Knights’ Tyler Parsons named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that 2016 NHL Draft prospect Tyler Parsons of the London Knights is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending November 1 after posting a record of 3-0-0-0 with two shutout victories along with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .964.

Parsons turned aside 81 of the 84 shots he faced last week to backstop the Knights to three straight victories earning second star honours in all three games.  On Friday night he made 27 saves as part of a 6-3 win over the Windsor Spitfires, then picked up his first of back-to-back shutouts with a 22-save performance on Saturday in a 7-0 win over the Saginaw Spirit.  The win featured a pair of milestones including Parsons’ first career shutout, and the 600th career win for head coach Dale Hunter.  On Sunday Parsons wrapped up his week making 32 saves in a 6-0 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

An 18-year-old from Chesterfield, Michigan, Parsons is playing in his second career OHL season with the Knights.  He is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft and was given a ‘B’ rating by NHL Central Scouting in their September ‘Players to Watch’ list.  Parsons currently has a 10-1-1-1 record with a goals-against-average of 2.53 and save percentage of .919 so far this season.

Also considered for the award this week was last week’s winner Arizona Coyotes prospect Adin Hill of the Portland Winterhawks who posted a 2-1-0-0 record stopping 115 shots in three games with a goals-against-average of 1.67 and save percentage of .958, while Carolina Hurricanes prospect Callum Booth of the Quebec Remparts stopped 92 shots with a 2-0-1-0 record including a shutout victory along with a goals-against-average of 1.98 and save percentage of .939.

Vaughn

 2015-16 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:
Oct. 26 – Nov. 1: Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
Oct. 19 – Oct. 25: Adin Hill (Portland Winterhawks)
Oct. 12 – Oct. 18: Julio Billia (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)
Oct. 5 – Oct. 11: Coleman Vollrath (Victoria Royals)
Sept. 28 – Oct. 4: Louis-Philip Guindon (Rimouski Oceanic)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 27: Zack Bowman (Flint Firebirds)

CHL Leagues

OHL’s Draft Eligible Player of the Month – October

Although it feels like spring out there it is November and that means it’s time to look at our draft eligible player of the month for October.

And he is: Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters.

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bel/OHL Images
Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bel/OHL Images

Through the month of October, DeBrincat played in 12 games scoring a league leading 16 goals and adding 7 assists for 23 points – also for the league lead – and finishing a plus 8. DeBrincat’s 16 goals came off of 57 shots on goal good for 28.07 shooting percentage.  He also went 28 for 59 in the faceoff circle or 47.4 winning percentage.

DeBrincat was on fire to start the month scoring 5 goals versus the Niagara Ice Dogs on October 1st in Niagara and almost repeated the feat at home scoring 4 goals on October 9th in the rematch. He had seven multi point games and was held off the score sheet just twice. He was named the game’s first star five times and second star once.

DeBrincat was named OHL player of the week for the week ending October 4, 2015 and was runner up for the CHL player of the week for the same period.

Also considered was DeBrincat’s teammate Taylor Raddysh who scored 4 goals and added 13 assists in 12 games and the Mississauga Steelheads’ Alexander Nylander with 9 goals and 9 assists in 13 games. In goal, the London Knights’ Tyler Parsons played all but 60 minutes of the Knights’ games and posted a 9-1-1-0 record with a 2.55 goals against average and .915 save percentage with one shutout.

Knights’ Tyler Parsons named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2016 NHL Draft prospect Tyler Parsons of the London Knights is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 1 after posting a record of 3-0-0-0 including two shutout victories with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .964.

Tyler Parsons courtesy Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Tyler Parsons courtesy Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Parsons stopped 81 shots backstopping the Knights to three straight victories last week improving the club’s record to 11-2-1-1 for 24 points which ranks third in the Midwest Division standings.  The second goaltender to claim the award this season, Parsons opened the week on Friday with a 27-save performance as part of a 6-3 victory over the Windsor Spitfires where he earned second star honours.  Then on Saturday night, Parsons posted his first career shutout and first of two-straight with a 22-save effort as second star of a 7-0 road win over the Saginaw Spirit helping head coach Dale Hunter secure his 600th career OHL win.  He finished the week on Sunday by making 32 saves to blank the host Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6-0 picking up his league-leading 10th win of the season while earning second star honours for the third straight game.

Parsons, an 18-year-old from Chesterfield, Michigan, is playing in his second career OHL season with the Knights.  Eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, Parsons was one of three OHL goaltenders to be given a ‘B’ rating by NHL Central Scouting in their September ‘Players to Watch’ list.  So far this season he carries a 10-1-1-1 record with a goals-against-average of 2.53 and save percentage of .919.

Watch video highlights of Parsons and the Knights against the Spitfires, Spirit, and Greyhounds.

Also considered for the award this week was Calgary Flames prospect Andrew Mangiapane of the Barrie Colts who scored three goals and four assists for seven points in three games.  Additionally, Arizona Coyotes prospect Ryan MacInnis and 2016 NHL Draft top prospect Max Jones of the Knights both scored five goals and one assist for six points in three games.

Pioneer

2015-16 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Oct. 26 – Nov. 1: Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
Oct. 19 – Oct. 25: Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts)
Oct. 12 – Oct. 18: Zach Bratina (North Bay Battalion)
Oct. 5 – Oct. 11: Hunter Garlent (Peterborough Petes)
Sept. 28 – Oct. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 27: Zack Bowman (Flint Firebirds)

OHL General Manager’s Poll

A survey I have done in past seasons is to poll the General Managers of the Ontario Hockey League teams with this: List your top 3 goaltenders, defencemen and forwards and the order they would be selected in the 2016 National Hockey League Draft.

This season I have expanded the survey to include head coaches, goaltending coaches, and directors of scouting as well as assistant general managers.

Players were given 7 points for a first place ranking, 4 points for second place and 1 point for third place. Based on the number of responses received, the maximum points a player could receive are 357 points.

Jakob Chychrun - courtesy Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Jakob Chychrun – courtesy Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Only one player received unanimous first place votes from all respondents: Sarnia Sting defenceman Jakob Chychrun. Of those 51 respondents, the vast majority, 40, had London Knights defenceman Olli Juolevi as their second choice.

The battle for top goaltender was for all intents and purposes a tie. Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes and Evan Cormier of the Saginaw Spirit ended with 24 first place votes apiece. The difference being Cormier received one fewer second place vote and an extra third place vote.

Among the forwards, the London Knights Matthew Tkachuk was the overwhelming favorite receiving 50 of a possible 51 first place votes. Tkachuk didn’t receive a second or third place vote. Now some of you may think that’s a General Manager trying to get a better result for his own player, but consider this: The one vote that went against him went to his London teammate Max Jones.

Compared to polls from previous seasons, the battle for goaltender has never been so tight – there was always a clear cut favorite: MacKenzie Blackwood, Alex Nedeljkovic, Spencer Martin and Malcolm Subban to name a few.

On defence, the only time we’ve had clear choices were Aaron Ekblad and Darnell Nurse. Up front, of course there was Connor McDavid a year ago, but you have to go back to Gabriel Landeskog at the beginning of the 2010-11 season to find an overwhelming favorite.

Here are the results:

Goaltenders 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Dylan Wells Peterborough Petes 24 18 1 241
Evan Cormier Saginaw Spirit 24 17 2 238
Tyler Parsons London Knights 22 27 115
Honorable Mentions
Troy Timpano Sudbury Wolves
Joseph Raaymakers Soo Greyhounds
Defencemen 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Jakob Chychrun Sarnia Sting 51 357
Olli Juolevi London Knights 40 4 192
Michail Sergachev Windsor Spitfires 3 3 18
Honorable Mentions
Noah Carroll Guelph Storm
Markus Niemelainen Saginaw Spirit
Nicolas Mattinen London Knights
Forwards 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 50 350
Max Jones London Knights 1 41 4 192
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steeheads 4 44 60
Honorable Mentions
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steeheads
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires

Around the OHL – September 15

Michael Giugovaz enjoyed his first season with the Knights

Michael Giugovaz is in a precarious position.

Tyler Parsons of the London Knights. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.
Tyler Parson, London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

He is 20 years old and has never been a full-time starting goalie in the Ontario Hockey League.

That’s the same spot Jake Patterson found himself in last summer when, staring at a crease full of contenders, decided he was done with the London Knights.

Giugovaz has made it clear if the team doesn’t want him, they will have to tear the jersey off his back.

“You’ve put all the time and effort, from age five until now, and to give up on something is just not acceptable,” the potential over-ager said. “You lived for this moment to be on the big stage and make a career out of something you love to do, which isn’t a job. It’s fun. There’s no other way to describe it.

“I’m not going to let someone come in here and just because they have another person signed, change the way I come to the rink every day and prepare.”

Tyler Parsons has declared himself ready to carry the bulk of the load this year. Big youngster Emanuel Vella is the up-and-comer behind him.

But since Michael Houser left in 2012, there have been two London goalies to record at least 25 victories in a season — Anthony Stolarz and Giugovaz.

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Here’s looking at the OHL

What I see and what I don’t see as the 2015-2016 Ontario Hockey League season approaches.

Brandon Halverson of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Brandon Halverson of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

DOG DAYS: The team that was supposed to win the OHL championship in 2014-2015 — the Soo Greyhounds — fell well short, losing in the Western Conference finals to the Erie Otters.

Ad nauseam, we continue to read about the 2014-2015 regular-season success of the Greyhounds and since-departed coach Sheldon Keefe and how he is the supposed next coming of Scotty Bowman.

But the fact of the matter is the Greyhounds underachieved in last spring’s playoffs. Keefe did not properly prepare the Greyhounds for star forward Connor McDavidand the Otters. Keefe was clearly out-coached by Erie’s Kris Knoblauch — and the Greyhounds and their fans paid the price.

Now, it’s a fresh start for the Greyhounds under new coach Drew Bannister, who does not have the overall talent to work with that Keefe did, due to mass graduation of star players to the pros. But Bannister is viewed as a rising star in the OHL coaching ranks and not only that, he is a well-grounded guy minus the smirk and ego of his predecessor.

Methinks the Greyhounds will be a solid fourth-or-fifth-place team in the Western Conference under Bannister, provided goalie Brandon Halverson plays up to potential.

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OHL goes to three-on-three for five minutes of OT, to reduce shootouts

Sure, it’s exciting — but for some Hamilton Bulldogs fans, a new Ontario Hockey League rule might also feel like a bad case of déjà vu.

The OHL is following in the National Hockey League’s footsteps by implementing a five-minute, three-on-three overtime period this season in order to reduce the number of games decided by shootout.

Teams previously played five minutes of four-on-four before resorting to penalty shots.

“If you’re standing on the bench watching the puck go up and down the ice chance after chance after chance, it puts a lot of pressure on your goaltenders and probably adds a few grey hairs,” said head coach George Burnett, “but I think it will be fun.”

The change, approved at an OHL board of governors meeting last month, comes one year after the American Hockey League decided to test out a seven-minute, hybrid OT, with three-on-three starting at the first faceoff beyond the three-minute mark. The extra period begins with four players per side.

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