A look at what’s happening in the Ontario Hockey League this week.
OHL COMPLETES 2018 PRIORITY SELECTION PRESENTED BY REAL CANADIAN SUPERSTORE:
300 players from 98 different teams across Ontario and parts of the United States were chosen in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore. The selected players included 175 forwards, 92 defencemen, and 33 goaltenders. While 292 of the players chosen were 2002-born athletes, also eligible for selection were non-overage players not carded with an Ontario based Midget AAA team from protected OHL territories. Five players born in 2001, and three players born in 2000 were chosen under this criteria. Read more
2018 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION FIRST ROUND RECAP:
20 players from across 11 different organizations were chosen in the first round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection on Saturday April 7. The GTHL led the way with 10 first round selections followed closely by the OMHA with seven. The first round saw 13 forwards and seven defencemen taken by OHL clubs. Read more
WATCH #OHLPLAYOFFS ON OHL LIVE:
The Ontario Hockey League, in association with its digital media partner NeuLion, are proud to offer special packages and rates for OHL Live coverage of the 2018 OHL Playoffs. All Access subscriptions can be purchased for $79.99, and first round team packages are available for $25.99. Details.
OHL COMPLETES SECOND ANNUAL UNDER-18 PRIORITY SELECTION:
The Ontario Hockey League today conducted the second annual OHL Under-18 Priority Selection for Midget AAA hockey players in Ontario. A total of 53 players were selected from 34 different teams and included 27 forwards, 13 defencemen, and 13 goaltenders. 49 of the 53 players selected were born in 2001. Read more
TOP UNDER-18 PRIORITY SELECTION CHOICES EXCITED FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES:
A total of 53 players were chosen in Wednesday’s OHL Under-18 Priority Selection and the first was a goaltender. The Sudbury Wolves added North Central Predators netminder Mitchell Weeks to their depth chart, selecting the Barrie, Ont. native with the first overall pick. He and other high selections Markus Paterson (2nd, Flint Firebirds) and Dustin Hutton (3rd, Peterborough Petes) share their draft day stories. Read more
OHL HONOURS THE HUMBOLDT BRONCOS:
The Ontario Hockey League and its members teams have taken the opportunity to honour the Humboldt Broncos Hockey Club that was involved in a tragic bus accident that claimed several lives outside of Tisdale, Saskatchewan this past Friday. Teams have paused for a moment of silence prior to playoff action this past week and the league has joined together in support of the families, friends and communities affected by this tragic accident. Watch
COLTS’ ANDREI SVECHNIKOV NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
2018 NHL Draft prospect Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 8 after recording four points in three games including three goals and one assist with a plus-minus rating of plus-3. Svechnikov extended his playoff point-streak to four and helped the Colts win two of their first three games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Kingston Frontenacs. Read more
VOTE RILEY DAMIANI IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:
Kitchener Rangers forward Riley Damiani is this week’s OHL representative featured in #CIBCShowdown which showcases one great play from all three leagues allowing fans the opportunity to choose their favourite play. See all the plays and vote at chlshowdown.ca.
8 OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S U18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRAINING CAMP ROSTER:
A total of eight OHL players have been invited to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team training camp that begins this week in Etobicoke, Ont. Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s), Graeme Clarke (Ottawa 67’s), Cam Hillis (Guelph Storm), Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm), Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals), Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals), Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds) and Liam Foudy (London Knights) are all included on the roster. Canada is in pursuit of its first gold since 2013 at the tournament that runs from April 19-29 in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, Russia. Read more
TOP PICK QUINTON BYFIELD COMMITS TO WOLVES:
The Sudbury Wolves announced Monday that 2018 first overall OHL Priority Selection choice Quinton Byfield has committed to the club. The 2018 OMHA ETA Player of the Year led the league with 92 points including 48 goals and 44 assists over 34 games to help his club capture an OMHA Championships and a Semi-Final berth at the 2018 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour. His regular season points-per-game mark in the OMHA ranks third all-time behind current NHL stars Steven Stamkos and Taylor Hall. Read more
VOTE FOR THE CHL’S TEAM OF THE CENTURY:
In celebration of the 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup, the Canadian Hockey League is asking fans to cast their vote for the Team of the Century. Check out the online voting platform at http://chlteamofthecentury.ca which features photos, rosters, and tournament recaps for the first 99 Memorial Cup champions who represent the candidates eligible for the distinction of CHL Team of the Century. Voters are eligible for great prizes including a trip for two to the 2019 Mastercard Memorial Cup.
2018 TELUS CUP GETS UNDERWAY APRIL 23RD:
The 2018 Telus Cup National Midget AAA Championship gets underway on Monday April 23rd in Sudbury, Ont. as the host Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves, Toronto Nationals, Moncton Flyers, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Magog Cantonniers and Notre Dame Hounds will play for national supremacy. Learn more about the annual Midget AAA Championship at hockeycanada.ca.
DON MILLS FLYERS CROWNED ONTARIO BANTAM AAA CHAMPIONS:
The Don Mills Flyers Bantam AAA team has been crowned Ontario Champions, overcoming adversity following the tragic loss of their goaltender Roy Pejcinovski last month. The Flyers defeated the Ottawa Valley Titans 4-3 in overtime to claim provincial supremacy as Vas Pejcinovski, Roy’s father, came to centre ice to hoist the championship trophy before being mobbed by Flyers players and families.
CHICAGO MISSION WINS 2018 U.S. NATIONAL 16U CHAMPIONSHIP:
Four players chosen in Saturday’s OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore are U.S. National Champions with the Chicago Mission 16U team. Sarnia Sting first round pick Jacob Perreault, London Knights third round pick Gerard Keane, Sarnia Sting fifth round selection Wyatt Schingoethe and Sudbury Wolves seventh round pick Kyle Aucoin helped Chicago defeat Team Wisconsin by a score of 3-1 in Philadelphia, PA. For more details visit usahockey.com.
BUFFALO JR. SABRES WIN 2018 U.S. NATIONAL 15U CHAMPIONSHIP:
Three players chosen in Saturday’s OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore are U.S. National Champions with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 15’s team. Kitchener Rangers third round pick Declan McDonnell, Soo Greyhounds eight round choice Nate Mann and Flint Firebirds 14th round pick Austin Robinson helped the Jr. Sabres defeat the Detroit Little Caesars by a score of 2-1 in Plymouth, Mich. For more details visit usahockey.com.
91 OHL Alumni in Stanley Cup Playoffs: Close to 23% of all players competing among the NHL’s 16 post-season teams are OHL graduates. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli and defenceman Mikhail Sergachev represent the most recent grads after celebrating championship seasons with the Erie Otters and Windsor Spitfires respectively. All 20 OHL teams are represented with at least one graduate including the London Knights who lead the way with 14, while all NHL teams have at least two former players including the Los Angeles Kings who have the most with 12. Full list.
McDavid earns Art Ross Trophy for second straight season: Erie Otters graduate Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is the NHL’s scoring champion for the second straight season, finishing the year with 108 points (41-67—108) over 82 games. He earns consecutive Art Ross Trophies for the first time since Jaromir Jagr won four straight from 1998-2001 and is the second Oilers player in NHL history to win multiple scoring titles before his 22nd birthday, joining Wayne Gretzky (3) in that category. McDavid spent three seasons in an Otters uniform from 2012-15, earning both OHL Rookie of the Year as well as CHL Player of the Year honours during his tenure.
Nylander scores first NHL goal: Mississauga Steelheads graduate Alexander Nylander scored his first career NHL goal on Friday. The 20-year-old scored for the Buffalo Sabres in their 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers. The Swedish winger has spent much of this season with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, producing seven goals, 19 assist and 26 points in 48 games. He has appeared in three games with the Sabres this season after being the club’s first round, eighth overall pick in 2016. Nylander was the OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year in 2016, recording 75 points (28-47—75) in 57 games with the Steelheads.
Boughner named to Canada’s World Championship coaching staff: Former Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner has been named to Canada’s coaching staff for the 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championship set to take place from May 4-20 in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark. Boughner, who is currently head coach of the NHL’s Florida Panthers, will work alongside former Spokane Chiefs head coach Bill Peters of the Carolina Hurricanes and OHL graduate Mike Yeo who is currently the head coach of the St. Louis Blues. Boughner guided the Spitfires to back-to-back Mastercard Memorial Cup titles in 2009 and 2010. Canada opens the tournament on Friday May 4th against the United States. For more information visit hockeycanada.ca.
Six OHL grads named to Canada’s World Championship roster: Six OHL graduates are among the first 18 players named to Canada’s roster for the 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championship. Vince Dunn (Niagara IceDogs/St. Louis Blues), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie Colts/Florida Panthers), Darnell Nurse (Soo Greyhounds/Edmonton Oilers), Bo Horvat (London Knights/Vancouver Canucks), Connor McDavid (Erie Otters/ Edmonton Oilers) and Ryan O’Reilly (Erie Otters/Buffalo Sabres) will represent Canada from May 4-20 in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark. Read more at hockeycanada.ca.
Kane to captain United States at World Championship: London Knights graduate Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks will wear the ‘C’ for the United States at the upcoming IIHF World Hockey Championship in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark from May 4-20. Kane registered 76 points (27-49–76) in 82 games with the Blackhawks this season. The Buffalo, NY native was the 2007 CHL Rookie of the Year as a member of the London Knights before being selected first overall in the 2007 NHL Draft.
Sparks named AHL Goaltender of the Year: Guelph Storm graduate Garret Sparks has been named the AHL Goaltender of the Year. The 24-year-old native of Elmhurst, Ill. led the league in goals-against average (1.81), save percentage (.936) and shutouts (6, tied) while ranking third in wins as a member of the Toronto Marlies. He becomes the first goaltender in the Toronto Maple Leafs system to win 30 AHL games in one season since Bob Perreault back in 1967-68. Sparks is the third OHL grad in the last four years to earn the award following Matt Murray (2015) and Peter Budaj (2016). Sparks played three seasons in Guelph from 2010-13, going 71-48-1-8 with a 2.97 goals-against average, a .909 save percentage and 12 shutouts over 138 games.
OHL grads named to AHL All-Star Teams: The American Hockey League has named its All-Star Teams for the 2017-18 season, ones that include OHL grads Garret Sparks (Guelph Storm/Toronto Marlies), Chris Terry (Plymouth Whalers/Laval Rocket) and Phil Varone (Erie Otters/Lehigh Valley Phantoms) as first team choices. Goaltender Michael Hutchinson (London Knights/Manitoba Moose) was included as a second team all-star. For more on their standout AHL seasons, visit theahl.com.
Szydlowski wins ECHL scoring title: Erie Otters graduate Shawn Szydlowski has won the ECHL scoring title. The 27-year-old Fort Wayne Komets forward recorded 79 points including 31 goals and 48 assists over 64 games, helping his club finish the season with a 46-20-5-1 record. The native of St. Clair Shores, Mich., played three seasons with the Erie Otters from 2007-11, recording 94 goals, 103 assists and 197 points over 258 regular season games before signing as a free agent with the Buffalo Sabres at the conclusion of the 2011 season.
Heard named ECHL Player of the Month: Plymouth Whalers graduate Mitchell Heard is the ECHL Player of the Month after recording seven goals, 12 assists and 19 points in 13 games with the Florida Everblades. The 26-year-old native of Bowmanville, Ont. picked up a point in 11 of his 13 games and finished the season with 25 goals, 42 assists and 67 points in 63 games. Heard registered 68 goals, 78 assists and 146 points over 171 regular season games with Plymouth from 2009-13. He was a second round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2012.
Thursday April 12th:
Niagara at Hamilton (Game 5) – 7:00pm
Kitchener at Sarnia (Game 4) – 7:05pm
Kingston at Barrie (Game 5) – 7:30pm
Friday April 13th:
Barrie at Kingston (Game 6) – 7:00pm*
Owen Sound at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 6) – 7:07pm*
Sarnia at Kitchener (Game 5) – 7:30pm
Saturday April 14th:
Hamilton at Niagara (Game 6) – 7:00pm*
Sunday April 15th:
Kitchener at Sarnia (Game 6) – 5:00pm*
Sault Ste. Marie at Owen Sound (Game 7) – 7:00pm*
Monday April 16th:
Niagara at Hamilton (Game 7) – 7:00pm*
Kingston at Barrie (Game 7) – 7:30pm*
Tuesday April 17:
Sarnia at Kitchener (Game 7) – 7:00pm*
Owen Sound at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 7) – 7:07pm*
Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com.