SPIRIT ANNOUNCE MICHAEL MISA AS FIRST OVERALL PICK IN 2022 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club today announced that 15-year-old forward Michael Misa of the OHL Cup champion Mississauga Senators U16 program will be the first overall pick in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore.

The announcement was made at a news conference held at The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, introducing Misa and his family to the organization, local fans and media.

The 2007-born Misa joins John Tavares (2005), Aaron Ekblad (2011), Connor McDavid (2012) and Shane Wright (2019) as the fifth player to be selected first overall after being granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada.

“It is an honour to be selected by the Saginaw Spirit with the first overall pick in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection,” said Misa. “I am grateful to Spirit owner Dick Garber, President & Managing Partner Craig Goslin, and the entire ownership group as well as GM Dave Drinkill and his scouting staff, and Head Coach Chris Lazary for putting their trust in me as their first overall pick. I also want to thank Spirit fans everywhere for welcoming me and my family to the organization. I am committed to this team, this city, and these fans. There is lots of hard work and development ahead. I am looking forward to the future and contributing to the organization on and off the ice.”

Misa joins a Spirit organization that won back-to-back West Division titles in 2019 and 2020, with the franchise making its first-ever appearance in the Western Conference Championship Series in 2019. The Spirit have produced such current day NHL performers as Brandon Saad (St. Louis Blues), Vincent Trocheck (Carolina Hurricanes), Filip Hronek (Detroit Red Wings) and Winnipeg Jets top prospect Cole Perfetti among others.

“On behalf of the entire Saginaw Spirit organization, we are thrilled to welcome a player of Michael’s caliber to our franchise,” said Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill. “He joins a very select group of players granted exceptional status and we recognize his talents by making Michael our first overall pick in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection. Michael is an elite hockey player, with high-end skills, ability and high hockey IQ to match. He is also a very dedicated, humble, young man with great character, from a great family, and a well-rounded individual, on and off the ice.”

A native of Oakville, Ont., Misa put together a spectacular finish to his season with the Mississauga Senators, breaking Connor McDavid’s OHL Cup scoring record with 20 points (10-10–20) in seven games. Misa became the first player in OHL Cup history to score a hat trick in the championship final, recording a championship record five points as the Senators defeated the Toronto Jr. Canadiens to hoist the OHL Cup for the first time in their history. Misa finished the regular season with a grand total of 93 points (37-56–93) in 55 games. He will be eligible for the 2025 NHL Draft.

Misa is the 2022 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. First presented in 1981, Misa becomes the second member of the Spirit to receive the award following Patrick McNeill, who was the franchise’s first-ever selection back in 2003.

“Michael Misa is a dynamic offensive player that was one of the driving forces for the Senators in their OHL Cup run,” said Darrell Woodley, Director of OHL Central Scouting. “He plays like he has eyes in the back of his head. His vision is exceptional, he anticipates plays well and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He received exceptional status because of his all-around game. He is not a one-dimensional player. He has tremendous hockey sense and he does the little things well. He will be able to make an impact as a 15-year-old in the OHL.”

WATCH: #OHLDraft Prospect Profile – Michael Misa (Mississauga Senators)

Join Michael Misa as he hears his name called to kick-off the first round of the 2022 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show presented by Real Canadian Superstore beginning at 7:00pm on Friday night. The OHL Priority Selection will once again be held over the course of two days, with Rounds 1-3 taking place on Friday. The proceedings continue on Saturday, April 30 starting at 9:00am with Rounds 4-15. The Priority Selection will be streamed for free in its entirety on CHL TV. Fans can also watch complete Day 1 coverage on YourTV, Rogers tv, Eastlink, Cable 14 and Shaw Spotlight community stations, as well as on the OHL Action Pak.

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
2019 Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs
2020 Ty Nelson, North Bay Battalion
2021 Quentin Musty, Sudbury Wolves
2022 Michael Misa, Saginaw Spirit


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.

SAGINAW SPIRIT TO SELECT FIRST OVERALL IN 2022 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION PRESENTED BY REAL CANADIAN SUPERSTORE

Toronto, Ont. – The results from the 2022 OHL Priority Selection Draft Lottery are in, and the Saginaw Spirit will be selecting first on April 29-30 when OHL member teams build toward the future in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection Presented by Real Canadian Superstore.
 
Each of the four non-playoff teams participating in the Priority Selection Lottery, the Erie Otters, Niagara IceDogs, Saginaw Spirit and Sudbury Wolves, had an equal 25 percent change of drawing the first overall pick. The final results were determined by a computerized random number generator, with the process overseen and certified by Mr. Robert Bayne, partner with the law firm Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP.
 
The coveted top spot came down to a reveal between the Spirit and the Erie Otters, who will be selecting second overall for the first time since 2013.
 
The Spirit will be adding their first Jack Ferguson Award recipient since they made Patrick McNeill their first-ever selection back in 2003.
 
The OHL Priority Selection will once again be held over the course of two days, with Rounds 1-3 taking place beginning at 7:00pm on Friday, April 29. The proceedings continue on Saturday, April 30 starting at 9:00am with Rounds 4-15. The Priority Selection will be streamed for free in its entirety on CHL TV. Fans can also watch complete Day 1 coverage on YourTV, Rogers tv, Eastlink, Cable 14 and Shaw Spotlight community stations, as well as on the OHL Action Pak.
 
2022 OHL Priority Selection First Round Order of Selection:

  1. Saginaw Spirit
  2. Erie Otters
  3. Sudbury Wolves
  4. Niagara IceDogs
  5. Sarnia Sting
  6. Peterborough Petes
  7. Ottawa 67’s
  8. Oshawa Generals
  9. Kitchener Rangers
  10. Barrie Colts
  11. Owen Sound Attack
  12. Guelph Storm
  13. Mississauga Steelheads
  14. Oshawa Generals*
  15. London Knights
  16. Soo Greyhounds
  17. Kingston Frontenacs
  18. Flint Firebirds
  19. Saginaw Spirit*
  20. North Bay Battalion
  21. Ottawa 67’s*
  22. Windsor Spitfires
  23. Hamilton Bulldogs

* – compensatory pick

 
The 2022 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore will see the top players born in 2006 within OHL jurisdiction eligible to be selected on April 29-30, in addition to 2007-born forward Michael Misa of the OHL Cup champion Mississauga Senators, who has been granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada.
 
In addition to live streaming on CHL TV, the Priority Selection will also be covered extensively on the OHL’s TwitterInstagramFacebook accounts, as well as on the web at ontariohockeyleague.com.


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.

SPIRIT’S MILLMAN ADDED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM SUMMER DEVELOPMENT CAMP

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Toronto, Ont. – Hockey Canada announced Wednesday the addition of Saginaw Spirit defenceman Mason Millman to its National Junior Team Summer Development Camp set to take place online from July 27 to 31.

Millman joins Spirit teammates Tristan Lennox, Cole Perfetti and Ryan Suzuki along with 13 other OHL players and Canadian National Junior Team head coach Andre Tourigny of the Ottawa 67’s in drawing invitations to the virtual camp.

A soon-to-be 19-year-old from London, Ont., Millman recorded 44 points (13-31–44) over 58 games in his sophomore season after being selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fourth round (103rd overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-1, 180Ib. left-shot defender has collected 69 points (16-53–69) over 130 career regular season games and helped the Spirit reach the Western Conference Championship Series in 2019, recording five points (2-3–5) over 13 playoff outings. Millman was originally Saginaw’s seventh round (124th overall) pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection.

The 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship returns to Canadian ice this December, with Edmonton, Alta. and Red Deer, Alta. set to co-host the annual holiday tradition.

For more information on Hockey Canada or Canada’s National Junior Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on FacebookTwitter and Twitter.com/HC_WJC.

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. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

Press Release

Mitchell Smith – Saginaw Spirit – Player Profile

Height: 5’ 10”

Weight: 180 Pounds

Date of birth: September 15, 2002

Hometown: Saginaw, MI

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 5, 84th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. N.R. N.R.

Saginaw Spirit blueliner Mitchell Smith hasn’t gotten a mention from National Hockey League Central Scouting all season, and it’s not because he met draft eligibility for the 2020 draft on the very last possible day. We do however believe he should be on the list.

Smith played his Midget Hockey with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies Under-16 squad during the 2017-2018 season where he scored 8 goals and 39 assists in 58 games. Smith had verbally committed to attend the University of Michigan, yet his hometown Saginaw Spirit still drafted him in the 5th round of the 2018 Priority Selection, 84th overall. He was also selected in the 5th round of the 2018 USHL Futures Draft, 72nd overall by the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

Mitchell Smith of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Mitchell Smith of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

During the 2018-2019 season, Smith returned to the Grizzlies and scored 13 goals while assisting on 30 in 52 games. He decided to forego his NCAA career with Michigan and sign with Saginaw for the 2019-2020 season. In 56 games with the Spirit Smith scored 7 goals and assisted on 9 and was named to the OHL Second All-Rookie squad.

In many ways, Smith fits the description of the new, modern, smaller defenceman. He possesses high end mobility and hockey sense. He retrieves pucks quickly and transitions to offence with a very well-timed pass but he also has the ability to skate with the puck and go end-to-end.

Smith is very good at keeping possession and buying time before dishing off an excellent pass, however, there are times he holds onto the puck too long and an earlier pass may have been the better decision. At 5’10” there are always questions raised about defensive abilities. Smith almost always plays stick-on-stick defensive hockey. His skating ability allows him to keep his gaps close and he can force opponents to the outside and then use his stick effectively to break up the rush. Where he can find himself in trouble is in front of his net where boxing out can be an issue. But he’s still young and transitioning from Midget to Junior isn’t always easy.

Smith’s offensive numbers won’t jump out at you. In fairness, he received almost no powerplay time and didn’t get into many offensive situations. Early in the season, Smith was averaging 10 minutes a night on the ice. As the season progressed and his defensive game wasn’t causing the team many issues, the coaches began trusting him with more ice time, but still no specialty teams play. And for most of the season, he was paired with an offensive defenceman so providing offence wasn’t necessary.

We believe there is some intriguing upside and potential in Smith. He could turn out to be a good find for an NHL team in the middle rounds.

We would take that gamble.

OHL ANNOUNCES 2019-20 ACADEMIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS

Press Release

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the recipients of the League’s three Academic Player of the Year awards for the 2019-20 season.

Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit is the winner of the Bobby Smith Trophy as Scholastic Player of the Year presented by CIBC, with Jacob Golden of the Erie Otters earning the Roger Neilson Memorial Award as the Top Post-Secondary School Student and Owen Sound Attack forward Logan LeSage being honoured as the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award recipient as the Top High School Student.

Perfetti will serve as the OHL’s nomination for the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year Award which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Bobby Smith Trophy (CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year) – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit):

The Ontario Hockey League is proud to announce that draft eligible forward Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit is the 2019-20 recipient of the Bobby Smith Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year presented by CIBC.

“CIBC proudly congratulates Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti on receiving the Bobby Smith Trophy as CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year. Cole’s demonstrated excellence both on the ice in hockey and off the ice in academics has set a positive example for his fellow teammates and those in the community, and we look forward to seeing him continue to flourish back on the ice in the near future.”

Perfetti becomes the first Spirit player to win the award, earning the honour for his academic achievements in the classroom combined with his on-ice excellence this season. He has been enrolled in an impressive seven University level courses between Heritage High School in Saginaw and All Saints Catholic Secondary School in Whitby, carrying an overall average of 93%. His courses of study include Algebra,  World Religions, Organizational Studies in Behaviour and Human Resources, Analyzing Current Economic Issues, Elite Athletics, Healthy & Active Living and Leadership. On the ice, the top NHL Draft prospect finished second in OHL scoring, setting a new Spirit single season record with 111 points including 37 goals, 74 assists and a plus-49 rating over 61 games.

“It is a great honour to be awarded the Bobby Smith Trophy.  Mr. Smith was an amazing OHL player who was named CHL Player of the Year and was selected first overall in the NHL Draft,” said Perfetti. “In addition, he was a very conscientious and successful student.  Combining excellence on and off the ice has been something I have always strived for and the long list of distinguished winners, including Barrett Hayton, Connor McDavid, Matt Duchene and Steven Stamkos makes it extra special. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Saginaw Spirit ownership, management, coaching staff and my teammates.  Thanks to my mom, dad, sister and the Bordeaux’s for their unconditional support.  Thank you also to Mrs. Moretuzzo from Heritage High and Ms. Quinn from All Saints for all of their guidance over the last two years.”

The 18-year-old left-winger from Whitby, Ont. is the fifth-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings released on April 8. The Spirit’s fist round (fifth overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection increased his output from 74 points including a Spirit rookie record of 37 goals in 2018-19 to 111 points in his sophomore campaign, finishing second in League assists with 74. Perfetti was widely recognized in the 2019-20 Coaches Poll, leading all OHL players with first place finishes in four different categories as he was named the Western Conference’s Smartest Player, Best Playmaker, Best Stickhandler and Best Shootout Shooter. He led all OHL players, receiving three star of the game recognition a total of 22 times including a league-best 14 first star performances. Perfetti has also had past success on the world stage, representing Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship in addition to winning silver at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

“As an organization we could not be more proud of Cole for winning this prestigious award,” said Spirit general manager Dave Drinkill. “When Cole came into this season one of his personal goals was to win the Bobby Smith Trophy and it’s great to see him achieve what he set out to do. This is a very tough trophy to win and I think it speaks to Cole’s character and makeup as a person that he is the 2019-20 recipient. It takes incredible discipline, time management, skill, and drive to be the best on the ice and in the classroom to win this award and no one is more deserving than Cole.”

Each year the Bobby Smith Trophy is presented to the OHL Scholastic Player of the Year who best combines high standards of play and academic excellence.  The trophy is in honour of Bobby Smith, a former Ottawa 67’s star who exhibited a standard of excellence in both of these areas.  Past recipients since the award was first presented in 1980 include three-time winner Dustin Brown (Guelph 2001-03), Steven Stamkos (Sarnia 2007), Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2008), Matt Duchene (Brampton 2009), Erik Gudbranson (Kingston 2010), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2011), Adam Pelech (Erie 2012), Darnell Nurse (Sault Ste. Marie 2013), back-to-back winner Connor McDavid (Erie 2014-15), Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 2017), Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie 2018) and Thomas Harley (Mississauga 2019).

Next in line for the award were a pair of other draft eligibles in blueliner Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters and forward Ethan Cardwell of the Barrie Colts.

Roger Neilson Memorial Award (Top Post-Secondary Student) – Jacob Golden (Erie Otters):

The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to announce that Erie Otters overage defenceman Jacob Golden is the 2019-20 recipient of the Roger Neilson Memorial Award presented annually to the League’s Top Academic Post-Secondary Student.

Golden achieved a 95% average in his studies at Mercyhurst University, excelling in Intro to Psychology, Principles of Management, Intro to Sport Industry and Sport Governance programs. He achieved grades of at least 94% in all four areas of study.

“Excelling academically has always been important to me,” said Golden. “I accelerated the completion of my high school education to graduate a year early and began taking university courses in my rookie OHL season. Attending classes at the Western University when I was in London, and Mercyhurst University when in was in Erie, were memorable parts of my OHL career, and working towards a university degree while playing in the OHL was a great opportunity. I would like to thank the Otters for their support and commitment on the ice as well as in the classroom.  It is an honour to represent the organization with this award.”

A 21-year-old native of Toronto, Ont., Golden recorded 27 points including four goals and 23 assists over 48 games in his fourth OHL season. The 5-foot-11, 180Ib. blueliner split his OHL tenure between the Otters and London Knights, posting 60 points (9-51–60) over 212 regular season contests. Golden was a fifth round (147th overall) pick of the Minnesota Wild in the 2017 NHL Draft and was originally London’s 15th round (295th overall) pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection from the Mississauga Rebels Minor Midgets.

“Jacob joins a prestigious group of young men that have won an award named after the great Roger Nielson, an innovator of our great game and someone who placed a great deal of importance on academics,” said Otters general manager Dave Brown. “We are so proud and thankful for Jacob’s accomplishments academically and appreciative of the legacy and standards he has set for the future Otters moving forward.  We wish Jacob the utmost success in his academic endeavors, career aspirations and are thankful to have him as a member of our alumni.”

The Roger Neilson Memorial Award is named in honour of the Hall of Fame Coach who served behind the Peterborough Petes bench in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  Neilson, a former high school teacher, was a pioneer in stressing the importance of education to all of his players. The award was first presented to Ottawa 67’s goaltender Danny Battochio in 2004-05. Golden becomes the first Otters player to win the award since Derrick Bagshaw claimed the honour in 2006-07.

Finalists for the Roger Neilson Memorial Award include William Ennis of the Oshawa Generals, Eric Uba of the Guelph Storm and Billy Moskal of the London Knights.

Ivan Tennant Memorial Award (Top Academic High School Student) – Logan LeSage (Owen Sound Attack):

The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to announce that Owen Sound Attack forward Logan LeSage is the 2019-20 recipient of the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award presented annually to the League’s Top Academic High School Student.

WATCH: Logan LeSage Ivan Tennant Memorial Award Video

LeSage put together an impressive 98% average in his Grade 12 studies at Owen Sound District Secondary School with a course load that included University-level English, International Business, Organizational Business Management, Leadership, Social Science, as well as a Business Leadership Co-op program. He received a perfect 100% grade in his International Business studies.

“I feel very privileged to earn the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award this year from the Ontario Hockey League,” said LeSage. “I’m grateful for all the support I received from the Owen Sound Attack organization, ownership, coaching staff, teachers and teammates. A special shout-out to our Educational Advisor, Sarah Rowe. Sarah’s encouragement and support went a long way in helping me reach my academic goals. It takes hard work to balance academics and a busy hockey schedule, and I am appreciative of the OHL for giving me the tools and resources needed to succeed.”

An 18-year-old native of Nepean, Ont., LeSage appeared in 21 games with the Attack during his rookie season, recording a goal and three assists. He scored his first career OHL goal on February 1 against Windsor. He was the club’s second round (29th overall) pick in the 2019 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection from the Carleton Place Canadians U18 program.

“Logan did an incredible job this year from start to finish,” said Attack general manager Dale DeGray. “Between hockey and school, Logan committed fully to the team and his education. To be able to achieve marks that high while putting his work in every day is fantastic. Logan did this himself, but for Attack educational supervisor Sarah Rowe to have her students win this three years in a row is an accomplishment we want recognized as well.”

The Ivan Tennant Memorial Award is given to the Top Academic High School Player and is named in honour of Ivan Tennant, who spent a lifetime combining hockey and education. He was the Kitchener Rangers’ Education Consultant for 20 years and a key figure on the OHL’s Education Consultant’s Committee. LeSage follows back-to-back winner Mack Guzda (2018 & 2019) along with Andrew Shorkey (2007) as the third different player in Attack history to win the award. Other past recipients include Kyle Keyser (Flint 2016), Adam Pelech (Erie 2012), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2010) and Freddie Hamilton (Niagara 2009).

Finalists for the award included goaltender Aidan Campbell of the Erie Otters and 2019 co-recipient Zack Terry of the Guelph Storm.

All 20 of the OHL’s member clubs provide nominees for each award with the Bobby Smith Trophy nominees representing the 2019-20 OHL Scholastic Team:

2019-20 OHL Scholastic Team:
Barrie Colts – Ethan Cardwell
Erie Otters – Jamie Drysdale*
Flint Firebirds – Braeden Kressler
Guelph Storm – Owen Bennett
Hamilton Bulldogs – Gavin White
Kingston Frontenacs – Jakob Brahaney
Kitchener Rangers – Michael Vukojevic*
London Knights – Brett Brochu
Mississauga Steelheads – Ethan Del Mastro
Niagara IceDogs – Elijah Roberts
North Bay Battalion – Pacey Schlueting
Oshawa Generals – Lleyton Moore
Ottawa 67’s – Will Cranley
Owen Sound Attack – Ethan Burroughs
Peterborough Petes – Tye Austin*
Saginaw Spirit – Cole Perfetti*
Sarnia Sting – Benjamin Gaudreau
Soo Greyhounds – Rory Kerins
Sudbury Wolves – Jack Thompson
Windsor Spitfires – Jean-Luc Foudy*

*-two-time member of OHL Scholastic Team

2020 OHL Awards announcements continue on Thursday when the OHL recognizes its William Hanley Memorial Trophy recipient as Most Sportsmanlike Player in the morning before unveiling its Emms Family Award recipient as Rookie of the Year in the afternoon.

For full coverage of the 2020 OHL Awards, be sure to visit ontariohockeyleague.com or follow along on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Year

First off, I want to begin by saying I hope you are all safe and healthy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We all have to do our part to keep our families, our friends, our neighbours and ourselves from catching and spreading this terrible virus.

We don’t know when hockey will return, and for this piece here, we don’t know when the National Hockey League Draft will take place and how exactly the NHL will conduct the draft or how the draft order will be set. But here at OHLW, we will continue to bring you the usual content regarding the draft as we will get through this and it will eventually take place.

Our draft eligible player of the year isn’t always a reflection of the player we believe should be the first Ontario Hockey League player selected at the draft, but rather the player that performed the best from the first drop of the puck to the final horn of the season.

This year, for us, that player is Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s.

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

Rossi led the entire OHL in assists (81) and points (120) and finished tenth in goals (39) en route to capturing the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy for most points on the season. He also led the entire league in plus/minus with a plus-69, and finished second in powerplay assists (31).

Rossi was named in the recent Coaches Poll as the Eastern Conference’s smartest player, best playmaker and best shootout shooter. He finished second in the voting as best on face-offs and defensive forward. He was voted as the third best penalty killer by the coaches.

On three occasions, November, December and February, Rossi was selected our draft eligible player of the month. The quest for perfection was interrupted twice by a player we gave consideration here to: Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit.

Perfetti finished second only to Rossi in the OHL scoring race with 111 points and assists (74). It’s the first time since the 2014-2015 season when teammates Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters that draft eligible players finished one-two in the OHL scoring race. Prior to those two accomplishing the feat, you’d have to go back to 2009-2010 when Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin both finished with 106 points and went one-two respectively at the NHL Draft.

We also gave some quick consideration to London Knights’ netminder Brett Brochu. In a season where there were more questions then answers coming into the season, Brochu took to the crease and ran with it. He set an OHL record with 32 wins for a first year netminder on lost just 6 games on the year. Not bad for a goaltender not ranked on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch Lists or mid-term rankings!

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 25

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week twenty-five edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2019-20 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 25

Rank: Team: Last Week Ranked: Total Weeks Ranked:
1 Sherbrooke Phoenix (51-8-3-1) 1 25
2 Ottawa 67’s (50-11-0-1) 2 23
3 Moncton Wildcats (49-13-1-0) 3 19
4 Portland Winterhawks (45-11-3-4) 6 15
5 Everett Silvertips (46-13-3-1) 4 19
6 London Knights (45-15-1-1) 7 11
7 Chicoutimi Sagueneens (44-12-5-1) 8 25
8 Edmonton Oil Kings (42-12-6-4) 5 22
9 Saginaw Spirit (41-16-3-2) 10 4
10 Spokane Chiefs (41-18-4-1) 1
Honourable Mention:
Kitchener Rangers (39-16-5-2) 9 5
Kamloops Blazers (41-18-3-1) 5
Cape Breton Eagles (40-19-2-1) 6

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 24

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week twenty-four edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2019-20 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 24

Rank: Team: Last Week Ranked: Total Weeks Ranked:
1 Sherbrooke Phoenix (49-8-3-1) 1 24
2 Ottawa 67’s (47-11-0-1) 2 22
3 Moncton Wildcats (47-12-1-0) 3 18
4 Everett Silvertips (44-12-3-1) 6 18
5 Edmonton Oil Kings (41-10-6-4) 5 21
6 Portland Winterhawks (42-11-3-4) 4 14
7 London Knights (42-15-1-1) 8 10
8 Chicoutimi Sagueneens (41-12-5-1) 7 24
9 Kitchener Rangers (38-15-5-2) 9 5
10 Saginaw Spirit (38-16-3-2) 3
Honourable Mention:
Flint Firebirds (39-19-1-1) 10 3
Lethbridge Hurricanes (37-16-2-5) 1
Spokane Chiefs (37-18-4-1) 0

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Month for February

Much like it was for us in the month of January, selecting one performance over another  for our draft eligible player of the month was a difficult task once again in February. And this time, we have a different outcome.

Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s becomes the third time winner as our choice as the top performer among players eligible for the National Hockey League Draft.

Rossi, who leads the Ontario Hockey League in assists (73) and points (108) appeared in 13 games through the month of February and tallied 6 goals to go along with 17 assists. Despite putting up amazing offensive numbers in those 13 games, Rossi was only named a game’s star twice, receiving 1 first star honor and one second star mention.

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

Following close behind Rossi was teammate Jack Quinn who potted 8 goals while assisting on 11 others through February. But unlike Rossi, the powers at be found Quinn to do enough to be named the game’s second star on 4 different occasions.

Also considered was Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit with 8 goals and 11 assists in 11 games. Honorable mention has to go to James Hardie of the Mississauga Steelheads with 6 goals and 7 assists in 10 games and Kingston Frontenacs’ Zayde Wisdom with 7 goals and 9 assists in 13 games played.

In goal, Brett Brochu continues to shine. Brochu appeared in 8 games with a 7-1-0-0 record while stopping 244 of 264 shots for an impressive .924 save percentage and a 2.38 goals-against-average.

OHL Writers Draft Eligible Players of the Month

February – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

January – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

December – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

November – Marco Rossi – Ottawa 67’s

October – Cole Perfetti – Saginaw Spirit

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 23

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week twenty-three edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2019-20 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 23

Rank: Team: Last Week Ranked: Total Weeks Ranked:
1 Sherbrooke Phoenix (46-8-3-1) 2 23
2 Ottawa 67’s (44-11-0-1) 1 21
3 Moncton Wildcats (44-12-1-0) 4 17
4 Portland Winterhawks (40-10-3-4) 3 13
5 Edmonton Oil Kings (40-10-6-3) 5 20
6 Everett Silvertips (40-12-3-1) 7 17
7 Chicoutimi Sagueneens (39-11-5-1) 6 23
8 London Knights (38-15-1-1) 8 9
9 Kitchener Rangers (36-14-5-2) 4
10 Flint Firebirds (37-18-1-1) 10 3
Honourable Mention:
Cape Breton Eagles (37-17-2-1) 6
Lethbridge Hurricanes (35-15-2-5) 1
Saginaw Spirit (36-16-3-2) 2