OHL Announces Top Performers of the Month for January

Top Performers January 2019

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in January 2019, including Niagara IceDogs teammates Ben Jones and Akil Thomas, Guelph Storm defenceman Sean Durzi and Ottawa 67’s teammates Marco Rossi and Cedrick Andree.

OHL Player of the Month – Ben Jones/Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs):

Riding a stretch of seven straight wins to wrap up the month, Niagara IceDogs teammates Ben Jones and Akil Thomas are the OHL’s C0-Players of the Month. Both players registered 25 points over 13 games, with Jones scoring 12 times, adding 13 assists and recording a plus/minus rating of plus-10 while Thomas finished with 13 goals, 12 assists and a plus/minus rating of plus-6.

The captain of the Central Division-leading IceDogs, Jones had points in 11 of his 13 January contests including a run of nine straight multi-point outings that spanned from Dec. 29th to Jan. 17th. The Vegas Golden Knights prospect had a trio of multi-goal performances including Jan. 3rd against London with two, Jan. 10th against Guelph with two goals and an assist and Jan. 17th against Hamilton when he netted his third hat-trick of the season. An accomplished centreman, Jones also won 58% of his faceoffs in January and finished the month with a goal in Thursday’s 6-1 win over the Soo Greyhounds. Jones earned first star honours twice throughout the month along with receiving second and third star recognition.

A 19-year-old native from Waterloo, Ont., Jones is second in IceDogs team scoring and sits seventh in the OHL with 72 points (29-43–72) over 48 games. Originally Niagara’s first round (7th overall) pick of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection from the OHL Cup champion Toronto Marlboros Minor Midgets, Jones was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the seventh round of the 2017 NHL Draft and signed a three-year entry level contract with the club in June 2018.

For his part, Thomas was equally impressive, stringing together six straight multi-point performances headlined by four (3-1–4) and five (2-3–5) point outings on Jan. 11th against Kingston and Jan. 19th against Flint. The 6-3 triumph over Kingston included Thomas’ first OHL hat-trick before he put together his fifth five-point contest of the season in a 7-2 win over the Firebirds. The Los Angeles Kings prospect followed-up that effort with two goals and an assist in a 4-3 road win over the Guelph Storm on Jan. 20th. Thomas rounded out the month of January with two goals and an assist in Thursday’s 6-1 win over the Soo Greyhounds. In total, Thomas was named first star of the game twice and second star of the game twice throughout the month of January, capping things off by recording his 200th career OHL point on Thursday.

An 18-year-0ld product of Brandon, Fla., Thomas is third in IceDogs team scoring and eighth in the OHL with 71 points (26-45–71) over 43 games this season. He also leads the IceDogs with a plus/minus rating of plus-31. Thomas is currently in his third season with Niagara after being the club’s first round (12th overall) pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection from the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midgets. He was a second round pick of the Los Angeles Kings last summer.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Sean Durzi (Guelph Storm):

Los Angeles Kings prospect Sean Durzi of the Guelph Storm is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for January. Durzi, who split the month between the Storm and the Owen Sound Attack, finished tied for the league lead in scoring among defencemen, recording 16 points including five goals and 11 assists over 12 games. The overage rearguard had points in 11 of those outings, ending the month on a nine-game point streak on a Storm club that has won seven of the past 10. Durzi’s lone multi-goal outing came on Jan. 13th as the Storm defeated the Ottawa 67’s by a score of 8-4. He twice recorded three assists, doing so on Jan. 10th in a 6-5 win over the Niagara IceDogs and again this past Wednesday as Guelph defeated visiting Saginaw 8-2. Fourteen of Durzi’s 16 January points came over the course of his nine games in a Storm uniform.

A 20-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., Durzi joined the Storm alongside former Owen Sound Attack teammates Nick Suzuki, Markus Phillips and Zachary Roberts at January’s OHL Trade Deadline. The right-shot rearguard has 31 points (8-23–31) over an injury-shortened 27 game season to this point, with 15 of his 31 points coming on the man advantage. After being selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft, Durzi was recently dealt to the Los Angeles Kings in a trade that saw OHL graduate Jake Muzzin join the Leafs. Durzi has amassed 134 career points (35-99–134) from the blue line over 172 regular season OHL contests. He was Owen Sound’s 12th round pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection from the Mississauga Rebels Minor Midgets.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s):

For the third time this season, Ottawa 67’s centreman Marco Rossi is the OHL Rookie of the Month. Rossi finished tied for the January lead in points by a rookie, registering 10 goals, eight assists, 18 points and a plus/minus rating of plus-14 over 11 games. The 17-year-old centre returned from a December injury to record points in nine of his 11 outings including a pair of three-point showings coming on Jan. 6th against Oshawa (0-3–3) and Jan. 11th at Sarnia (1-2–3). Rossi also had two multi-goal contests that came on Jan. 19th against Hamilton and this past Wednesday in a 7-1 win over the Kingston Frontenacs. Rossi ends the month of January with goals in seven consecutive games as the 67’s have wins in each of their past six.

A 17-year-old native of Feldkirch, Austria, Rossi leads OHL rookies with 45 points (23-22–45) over 34 games this season in addition to a plus/minus rating of plus-37. Rossi, who isn’t eligible for the NHL Draft until 2020, has recorded the most points by a 67’s rookie since Travis Konecny (26-44–70) in 2013-14. He was the 18th overall pick of the 2018 CHL Import Draft.


Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s):

For the second time this season, Ottawa 67’s netminder Cedrick Andree is the OHL Goaltender of the Month. Andree played to a 5-0-0-0 record, registering a league-leading 2.17 goals-against average and .925 save percentage along with two shutouts over six January contests. The 18-year-old started the month with a 17-save shutout performance over the Barrie Colts on Jan. 5th. He put together another perfect outing on the latest edition of the Sportsnet CHL Saturday Showcase, making 38 saves in a 4-0 blanking of the Oshawa Generals. Andree also won his latest start, turning aside 33 shots as the 67’s defeated the Saginaw Spirit 5-3 on Sunday.

An 18-year-old native of Orleans, Ont., Andree is currently on a seven-game winning streak with a league-leading 28 victories on the campaign. Overall, he’s played to a 28-4-1-1 record to go with a 2.50 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and three shutouts. Andree is a former 12th round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection from the Ottawa Jr. Senators Midget AAA team.

2018-19 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month:

January – Ben Jones/Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)
December – Tye Felhaber (Ottawa 67’s)
November – Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
October – Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Defenceman of the Month:
January – Sean Durzi (Guelph Storm)
December – Bode Wilde (Saginaw Spirit)
November – Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)
October – Mac Hollowell (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Rookie of the Month:
January – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)
December – Jacob Perreault (Sarnia Sting)
November – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)
October – Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
January – Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)
December – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
November – Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights)
October – Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)


Steelheads’ Nicolas Hague Named OHL Defenceman of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nicolas Hague of the Mississauga Steelheads is the 2017-18 recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman of the Year.

Hague becomes the first Steelhead in all-time franchise history to win the award after leading his team in scoring and finishing second among blueliners with 78 points in 67 games including 35 goals and 43 assists.  His 78 points set a Steelheads single season record while his 35 goals represent an all-time franchise mark and the most by an OHL defenceman since Chris Allen of the Kingston Frontenacs lit the lamp 38 times in 1997-98.

“I am extremely excited and proud to win this award,” said Hague. “It is an honour to be recognized among all the other great defencemen we have in our league. I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and management in Mississauga. Without them this wouldn’t have been possible. Most of all I’d like to thank my parents and billet family for their constant support all season long.” 

Nicolas Hague of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Nicolas Hague of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Hague produced 26 multi-point performances in 2017-18 and finished the regular season campaign with a career-high 11-game point-streak.  His 15 power play goals led all defencemen and tied for fifth overall among the league’s top scorers, while his 270 shots on goal was the eighth highest total among all skaters.  He earned OHL Defenceman of the Month honours in both January and March and was unanimously voted Best Offensive Defenceman and atop the Hardest Shot category in the annual Eastern Conference Coaches Poll.  Hague also represented Team OHL in the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series competing in the event for the second straight season.

“The Mississauga Steelheads are very proud of Nic as well as very happy for him being selected as the OHL Defenceman of the Year,” said Steelheads General Manager and Head Coach James Richmond. “Nic has put an enormous amount of work into his development as a player over his three season with the Steelheads so it’s wonderful that he is being rewarded at this time. Nic is not only a great hockey player, he is a wonderful person, a great teammate and we would like to congratulate Nic and his family on such a prestigious award from the OHL.”

A 19-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., Hague was originally chosen by the Steelheads in the second round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.  The alternate captain played three full seasons for the Trout appearing in 198 career games accumulating 148 points including 67 goals and 81 assists.  He was named to the league’s Second All-Rookie Team in 2015-16 season and was also named OHL Scholastic Player of the Year.  Last season he helped the Steelheads hoist the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference Champions before being selected by Vegas in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft.  In September he signed his entry-level contract with the Golden Knights.

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL General Managers.  All 20 clubs submitted a nominee but were not permitted to vote for their own player.  The first round of voting was conducted by conference only with the top three selections from the West and East advancing to form the final ballot.  Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote. 

Hague received 67 points in the final voting process narrowly edging 2018 NHL Draft prospect Evan Bouchard of the London Knights who finished second with 65 voting points.  Sean Durzi of the Owen Sound Attack finished in third place with 29 voting points.

Past winners of the award since 1970 include Craig Hartsburg (Sault Ste. Marie 1977), Larry Murphy (Peterborough 1980), Al MacInnis (Kitchener 1983), Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1993), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1999), Marc Staal (Sudbury 2007), Drew Doughty (Guelph 2008), Ryan Ellis (Windsor 2009 and 2011), Dougie Hamilton (Niagara 2012), Ryan Sproul (Sault Ste. Marie 2013), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie 2014), Anthony DeAngelo (Sault Ste. Marie 2015), Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor 2016), and Darren Raddysh (Erie 2017).

The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston, and Montreal.  After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1960.

Hague will be formally presented with the Max Kaminsky Trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony which takes place June 6 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He will also be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Defenceman of the Year to be announced on May 26 at the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Regina.

OHL Top Performers of the Month for October

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in October 2017, including Sarnia Sting forward Jordan Kyrou, Owen Sound Attack defenceman Sean Durzi, Barrie Colts rookie Andrei Svechnikov and Sarnia Sting netminder Justin Fazio.

OHL Player of the Month – Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting): St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting is the OHL Player of the Month for October after leading the league with 12 goals 13 assists and 25 points in 12 games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-9. Kyrou had points in 11 of 12 contests, helping the Sting string together a franchise record 13-straight victories headed into the month of November. His current five game trend includes three consecutive three-point outings including the latest in Sunday’s 6-2 win over the Flint Firebirds. Kyrou collected at least three points on five separate occasions including a pair of four-point showings on Oct. 13th vs. Mississauga (1-3–4) and Oct. 19th in North Bay (3-1–4) when he scored his first career hat-trick. He scored a second hat-trick this past Friday in a 6-3 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Kyrou received star of the game recognition four times this past month including a pair of first star appointments on Oct. 13th and Oct. 19th. A 6-foot, 185Ib. right-winger from Toronto, Ont., Kyrou is tied for the OHL scoring lead with Windsor’s Aaron Luchuk, putting up 28 points (12-16–28) over 13 contests. The second round pick of the St. Louis Blues in the 2016 NHL Draft is currently in his fourth OHL season, producing a career regular season stat line of 72 goals, 137 assists and 209 points over 207 games. Last season, Kyrou recorded the OHL’s longest point streak since 2008 when he recorded points in 30 straight contests from Jan. 1st to Mar. 12th, four games shy of a Sting club record. He attended Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase this past summer in Plymouth, Mich. and will represent the OHL in the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series on Nov. 9th in Owen Sound.

OHL Defenceman of the Month – Sean Durzi (Owen Sound Attack): Owen Sound Attack defenceman Sean Durzi is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for October after he led all rearguards with 20 points including seven goals and 13 assists over 11 contests along with a plus/minus rating of plus-7. Durzi had points in 10 of 11 games, helping the Attack take sole possession of first place in the Midwest Division. He strung together points in nine straight games from Sept. 29th to Oct. 21st. The month was highlighted by a four point (1-3–4) showing on Oct. 14th against the Oshawa Generals as the Attack claimed a 12-6 victory. Durzi also scored twice in a 5-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers on Oct. 27th. A 5-foot-11, 185Ib. defenceman from Mississauga, Ont., Durzi leads the OHL in assists with 17 and is third in the league in points with 25 (8-17–25) over 14 games. A veteran of 119 OHL regular season games, Durzi is currently in his third season with the Attack, having recorded 20 goals, 59 assists and 79 points on his career. He was a 12th round pick by the club in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection from the Mississauga Rebels Minor Midgets.

Sean Durzi of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Sean Durzi of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

OHL Rookie of the Month – Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts): Barrie Colts forward Andrei Svechnikov has been named the OHL Rookie of the Month for October after leading all newcomers with nine points including seven goals and two assists over just five games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-6. Svechnikov recorded three different multi-point performances, starting the month with his first career OHL hat-trick on Oct. 5th vs. North Bay. He continued to produce, scoring twice in Barrie’s 6-2 win at Saginaw on Oct. 7th and headlined his October performance with four points (2-2–4) in a 7-5 win over the Erie Otters on Oct. 12th. Svechnikov’s month was cut short when he suffered a broken hand on Oct. 14th against North Bay. He will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks. A 6-foot-3, 184Ib. left-handed shooting right-winger from Barnaul, Russia, Svechnikov leads the Colts with 10 goals in as many games while also recording four assists and posting a plus/minus rating of plus-6 on the season. His 14 points currently lead OHL rookies. The younger brother of former Cape Breton Screaming Eagles star Evgeny Svechnikov, Andrei was the first overall pick of the 2017 CHL Import Draft after spending last season with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks. He was one of six OHL players to receive an ‘A’ rating on NHL Central Scouting’s October Players to Watch List for next summer’s 2018 NHL Draft.

Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting): Sarnia Sting overage netminder Justin Fazio has been named the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for October after playing to a perfect 8-0-0-0 record with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. Fazio enters the month of November on a nine game winning streak and has been instrumental in backstopping the Sting on their current 13-game run. Six of Fazio’s eight October victories saw him stop 35 shots or more, headlined by a 41-save effort on Oct. 20th in Sudbury along with a 46-save performance this past Friday against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He received first star of the game recognition on three separate occasions and also made Sting franchise history, becoming the club’s career leader in wins by a goaltender with his 64th on Oct. 21st at Barrie. A 6-foot-1, 189Ib. hometown product of Sarnia, Ont., Fazio leads OHL goaltenders with 10 victories on the season while also posting a 2.42 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage over 11 games this season. Now in his fourth full season with the Sting, Fazio has appeared in 136 career regular season games, going 65-52-7-3 with a 3.35 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage. He was Sarnia’s fourth round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection from the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Minor Midgets.

2017-18 OHL Performers of the Month:

Player of the Month: October – Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)

Defenceman of the Month: October – Sean Durzi (Owen Sound Attack)

Rookie of the Month: October – Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts)

Vaughn Goaltender of the Month: October – Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting)

Sean Durzi – Owen Sound Attack – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 185 pounds

Date of birth: October 21, 1998

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 12, 228th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Owen Sound Attack defenceman Sean Durzi played his Midget hockey with the Mississauga Rebels during the 2015-2015 season and scored one goal and added five assists in twenty-four games. He also appeared in two games for the St. Michael’s Buzzers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and registered an assist.

The Attack would select Durzi in the twelfth round, 228th overall in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

Sean Durzi of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Sean Durzi of the Owen Sound Attack. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Durzi broke onto the scene with the Attack last season. He appeared in 45 games and scored ten goals while adding six assists. The ten goals surprised a lot of people. It was good enough for fourth in goals by a rookie defenceman trailing Mikhail Sergachev (17, 67 games), Nicolas Hague (14, 66 games) and Cam Dineen (13, 68 games). Sergachev and Dineen were selected in the 2016 National Hockey League Draft. Three of his goals came on the powerplay.

But the goals haven’t come easy for Durzi this season, having just one in thirty-nine games. However, he has become a very good set-up man from the blueline, having twenty-two assists to date, with seven coming on the powerplay.

At 5’11”, Durzi doesn’t have that big size on defence, but he makes up for it with his skating. He moves up and down the ice with ease but doesn’t have elite speed. He is strong on his edges with very good lateral movement and an ability to beat opponents one-on-one. He picks his spots to jump into the rush or pinching at the blueline, almost always making the right choice.

Durzi possesses a very good shot and is adept at walking the line and getting himself into position to fire it on goal. But he shoots with a purpose and usually puts it in a spot for a teammate to tip the shot or create a rebound. His ability to move also opens lanes and has good enough vision to setup his teammates.

As with many players at this level, Durzi’s defensive game needs some work although he has shown improvement year over year. Despite his size, he has no fear of a physical game and at times initiates it, he is surprisingly strong on both his feat and upper body. He has an active stick, though at times could position it better. He reads and anticipates the opposition very well.

Durzi was ranked 139 on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings.

Sean Durzi

This is the profile page of Sean Durzi at http://www.eliteprospects.com