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OHL This Week: Apr. 5 to 8, 2018

 

The second round of the 2018 OHL Playoffs gets underway this week as eight teams remain on the road to the 2018 OHL Championship Series. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the league.

2018 OHL PLAYOFFS – SECOND ROUND SCHEDULE:

The second round of the 2018 Ontario Hockey League Playoffs begins on Wednesday April 4th. The first round wrapped up Sunday with a trio of Game 6 decisions meaning all four Conference Semi-Final matchups are now set and final second round schedules have been confirmed.  For the second straight season, the top four seeds in each conference have advanced. Read more

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW:

Four teams including the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Owen Sound Attack, Kitchener Rangers and Sarnia Sting remain in the playoff hunt in the OHL’s Western Conference. Here’s a closer look at the two OHL Western Conference Semi-Final series getting underway this week. Read more

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW:

The Eastern Conference playoff field has been narrowed down to four teams as the Hamilton Bulldogs, Niagara IceDogs, Barrie Colts and Kingston Frontenacs are left standing. Here’s a closer look at what looks to be two very competitive second round series. 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.

WAWANESA OHL PLAYS OF THE WEEK: FIRST ROUND OHL PLAYOFFS:

It’s a special playoff edition of the Wawanesa OHL Plays of the Week featuring a collection of the league’s best goals and saves from the first round of the 2018 post-season. Watch

OHL PRIORITY SELECTION PRESENTED BY REAL CANADIAN SUPERSTORE PREVIEW GUIDE RELEASED:

The Priority Selection Preview and Media Guide, which features 2017 first overall pick Ryan Suzuki of the Barrie Colts on the cover, includes a complete list of players eligible for the draft as well as statistics, player profiles, and individual team draft history. The printable 42-page pdf guide is downloadable and will open in a new window within your internet browser. More details

TOP PROSPECTS HIGHLIGHTED AHEAD OF 2018 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION PRESENTED BY REAL CANADIAN SUPERSTORE:

The 2018 OHL Priority Selection is fast approaching as 2002-born players from across the province and the United States hope to hear their name called on Saturday April 7th. In preparation for the big day, ontariohockeyleague.com has featured some of the top eligible prospects in a series of short videos.

Get a glimpse of more 2018 OHL Priority Selection prospects with the daily ‘Five to Watch’ feature from Tuesday through Friday. Read more

OHL ANNOUNCES 2017-18 AWARDS FINALISTS:

The Ontario Hockey League has announced the finalists for seven of the league’s major awards for the 2017-18 regular season. 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. Read more

FRONTENACS’ GABRIEL VILARDI NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ AND CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Los Angeles Kings prospect Gabriel Vilardi of the Kingston Frontenacs is both the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week as well as the CHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 1 scoring 10 points in three games including five goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-4. Vilardi recorded a trio of multi-point performances last week featuring an historic triple overtime goal to lead the Frontenacs to a 4-1 first round series victory over the North Bay Battalion. Read more

VOTE ANDREI SVECHNIKOV IN #CIBCSHOWDOWN:

Barrie Colts forward Andrei Svechnikov 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.

67’s CHMELEVSKI SIGNS WITH SHARKS:

The San Jose Sharks have signed Ottawa 67’s forward Sasha Chmelevski to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 18-year-old paced the 67’s in scoring this year, posting 35 goals, 41 assists and 76 points whole also leading the club with 19 power play points. In 160 career OHL games with Ottawa and Sarnia, Chmelevski has recorded 67 goals, 71 assists and 138 points. He was San Jose’s sixth round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Read more

67’s BARRON SIGNS WITH AVALANCHE:

The Colorado Avalanche have signed Ottawa 67’s captain Travis Barron to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 19-year-old wrapped up his fourth OHL season with Ottawa, recording 57 points (21-36–57) over 67 games. The Belfountain, Ont. native registered 149 points (59-90–149) over 250 career OHL contests and was Colorado’s seventh round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Read more

BULLDOGS’ STUDENIC SIGNS WITH DEVILS:

The New Jersey Devils have signed Hamilton Bulldogs forward Marian Studenic to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 19-year-old recorded 48 points (20-28–48) and a plus-24 rating over 62 games in his second OHL season with Hamilton. The native of Holic, Slovakia was New Jersey’s fifth round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Read more

SPIRIT’S CRAWFORD SIGNS TWO-YEAR AHL CONTRACT WITH GRAND RAPIDS:

The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed Saginaw Spirit overage graduate Marcus Crawford to a two-year AHL contract. The 21-year-old will also spend the rest of the 2017-18 season with the club on a tryout basis. Crawford posted career-highs in points (53), goals (13) and assists (40) in 68 games with Saginaw this season. The Ajax, Ont. native recorded 149 points (23-126–149) over his four-year career with the Spirit. Read more

SEVERAL OHL PLAYERS JOIN PROFESSIONAL RANKS:

A number of OHL players have joined the professional ranks following the conclusion of their 2017-18 season. The following players are currently playing at the next level: Travis Barron (Ottawa 67’s/San Antonio Rampage, AHL), Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s/San Jose Barracuda, AHL), Maurizio Colella (Flint Firebirds/Worcester Railers, ECHL), Marcus Crawford (Saginaw Spirit/Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL), Logan DeNoble (Peterborough Petes/Kansas City Mavericks, ECHL), Tye Felhaber (Ottawa 67’s/Laval Rocket, AHL), Alex Formenton (London Knights/Belleville Senators, AHL), Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads/Chicago Wolves, AHL), Nikita Korostelev (Peterborough Petes/Laval Rocket, AHL), Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters/Iowa Wild, AHL), Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters/Rockford IceHogs, AHL), Garrett McFadden (Guelph Storm/Laval Rocket, AHL), Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads/Binghamton Devils, AHL), Kyle Rhodes (Sudbury Wolves/Tulsa Oilers, ECHL), Jalen Smereck (Flint Firebirds/Tucson Roadrunners, AHL), Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads/Springfield Thunderbirds, AHL), Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes/Wichita Thunder, ECHL).

HOCKEY PARENTS – HOME ICE ADVANTAGE PRESENTED BY BUMPER TO BUMPER:

Kahlil & Akilah Thomas – Parents of Niagara IceDogs forward, Akil Thomas – open up and reflect upon their son’s journey to becoming a top NHL Draft prospect. Watch

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.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

Strome, Hronek named to AHL All-Rookie Team: Recent OHL graduates Dylan Strome and Filip Hronek have been named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team for the 2017-18 season. An OHL Champion with the Erie Otters last spring, Strome recorded 50 points (22-28–50) over 47 games with the Tucson Roadrunners this season while also seeing time in 19 NHL games with the Arizona Coyotes while recording eight points (3-5–8). A four-year veteran of the Otters program, Strome finished as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer with 354 points (114-240–354) over 219 career regular season games. Filip Hronek had 33 points (9-24–33) in 62 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins from the back end. The Detroit Red Wings prospect put up 61 points (14-47–61) in his one season with the Saginaw Spirit last season.

9 OHL grads nominated for NHL’s Bill Masterton Trophy: A total of nine OHL graduates have been nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy, a distinction awarded annually by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey. Jakob Chychrun (Arizona Coyotes/Sarnia Sting), Matt Stajan (Calgary Flames/Belleville Bulls), Jordan Staal (Carolina Hurricanes/Peterborough Petes), Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings/Guelph Storm), Austin Watson (Nashville Predators/London Knights), Josh Bailey (New York Islanders/Windsor Spitfires), Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks/Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning/Sarnia Sting) and Devante Smith-Pelly (Washington Capitals/Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors) have all been nominated for the award. Read more at NHL.com.

5 OHL grads nominated for AHL Man of the Year Award: Five different OHL graduates have been nominated for the 2018 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award given to the AHL Humanitarian of the Year. Ryan Hamilton (Bakersfield Condors/Barrie Colts), Tom McCollum (Grand Rapids Griffins/Brampton Battalion), Chris Terry (Laval Rocket/Plymouth Whalers), Dakota Mermis (Tucson Roadrunners/Oshawa Generals) and Tom Kostopoulos (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins/London Knights) have all been nominated for the prestigious award given to the player that best exemplifies outstanding contributions to the local community and charitable organizations during the season. Read more at theahl.com.

Terry named AHL Player of the Month: OHL graduate Chris Terry has been named the AHL Player of the Month for March after the Laval Rocket forward recorded seven goals, 14 assists and a league-leading 21 points over 16 games. Terry picked up a point on 21 of the Rocket’s 39 goals scored during the month. He is ranked second in AHL scoring with 66 points (29-37–66) over 57 games this season. Terry played four seasons with the Plymouth Whalers from 2005-09, recording 289 points (114-175–289) over 253 regular season contests.

Dansk named AHL Goaltender of the Month: Erie Otters graduate Oscar Dansk is the AHL Goaltender of the Month for March. The 24-year-old from Tumba, Sweden went 6-1-2 over nine starts for the Chicago Wolves, registering a 1.75 goals-against average and .941 save percentage with one shutout. The Vegas Golden Knights farmhand is 10-1-3 in 14 outings with the Wolves this season, posting a 2.30 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. Dansk played two seasons with Erie from 2012-14, going 40-32-4-3 with a 3.25 goals-against average, an .897 save percentage and six shutouts.

Kostopoulos to retire at season’s end: London Knights graduate Tom Kostopoulos has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2017-18 season. The captain of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins is currently in his 19th professional campaign and has been limited to just 26 games due to injury, recording 17 points (4-13–17) in the process. The 39-year-old Mississauga, Ont. native is one of four players in hockey history with at least 600 games played in both the NHL and the AHL. Kostopoulos played three seasons for London from 1996-99, reaching Game 7 the OHL Finals in 1999 as the Knights fell to the Belleville Bulls. Kostopoulos finished his OHL tenure with 162 points (64-98–162) in 196 games and was Pittsburgh’s seventh round pick in 1999. Read more at theahl.com.

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday April 5th:
Niagara at Hamilton (Game 1) – 7:00pm
Owen Sound at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 1) – 7:07pm

Friday April 6th: 
Owen Sound at Sault Ste. Marie (Game 2) – 7:07pm
Kingston at Barrie (Game 2) – 7:30pm
Sarnia at Kitchener (Game 1) – 7:30pm

Saturday April 7th:
Niagara at Hamilton (Game 2) – 7:00pm

Sunday April 8th:
Barrie at Kingston (Game 3) – 6:00pm
Sarnia at Kitchener (Game 2) – 7:00pm

 

Be sure to catch all of this weekend’s action at ohllive.com.

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