Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Ryan Sproul of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the 2012-13 recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman of the Year.
Sproul led all OHL defencemen in scoring with 66 points in just 50 games tying teammate Colin Miller for the league-lead in goals among blueliners with 20 while adding 46 assists. He becomes just the third member of the Greyhounds to win Defenceman of the Year honours following current Los Angeles King Jake Muzzin (2009-10), and Columbus Blue Jackets Associate Coach Craig Hartsburg (1976-77).
“This is the greatest accomplishment of my life to date,” Sproul said. “I am extremely honoured to be given this award and I have to thank the Greyhound organization for everything they have done for me over the last 3 years.”
A 20-year-old from Mississauga, ON, Sproul was selected in the sixth round of the 2009 OHL Priority Selection and played three seasons with the Greyhounds. This season he was one of three defenceman to claim OHL Player of the Week honours and was also named Defenceman of the Month in both December and February. Sproul led the league with representation in four different categories of the annual Western Conference Coaches Poll including first place honours with the Hardest Shot for the second straight season, also named Best Offensive Defenceman after finishing second in voting last season. He also finished second in the Best Skater category, and finished tied for second in the Best Shot category for the second straight season. Sproul competed for Team OHL in the SUBWAY Super Series before earning an invite to Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp. Selected in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, Sproul joined the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins following the completion of the Greyhounds’ post-season.
“In each of the past two seasons, Ryan Sproul has not only shown tremendous skill and ability on the ice, but he has also shown tremendous resolve in battling through two very serious injuries,” said Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Dubas. “In the face of both injuries, Ryan persevered, came back sooner than expected and continued to make great strides as a player. Ryan developed over his time with our program into one of biggest scoring threats in the league using his combination of elite skating and shooting ability. Off the ice, Ryan was one of the leaders of our Kewadin Cares program and spent a lot of his free time in hospitals visiting patients. Ryan is a deserving winner of the Max Kaminsky Trophy for his play on the ice and his conduct in our community. Our program is extremely proud to see Ryan’s name join Jake Muzzin and Craig Hartsburg as winners of the Max Kaminsky Trophy while donning the Soo Greyhounds jersey. “
The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for their own nominee. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.
Sproul received 80 of the maximum 95 points in the voting process ahead of Scott Harrington of the London Knights with 59 points finishing runner-up for the award for the second straight year. Dylan DeMelo of the Mississauga Steelheads finished in third place with 17 voting points.
Winners of the Max Kaminsky Trophy include Al MacInnis (Kitchener 1982-83), Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1992-93), Brian Campbell (Ottawa 1998-99), James Wisniewski (Plymouth 2003-04), Marc Staal (Sudbury 2006-07), Drew Doughty (Guelph 2007-08), and Ryan Ellis (Windsor Spitfires 2008-09 and 2010-11). Boston Bruins rookie Dougie Hamilton won the award last season with the Niagara IceDogs.
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. Catherine’s Teepees in 1960.
Sproul will be formally presented with the Max Kaminsky Trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony which take place June 4 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He will also be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Defenceman of the Year.