HARDIE AND RANGER 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, January 2, 2022

Steelheads’ James Hardie Named OHL Player of the Week

Mississauga Steelheads forward James Hardie is the OHL Player of the Week, recording three goals and three assists for six points in a pair of victories.

Hardie helped Mississauga stay on top of the OHL standings with consecutive wins, recording a season-high four points with two goals and two assists in Wednesday’s 5-4 win over visiting North Bay. He followed-up that first star performance with a goal and an assist on New Year’s Eve in Sudbury as Mississauga won 8-2, claiming their fourth consecutive win.

A 19-year-old product of Innisfil, Ont., Hardie sits tied for second in OHL goal-scoring with 21 this season. He leads the Steelheads with 38 points (21-17–38) through 28 contests while posting a plus/minus rating of plus-26. A former first round (8th overall) selection by Mississauga in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, Hardie has posted 70 goals, 53 assists and 123 points in 149 career regular season games with the Steelheads. He attended rookie camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs this past September.

Hardie is the first Steelheads player to earn OHL Player of the Week honours since former goaltender Jacob Ingham last did so in February 2019.

Also considered for the award this week, Calgary Flames prospect Rory Kerins of the Soo Greyhounds recorded seven points (4-3–7) as the Greyhounds won two of their three games last week. Chicago Blackhawks prospect and Hardie’s Mississauga Steelheads teammate Ethan Del Mastro also had a strong showing, recording six assists in two games.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: James Hardie (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Ty Tullio (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
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)

Steelheads’ Joe Ranger Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Joe Ranger of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL Goaltender of the Week, helping the Steelheads remain on top of the standings by posting a 3.00 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and turning aside 60 shots in a pair of victories.

Ranger made 35 saves on Wednesday as the Steelheads won a Central Division showdown, defeating the visiting North Bay Battalion 5-4 despite being outshot 39-22. He was solid in a New Year’s Eve road win over the Sudbury Wolves on Friday, making 25 saves as the Trout took it 8-2 for their fourth straight win.

A 19-year-old native of Carp, Ont., Ranger currently leads the League in goals-against average (1.93) and save percentage (.929) while posting a 9-2-1-0 record with two shutouts over 13 games. He’s played to an overall record of 15-12-5-0 with a 3.40 goals-against average and .885 save percentage in 39 career OHL regular season games with Mississauga. Ranger was originally the Steelheads’ fourth round (63rd overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and joins Roman Basran as the second Mississauga netminder to earn the award this season.

Also considered for recognition this week, Saginaw Spirit rookie Andrew Oke went 2-1-0-0 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. Flint Firebirds netminder Luke Cavallin was 1-0-0-1 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: Joe Ranger (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Owen Bennett (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Roman Basran (Mississauga Steelheads)
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.

KERINS AND OSTER 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 24, 2021

Greyhounds’ Rory Kerins Named OHL Player of the Week

Calgary Flames prospect Rory Kerins of the Soo Greyhounds is the OHL Player of the Week with a league-leading 10 points including five goals and five assists over three games including a plus/minus rating of plus-3.

Kerins got the week started with a four-point performance on Wednesday night as the Greyhounds defeated the visiting Sudbury Wolves 4-3 in overtime. Kerins scored twice, tying the game with a third period power play marker before collecting an assist on Tye Kartye’s game winner. His dominance carried over into Friday’s home date against the North Bay Battalion as Kerins posted a career-high six points including his first OHL hat-trick as the Hounds outgunned the Troops 8-5. Kerins’ six points were the most by a Greyhounds player in a single game since Nick Cousins recorded six on Feb. 16, 2013 against the Kingston Frontenacs. Kerins was held off the scoresheet on Saturday as the Hounds fell to the Battalion 4-2 on home ice. The 5-foot-11, 186Ib. centreman was an impressive 68 percent in the faceoff circle last week, winning 51 of his 75 draws.

A 19-year-old from Caledon, Ont., Kerins is currently tied for the OHL lead in scoring with his 14 points (8-6–14) over eight games. His 61.8 percent success rate in the faceoff circle is third among centremen with at least 100 faceoff attempts this season. 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. The Greyhounds selected him with their fourth round (71st overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Mississauga Rebels U16 program.

Kerins becomes the first Greyhounds player to earn the weekly honour since Morgan Frost last did so from Jan. 14-20, 2019.

Also considered for the award this week were San Jose Sharks prospect Danil Gushchin of the Niagara IceDogs who finished the week with nine points including five goals and four assists over three contests. Gushchin’s first career OHL hat-trick headlined an IceDogs win over the Barrie Colts on Thursday. Kerins’ Soo Greyhounds teammate Tye Kartye was also in the running after recording eight points including four goals and four assists over three games last week.

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


Storm’s Jacob Oster Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Guelph Storm rookie Jacob Oster is the OHL Goaltender of the Week with a pair of wins, a 1.50 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.

Oster stopped 49 of the 52 shots he faced over the weekend, first denying 35 of 36 in a 2-1 Storm road win over the Sarnia Sting on Friday. He was back in the crease on Sunday afternoon at home to the Kitchener Rangers, earning first star honours with 14 saves in a 4-2 victory.

A 17-year-old from Ottawa, Ont., Oster is 3-1-0-0 with a 2.52 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in four games this season. The 6-foot-3, 187Ib. netminder was Guelph’s fifth round (92nd overall) pick in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection from the Kemptville 73’s U18 program.

Also considered for the award this week were Owen Sound Attack goaltender Mack Guzda who went 1-1 with a 1.53 goals-against average and .963 save percentage as well as St. Louis Blues prospect Will Cranley of the Ottawa 67’s who went 1-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and one shutout.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
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.

Rory Kerins – Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds – Player Profile

Height: 5’10

Weight: 173 Pounds

Date of birth: April 12, 2002

Hometown: Caledon, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 4, 71st overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
C Prospect B Prospect 74 N.A.

72 N.A.

Rory Kerins played his Minor Midget AAA during the 2017-2018 season skating down the middle for the Mississauga Rebels where he scored 19 goals and added 19 assists in 26 contests. He would appear in both the OHL Cup and OHL Gold Cup and combined he had 7 helpers in 8 games. He won silver at the Gold Cup with Team GTHL. During the 2016-2017 season, Kerins also appeared in the OHL Cup with Mississauga, registering 3 helpers in 5 games.

The Hounds selected Kerins, a native of Caledon Ontario, with the 71st overall pick at the 2018 Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selections.

Rory Kerins of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Rory Kerins of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.

Kerins would appear in 57 games for the Hounds during the 2018-2019 season where he scored 9 goals and added 14 assists. He would be kept off the score sheet in 10 playoff games.

It was a break out season for Kerins during the 2019-2020 season. Among first time draft eligible players, Kerins finished 10th in points (59), 9th in goals (30), 3rd in faceoff percentage (53.8%) and tops in shooting percentage – 4th in the entire league (22.72%). Kerins finished 7th in the entire league in faceoff attempts, an indication that the coaching staff would use him in critical situations.

I asked Twitter friend Peter Florio (@HoundsInsider) for his thoughts on Kerins. Here is what Peter had to say:

Rory Kerins is a natural goal scorer. He makes it look easy, his pressure in the offensive zone is hard to shut down. He is an elevated player, when he has the puck something is going to happen and has an absolute missile of a shot. I fully expect Rory to be in the fight for point championship next year with the jump he made from 2018/2019 season to 2019/2020.

I won’t make as bold of a prediction as Peter did, but I will say this: We’ve all heard the saying that talent alone will only get you so far. You need heart, determination and be willing to put in the effort, and Kerins has that in spades.

Kerins plays the game the right way and is actually an accomplished 200-foot player. He has no fear of getting into the higher danger zone area in the slot area. He can score the dirty goals or as Peter said, beat you with his shot. He’ll battle along the walls, and has surprising strength at 5’10”. He has the ability to be an effective forechecker. If there is an area that I feel he could improve it’s adding an extra gear. That would help him in getting on the forecheck quicker. Despite his willingness to go into battle, he does it the right way, and the Greyhounds recognized that by awarding him the Dr. Bill Kelly Award as the Most Gentlemanly Player.

Kerins also has very good hockey IQ. He has shown he can be a good playmaker. He can slow down and wait for a play to become available and make a good pass, with a very good ability to lead players with a pass by putting it into areas they can skate into. However, judging how his playmaking skills are is difficult. The Greyhounds are a young team that need to gain some experience. And they didn’t muster up a whole lot of offense this season, just 253 goals and that ranks 14th in the OHL.

Defensively, Kerins understands positioning, whether it’s getting his body or stick into lanes, or understanding where he needs to be and is always prepared for the breakout. The coaches have the trust in him to take key defensive zone draws and use him on the penalty kill.

Except for faceoffs and his shooting percentage, Kerins is not exactly a standout at most aspects of the game, but rather one of those guys that just does all the things required to help your team find success. Again, the Greyhounds recognized that by awarding him with the Rock 101 Trophy as the Most Valuable Player on his team.

It’s hard to project what Kerins could bring at the NHL level. Certainly, the work ethic, understanding the 200-foot game and his shot suggest he could be an effective NHL’er. We would like to see him add that extra gear when it comes to his skating. We know he’ll score goals at the OHL level, but it’ll be another year before we truly know how good his abilities to set up teammates for goals is. Right now, he’s a mid-round pick and if everything comes together, a high reward one at that.