IceDogs’ Ben Jones named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Vegas Golden Knights prospect Ben Jones of the Niagara IceDogs is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the week ending December 31 scoring twice with five assists for seven points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Ben Jones of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Ben Jones of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Jones helped the IceDogs close 2017 with three-straight victories following the holiday break improving their Central Division record to 19-11-3-2 which ranks third overall in the Eastern Conference.  The Dogs took to the road for their first two games after Christmas with stops in North Bay and Sudbury where Jones contributed an assist on Thursday as part of a 3-2 overtime victory against the Battalion, and scored a goal with two assists on Friday earning first star honours in a 7-4 win over the Wolves.  Back home Sunday for a New Year’s Eve matchup against Hamilton, Jones extended his point-streak to a career-high eight games and reached the century mark for career-points with another goal and two assist performance as second star of a 7-3 win over the East leading Bulldogs.

An 18-year-old from Waterloo, Ont., Jones is playing in his third season with the IceDogs after being chosen by Niagara seventh overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  He currently leads the IceDogs in scoring and is tied for 19th among all OHL skaters with 41 points in 35 games including a new career-high 14 goals.  His 100 career points includes 32 goals and 68 assists recorded across 159 games.  This past June in Chicago, Jones was a seventh round pick by the Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of Jones and the IceDogs against the Battalion, Wolves, and Bulldogs.

Also considered for the award this week was Montreal Canadiens prospect Will Bitten who scored two goals and five assists for seven points in three games for the Bulldogs, and Florida Panthers prospect Owen Tippett of the Mississauga Steelheads who scored three goals with four assists for seven points in three games.  In goal, Leo Lazarev of the Barrie Colts made 82 saves while posting a 2-0-0-0 record along with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .965.

2017-18 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week:

Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: Ben Jones (Niagara IceDogs)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Joseph Garreffa (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

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OHL Announces 2015-16 Awards Finalists

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the finalists for seven of the league’s major awards for the 2015-16 regular season.

OHL

Six of the seven awards are voted on by OHL Member Teams including Rookie of the Year, Overage Player of the Year, Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, and Defenceman of the Year.  Teams were asked to submit one nominee from their club for consideration on the ballot and were not permitted to vote for the player from their own hockey club.  The first stage of voting was by conference only with the top three players from each conference making the final ballot which is voted on by all 20 OHL General Managers.

All finalists for the Red Tilson Trophy were also nominated by the Member Teams of the Ontario Hockey League as their Most Outstanding Player for the 2015-16 regular season.  The Red Tilson Trophy is voted on by the sports writers and broadcasters in the OHL.

2015-16 OHL Awards Finalists:

Rookie of the Year / Emms Family Award Finalists:

Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Max Jones (London Knights)
Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Alex Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)
Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Overage Player of the Year / Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy Finalists:

Aaron Berisha (London Knights)
Jack Flinn (Mississauga Steelheads)
Hunter Garlent (Peterborough Petes)
Gabe Guertler (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts)
Devin Williams (Erie Otters)

Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year / William Hanley Trophy Finalists:

Mike Amadio (North Bay Battalion)
Eric Cornel (Peterborough Petes)
Christian Dvorak (London Knights)
Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
Blake Speers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Spencer Watson (Kingston Frontenacs)

Coach of the Year / Matt Leyden Trophy Finalists:

Stan Butler (North Nay Battalion)
Dale Hawerchuk (Barrie Colts)
Kris Knoblauch (Erie Otters)
Paul McFarland (Kingston Frontenacs)
Rocky Thompson (Windsor Spitfires)
Mike Van Ryn (Kitchener Rangers)

Goaltender of the Year Award Finalists:

Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie Colts)
Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Alex Nedeljkovic (Niagara IceDogs)
Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
Jake Smith (North Bay Battalion)
Devin Williams (Erie Otters)

Defenceman of the Year / Max Kaminsky Trophy Finalists:

Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)
Travis Dermott (Erie Otters)
Cam Dineen (North Bay Battalion)
Roland McKeown (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)
Mitchell Vande Sompel (Oshawa Generals)

Most Outstanding Player of the Year / Red Tilson Trophy Finalists:

Barrie – Kevin Labanc
Erie – Devin Williams
Flint – Will Bitten
Guelph – James McEwan
Hamilton – Niki Petti
Kingston – Roland McKeown
Kitchener – Ryan MacInnis
London – Mitch Marner
Mississauga – Alex Nylander
Niagara – Jordan Maletta
North Bay – Mike Amadio
Oshawa – Anthony Cirelli
Ottawa – Leo Lazarev
Owen Sound – Santino Centorame
Peterborough – Hunter Garlent
Saginaw – Mitchell Stephens
Sarnia – Pavel Zacha
Sault Ste. Marie – Zach Senyshyn
Sudbury – Dmitry Sokolov
Windsor – Christian Fischer

The 2016 OHL Awards Ceremony takes place on Tuesday June 7 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, however award recipients will be announced periodically throughout the remainder of the 2016 OHL Playoffs.  Additional player awards to be announced include Humanitarian of the Year, Academic Players of the Year, and the 2015-16 Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy recipient.

21 CHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL MEN’S UNDER-18 TEAM PRE-COMPETITION ROSTER AS CAMP OPENS IN WINNIPEG

Hockey Canada

Team Canada faces Czech Republic and Sweden in pair of pre-tournament games

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, have assembled 23 players to take part in Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team pre-competition camp in Winnipeg in preparation for the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship.

CHL Players Invited to Camp:

Goaltenders:
Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix)
Stuart Skinner (Lethbridge Hurricanes)

Defencemen:
Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen)
Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)
Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads)
Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)
David Quenneville (Medicine Hat Tigers)
Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires)

Forwards:
Jared Anderson-Dolan (Spokane Chiefs)
Will Bitten (Flint Firebirds)
Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres)
Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Pascal Laberge (Victoriaville Tigres)

Beck Malenstyn (Calgary Hitmen)
Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Antoine Morand (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans)
Mason Shaw (Medicine Hat Tigers)
Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Gabe Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)

Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel, Ryan Jankowski, built the roster with support from head coach Shaun Clouston (Viking, Alta./Medicine Hat, WHL) and assistant coaches Serge Lajoie (St. Albert, Alta./University of Alberta, CWUAA), Jarrod Skalde (Niagara Falls, Ont./Guelph, OHL), and national team alumnus Ryan Smyth, who is part of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence management group. Jankowski evaluated the players during the 2015-16 season, following them alongside numerous other candidates during league play, as well as in international competition.

“Bringing the players together in Winnipeg gives the team a chance to gel before we travel to Grand Forks, and allows some of our up-and-coming players to gain some valuable experience working with our coaching staff and playing two exhibition games against international teams,” said Jankowski. “We’re looking forward to a great week in Winnipeg, and hope the fans will come out to watch a preview of the world-class hockey we’ll all be able to enjoy in Grand Forks, and on TSN.”

The roster includes three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards, as well as:

  • eight players (Bean, Bitten, Fabbro, Jost, Kyrou, Malenstyn, McLeod, and Quenneville) who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2015 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last summer; and
  • eight players (Comtois, DiPietro, Anderson-Dolan, Morand, Phillips, Rasmussen, Tippett and Vilardi) who participated in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C., last November.

The roster includes select under-age players invited to play in pre-tournament games to gain added experience in international competition. Players from across the CHL that have been eliminated from playoff action will be added to complete the roster for the tournament.

Canada will play a pair of pre-tournament games in Winnipeg, facing the Czech Republic on April 10 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) before taking on Sweden on April 12 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). Tickets are $10 and available for purchase at the MTS Iplex on game day.

Canada opens the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship, hosted in Grand Forks, N.D., from April 14-24, on April 15 against Denmark; it will also play the Czech Republic, Finland, and Slovakia in preliminary-round action. TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast 12 games, including all Team Canada match-ups.

Canada has won seven medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship, including three gold medals (2003, 2008 and 2013).

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter.com/HC_Men.

OHL’s Draft Eligible Stat Leaders: End of Season

The Ontario Hockey League’s regular season has come to an end and we look at the statistical leaders in a variety of categories. Listed are players available for the National Hockey League Draft on June, 2016 for the first time – players passed over in previous drafts are not included.

Peterborough Petes forward Logan DeNoble appears on the list in three categories – the only player not ranked by NHL Central Scouting on their midterm rankings in January.  DeNoble ranked sixth in shooting percentage at 16.95%. Will Bitten of the Flint Firebirds led the way with 20.55% followed by Boris Katchouk of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds at 20.17%. Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters was third at 18.96% followed by Katchouk’s teammate Hayden Verbeek at 17.95%. Another Otter, Kyle Maksimovich placed fifth at 17.65%.

DeNoble also finished third in faceoff win percentage at 53.9%. Jack Kopacka of the Greyhounds tops the list at 60.9% followed by Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads at 58%. Logan Brown of the Windsor Spitfires followed DeNoble at 53%.

Finally, DeNoble finished eighth in plus-minus with a plus-22. Four London Knights topped the plus-minus, Victor Mete (plus-53), Matthew Tkachuk (plus-45), Olli Juolevi (plus-38) and Max Jones (plus-30). Maksimovich placed fifth (plus-25) Brown sixth (plus-24) and Sarnia Sting defenceman Jakob Chychrun (plus-23) finished ahead of DeNoble.

DeNoble finished just outside the top ten in goals with 22.

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 30 77 107
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 51 50 101
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 65 35 46 81
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 57 28 47 75
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 59 21 53 74
Taylor Raddysh Erie Otters 67 24 49 73
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 27 44 71
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 67 30 35 65
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 57 21 40 61
Nathan Bastian Mississauga Steelheads 64 19 40 59
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 51 0.85
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 65 35 0.54
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 30 0.53
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 67 30 0.45
Dmitry Sokolov Sudbury Wolves 68 30 0.44
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 57 28 0.49
Max Jones London Knights 63 28 0.44
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 27 0.40
Taylor Raddysh Erie Otters 67 24 0.36
Boris Katchouk Soo Greyhounds 63 24 0.38
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 77 1.35
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 59 53 0.90
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 50 0.83
Taylor Raddysh Erie Otters 67 49 0.73
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 57 47 0.82
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 65 46 0.71
Cam Dineen North Bay Battalion 68 46 0.68
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 44 0.65
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 57 40 0.70
Nathan Bastian Mississauga Steelheads 64 40 0.63
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Cam Dineen North Bay Battalion 68 13 46 59
Mikhail Sergachev Windsor Spitfires 67 17 40 57
Jakob Chychrun Sarnia Sting 62 11 38 49
Olli Juolevi London Knights 57 9 33 42
Victor Mete London Knights 68 8 30 38
Benjamin Gleason Hamilton Bulldogs 66 7 26 33
Jordan Sambrook Erie Otters 67 9 18 27
Markus Niemelainen Saginaw Spirit 65 1 26 27
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
Victor Mete London Knights 68 +53
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 +45
Olli Juolevi London Knights 57 +38
Max Jones London Knights 63 +30
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 +25
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 59 +24
Jakob Chychrun Sarnia Sting 62 +23
Logan DeNoble Peterborough Petes 63 +22
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 65 +19
Austin Osmanski Mississauga Steelheads 65 +19
Penalty Minutes Leaders
Player Team GP PIM M/G
Givani Smith Guelph Storm 65 146 2.25
Max Jones London Knights 63 106 1.68
Logan Stanley Windsor Spitfires 64 103 1.61
Michael Pezzetta Sudbury Wolves 64 98 1.53
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 80 1.40
Ben Hawerchuk Barrie Colts 60 78 1.30
Faceoff Leaders (Minimum 60 faceoffs)
Player Team GP FOA FOW %
Jack Kopacka Soo Greyhounds 67 69 42 60.9
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 57 1284 745 58.0
Logan DeNoble Peterborough Petes 63 154 83 53.9
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 59 1148 609 53.0
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 183 97 53.0
Cliff Pu London Knights 63 851 445 52.3
Brandon Saigeon Hamilton Bulldogs 43 502 259 51.6
Boris Katchouk Soo Greyhounds 63 72 37 51.4
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 74 38 51.4
Connor Bunnaman Kitchener Rangers 68 193 99 51.3
Shooting Percentage Leaders (Min 75 shots)
Player Team GP Shots Goals SH%
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 67 146 30 20.55
Boris Katchouk Soo Greyhounds 63 119 24 20.17
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 269 51 18.96
Hayden Verbeek Soo Greyhounds 63 78 14 17.95
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 153 27 17.65
Logan DeNoble Peterborough Petes 63 118 20 16.95
Jonathan Ang Peterborough Petes 68 127 21 16.54
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 57 178 28 15.73
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 191 30 15.71
Domenic Commisso Oshawa Generals 66 117 18 15.38
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
Tyler Parsons London Knights 49 2835 110 2.33
Stephen Dhillon Niagara Ice Dogs 27 1317 59 2.69
Evan Cormier Saginaw Spirit 58 3246 201 3.72
Dylan Wells Peterborough Petes 27 1516 116 4.59
Troy Timpano Sudbury Wolves 35 2000 158 4.74
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage
Player Team GP SH SVS SV%
Tyler Parsons London Knights 49 1397 1287 0.921
Stephen Dhillon Niagara Ice Dogs 27 639 580 0.908
Evan Cormier Saginaw Spirit 58 1825 1624 0.890
Troy Timpano Sudbury Wolves 35 1296 1138 0.878
Dylan Wells Peterborough Petes 27 896 780 0.871

OHL Announces 2015-16 Coaches Poll Winners

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results of the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches Polls for the 2015-16 OHL regular season.

OHL

 The OHL Coaches Poll provides member club coaches with the opportunity to recognize the top three players in 20 different skill categories within their own conference.

 In the Eastern Conference, the Central Division champion Barrie Colts lead the way with eight players represented across 16 of the 20 different categories highlighted by Calgary Flames prospect Andrew Mangiapane who was named Most Underrated, Best Skater, and Best Shootout Shooter.  Fellow Colt and OHL top scorer Kevin Labanc, a San Jose Sharks prospect, appeared in five categories finishing first in Best Playmaker, and Best Penalty Killer.  The East Division champion Kingston Frontenacs finished second in team voting with six different players appearing in 12 different categories including Jeremy Helvig (Most Improved),  Spencer Watson (Most Dangerous in the Goal Area), Lawson Crouse (Best Body Checker), and Roland McKeown (Best Defensive Defenceman) finishing first.

 North Bay Battalion captain Mike Amadio was the top individual winner by appearing in the Top-3 in seven different categories.  The Los Angeles Kings prospect finished first in four different categories including Smartest Player, Hardest Worker, Best Shot, Best Defensive Forward.  Other multiple category winners in the Eastern Conference include Niagara IceDogs goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic who tied for first in the Best Puck Handling Goalie vote, and Best Shootout Goalie category.  Fellow IceDog Josh Ho-Sang was named Best Stickhandler for the second straight season.

 In the Western Conference, the Erie Otters lead the way with seven players represented in 12 of the 20 categories including a league-high nine first place votes.  Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome is the Conference’s top individual winner leading the way in three different areas including Smartest Player, Best on Face-Offs, and Best Shootout Shooter.  2016 NHL Draft prospect Alex DeBrincat was also one of seven Otters to earn first place recognition earning Most Dangerous in the Goal Area accolades for the second straight season.  The Midwest Division’s Kitchener Rangers and London Knights also factored heavily into Western Conference voting.  Seven different Rangers appeared in 11 different categories, while six different Knights were spread across nine different categories.  Most notably, the Rangers’ Adam Mascherin was listed in four categories receiving first place in Best Shot, while Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitch Marner headlined the Knights’ representation winning Best Playmaker and Best Stickhandler after appearing among the Top-3 in both categories last season.

 New York Rangers prospect Brandon Halverson of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the league’s only three-time winner earning Best Puck Handling Goalie recognition for the third consecutive season.

 The Coaches Poll is tabulated when each team submits one nominee per category, and coaches then vote for the top three players for each category within their conference.  Players receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.  Clubs are not permitted to vote for players from their own team allowing for a maximum of 45 possible points for each winner.  This season all 20 OHL clubs are represented in at least one category.

All 20 categories are listed below with Eastern Conference and Western Conference winners including their final point totals in brackets.

Most Underrated Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie Colts (28)
2. Jordan Maletta, Niagara IceDogs (16)
3. Juho Lammikko, Kingston Frontenacs (15)

Western Conference:
1. Aaron Berisha, London Knights (22)
2. Jeff King, Sarnia Sting (14)
3. Jalen Chatfield, Windsor Spitfires (12)

 Most Improved Player:
Eastern Conference:

1.Jeremy Helvig, Kingston Frontenacs (30)
2. Mathew Santos, North Bay Battalion (18)
3. Nic Hague, Mississauga Steelheads tied Riley Stillman, Oshawa Generals (10)

Western Conference:
1. Kyle Maksimovich, Erie Otters tied Logan Stanley, Windsor Spitfires (25)
3. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (10)

Smartest Player:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (32)
2. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (25)
3. Hunter Garlent, Peterborough Petes (8)

Western Conference:
1. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (41) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights (18)
3. Petrus Palmu, Owen Sound Attack (7)

Hardest Worker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Michael McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads tied Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (24) – McLeod finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (21) – finished first in voting in 2014-15

Western Conference:
1. Hayden Verbeek, Soo Greyhounds (32)
2. Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack tied Josh Jacobs, Sarnia Sting (13)

Best Playmaker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (31)
2. Josh Ho-Sang, Niagara IceDogs (26) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Michael Dal Colle, Kingston Frontenacs (12)

Western Conference:
1. Mitch Marner, London Knights (35) – finished second in voting in 2014-15
2. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (27)
3. Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers (12)

Most Dangerous in Goal Area:

Eastern Conference:
1. Spencer Watson, Kingston Frontenacs (35) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts tied Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (24)

Western Conference:
1. Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (37) – finished first in voting in 2014-15
2. Christian Dvorak, London Knights (32)
3. Zach Senyshyn, Soo Greyhounds (9)

Best Skater:

Eastern Conference:

1. Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie Colts (18)

2. Sean Day, Mississauga Steelheads tied Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa Generals, and Jonathan Ang, Peterborough Petes (17) – Day finished second in voting in both 2013-14 and 2014-15

Western Conference:

1. Zach Senyshyn, Soo Greyhounds (33) – finished third in voting in 2014-15

2. Victor Mete, London Knights (27)

3. Vili Saarijarvi, Flint Firebirds tied Jordan Kyrou, Sarnia Sting (7)

Best Shot:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (35)
2. Spencer Watson, Kingston Frontenacs (30)
3. Alex Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads tied Greg Betzold, Peterborough Petes (7)

Western Conference:

1. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (28)
2. Travis Konecny, Sarnia Sting (25)
3. Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (16)

Hardest Shot:

Eastern Conference:

1. Kyle Wood, North Bay Battalion (41) – finished second in voting in 2014-15
2. Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (23)
3. Rasmus Andersson, Barrie Colts (10)

Western Conference:

1. Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (30)
2. Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (20)
3. Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (13)

Best Stickhandler:

Eastern Conference:
1. Josh Ho-Sang, Niagara IceDogs (35) – finished first in voting in 2014-15
2. Alex Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads (16)
3. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (15)

Western Conference:

1. Mitch Marner, London Knights (43) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. William Bitten, Flint Firebirds (13)
3. Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers tied Blake Speers, Soo Greyhounds (11)

Best on Face-Offs:

Eastern Conference:
1. Jordan Maletta, Niagara IceDogs (38)
2. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (24)
3. Juho Lammikko, Kingston Frontenacs (10)

Western Conference:
1. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (30)
2. Gustaf Franzen, Kitchener Rangers (21)
3. Christian Dvorak, London Knights (20)

Best Body Checker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (39)
2. Jacob Middleton, Ottawa 67’s (13)
3. Cameron Lizotte, Barrie Colts (11) – finished second in voting in 2014-15

Western Conference:

1. Givani Smith, Guelph Storm (34)
2. Connor Hall, Kitchener Rangers tied Jacob Friend, Owen Sound Attack (12)

Best Shot Blocker:

Eastern Conference:

1. Jacob Middleton, Ottawa 67’s (25)
2. Roland McKeown, Kingston Frontenacs (15)
3. Dylan Sadowy, Barrie Colts (14)

Western Conference:
1. Damir Sharipzyanov, Owen Sound Attack (24)
2. Darren Raddysh, Erie Otters (18)
3. Will Petschenig, Saginaw Spirit tied Patrick Sanvido, Windsor Spitfires (11)

Best Defensive Forward:

Eastern Conference:
1. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (32)
2. Juho Lammikko, Kingston Frontenacs (29) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Cordell James, Barrie Colts tied Anthony Cirelli, Oshawa Generals (9)

Western Conference:
1. Kyle Pettit, Erie Otters (31) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Ryan MacInnis, Kitchener Rangers (22)
3. Kris Bennett, Saginaw Spirit (14)

Best Penalty Killer:

Eastern Conference:

1. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (26)
2. Mike Amadio, North Bay Battalion (25)
3. Jordan Maletta, Niagara IceDogs (17)

Western Conference:
1. Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (26)
2. Kyle Pettit, Erie Otters (19)
3. Darby Llewellyn, Kitchener Rangers (16)

Best Offensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:
1. Rasmus Andersson, Barrie Colts (31) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa Generals (23) – finished second in voting in 2014-15
3. Cam Dineen, North Bay Battalion (17)

Western Conference:
1. Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (28)
2. Vili Saarijarvi, Flint Firebirds (21)
3. Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (20)

Best Defensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:

1. Roland McKeown, Kingston Frontenacs (30) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Jacob Middleton, Ottawa 67’s (29)
3. Michael Webster, Barrie Colts (19)

Western Conference:
1. Darren Raddysh, Erie Otters (37)
2. Frank Hora, Kitchener Rangers (13)
3. Chris Martenet, London Knights tied Colton White, Soo Greyhounds (9)

Best Puck-Handling Goalie:

Eastern Conference:

1. Mackenzie Blackwood, Barrie Colts tied Alex Nedeljkovic, Niagara IceDogs (21) – Nedeljkovic finished third in 2014-15 West vote
2. Jake Smith, North Bay Battalion (18) – finished second in voting in 2013-14 and 2014-15

Western Conference:

1. Brandon Halverson, Soo Greyhounds (28) – finished first in 2013-14 and 2014-15
2. Michael Giugovaz, Guelph Storm (12)
3. Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (11)

Best Shootout Shooter:

Eastern Conference:

1. Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie Colts (29) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Alex Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads (20)
3. Josh Ho-Sang, Niagara IceDogs (16)

Western Conference:
1. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (23)
2. Christian Dvorak, London Knights (22)
3. William Bitten, Flint Firebirds tied Petrus Palmu, Owen Sound Attack (16)

Best Shootout Goalie:

Eastern Conference:

1. Alex Nedeljkovic, Niagara IceDogs (24) – finished second in 2013-14 and 2014-15 West voting
2. Mackenzie Blackwood, Barrie Colts (18) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Jack Flinn, Mississauga Steelheads (16)

Western Conference:
1. Devin Williams, Erie Otters (36)
2. Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (16)
3. Charlie Graham, Sarnia Sting (11)

2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters Announced

40 top NHL Draft eligible CHL players will compete January 28, 2016, in Vancouver, BC
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Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the host Vancouver Giants Hockey Club, and title partner BMO Financial Group, today announced the 40 players that will compete in the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver, BC, on Thursday January 28, 2016.

The 40 CHL players competing in the game were chosen by all 30 NHL clubs and divided into teams by NHL Central Scouting.  This season’s event marks the 21st annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL Draft eligible players featuring talent from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance.

“The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of the highlights of the hockey season,” said CHL President David Branch. “Since 1996 the CHL’s top prospects have showcased their skills in this event providing NHL scouts, General Managers, and fans the opportunity to catch the next wave of NHL talent which in recent years has featured first overall picks Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, Nathan MacKinnon, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. We look forward to January 28 with coaches Don Cherry and Bobby Orr, and 40 of the top CHL players eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft competing before the passionate hockey fans in Vancouver and to CHL fans across Canada watching live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.”

The Giants’ Tyler Benson and Port Moody, BC, native Lucas Johansen of the Kelowna Rockets are among the 20 players to suit up for Team Cherry along with Canadian National Junior Team member Julien Gauthier of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, and OHL top goal scorer Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters who won World Junior bronze with the United States.  Team Orr features World Junior gold medalist Olli Juolevi of the London Knights, fellow Knight and World Junior bronze medalist Matthew Tkachuk, Canadian National Junior Team Selection Camp invite Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads who led Sweden in World Junior scoring.

“We are thrilled for the up-and-coming talent chosen for this year’s BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game,” said Michael Bonner, Senior Vice President, BC and Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. “As the Official Bank of the CHL, we’re proud to sponsor an event that allows Canadians to watch some of the top young athletes across the country, and we’re excited to bring them to Vancouver later this month.”

25 of the CHL’s 60 member clubs are represented on the rosters.  The 40 competing players include 20 from the OHL, 12 from the WHL, and eight from the QMJHL.  13 CHL Players who competed in the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in St. Catharines, ON, were selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.  In 20 years, 278 CHL players from this event have been chosen by NHL clubs in the first round of the NHL Draft representing 47% of all players selected.

“The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game provides a unique opportunity for NHL scouts and General Managers to evaluate top CHL talent for the 2016 NHL Draft in a best-on-best competition,” said NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr. “The game is also a unique opportunity for the players to take advantage of the spotlight in what is consistently an exciting and highly competitive showcase.”

Since the event was first introduced in 1996 the game has featured 13 players selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft including Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane, Marc-Andre Fleury, Rick Nash, Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton, and Chris Phillips.

2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters:

Team Cherry:

Goaltenders:

Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Defencemen:

Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)

Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads)

Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes)

Lucas Johansen (Kelowna Rockets)

Markus Niemelainen (Saginaw Spirit)

 Forwards:

Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)

Tyler Benson (Vancouver Giants)

Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)

Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)

Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets)

Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs)

Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Noah Gregor (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Max Jones (London Knights)

Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)

Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)

Sam Steel (Regina Pats)


Team Orr:

Goaltenders:

Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)

Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)

Defencemen:

Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen)

Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades)

Olli Juolevi (London Knights)

Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)

Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires)

Forwards:

Nathan Bastian (Mississauga Steelheads)

Will Bitten (Flint Firebirds)

Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Jack Kopacka (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Pascal Laberge (Victoriaville Tigres)

Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)

Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

Otto Somppi (Halifax Mooseheads)

Simon Stransky (Prince Albert Raiders)

Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights)


The 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by title partner BMO Bank of Montreal, and CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tire, autoTRADER.ca and Sherwin-Williams.  The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

For more information please visit www.bmotopprospects.ca.

BMO and the Canadian Hockey League:
BMO Financial Group and the Canadian Hockey League announced BMO as the Official Bank of the Canadian Hockey League in 2011. The sponsorship builds on BMO’s partnership with the CHL of more than 10 years and affirms BMO’s exclusivity as a financial services sponsor of the league in the retail banking category. It also engrains a presence with the 48 teams which currently participate in the BMO CHL Affinity MasterCard program, which enables CHL fans to support their favourite teams through a co-branded credit card.

Super series

OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders: November

The calendar has flipped to December and it’s time to look at various statistical leaders among the Ontario Hockey League players eligible for the 2016 National Hockey League Draft.

As always, we only look at players eligible for the first time – those previously passed over are not included – except for goaltenders where we included those passed over a year ago.

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

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters leads not only the draft eligible players in points, but the entire OHL. He’s averaged a hair over 2 points per game with 52 in 25 games. He’s followed closely by the London Knights’ Matthew Tkachuk at 48 points in 24 games. DeBrincat’s teammate Taylor Raddysh is at the head of the next tier with 40 points in 26 games while Alexander Nylander closes out the top 5 with 39 points in 28 games.

DeBrincat also leads the entire OHL in goals with 31, a pace that would equal the OHL record for goals in a season of 87. Nylander sits way back in second with 17 goals followed by the Flint Firebirds’ Will Bitten with 14. Tkachuk and the Kitchener Rangers’ Adam Mascherin follow with 12 a piece.

On defence, the Knights’ Olli Juolevi leads the blue liners with 20 points

Olli Juolevi of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Olli Juolevi of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

in24 games. Markus Niemelainen of the Saginaw Spirit is close behind with 18 points in 26 games followed by Cam Dineen of the North Bay Battalion with 17 and Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires with 16 in 27 games. It’s interesting to note that the top four are all rookies.

Here are the remaining statistical leaders.

Stats 1

Stats 2

Stats 3

Stats 4

Stats 5

Stats 6

Will Bitten – Flint Firebirds – Player Profile

Height:  5’10”

Weight: 167 pounds

Date of birth: July 10, 1998. Gloucester, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 7th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Bitten comes from a sports family. His parents were both Olympians with dad having competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics while mom competed in those same Olympics as well as 1996 in Atlanta. Both competed in Badminton. His cousin Sebastien Piche has played in the QMJHL, AHL, and ECHL and is currently playing in Austria.

Bitten captained his Minor Midget AAA Ottawa Jr 67’s in 2013-14 and in his 29 games scored 36 goals while adding 42 assists. He added 5 more goals and 9 assists while appearing in 11 playoff games. He went on to lead the OHL Cup in scoring with 5 goals and 5 assists in 6 games. He was also named the Ontario East Minor hockey player of the year.

Internationally, Bitten won a gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial in August while contributing a goal and an assist in 4 games. In 2014 he played for Team Red at the World Hockey Challenge U-17 and in 5 games scored twice while adding 3 assists.

He also appeared for Team OHL earlier this week in the CHL Super Series versus Russia in the precursor to Team Canada selection for the World Junior Championships. While he didn’t put up any points, Bitten didn’t look out of place showcasing his speed while being physical and getting under the skin of the Russians.

Team OHL defeated the Russian Selects 2-1 in Windsor, ON on Monday November 16, 2015. Photo by Terry Wilson - CHL Images.
Will Bitten, Team OHL, CHL Super Series. Photo by Terry Wilson/CHL Images

Bitten made his OHL debut last season with the Plymouth Whalers (now the Flint Firebirds). He finished 14th in rookie scoring with 15 goals and 16 assists. He’s well on his way to surpassing those totals with 10 goals and 17 assists in just 19 games to date.

Bitten is an excellent skater who possesses high end breakaway and top speed and can keep control of the puck and make plays at that speed. He is elusive and can sneak away undetected putting himself in scoring position while making himself open to receive a teammate’s set up.

Bitten plays with an ultra high compete level and is surprisingly physical despite his size. His skating allows him to get in on the forecheck and he is relentless in battles for pucks once he gets on top of defenders. He has the ability to go end to end and bring fans to their feet. You will be hard pressed to find a player who possesses a higher work ethic than Bitten.

Bitten is also a dynamic one on one player. With his speed and puck handling abilities, he can often make defenders look like they are standing still.

Bitten made NHL Central Scouting’s list of players to watch as a B prospect – which places him in the 2nd or 3rd round.