Nick Malik – Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 174 Pounds

Date of birth: April 26, 2002

Hometown: Vitkovice, Czech Republic

Position: Goaltender

Catches: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 50th overall, 2019 CHL Import Draft

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
C Prospect C Prospect 5 Euro

10 N.A.

Although Nick Malik has lived most of his life in the Czech Republic, he has both Czech and American citizenship. Malik was born in Raleigh, North Carolina while his father Marek manned the blueline for the Carolina Hurricanes. His Brother Zack is also a hockey player, having played in the OHL for the Sudbury Wolves and North Bay Battalion and played this season in the United States hockey League. Zack is 20 months older and like his father is a defenceman.

Drafted in the first round of the 2019 CHL Import Draft, Malik was also drafted at the 2019 USHL Draft in the 11th round by the Muskegon Lumberjacks, the same team his brother would play for. Because Malik has represented the Czech Republic internationally at IIHF sanctioned tournaments, he is no longer able to represent the United States at such events.

Malik has a wealth of international experience having represented the Czech Republic in Under-16 tournaments twice, the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 twice, Under-18, the World Junior Championships and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Malik, Nick
Nick Malik of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by The Sault Star.

The 2018-2019 season saw Malik start 6 games for HC Ocelari Trinec Under- squad and post a respectable 2.41 goals-against-average and a save-percentage of .932. He took his game to another level in the playoffs, leading his squad to a championship with a goals-against-average of 1.74 and a save-percentage of .960 in 8 games, leading all goaltenders in both categories in the playoffs.

This season saw Malik play for HC Frydek-Mistek in the Czech2 league and in 19 games posted a 2.46 goals-against-average and .927 save-percentage. But after the World Junior Championships were completed, Malik decided he would join the Soo Greyhounds. His decision was influenced by fellow Czechian and Soo Greyhound Jaromir Pytlik. On January 10, 2020 Greyhounds’ GM Kyle Raftis made it official and Malik was set to join the team.

Malik’s stats in the OHL were nothing to write home about – a 3.77 goals-against-average and .886 save-percentage. I will be the first to admit I had limited live viewings of Malik in the OHL, but I did watch all of his games in the O whether live or on video. I also saw video of all of his major international competitions. So, “grain of salt” must be added.

Malik plays the butterfly technique extremely well. He has decent size at 6’2” but his ability to keep himself big when down on his knees is close to perfect. He plays with a calm demeanor when there are battles for pucks in front of him and is very adept at taking away the lower part of the net.

As mentioned, things didn’t go particularly well in the Soo. And when they didn’t, Malik appeared to quickly forget what just happened and was ready for the next puck to come his way. To put it another way- he seems to never get rattled. Having experiencing playing against men prior to coming to the OHL may have helped with that.

Malik is extremely athletic in his crease with elite level reflexes. He has a superb glove hand and can snare pucks coming had him he has no business stopping. Despite the superb athleticism, he can sometimes be erratic in his movement in his crease.

Malik also appeared at times to struggle with his angles. One could reasonably accept that there would be a transition stage coming from the larger ice surface in Europe because pucks and players come at you differently. But as the games went on, you could see a comfort level and more confidence creeping into him. That adaptation and confidence was evident in his numbers as well, as they began to improve as he played more.

With any young netminder, there are always areas to improve on, and Malik is no different. While I think his technique is fine, he needs to get better on his skates. Edgework needs to improve; his lateral movement and his post-to-post movement are things to work on. They aren’t areas to worry about as good coaching can help overcome those things.

You have to be impressed by the tools Malik has displayed. It will all come down to putting everything together. Becoming more economical in his movements are key first and foremost. Keeping his athleticism to the level he possesses while playing a more patient and controlled game is also key. A continued growing confidence and becoming more accustomed to North America will only help him.

It’s hard to say how many goaltenders will be drafted from the OHL this season. About the only sure thing is that Nico Gross of the Guelph Storm will go number one. After that, it becomes a personal preference in what order they get selected. In my humble opinion, based on everything I’ve seen around the league, Malik should be the second name called among OHL netminders.

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.

Tanner Dickinson – Soo Greyhounds – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 155 Pounds

Date of birth: March 5, 2002

Hometown: Perrysburg, OHIO

Position: Center/Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Signed as a free agent in 2019

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
C Prospect B Prospect 55 N.A.

67 N.A.

Tanner Dickinson spent most of the 2018-2019 season applying his trade with the Belle Tire Under-18 squad in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League. There, Dickinson would appear in 71 games scoring 36 goals and adding 67 helpers to lead the league in points. He would go on to appear in 8 United States Hockey League contests with the Green Bay Gamblers notching a goal and an assist.

Dickinson would go undrafted at the Ontario Hockey League Draft; however, he had previously committed to go the NCAA route with Ohio State University. On may 30, 2019 Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Raftis announced that they had signed and received a commitment from Dickinson, thus voiding his NCAA eligibility.

Tanner Dickinson of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Tanner Dickinson of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Entering his OHL draft year, there were concerns about his size, measuring in at 5’9 and just 124 pounds. But Dickinson has had a bit of a growth spurt since then weighing in at 155 pounds and measuring 5’11” (although some places list him at 6’). That concern has since been eliminated although he will definitely need to continue adding some bulk to his frame.

There are definitely some mixed reviews about Dickinson, or rather, difference of opinions on what he can become.

We here at OHLW think that Dickinson is a very intelligent player who sees the ice extremely well. He can play in the middle or on the wing, although we think he’ll best be suited at center once his game rounds out because he is so effective and distributing the puck.

Dickinson has superb speed. His edgework is very good and he can change pace as quick as anyone. But if your hands and head aren’t as quick as your feet, then all that speed is useless. However, that’s not the case here. He is such a speedy player; he gets in on defences quickly but his forechecking needs some work. Maybe once he adds that bulk to his frame, he will become more assertive physically on the forecheck. He also drives possession. He has no issues with carrying the puck over the blueline at to speed and assessing the situation and usually making the right play.

While all that speed pays dividends in offensive situations, it is also a weapon when on defence. For Dickinson, finding consistency is key not only from game-to-game, but shift to shift. He has shown the ability to come back hard on the backcheck. He knows where to be defensively and can close in on opponents quickly, and he can lead the breakout.

At the time the OHL paused its season for the Corona Virus threat, Dickinson had appeared in 64 games scoring 9 goals and assisting on 31, 2 and 16 of those respectively have come with the man advantage. His 31 helpers are second among OHL rookies this season and his 40 points rank him fifth. Not bad for a team as deep as the Greyhounds up front.

And for a team with aspirations of hosting a Memorial Cup in 2021, Dickinson could pay some huge dividends.

Ryan O’Rourke – Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds – Player Profile

Height: 6’1

Weight: 169 Pounds

Date of birth: May 16, 2002

Hometown: Pickering, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 20th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season November Mid-term Final
B Prospect B Prospect 32 N.A. 27 N.A.

 

It’s no secret that Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters sits alone at the top of the blueliners class and not only will he be the top defender from the Ontario Hockey League selected at the 2020 National Hockey League Entry Draft, but likely the top defender selected overall.

But what about the next class? We start here with Soo Greyhounds defenceman Ryan O’Rourke.

Prior to the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, this is what OHL Central Scouting had to say about O’Rourke:

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.

O’Rourke was coming off a 2017-2018 season playing Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Vaughan Kings in which he tallied 12 goals and 32 helpers in 55 games. He would add a goal and an assist in 7 games for Vaughn at the OHL Cup. He would also appear in 4 games for Team Red at the OHL Gold Cup scoring once and adding a helper and capturing a silver medal.

Last season O’Rourke broke onto the Greyhounds roster and played in 62 games. He scored 8 goals and 14 assists and finished with a plus-8 while piling up 64 minutes in penalties. He would add 2 helpers in 11 playoff contests. He was named to the OHL’s Second All-Rookie squad at the end of the regular season.

Ryan O'Rourke of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Ryan O’Rourke of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images

During the 2018-2019 season, O’Rourke would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 scoring 3 goals and adding 3 assists for Team Black. He was named to the tournaments All-Star team and led all defencemen in scoring.

During the offseason, O’Rourke would represent Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup scoring a goal in 5 games and helping Canada capture silver.

O’Rourke has been off to a very good start this season for a Soo team that has at times this season, a difficult time trying to maintain some consistency. Through the end of December, as you will see on our prospect watch, O’Rourke was tied with Jack Thompson of the Sudbury Wolves and Alec Belanger of the Ottawa 67’s among draft eligible defenceman with 20 points (while playing in fewer games), trailing only Drysdale (31).

O’Rourke will take part in the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game with Team White on January 16 in Hamilton, Ontario.

One of the more interesting qualities in O’Rourke is his leadership. He’s just 17 years of age and one of the younger defenders in this draft class, but the Greyhounds saw enough of his leadership qualities to name him Captain of the team. That’s something rarely seen in the OHL.

At 6’1”, O’Rourke has some good size but will really need to add some bulk to his 169-pound frame. But that doesn’t prevent him from the physical part of the game. He can be described as an “old school” defender who plays the man at every opportunity. He’s hard to beat because he’s always in the oppositions face. And he possesses incredible strength that is difficult to beat on the walls or the battle area in front of his goaltender.

O’Rourke’s skating has appeared to improve from a season ago. He has very good mobility with a decent amount of speed. He trusts himself to carry the puck more and that may also be in part due to experience. He has a booming shot from the point that he gets through to the target. Yet he still has the vision to make a good pass in the offensive zone to find teammates. His hockey IQ is extremely high, rarely making a wrong decision.

While O’Rourke has some interesting offensive upside, it’s hard to tell just how high that upside is. Coming into the season, the Greyhounds were going to need plenty of offence from their top blueline. But the early season acquisitions by the Greyhounds of Billy Constantinou from the Kingston Frontenacs has lessoned the burden on O’Rourke.

O’Rourke doesn’t possess some of the elite skills that Drysdale does. But the overall package is intriguing. The Top Prospects game could catapult him into the first round of the draft where some of the independent scouting services already have him ranked.

OHL THIS WEEK: JANUARY 3 TO 5, 2020

Press Release

 

OHL This Week

Toronto, Ont. – Welcome back, it’s 2020! Here’s a look at what’s happening across the Ontario Hockey League this week.

HAPPY NEW YEAR – A DECADE OF OHL CHAMPIONS:
There’s lots to look back on from the past decade. The OHL spent the days leading up to New Year’s Eve recounting past champions and some of the greatest moments of the past 10 years.
WATCH • DECADE IN REVIEW

HAYTON’S PAIR PROPELS CANADA PAST SLOVAKIA IN QUARTERFINALS:
Soo Greyhounds graduate Barrett Hayton scored a pair of goals to lead Canada past Slovakia 6-1 and into the semi-finals at the 2020 World Juniors. Canada will now face off against Finland in Saturday’s semi-final game with a 1pm ET puck drop.
READ MORE

OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE MONTH FOR DECEMBER:
Mississauga’s Cole Schwindt, Ottawa’s Noel Hoefenmayer, Peterborough’s Mason McTavish and Kitchener’s Jacob Ingham are OHL Top Performers for November 2019.
READ MORE

KNIGHTS’ EVANGELISTA ADDED TO KUBOTA CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME:
London Knights forward Luke Evangelista has been added to the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He’ll replace injured Oshawa Generals forward Oliver Suni. Evangelista has 33 points (14-19–33) over 35 games with the Knights this season after being the club’s first round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.
READ MORE

ROOKIE PHENOM WRIGHT TAKING THE LEAD IN KINGSTON:
At 15-years-old, Kingston Frontenacs rookie star Shane Wright has been entrusted with an ‘A’ on his jersey. The OHL’s Sarah Jean Maher caught up with Wright and his Frontenacs teammates this past week.
READ MORE

67’s, PETES AND STORM IN KIA CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS:
The Ottawa 67’s remain the second-ranked team in the CHL this week while the Peterborough Petes and Guelph Storm are also inside the Top 10. The Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit both received honourable mentions.
FULL RANKINGS

KIA CHL TOP 10 SPOTLIGHT – SAGINAW SPIRIT:
As the season enters its second half, the Saginaw Spirit are recognized as an honourable mention in the latest Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings. The Spirit are currently riding a six-game winning streak and sit tied atop the West Division.
READ MORE

67’s’ GARREFFA NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Joseph Garreffa of the Ottawa 67’s is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week of games spanning December 18-29 with 10 points over three contests.
READ MORE

GARREFFA, HOEFENMAYER AND SCHWINDT NAMED TO VAUGHN CHL TEAM OF THE WEEK:
Ottawa 67’s teammates Joseph Garreffa and Noel Hoefenmayer join Mississauga Steelheads forward Cole Schwindt on the Vaughn CHL Team of the Week.
READ MORE

VAUGHN SAVES OF THE WEEK – JAN. 1, 2020:
The first 2020 edition of Vaughn Saves will have you coming back for more! Check out big stops from the Oshawa Generals duo of Zachary Paputsakis and Andrew MacLean, Hamilton’s Zachary Roy, Sault Ste. Marie’s Bailey Brkin, Peterborough’s Hunter Jones, Barrie’s Jet Greaves, Ottawa’s Cedrick Andree, Windsor’s Xavier Medina and Kitchener’s Jacob Ingham.
WATCH

OHL WEEKEND NOTEBOOK: DEC. 30, 2019:
The OHL Weekend Notebook recaps the weekend that was with news, information and interesting facts from both on and off the ice. Here are 10 of the leading stories from this past weekend.
READ MORE

CHROMIAK, MCGURN SCORE FIRST OHL GOALS:
The latest instalment of OHL Milestone Moments features two young forwards who scored their first OHL goals this past week. Kingston Frontenacs forward Martin Chromiak scored in his OHL debut on Thursday after London’s Sean McGurn found the back of the net on New Year’s Eve.
WATCH

SPIRIT’S DUHART REPRESENTS OHL IN CHL SHOWDOWN:
Saginaw Spirit forward Dalton Duhart is this week’s OHL representative in CHL Showdown, a weekly contest that features one great play from all three leagues.
WATCH & VOTE AT CHLSHOWDOWN.CA

#PLAYERSFIRST – HOLISTIC APPROACH TO PLAYER DEVELOPMENT:
The OHL’s holistic approach to player development allows it to produce great hockey players as well as well-rounded young men. The League and its member teams strive to develop the whole person through education, awareness and community involvement.
FACT OF THE WEEK • ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR MINOR MIDGET TOP-10 RANKINGS:
The Quinte Red Devils remain on top of the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour Minor Midget Top-10 Rankings after finishing in the final four of last weekend’s Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic. The Toronto Titans, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and Toronto Nationals are also on the rise inside the Top-5.
FULL RANKINGS

67’s EARN FRANCHISE RECORD 15TH CONSECUTIVE WIN:
The Ottawa 67’s set a new franchise record on Thursday, defeating the Kingston Frontenacs 8-4 for their 15th consecutive win. Ottawa’s 15-game winning streak surpasses the franchise’s prior mark set during the 1998-99 season.
READ MORE

STORM’S PHILLIPS RETURNS FROM KINGS ORGANIZATION:
The Los Angeles Kings have reassigned overage defenceman Markus Phillips back to the Guelph Storm where he won an OHL Championship last spring. The 20-year-old defenceman has spent the majority of this season with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, recording six assists over 20 games.
READ MORE

67’s’ OKHOTYUK SIGNS WITH DEVILS:
The New Jersey Devils have signed Ottawa 67’s defenceman Nikita Okhtoyuk to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 19-year-old defenceman has six assists in an injury-shortened 12 game season to this point after being New Jersey’s second round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-1 defenceman recorded 17 points (2-15–17) with the 67’s last season.
READ MORE

ATTACK’S DUDAS SIGNS WITH KINGS:
The Los Angeles Kings have signed Owen Sound Attack captain Aidan Dudas to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The Owen Sound Attack captain is currently representing Canada at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The Parry Sound, Ont. native has 30 points (11-19–30) in Owen Sound this season.
READ MORE

TOP CHL IMPORT DRAFT SELECTION MARTIN CHROMIAK COMMITS TO FRONTENACS:
The Kingston Frontenacs have received a commitment from 2019 second overall CHL Import Draft selection Martin Chromiak. Chromiak spent the beginning of this season with HK Dukla Trencin of the Slovakian Tipsport Liga. While playing against men in a professional league he scored five goals and an assist in 32 games.
READ MORE

5 QUESTIONS WITH JAMIE DRYSDALE:
Defenceman Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters shares his thoughts about being named to Canada’s National Junior Team and playing in his NHL Draft season.
READ MORE

HOW OWEN BRADY’S CANCER DIAGNOSIS DIDN’T STOP HIS NHL DREAM:
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman spoke with Oshawa Generals prospect Owen Brady as part of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour’s coverage this past weekend in Whitby, Ont. Friedman chats with Brady about his journey through an osteosarcoma diagnosis followed by a brave fight and current recovery as he looks to make a return to the ice.
WATCH AT SPORTSNET.CA

ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR VISITS COBOURG:
The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour shifts to Cobourg, Ont. this weekend after last weekend’s stop in Whitby covered such stars as OHL graduate James Neal. Cobourg is the home of OHL graduate and three-time Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams. Visit hometownhockey.com for all of this weekend’s coverage.

COMMUNITY CORNER:

Quinton Byfield Bobblehead Night in Sudbury: He won’t be in the lineup, but there’ll be plenty of his bobbleheads at the Sudbury Community Arena on Friday as the Wolves host Quinton Byfield Bobblehead Night at home to the Barrie Colts. The first 1,000 fans into the arena on Friday will received a free Quinton Byfield Bobblehead!
READ MORE AT SUDBURYWOLVES.COM

Firebirds Fight Hunger: The Flint Firebirds have partnered with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for the team’s fifth annual “Firebirds Fight Hunger” campaign. Fans are encouraged to bring in a minimum of five non-perishable food items to be donated during Friday’s game against the visiting Oshawa Generals, as well as Saturday’s tilt against the London Knights.
MORE DETAILS AT FLINTFIREBIRDS.COM

Storm presents “Angels in the Stands”: As the Storm host the Peterborough Petes on Friday, January 3rd, they’ll be presenting their first annual “Angels in the Stands” game in support of Michael House. Michael House provides pregnancy and parenting support services to pregnant and parenting women in the community. There will be contests held and “Holiday Hoopla” Fan Bags containing Guelph Storm baseball caps and other fun items available for purchase. All donations will go toward Michael House.
READ MORE AT GUELPHSTORM.COM

Ted Lindsay Night in Saginaw: The Saginaw Spirit pay homage to a Detroit Red Wings all-time great on Saturday on Ted Lindsay Night at the Dow Event Center. Fans will have the opportunity to have their photo taken alongside the Ted Lindsay MVP Trophy in the Red Room prior to game time.
FULL DETAILS AT SAGINAWSPIRIT.COM

67’s host Teddy Bear Toss: Sunday’s tilt against the visiting Erie Otters is the Ottawa 67’s Teddy Bear Toss game, where fans are welcome to bring new or gently used stuffed animals to be launched onto the ice following the first Ottawa goal, where they will then be collected and later donated. Bears will also be available for purchase.
MORE INFO AT OTTAWA67s.COM

Isaac Nurse Bobblehead Night in Hamilton: The first 1000 fans to arrive for Sunday’s matchup between the host Hamilton Bulldogs and the Niagara IceDogs will receive an exclusive Isaac Nurse Bobblehead, one of three different bobbleheads available at Bulldogs games this season.

ALUMNI NOTES:

3 OHL grads win Spengler Cup with Canada: Three OHL graduates are Spengler Cup champions after representing Canada at the annual clash in Davos, Switzerland. Canada returned to the top of the podium after settling for second place last year, winning their 16th event title and fourth in the past five years. OHL graduates Brendan Burke (Univ. of Alberta/London Knights), Dustin Jeffrey (Lausanne HC/Soo Greyhounds) and Mathew Maione (Dinamo Riga/Niagara IceDogs) were part of the Canadian squad.

Stephens scores first NHL goal: Former Saginaw Spirit and London Knights forward Mitchell Stephens scored his first career NHL goal on Saturday. The 22-year-old helped the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4, scoring in his eighth career contest. A second round pick of the Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft, Stephens had registered 10 points (5-5–10) in 24 games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch to start the season and now has a goal through 11 contests with the Lightning. Stephens played in the OHL from 2013-17, spending three and a half seasons in Saginaw before finishing his career in London. The Peterborough, Ont. native put up 160 points (73-87–160) over 209 career regular season contests.

Marchment makes NHL debut: Mississauga Steelheads graduate Mason Marchment made his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. The 24-year-old from Uxbridge, Ont. was called up by the Leafs earlier this week after recording four points (2-2–4) in 11 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies to start the season. Marchment, who was a Calder Cup champion with the Marlies in 2018, played two OHL seasons between Erie, Hamilton and Mississauga from 2014-16. He is the son of OHL graduate and long-time NHL defenceman Bryan Marchment.

Smith makes NHL debut: It was a long time coming for Dalton Smith, but the Ottawa 67’s graduate made his NHL debut at 27-years-old on New Year’s Eve as the Buffalo Sabres fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4. Smith, who has spent parts of eight seasons in the minors since graduating from the 67’s in 2011-12, was sent back to the the AHL’s Rochester Americans following the game, but will always have the memory of his first NHL contest. The 6-foot-2, 217Ib. winger spent four seasons in Ottawa from 2008-12, recording 105 points (50-55–105) over 196 career regular season contests. He was a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010.

11 OHL grads named to AHL All-Star rosters: A total of 11 OHL grads have been named to AHL All-Star Game rosters including Andrew Aggozzino (WBS Penguins/Niagara IceDogs), Reid Boucher (Utica Comets/Sarnia Sting), Kyle Capobianco (Tucson Roadrunners/Sudbury Wolves), Morgan Frost (Lehigh Valley Phantoms/Soo Greyhounds), Joey Keane (Hartford Wolf Pack/London Knights), Rasmus Sandin (Toronto Marlies/Soo Greyhounds), Michael Sgarbossa (Hershey Bears/Sudbury Wolves), Anthony Stolarz (San Diego Gulls/London Knights), Jack Studnicka (Providence Bruins/Niagara IceDogs), Chris Terry (Grand Rapids Griffins/Plymouth Whalers), Owen Tippett (Springfield Thunderbirds/Saginaw Spirit). Former OHL coaches behind the bench will include Kris Knoblauch (Hartford Wolf Pack/Erie Otters) and Jay Varady (Tucson Roadrunners/Kingston Frontenacs) as well as OHL playing graduate Chris Taylor (Rochester Americans/London Knights). The 2020 AHL All-Star Classic is set for January 26-27 in Ontario, California.
READ MORE AT THEAHL.COM

Dansk named AHL Goaltender of the Month: Erie Otters graduate Oscar Dansk is the AHL Goaltender of the Month for December, going 7-0 with a 1.57 goals-against average and .943 save percentage with the Chicago Wolves, top affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. Dansk is 11-6 with a 2.75 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in Chicago this season. The 25-year-old played two seasons in Erie from 2012-14, going 40-32-4-3 with a 3.25 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. He was a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012.

Timmins’ game continuing to come around: Soo Greyhounds graduate Conor Timmins has battled injury since graduating from the OHL in 2018. The 21-year-old Colorado Avalanche prospect is finding success in 2019-20 though, recording 13 points (3-10–13) in 22 games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. TheAHL.com’s Demitri Herrera takes a closer look at where Timmins fits into Colorado’s plans as he continues to develop in their farm system.
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Parsons named ECHL Goaltender of the Week: London Knights graduate Tyler Parsons is the ECHL Goaltender of the Week, going 2-0 with a shutout and a 1.00 goals-against average for the Kansas City Mavericks. The 22-year-old is 6-3 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 10 games with Kansas City this season. The Chesterfield, Mich. native is a Calgary Flames prospect who was selected in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. Parsons, who won a Memorial Cup with London in 2016, played three OHL seasons with the Knights from 2014-17, going 75-25-4-6 with a 2.65 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Maletta makes return to ice with Brock Badgers: It’s been a long road back for OHL graduate Jordan Maletta, but the 24-year-old, who once signed a three-year entry level deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has returned to the ice with the Brock Badgers Men’s Hockey program. Maletta suits up under former Niagara IceDogs head coach Marty Williamson in St. Catharines after missing out on the entire 2018-19 season. The 6-foot-3, 215Ib. centreman played two pro seasons in the Columbus organization before being sidelined with an injury. The former first round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection played five OHL seasons between Windsor and Niagara, recording 191 points (82-109–191) over 314 regular season games.

KEY MATCHUPS:

Peterborough Petes at Guelph Storm
Friday, January 3rd

Coming off a 5-0 loss, their third defeat in four games since returning from the holiday break, and trailing two points behind the league-leading Ottawa 67’s, the Peterborough Petes will be as hungry as ever for victory when they head to Guelph Friday evening for their second game of the New Year.

This will be the second meeting of the two clubs, with Guelph having claimed victory in their first tilt just recently on Dec. 28 by a 3-2 OT tally. Former Pete Pavel Gogolev notched the overtime winner against his previous team just 12 seconds in.

Rookie Mason McTavish continues to impress, skating in with 32 points to his name through just as many games atop the rookie scoring list. He netted his first career hat trick and career-high five point showing last weekend in his club’s 7-3 trampling over the Niagara IceDogs.

Guelph skates into the match having won six of their last 10 games. Gogolev leads the team with 57 points (27-30-57) and goals in his last nine games. He’s followed by Montreal draft pick Cam Hillis and then Eric Uba, who’s picked up seven points (2-5-7) in his last four games.

Saginaw Spirit at Kitchener Rangers
Friday, January 3rd

Two must-see Western Conference teams in Saginaw and Kitchener will go head-to-head on Friday evening at the Aud, looking to build on their win streaks and kick off the New Year in the win column.

The Rangers have won 11 of their last 12 games and are heading into Friday’s tilt on a three-game win skid that has seen multi-point performances from their leading trio of Riley Damiani, Jonathan Yantsis, and Greg Meireles. In fact, Meireles, a sixth round draft pick of the Florida Panthers last June, has picked up points in his last seven games. Jacob Ingham has continued to stand tall between the pipes with 11 wins in his last 13 starts and two shutouts within the last month.

Saginaw rolls in with six straight wins under their belt. In the absence of many of the league’s top scorers to their respective World Junior squads, top NHL Draft hopeful Cole Perfetti has seamlessly continued to soar among the league’s point leaders, heading into Friday’s game with an eighth-best 55 (20-35-55) to his name. He’s amassed points in his last five games.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Friday January 3rd:
Oshawa at Flint – 7:00pm
Erie at Kingston – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Sarnia – 7:05pm
Barrie at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Windsor at Soo – 7:07pm
Peterborough at Guelph – 7:30pm
Saginaw at Kitchener – 7:30pm
Mississauga at London – 7:30pm

Saturday January 4th:
Kingston at Hamilton – 4:00pm
London at Flint – 7:00pm
Kitchener at Niagara – 7:00pm
Oshawa at Saginaw – 7:05pm
Windsor at Sudbury – 7:05pm
Sarnia at Soo – 7:07pm
North Bay at Barrie – 7:30pm
Guelph at Owen Sound – 7:30pm

Sunday January 5th:
Kitchener at Guelph – 2:00pm
Niagara at Hamilton – 2:00pm
Peterborough at Mississauga – 2:00pm
Windsor at North Bay – 2:00pm
Erie at Ottawa – 2:00pm
Sarnia at Saginaw – 5:30pm