cup as an OHL champion with the Storm. Hillis sits second in club scoring with 27 points (7-20–27), 24 of which he has gathered over the course of the last 10 games. The 5-foot-11, 174Ib. forward was a third round (66th overall) pick of the Canadiens in the 2018 NHL Draft and was originally obtained by the Storm in the second round (29th overall) of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. The York-Simcoe Express Minor Midget grad was an OHL Cup champion in 2016.

Also considered for the award this week was Washington Capitals prospect Connor McMichael of the London Knights who recorded seven points (2-5–7) over a pair of Knights victories, holding down the OHL scoring lead with 41 points (19-22–41). Draft eligible Sudbury Wolves forward Quinton Byfield was also considered after recording five points (2-3–5) in a pair of multi-point performances that each led to Wolves victories.

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2019-20 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Nov. 5 – Nov. 10: Cam Hillis (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 3: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 27: Nico Daws (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 14 – Oct. 20: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 13: Mack Guzda (Owen Sound Attack)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 6: Philip Tomasino (Niagara IceDogs)
Sept. 26 – Sept. 29: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 22: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (Peterborough Petes)

OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders for October

The Ontario Hockey League took last night off as fans and players alike braved the weather (depending on where you are) to attend costume parties, head to work dressed up and yes, even go trick or treating. Thus, the OHL completed its first full month of the season a day early and we here at OHL Writers can update you on the statistical leaders among players eligible for the 2020 National Hockey League Draft.

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

If you look at the point leaders, you’ll see projected top 5 pick Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves leading the way with 31 points in 16 games. And for the better part of the season, Byfield has led the entire league in the scoring race.

But, focus your attention three spots lower to Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s. Rossi has 19 points in just 8 games played. He missed five games due to suspension but is averaging 2.38 points per game while Byfield is averaging 1.94 points per game. That’s almost half a point per game better then Byfield.

It doesn’t end there. Cole Perfetti leads the list in assists with 22 in 16 games, or 1.38 assists per game. Rossi is just two spots below with Byfield sandwiched in between with 15 helpers in 8 games or 1.88 assists per game, exactly .50 assists per game better then the leader.

But with 4 goals in eight games, Rossi doesn’t make our top ten, yet. He is averaging .50 goals per game and based on that, would be seventh on the list. Barrie Colts’ Tyson Foerster tops the list with 13 goals in 14 games, or .93 goals per game.

Wait. We’re not finished just yet. Despite playing in only eight games, Rossi has taken more faceoffs then anyone in the top 10 in faceoff percentage and has won a whopping 62.6 per cent of his draws. Not only is that good enough to top draft eligible players, but tops in the entire league among players with 60 or more faceoff attempts.

Had enough Marco Rossi talk?

Among goaltenders, no OHL goaltender has faced as much rubber as Niagara IceDogs’ puck stopper Tucker Tynan. And we’re not talking just draft eligible goaltenders. Tynan has faced 70 more shots then the next closest goaltender, Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads who has faced 419. To put that into context, Tynan has played in just one more game then Ingham.

Yet Tynan is fourth among draft eligible goaltenders with a 3.60 goals-against-average and tops in save percentage at .920. Let’s put that into perspective as well: That’s second among all goalies who have played in 3 or more games, tied with Hunter Jones of the Peterborough Petes, the top OHL goaltender drafted in 2019.

Here’s a look at the leader board. While we take great care in compiling stats, always refer to the OHL website for official stats.

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 11 20 31
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 16 5 22 27
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 13 10 23
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 8 4 15 19
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 15 6 13 19
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 14 5 14 19
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 15 10 7 17
Luke Evangelista London Knights 12 5 11 16
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 14 8 8 16
Oliver Suni Oshawa Generals 14 5 10 15
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 13 0.93
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 11 0.69
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 15 10 0.67
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 14 8 0.57
Antonio Stranges London Knights 12 7 0.58
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 13 7 0.54
Zayde Wisdom Kingston Frontenacs 14 7 0.50
Hayden Fowler Erie Otters 12 6 0.50
Logan Morrison Hamilton Bulldogs 13 6 0.46
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 15 6 0.40
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 16 22 1.38
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 20 1.25
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 8 15 1.88
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 14 14 1.00
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 15 13 0.87
Tanner Dickinson Soo Greyhounds 15 12 0.80
Luke Evangelista London Knights 12 11 0.92
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 13 11 0.85
Jacob Perrault Sarnia Sting 10 10 1.00
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 10 0.71
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 14 5 14 19
Jack Thompson Sudbury Wolves 16 6 7 13
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 13 1 11 12
Ryan O’Rourke Soo Greyhounds 13 5 6 11
Ville Ottavainen Kitchener Rangers 13 3 5 8
Donavan Sebrango Kitchener Rangers 10 1 7 8
Ole Bjorgvik-Holm Mississauga Steelheads 13 0 6 6
Dylan Robinson Windsor Spitfires 13 1 4 5
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
Ryan O’Rourke Soo Greyhounds 13 +13
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 +12
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 8 +11
Igor Chibrikov Owen Sound Attack 13 +8
Ville Ottavainen Kitchener Rangers 13 +8
Mark Woolley Owen Sound Attack 9 +7
Luke Evangelista London Knights 12 +7
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 14 +7
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 +7
Kirill Steklov London Knights 12 +6
Penalty Minutes Leaders
Player Team GP PIM M/G
Ryan O’Rourke Soo Greyhounds 13 21 1.62
Reid Valade Kitchener Rangers 8 19 2.38
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 13 18 1.38
Mark Woolley Owen Sound Attack 9 17 1.89
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 16 1.00
Faceoff Leaders (Minimum 30 faceoffs)
Player Team GP FOA FOW %
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 8 179 112 62.6
Isaac Langdon Kitchener Rangers 10 78 48 61.5
Nick Wong Kingston Frontenacs 14 39 23 59.0
Jacob Perrault Sarnia Sting 10 33 19 57.6
Luke Drewitt Kingston Frontenacs 12 110 63 57.3
Hayden Fowler Erie Otters 12 35 20 57.1
Ethan Cardwell Saginaw Spirit 16 76 43 56.6
Longest Goal Scoring Streak
Player Team From To Gms Goals
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 10/19 10/24 3 4
Longest Assist Streak
Player Team From To Gms Assts
Jabob Perreault Sarnia Sting 9/20 10/18 9 10
Longest Point Streak
Player Team From To Gms Pts
Jacob Perrault Sarnia Sting 9/20 10/20 10 14
Shots On Goal Leaders
Player Team GP SOG
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 16 61
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 15 60
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 16 52
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 14 48
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 14 47
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average (Min 300 minutes)
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
Brett Brochu London Knights 8 427 19 2.67
Aiden Campbell Erie Otters 7 370 19 3.08
Marco Costantini Hamilton Bulldogs 8 486 27 3.33
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 12 650 39 3.60
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage (Min 300 minutes)
Player Team GP SH SVS SV%
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 12 489 450 0.920
Marco Costantini Hamilton Bulldogs 8 276 249 0.902
Brett Brochu London Knights 8 187 168 0.898
Aiden Campbell Erie Otters 7 162 143 0.883
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 5 135 118 0.874
Goaltending Leaders – Wins
Player Team GP W L OL
Brett Brochu London Knights 8 6 1 0
Aiden Campbell Erie Otters 7 5 1 0
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 12 5 4 3
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 5 3 1 1
Marco Costantini Hamilton Bulldogs 8 3 4 2
Goaltending Leaders – Shutouts
Player Team GP SO
Brett Brochu London Knights 8 1

OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders: September

Sure, most teams have yet to play a handful of games, but the calendar has switched from September to October (are you getting ready for winter yet?) so it’s time to look at the first time draft eligible player statistical leaders as we begin the journey towards the 2020 National Hockey League Draft.

Three things we know for sure: 1) the list of names today will not be the same in March. 2) Barring a catastrophe or major injury, expect to see Quinton Byfield to stay at or near the top of the lists. 3) Same goes for Jamie Drysdale among blueliners.

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Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by OHL Images

Byfield leads the way in goals, points and tied for top spot in assists. Not only does he lead the league’s draft eligible players in points, but he leads the entire OHL. A sure fire top 5 pick in Montreal on June 26, 2020 but there are those (yours truly included) that believe that he could challenge for the number one spot at season’s end.

Here’s a look at the statistical leaders. As always, we take great care in compiling stats, but always refer to the OHL Website for official stats.

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 5 6 6 12
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 4 4 4 8
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 5 2 6 8
Antonio Stranges London Knights 4 5 2 7
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 4 2 5 7
Oliver Suni Oshawa Generals 4 2 5 7
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 5 1 6 7
Jack Thompson Sudbury Wolves 5 3 3 6
Evan Vierling Flint Firebirds 4 1 5 6
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 4 2 3 5
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 5 6 1.20
Antonio Stranges London Knights 4 5 1.25
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 4 4 1.00
Jack Thompson Sudbury Wolves 5 3 0.60
Hayden Fowler Erie Otters 3 3 1.00
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 5 2 0.40
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 4 2 0.50
Oliver Suni Oshawa Generals 4 2 0.50
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 4 2 0.50
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 2 2 1.00
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 5 6 1.20
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 5 6 1.20
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 5 6 1.20
Luke Evangelista London Knights 4 5 1.25
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 4 5 1.25
Oliver Suni Oshawa Generals 4 5 1.25
Evan Vierling Flint Firebirds 4 5 1.25
Tanner Dickinson Soo Greyhounds 4 4 1.00
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 4 4 1.00
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 4 4 1.00
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 5 2 6 8
Jack Thompson Sudbury Wolves 5 3 3 6
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 4 0 4 4
Ole Bjorgvik-Holm Mississauga Steelheads 4 0 3 3
Colton Kammerer Sarnia Sting 3 1 1 2
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 5 +8
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 4 +7
Tanner Dickinson Soo Greyhounds 4 +5
David Jesus Oshawa Generals 4 +5
Jaromir Pytlik Soo Greyhounds 4 +5
Oliver Suni Oshawa Generals 4 +5
Igor Chibrikov Owen Sound Attack 4 +4
Marcus Gretz Flint Firebirds 2 +3
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 1 60 1 1.00
Will Cranley Ottawa 67’s 1 60 2 2.00
Nick Chenard Owen Sound Attack 1 60 2 2.00
Marco Costantini Hamilton Bulldogs 1 60 2 2.00
Tucker Tynan Niagara Ice Dogs 5 225 9 2.40
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage
Player Team GP SH SVS SV%
Nick Chenard Owen Sound Attack 1 39 37 0.949
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 1 19 18 0.947
Marco Costantini Hamilton Bulldogs 1 35 33 0.943
Owen Bennett Guelph Storm 1 42 39 0.929
Will Cranley Ottawa 67’s 1 24 22 0.917

Wolves off to fast start at training camp

Quinton Byfield is entering a pivotal season in his hockey career, but the Sudbury Wolves star centreman is taking things in stride.

And what a long, powerful stride it is.

The skilled 6-foot-5, 215-pound Newmarket, Ont. native, a top-rated prospect for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, credits his parents, Clinton Byfield and Nicole Kasper, as well as his agent, Jeff Jackson, for keeping him grounded.

“They have been talking to me all summer about it,” said Byfield, who only turned 17 on Aug. 19. “They said I haven’t thought about my draft any other season, so why should this one be so different? They told me there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs, so just keep a level head and keep going.”

Story by Ben Leeson of the Sudbury Star. Continue reading

CHL Announces 2018-19 Award Winners

Halifax, NS – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the 10 national award winners for the 2018-19 season including 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic who earned Sportsnet Player of the Year honours. 

The awards were presented as part of the 2019 Memorial Cup presented by Kia festivities in Halifax.

2018-19 CHL Award Winners:

Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award: Bowen Byram, Vancouver Giants
Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram sits second in NHL Central Scouting’s Final North American Rankings ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver. The 17-year-old product of Cranbrook, B.C., wrapped up the 2018-19 campaign with 71 points in 67 appearances, including 26 goals to lead all WHL rearguards. He then finished first in league playoff scoring with 26 points, counting eight goals and 18 assists. Byram is the first WHL player to claim the Top Prospect Award since Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings) in 2017. Finalists for the award this year also included Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs, who ranks seventh among North American skaters, and Raphael Lavoie of the Halifax Mooseheads, who is listed 20th overall.

Emera Top Scorer Award: Jason Robertson, Niagara IceDogs
Niagara IceDogs left-wing Jason Robertson led the CHL with 117 points in 62 games, counting 48 goals and 69 assists to help guide the IceDogs to a second-place regular-season finish in the OHL’s Eastern Conference. Following a midseason trade from the Kingston Frontenacs, the Dallas Stars prospect pushed the pace with his new club, tallying 79 points in 38 games. The 19-year-old native of Northville, Mich., is the first OHL skater to claim the Top Scorer Award since Dylan Strome (Erie Otters) did so in 2015. Finalists for the award this year also included San Jose Sharks prospect Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks, who scored 114 points, as well as Peter Abbandonato of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, who finished with 111 points.

Bumper to Bumper Sportsman of the Year Award: Justin Almeida, Moose Jaw Warriors
Moose Jaw Warriors centre Justin Almeida wrapped up the 2018-19 campaign with 111 points, including 33 goals and 78 assists, to finish just three points shy of the league scoring lead and help the Warriors secure third place in the WHL’s East Division. The 20-year-old from Kitimat, B.C., was also whistled for just 14 minutes in penalties as the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect took home the Brad Hornung Trophy as the WHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player. He is the second consecutive WHL skater to win the award after Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos) did so a year ago. Finalists for the Sportsman of the Year Award this year included Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki of the Guelph Storm as well as Rouyn-Noranda Huskies centre Peter Abbandonato.

Kia Humanitarian of the Year Award: Charle-Edouard D’Astous, Rimouski Oceanic
Rimouski Oceanic defenceman Charle-Edouard D’Astous excelled on the ice while also serving as an ambassador in his hometown community of Rimouski, Que., in helping to raise $3,500 for the Rimouski Regional Hospital Foundation, for which he also served as a spokesperson. The 21-year-old signee of the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins was also involved with several other local charitable causes. On the ice, the fourth-year player led all QMJHL defenceman with 66 points, including a league-leading 25 assists on the power play. D’Astous is the first QMJHL player to win the award since Danick Martel (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) in 2015, and the second from his team to win following Philippe Sauve in 1999. Finalists for the Humanitarian of the Year Award this year included Will Warm of the Edmonton Oil Kings and Nicholas Canade of the Mississauga Steelheads.

CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Dustin Wolf, Everett Silvertips
Everett Silvertips goaltender Dustin Wolf excelled both on the ice and in the classroom, where he maintained a 100% average across a Grade 12 workload covering four courses. Between the pipes, the 18-year-old Californian led the WHL with 41 wins, while also topping the charts with a 1.69 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. The budding netminder, who is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, is the first WHL player to claim the award since Josh Morrissey (Prince Albert Raiders) in 2013. Finalists for the Scholastic Player of the Year Award this year included Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads as well as Matthew Welsh of the Charlottetown Islanders.

Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Mario Pouliot, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies head coach Mario Pouliot led his club to a franchise-record 59-win season in his first year behind the bench with his new team. He also guided the Huskies to a 25-win streak to tie a CHL record originally set in 1974. In all, Rouyn-Noranda finished the season in first place with a 59-8-0-1 record, good for 119 points. In the playoffs, the Huskies then captured the President’s Cup for the second time in four seasons. Pouliot is the first QMJHL head coach to win the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award since Gillies Bouchard (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) in 2016. Finalists this year included Marc Habscheid of the Prince Albert Raiders and Andre Tourigny of the Ottawa 67’s.

Wawanesa Rookie of the Year Award: Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves
2020 NHL Draft prospect Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves put together an incredible freshman campaign that saw him produce at nearly a point-per-game pace as he notched 29 goals and 32 assists across 64 appearances. The 16-year-old native of Newmarket, Ont., who was originally drafted first overall by the Wolves in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, follows in the footsteps of Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads), who was the last OHL skater to win the Rookie of the Year Award in 2016.  He’s also just the second member of the Wolves to win following Benoit Pouliot in 2005. Finalists this year included Brayden Tracey of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Jordan Spence of the Moncton Wildcats.

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award: Ian Scott, Prince Albert Raiders
Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Ian Scott had a banner year, winning 38 of his 49 appearances to help guide the Raiders to first place in the WHL and an eventual 16-7 playoff record that saw the club win its first Ed Chynoweth Cup since 1985. The regular season saw the 20-year-old Calgary native top the charts with eight shutouts, while the Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick also finished second league-wide in goals-against average (1.83) and save percentage (.932). For two years running, a WHL netminder has captured the Goaltender of the Year Award, with Scott’s win coming on the heels of Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) in 2018. Finalists this year included Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves as well as Samuel Harvey of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

Superstore Defenceman of the Year Award: Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs
Spokane Chiefs defenceman Ty Smith claims the Defenceman of the Year Award after finishing second in Chiefs team scoring and fourth among all WHL blue-liners as he tallied seven goals and 62 assists for 69 points in only 57 appearances, helping him take home the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL Defenceman of the Year. The New Jersey Devils prospect and 19-year-old native of Lloydminster, Sask., is the first WHL rearguard to capture the Defenceman of the Year Award since Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings) in 2016. Finalists this year included Evan Bouchard of the London Knights as well as Charle-Edouard D’Astous of the Rimouski Oceanic.

Sportsnet Player of the Year Award: Alexis Lafreniere, Rimouski Oceanic
Rimouski Oceanic left-wing Alexis Lafreniere is the Sportsnet Player of the Year, just one season after he was recognized as the CHL’s Rookie of the Year. The 17-year-old product of St-Eustache, Que., who is a projected early selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, wrapped up the 2018-19 campaign with 37 goals and 68 assists for 105 points in only 61 appearances as he led his team in scoring and finished just six points shy of top spot in the QMJHL scoring race. Lafreniere is the second consecutive skater from the QMJHL to take home the award as he follows in the footsteps of Alex Barre-Boulet (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) who won the Player of the Year Award in 2018. This marks the fourth time a member of the Oceanic has won following Brad Richards in 2000, and Sidney Crosby who won back-to-back in 2004-05. Finalists this year included Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks as well as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves.

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All photos courtesy of Vincent Ethier

Wolves’ Quinton Byfield named OHL Rookie of the Year

OHL Announces First and Second All-Rookie Teams

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves is the 2018-19 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Byfield joined the league as the first overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and finished third in rookie scoring with 61 points in 64 games including 29 goals and 32 assists helping the Wolves win more than 40 games for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

“It’s super humbling,” Byfield said. “There’s a lot of good rookies this year that could have won it. I think a lot of them deserved it as well. I couldn’t have done it by myself and owe a lot to my coaches who put trust in me, gave me every opportunity to succeed, and put me in every situation. And my teammates, our off-ice chemistry was unbelievable. We had a very special group, we’re super tight, and that helped us on the ice and really helped me too.

“My billet family, since day one, welcomed me into their family and they supported me along the way,” added Byfield. “To my Mom, Dad, Sister, Oma, they all believed in me, supported me, and sacrificed everything for me just so I could go play hockey. This is just really special for me and I’m really honoured.”

The Newmarket, Ont., native, and graduate from the OMHA champion York-Simcoe Express, scored in his Wolves debut on September 21, part of a two-point performance, the first of 16 multi-point games this season.  The 2020 NHL Draft prospect also represented Canada as an alternate captain at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in November.  He finished second overall in Wolves scoring and lit the lamp more than any other 16-year-old rookie to play for ‘the Pack’ in the last 20 years following Norm Milley’s 30 goals in 1996-97.

“For Quinton coming in, being the number one pick after really wanting to be first overall, he’s done everything for us since the start of the season,” said Wolves head coach Cory Stillman, who won OHL Rookie of the Year honours himself as a member of the Windsor Spitfires in 1990-91. “He’s an extremely talented player and is a treat to come to the rink and watch every night.

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Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by OHL Images

“What makes Quinton special, to me, is how hard he plays in all areas of the game,” Stillman added. “He plays on the power play and on the penalty kill. He plays in the last minute if we’re up a goal or if we’re down a goal. I think the biggest thing with Quinton is that he’s only going to get better.”

Byfield is just the third Wolves player to win Rookie of the Year honours following Benoit Pouliot in 2004-05, and Pat Verbeek in 1981-82.  He is also the ninth player to win after also earning the Jack Ferguson Award as the league’s first overall pick following Jeff O’Neill (Guelph 1992-93), Patrick O’Sullivan (Mississauga 2001-02), Rob Schremp (Mississauga 2002-03), John Tavares (Oshawa 2005-06), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie 2011-12), Connor McDavid (Erie 2012-13), Travis Konecny (Ottawa 2013-14), and Ryan Merkley (Guelph 2016-17).  Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts was last season’s recipient.

The Emms Family Award was donated by Leighton “Hap” Emms, former owner of the Barrie, Niagara Falls, and St. Catharines OHL franchises.  The award is selected by all 20 member club General Managers.  Teams were asked to submit only one nominee from their own club for consideration on the ballot and were not permitted to vote for the player from their own hockey club.  Voting was conducted in two stages beginning with a Conference only vote followed by a Final ballot that included the top three candidates from the initial Conference phase.  Players received five points for a first vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

Byfield earned 61 points in a very close voting process just one point ahead of Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit who finished with 60 voting points.  Defenceman Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters finished in third place with 32 voting points.

All three players were also named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team with Byfield at centre, Perfetti at left wing, and Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting at right wing.  Drysdale was voted on defence alongside NHL Draft prospect Vladislav Kolyachonok of the Flint Firebirds.  Jet Greaves of the Barrie Colts was voted in goal.  Second All-Rookie Team honours were awarded to forwards Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s, Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires, and Tyler Tullio of the Oshawa Generals.  Ryan O’Rourke of the Soo Greyhounds and Daniil Chayka of the Guelph Storm were voted on defence, and Zachary Roy of the Hamilton Bulldogs was chosen in goal.

The OHL All-Rookie Teams were also selected by the OHL’s General Managers.  Players were voted on initially by position within their conference receiving five points for a first place vote, three for a second place vote, and one for a third.  Top vote getters in each position made up the final ballot that was then circulated to all 20 teams.

The Emms Family Award will be formally presented to Byfield at the OHL’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Wednesday June 5.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Rookie of the Year to be announced at the Memorial Cup presented by Kia on Saturday May 25.

2018-19 OHL All-Rookie Teams (voting points in brackets):
First Team:
Centre – Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves (87)
Left Wing – Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit (91)
Right Wing – Jacob Perreault, Sarnia Sting (89)
Defence – Jamie Drysdale, Erie Otters (95)
Defence – Vladislav Kolyachonok, Flint Firebirds (69)
Goaltender – Jet Greaves, Barrie Colts (58)
Second Team:
Centre – Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67’s (52)
Left Wing – Will Cuylle, Windsor Spitfires (52)
Right Wing – Tyler Tullio, Oshawa Generals (35)
Defence – Ryan O’Rourke, Soo Greyhounds (53)
Defence – Daniil Chayka, Guelph Storm (38)
Goaltender – Zachary Roy, Hamilton Bulldogs (39)

OHL completes 2018 Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today conducted the 2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore for North American players born in 2002.

A total of 300 players were selected in the 15-round process from 98 different teams across Ontario and parts of the United States.  The selected players included 175 forwards, 92 defencemen, and 33 goaltenders.  While 292 of the players chosen were 2002-born athletes, also eligible for selection were non-overage players not carded with an Ontario based Midget AAA team from protected OHL territories.  Five players born in 2001, and three players born in 2000 were chosen under this criteria.

2018 OHL Draft Logo

“Congratulations to all 300 players chosen in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and for the hard work that got you to this point,” said Darrell Woodley, Director of OHL Central Scouting.  “Being selected by an OHL team is an accomplishment to celebrate and share with family, friends, coaches, and teammates that helped provide support and encouragement along the way.  It’s also just the beginning of your next challenge where it doesn’t matter what number you were picked it’s what you do on the ice that really counts.  This motivation also applies to players not selected today who can still find opportunities for success in hockey with the right attitude and work ethic.  Best of luck to all players in your hockey and academic goals.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL RESULTS OF THE 2018 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association led the way with 82 players selected from 19 different organizations including 47 picks across 11 ETA teams and 35 picks by eight SCTA teams.  The Oakville Rangers led the OMHA and the entire draft with 14 players selected, followed by the ETA’s Peterborough Petes with 10, the Barrie Jr. Colts with eight, both the SCTA’s Guelph Gryphons and Niagara North Stars with seven, and the league champion York-Simcoe Express with six.  The Greater Toronto Hockey League was represented by 76 players from 12 different teams.  Three clubs developed 13 players in this year’s draft including the league champion Toronto Marlboros, the Mississauga Reps, and the Vaughan Kings.  The OHL Cup champion Toronto Jr. Canadiens had 11 players chosen followed by the Don Mills Flyers with nine.  The ALLIANCE had a total of 37 players selected from 11 different teams led by the Cambridge Hawks with seven and the Sun County Panthers with six.  Hockey Eastern Ontario produced 25 players from 12 different Midget AAA teams led by the champion Rockland Nationals with six.  The Northern Ontario Hockey Association had 10 players chosen from three different teams including five members of the North Bay Trappers, while three players from Hockey Northwestern Ontario were picked including a pair of Thunder Bay Kings.  An additional five players were chosen from various Canadian programs with the remaining 62 players representing 34 different teams from the United States including seven players from Detroit Honeybaked 16U.

This season marked the 18th straight year the Priority Selection was conducted by way of the internet, and eleventh straight year with a live draft show of the first three rounds.

2018 OHL Priority Selection First Round Results:

Reports from OHL Central Scouting (click select names for video profiles).

1. Sudbury Wolves – Quinton Byfield (York Simcoe Express) 6.03.5 202Ib. LC “Quinton is the type of player that doesn’t come around very often. At nearly 6’4” and over 200lbs, he is an intimidating presence on the ice. He has an exceptionally high skill level and can do things with a puck that not many players his age or size can do. He is very creative with the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to try and beat any defender. He is a very hard to handle in open ice as he is agile on his skates and uses his edges effectively. Quinton has a cannon for a shot and can shoot in mid-stride.”

2. Flint Firebirds – Evan Vierling (York Simcoe Express) 5.11.5 148Ib. LC “Evan is a smooth-skating center that has very good offensive instincts. He is one of the nicest skaters in the draft, plays a good 10-foot game, has a long, powerful stride and is very agile on his skates. He has a great skill set and can make plays at full speed. He is a smart player that understands the situations of a game and makes very few mistakes. He plays a simple but effective game. Evan was a big part of the success his team had in the second half.”

3. Peterborough Petes – Will Cuylle (Toronto Marlboros) 6.02 193Ib. LW “Will is your prototypical power forward that combines size, skill and skating. He is a powerful skater that gets to top speed quickly and has deceiving speed as most defenders don’t expect such a big forward to move as effortlessly as he does. His puck skills are elite and he has turned nothing into something on numerous occasions this season. He shoots the puck better than most junior players already. He has a lightning quick release with a very accurate shot.”

4. Erie Otters – Jamie Drysdale (Toronto Marlboros) 5.10.25 158Ib. RD “Jamie is one of the elite defencemen in this year’s Priority Selection. He is an elite skater that moves effortlessly around the ice and looks like he could skate all day long. He has excellent edge work, an explosive 10-foot game and has game changing speed. He is an offensive minded defender that has great puck skills and can do everything at full speed. Jamie is very dynamic on the offensive blue line and is hard to handle because of his mobility, puck skills and decision making.”

5. Saginaw Spirit – Cole Perfetti (Vaughan Kings) 5.09.25 170Ib. LC “Philip is a hard working, skilled centre that never gives up on a play. He has explosive speed with the ability to change gears in mid-stride and is always moving his feet and putting pressure on the opposition. He has very good one-on-one skills and is dangerous whenever he has the puck. Philip has a good shot with a quick release that catches some goalies by surprise. He plays a complete game and is reliable in every situation.”

6. Ottawa 67’s – Cameron Tolnai (Oakville Rangers) 6.00 167Ib. LC “Cameron is a gifted playmaking center that makes the game look easy. He makes everyone around him better as he is so good at putting pucks in areas where his teammates will get good scoring chances. He has incredible vision and makes both the simple and very creative pass. He is a very good skater and jumps in and out of holes well to receive passes. Cameron is a pass first type of player, but possesses a good shot with a quick release. He is one of the smartest players in this age group.” 7. 

Guelph Storm – Daniil Chayka (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) 6.02.25 173Ib. LD “Daniil is a big stud of a defenceman that does everything very well. He is a powerful skater that reaches top speed quickly. He has good mobility and is hard to beat off the rush because of his excellent feet. He is not afraid to jump into the rush or lead it if the opportunity is there. He is one of the best in the age group on the offensive blueline and has a knack for getting his cannon of a shot through traffic and on net. He is a strong penalty killer that gets his stick in the passing lanes.”

8. Mississauga Steelheads – James Hardie (Barrie Jr. Colts) 5.10.5 158Ib. LW “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 at the OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.”

9. North Bay Battalion – Pacey Schlueting (North Bay Trappers) 6.00.5 170Ib. LD “Pacey is a smooth skating defenceman that is fun to watch when he is at the top of his game. He has a very nice long stride that makes it look effortless for him when he is skating. He makes good breakout passes and when given the opportunity he is very effective at rushing the puck and creating offense off the rush. He is hard to beat due to his excellent mobility and reach. Pacey plays on the right side of the puck in his own end. He has the potential to be a very good player in the OHL.”

10. Windsor Spitfires – Jean-Luc Foudy (Toronto Titans) 5.10 153Ib. RC “Jean-Luc is a skilled, playmaking type of centre that makes everyone around him better. He has elusive speed that catches defenders off guard at times. He is quick to jump into holes for loose pucks and wins the majority of races to pucks. He is crafty with the puck and can stickhandle in very tight areas. Jean-Luc is one of the smarter players in the age group. He is always in the right spot at the right time and the puck seems to follow him around the ice.”

11. Oshawa Generals – Tyler Tullio (Vaughan Kings) 5.08.5 150Ib. RC “Tyler is a competitive player that would do almost anything to score a goal or win a hockey game. He is a good skater that can beat defenders wide and win loose puck battles all over the ice. He possesses a junior level shot already. It’s hard, accurate and he gets it on net very quickly. Tyler competes very hard each shift and isn’t shy to battle against the bigger defender and usually come out with the puck. He is a ‘gamer’ and the type of player you win with.”

12. Niagara IceDogs – Lleyton Moore (Toronto Marlboros) 5.07.25 160Ib. LD “Lleyton is a mobile defenceman that loves to have the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to lead a rush. He is a strong skater in every direction, is explosive and has a very high top speed. His puck skills are elite as it seems like the puck is on a string at times. He sees the ice well and is very creative. Lleyton’s biggest attribute is his skating ability. It helps him defend, recover when he is up in the rush and create offence from the back end. He is one of his teams go-to players and plays in every situation.”

13. Kingston Frontenacs – Jake Murray (Oakville Rangers) 6.02.5 190Ib. RD “Jake is a versatile two-way defenceman that you notice every time he is on the ice. He is a big presence and moves extremely well. He has great edge work and is a beautiful skater in open ice. He has the ability to join or lead a rush and then still recover and defend his position. He has good puck skills and is composed when he has the puck on his stick. He has a hard shot from the point and finds the shooting lanes well. Jake uses his mobility and long reach to his advantage.”

14. London Knights – Luke Evangelista (Oakville Rangers) 5.10 146Ib. RW “Luke is a dynamic winger that never stops moving his feet and putting pressure on the opposition. He is a very good skater that is quick to jump to open holes and pounce on loose pucks. He is creative offensively and uses his high skill level to produce with the best in his league. He competes hard each and every shift and you always know what you are getting with this player. He shoots the puck well and is extremely accurate. He is used in every situation and thrives on the power play.

15. Owen Sound Attack – Nolan Seed (Smiths Falls Bears U18) 5.11.5 152Ib. LD “Nolan is an offensive-minded defenceman that is always looking to join the rush and help contribute on offence. He is one of the smoothest skating defencemen in this age group and considering he hasn’t played defence for long he has great mobility which makes him hard to beat off the rush. He loves to have the puck on his stick and makes good distribution decisions as he isn’t always trying to go end-to-end with it. He sees the ice very well and runs the power play very efficiently.”

16. Barrie Colts – Riley Piercey (Toronto Marlboros) 6.02.5 186Ib. RW “Riley is a big power forward that is very hard to play against as he is constantly moving and takes the body every chance that he can. He is a powerful skater that, when at full speed, is very quick. He is a player that makes the simple, effective play the majority of the time. He has a good shot which he gets off quickly. Riley plays hard in all three zones and rarely takes any short cuts. He is the type of player that coaches like to have on the bench because he can play up and down a lineup.”

17. Kitchener Rangers – Reid Valade (Toronto Marlboros) 5.10 160Ib. RW “Reid is a speedy winger that is constantly moving and putting pressure on the other team. He has electric speed and is always challenging defencemen wide or jumping quickly in and out of holes for scoring chances. He has a good skill set which allows him to beat players one-on-one as well as finish off scoring chances when they arrive. He shoots the puck well and has a quick release. Reid is a smart player that can play any type of game or role on his team.”

18. Hamilton Bulldogs – Logan Morrison (Guelph Gryphons) 5.09.5 142Ib. RC “Logan is one of the smartest offensive players in this year’s Priority Selection. He has a great understanding of the game and each situation. He is creative offensively but also makes the simple safe play which is usually the right one. He is a good skater and once he is in full stride he is deceivingly quick. He has great vision with the puck and scored numerous big goals for his team this season. Logan is one of those players that makes players around him better and he should continue to do so in the OHL.”

19. Sarnia Sting – Jacob Perreault (Chicago Mission 16U) 5.10 195Ib. RC “The son of former NHL forward Yanic Perreault, Jacob hails from Hinsdale, Ill. and plays the game with intelligence and poise. A dynamic offensive talent, he led the HPHL’s 16U circuit in scoring this past season with 25 points over 20 games coming against players a year older than him. He is a player that makes a difference when he is on the ice and comes with the pro pedigree to further develop as he continues to grow.”

20. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Ryan O’Rourke (Vaughan Kings) 6.00 175Ib. LD “Ryan is a tough to play against two-way defenceman. He has good mobility and is a powerful skater which allows him to close gaps and take away time and space. He has a good skill set that allows him to move the puck out of his zone. He can rush the puck when the opportunity is there and he is good on the offensive blue line at getting pucks on net or distributing it. Ryan is hard to beat defensively. He takes the body well and he has a good understanding of his position and what he has to do.

Wolves announce Quinton Byfield as First Overall Pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection

2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore takes place on Saturday April 7, 2018, at 9:00 am at www.ontariohockeyleague.com

 

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Sudbury Wolves Hockey Club today announced that 15-year-old forward Quinton Byfield of the OMHA champion York Simcoe Express will be the first overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore.

The announcement was made at a news conference held today in Sudbury where Byfield was introduced to local media.

2018 OHL Draft Logo

“I am thrilled to be selected first overall and honoured to be the recipient of the Jack Ferguson award,” said Byfield, a native of Newmarket, Ont. “I have to thank my family for all of their support in getting me to this position today. I would also like to thank all my past coaches and my teammates for all the help they have given me. Finally, I would like to thank the Sudbury Wolves for the honour of selecting me with the first pick of this year’s OHL Draft. I’m very excited to join the Wolves and can’t wait to get started.”

The Wolves are pleased to confirm that Byfield has committed to join the Wolves and the OHL to develop in pursuit of his dream of playing in the NHL.  He will join the other 2018 Wolves Priority Selection picks as well as 2017 selections including standout rookies Blake Murray, Anthony Tabak, and Liam Ross at the Wolves Orientation Camp April 14-15 at Sudbury Arena.

“We are very excited to have Quinton join the Sudbury Wolves,” said VP of Hockey Operations and GM, Rob Papineau. “He is an exceptional player with a great future and his potential is amazing and our coaching staff is eager to work with him. Our scouting staff has been unanimous on Quinton as the best player in the draft all season and we know that the fans and the people of Greater Sudbury are going to love the opportunity to watch such a special player in a Wolves uniform.”

Byfield earned OMHA ETA Minor Midget Player of the Year honours with a league-high 92 points in 34 games scoring 48 goals and 44 assists captaining the Express to gold at the OMHA championship.  He also added four goals and three assists for seven points in six games at the OHL Cup powered by Under Armour helping York-Simcoe reach the tournament’s Semi-Finals.  His regular season points-per-game mark in the OMHA ranks third all-time behind current NHL stars Steven Stamkos and Taylor Hall.  A left shot centre that is 6’4” tall and 202 lbs, Byfield was born August 19, 2002, making him eligible for the NHL Draft in 2020.

“As the Owner and Governor of the Wolves, I am so proud to see that the program we are developing has players that want to play and develop here in the north,” said Dario Zulich.  “We put in place a goal to be a Memorial Cup contender with our mission being to develop 15-year-old boys into professional gentlemen of character when they leave our program. This is happening with the continued development and support our players are receiving. I am confident that our community will share the excitement the team is working so hard at achieving. Quinton represents a significant step forward.”

Byfield is the 2018 recipient of the Jack Ferguson Award presented annually to the player selected first overall in the OHL Priority Selection. The “Fergie” recognizes the dedication and contributions made by Jack Ferguson during his 25 year association with the OHL, first as a scout with the Ottawa 67’s and followed by his appointment as head of the OHL’s Central Scouting Bureau in 1981 as its Director of Central Scouting.  Byfield is the fifth member of the Wolves to receive the award following Dave Moylan in 1984, John Uniac in 1987, John McFarland in 2008, and David Levin in 2015.

“Quinton is the type of player that doesn’t come around very often,” said OHL Director of Central Scouting, Darrell Woodley. “At nearly 6’4” and over 200lbs, he is an intimidating presence on the ice with an exceptionally high skill level and can do things with a puck that not many players his age or size can do. He has a cannon for a shot and is very creative with the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to try and beat any defender. He is very hard to handle in open ice as he is agile on his skates and uses his edges effectively.”

WATCH: #OHLDraft Prospect Profile – Quinton Byfield, York-Simcoe Express

Byfield will be a feature guest on the live 2018 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show presented by Real Canadian Superstore beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday April 7, 2018.  The draft show along with live results feed will be available at www.ontariohockeyleague.com.

For the eleventh straight year, media and fans can watch the first three rounds live online with host Terry Doyle who will be joined on set by Darrell Woodley and Tim Cherry of OHL Central Scouting to provide analysis, interviews, and video footage of the next wave of OHL stars.

Former winners of the Jack Ferguson Award Include:

1981 Dan Quinn, Belleville Bulls

1982 Kirk Muller, Guelph Platers

1983 Trevor Stienburg, Guelph Platers

1984 Dave Moylan, Sudbury Wolves

1985 Bryan Fogarty, Kingston Canadians

1986 Troy Mallette, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

1987 John Uniac, Sudbury Wolves

1988 Drake Berehowsky, Kingston Raiders

1989 Eric Lindros, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

1990 Pat Peake, Detroit Ambassadors

1991 Todd Harvey, Detroit Ambassadors

1992 Jeff O’Neill, Guelph Storm

1993 Alyn McCauley, Ottawa 67’s

1994 Jeff Brown, Sarnia Sting

1995 Daniel Tkaczuk, Barrie Colts

1996 Rico Fata, London Knights

1997 Charlie Stephens, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors

1998 Jay Harrison, Brampton Battalion

1999 Jason Spezza, Mississauga IceDogs

2000 Patrick Jarrett, Mississauga IceDogs

2001 Patrick O’Sullivan,Mississauga IceDogs

2002 Robbie Schremp, Mississauga IceDogs

2003 Patrick McNeill, Saginaw Spirit

2004 John Hughes, Belleville Bulls

2005 John Tavares, Oshawa Generals

2006 Steven Stamkos, Sarnia Sting

2007 Ryan O’Reilly, Erie Otters

2008 John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves

2009 Daniel Catenacci, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

2010 Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia Sting

2011 Aaron Ekblad, Barrie Colts

2012 Connor McDavid, Erie Otters

2013 Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s

2014 Jakob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting

2015 David Levin, Sudbury Wolves

2016 Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm

2017 Ryan Suzuki, Barrie Colts

2018 Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves