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OHL This Week: April 11 to 14, 2019

 

There are plenty of fresh faces in new places as both the OHL Priority Selection and OHL Under-18 Priority Selection are in the books. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the Ontario Hockey League this week.

OHL APPOINTS KYLE PEREIRA DIRECTOR OF PLAYER RECRUITMENT:
The Ontario Hockey League announced Thursday the appointment of Kyle Pereira as its Director of Player Recruitment. A 28-year-old from Brampton, Ont, Pereira will be responsible for developing and implementing league recruitment strategy and activities, and liaising with Minor Midget teams across Ontario and parts of the United States. Originally a sixth round pick in the 2007 OHL Priority Selection, Pereira spent four seasons in the league including three as a member of his hometown Battalion from 2008-11 before completing his OHL experience as a member of the Guelph Storm in 2012. Read more

OHL COMPLETES 2019 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION PRESENTED BY REAL CANADIAN SUPERSTORE:
The OHL conducted its 2019 Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore on Saturday. A total of 303 players were selected in the 15-round process from 94 different teams across Ontario and parts of the United States.  The selected players included 174 forwards, 105 defencemen, and 24 goaltenders. Full Recap / First Round Recap / Photo Gallery / Draft Day Takeaways / Interviews & Features

FRONTENACS ANNOUNCE SHANE WRIGHT AS FIRST OVERALL PICK IN 2019 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION:
The Kingston Frontenacs introduced 2019 OHL Priority Selection first overall pick Shane Wright last Friday at Kingston City Hall. Born January 5, 2004, Wright was granted ‘Exceptional Player Status’ by Hockey Canada to be eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection which features 2003-born talents.  The GTHL Minor Midget Player of the Year produced a league leading 150 points in 72 games including 66 goals and 84 assists with the OHL Cup champion Don Mills Flyers. Read more

#OHLDRAFT STORIES: ABRAHAM, CHIARLITTI, McIVOR TOOK DIFFERENT PATHS TO U SPORTS SUCCESS:
Three accomplished defencemen, three very different journeys to successful careers in the U SPORTS Men’s Hockey ranks. Spencer Abraham, Nathan Chiarlitti and Marcus McIvor all took different paths to the OHL, turning in lengthy careers before graduating to the U SPORTS circuit where they each achieved individual and team success while taking advantage of their OHL Education Packages. Read more

FORMER 13TH ROUND PICK BRAZEAU KEPT GETTING BETTER EVERY DAY:
From the 13th round to the top of the OHL goal-scoring department, Justin Brazeau exemplified a North Bay Battalion motto throughout his four-year tenure. After years of hard work and development, the big flank was recently rewarded for his efforts. Brazeau signed a two-year American Hockey League contract with the Toronto Marlies this past week, joining the top affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Read more

OHL COMPLETES 2019 UNDER-18 PRIORITY SELECTION:
The Ontario Hockey League on Wednesday conducted the third annual OHL Under-18 Priority Selection for Midget AAA hockey players in Ontario. A total of 54 players were selected from 35 different teams and included 22 forwards, 18 defencemen, and 14 goaltenders.  51 of the 54 players selected were born in 2002 including 31 with birthdays before September. Read more

GOALTENDERS GO EARLY IN 2019 OHL UNDER-18 PRIORITY SELECTION:
You can never have enough goaltending. Fourteen of 20 OHL member teams selected a goaltender in Wednesday’s 2019 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection, with masked men accounting for five of the opening seven picks led by first overall choice Aidan Spooner of the Barrie Jr. Colts to the Kingston Frontenacs. Read more

FROM 5 TO 50: YANTSIS MAKING THE MOST OF HIS SECOND CHANCE:
From undrafted free agent addition to 50-goal scorer, all in a span of three seasons. After scoring five goals as a sophomore in 2017-18, Jonathan Yantsis returned to Kitchener for his third OHL season and reached the half century mark. The 6-foot-3, 210Ib winger dominated the net-front, cleaning up the ‘garbage’ while helping the Rangers put together the OHL’s top-ranked power play in 2018-19. Read more

U18 DRAFTEES WILSON AND PEARSON FIND ROLES IN OWEN SOUND:
A total of 13 players have reached the Ontario Hockey League through two years of OHL Under-18 Priority Selection picks, and the Owen Sound Attack featured a pair of them this past season. Last year’s first round (15th overall) selection Griffin Wilson and offseason addition Kaleb Pearson who was originally Flint’s second round (29th overall) pick in 2017 both made the jump together. Wilson, of Elora, Ont. and Pearson out of St. Mary’s, Ont. both suited up for the Huron-Perth Lakers Midget AAA program as well as the Stratford Warriors Jr. B club prior to joining the Attack. Read more

FIVE OHL CLUBS HOST SPRING DEVELOPMENT CAMPS:
Several teams across the OHL have completed their Priority Selections and are welcoming prospects and new Draft selections to their facilities this coming weekend. Spring Development Camps give teams an opportunity to meet the newest members of their organization. Visit the following links for more information on upcoming camps: Barrie / Hamilton / Ottawa / Sarnia / Windsor

67’s FELHABER NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Dallas Stars prospect Tye Felhaber of the Ottawa 67’s is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 7 scoring four goals with two assists for six points in two games while recording a plus-minus rating of plus-3. Felhaber becomes the first 67’s player to be recognized this season after producing a pair of multi-point performances to help his club open their Eastern Conference Semi-Final series with two home wins against the Sudbury Wolves. Read more

8 OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S U18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRAINING CAMP:
Eight OHL players will gather in Finland for training camp prior to U18 worlds, scheduled for April 18-28 in Örnsköldsvik and Umeå, Sweden. Players will gather in Kisakallio from April 8-12 for five days of practice before heading to Sweden for two pre-tournament games – April 14 versus Belarus in Umeå and April 15 versus Russia in Örnsköldsvik. Canada will look to claim gold for the first time since 2013 when it kicks off its tournament schedule against Finland on Thursday, April 18 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Read more

KNIGHTS’ BOUCHARD REPRESENTS OHL IN CIBC SHOWDOWN:
London Knights defenceman Evan Bouchard is the OHL’s representative in this week’s CIBC Showdown featuring one great play from all three leagues. Watch & Vote

OHL GOALTENDERS CONTINUE TO RAISE THE BAR IN JANES SAVES OF THE WEEK:
OHL goaltenders continue to raise the bar in this early second round playoffs edition of #JanesSaves. Featured this week is Jordan Kooy of the London Knights, Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Michael DiPietro of the Ottawa 67’s, Ivan Prosvetov of the Saginaw Spirit, Anthony Popovich of the Guelph Storm, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves. Watch

COLTS ANNOUNCE HAWERCHUK EXTENSION, RETURN OF WILLIAMSON IN ADVISORY ROLE: 
The Barrie Colts announced Saturday that the club has re-signed head coach Dale Hawerchuk to a four-year contract extension. The longest serving head coach in Colts franchise history, Hawerchuk recently wrapped up his ninth season behind the Colts bench. The Colts also announced that former head coach and general manager Marty Williamson will be making his return to the club in the role of Senior Advisor to the Director of Hockey Operations. Read more

PETES’ RYAN MERKLEY JOINS AHL’s SAN JOSE BARRACUDA:
San Jose Sharks prospect Ryan Merkley has joined the San Jose Barracuda to finish-off the 2018-19 season. San Jose’s first round (21st overall) pick last summer, Merkley recorded 71 points (14-57–71) over 63 games between Peterborough and Guelph this past season. The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont. was the first overall pick of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection and has recorded 193 points (39-154–193) over 188 career regular season games.

ZACHARY PAPUTSAKIS COMMITS TO GENERALS:
The Oshawa Generals announced Wednesday that goaltender Zachary Paputsakis has committed to an Ontario Hockey League standard player agreement with the team. The Rockland, ON native was a fifth round selection by the Generals in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. This past season, Paputsakis played in the USHS-Prep league for the Kimball Union Academy Wildcats, a team based in Meriden, New Hampshire. He finished the 2018-19 season with a .923 save percentage and 1.81 goals-against average. Read more

XAVIER MEDINA COMMITS TO SPITFIRES:
The Windsor Spitfires have received a commitment from 2018 third round selection Xavier Medina. The native of Detroit, Mich. played in 36 games last season for the Oakland Jr Grizzlies U18s, posting a stellar 1.53 goals against average and a .928 save percentage. Read more

SPORTSNET’S SAM COSENTINO SHARES HIS TOP-31 PROSPECT RANKINGS FOR APRIL:
Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino released his 2019 NHL Draft Top-31 Rankings for the month of April this past week, a list that includes OHL names in Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs), Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads), Ryan Suzuki (Barrie Colts), Philip Tomasino (Niagara IceDogs) and Connor McMichael (London Knights). For the full read visit sportsnet.ca.

TORONTO NATIONALS WIN CENTRAL REGION CHAMPIONSHIP, ADVANCE TO TELUS CUP:
The Toronto Nationals Midget AAA team is headed back to the Telus Cup for a second straight year. The Nats blanked the North Bay Trappers 4-0 in the Championship Final to advance to the annual National Championship that is set to take place in Thunder Bay, Ont. beginning April 22nd. For full details on the 2019 Telus Cup visit hockeycanada.ca.

TORONTO TITANS WIN ALL-ONTARIO BANTAM AAA CHAMPIONSHIP:
The 2019 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore is complete, but a look ahead at next year’s Priority Selection reveals a strong Toronto Titans Bantam AAA team that recently won an All-Ontario title. The Titans defeated the Toronto Marlboros by a score of 6-1 at the Herbert H. Carnegie Centennial Centre to be declared provincial champions. For a full recap visit OHF.ca.

DETROIT LITTLE CAESARS WIN USA HOCKEY TIER I 15-ONLY NATIONAL TITLE:
The Detroit Little Caesars reached the semi-final of the 2019 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour and now they are USA Hockey National Champions, defeating the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies by a score of 4-0 in Plymouth, Mich. For more on the story visit mihockey.com.

2019 MEMORIAL CUP PRESENTED BY KIA SINGLE GAME TICKETS NOW ON SALE:
The 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia host committee is excited to announce that individual tickets are now on sale. Prices range from just $35 to $60 for round-robin games and $50 to $75 for the semi-final and championship final. Tickets will be available at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, online at TicketAtlantic.com, select Superstore outlets or by phone at 902-451-1221. For full details visit chlmemorialcup.ca.

 

ALUMNI NOTES:

95 OHL grads competing in 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: The 2019 NHL Playoffs are off and running and 95 OHL graduates are on a quest for the Stanley Cup. The Calgary Flames lead the way with 11 OHL alumni on their playoff roster while the St. Louis Blues (10), Carolina Hurricanes (9) and Toronto Maple Leafs (8) trail close behind. Full list

Fulcher makes NHL debut: Hamilton Bulldogs graduate and 2018 OHL champion Kaden Fulcher made his NHL debut with the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. The 20-year-old from Brigden, Ont. surrendered two goals on 11 shots in a 28-minute relief appearance against the Buffalo Sabres. Fulcher played to a 15-11-2 record with a 3.00 goals-against average and .899 save percentage in 28 games with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye this past season. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Red Wings in October 2017. Fulcher played parts of three OHL seasons between Sarnia and Hamilton from 2015-18, going 57-44-8-5 with a 3.19 goals-against average and .893 save percentage over 115 regular season games.

Kane in good company with Blackhawks: London Knights graduate Patrick Kane became just the second player in Chicago Blackhawks history to record over 109 points in a season, joining Denis Savard who accomplished the feat four times over the course of his career. Kane finished the season with a career-high 110 points (44-66–110) over 81 contests. The 30-year-old has played 12 seasons in Chicago, racking up 938 points (356-582–938) over 903 regular season games while also winning three Stanley Cups. He sits fourth in Hawks all-time scoring behind Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull and Denis Savard. Kane was the CHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2007, winning the OHL scoring title in London with 145 points (62-83–145).

Nedeljkovic, Verhaeghe, Bracco named AHL First Team All-Stars: Three OHL graduates have been named first team AHL All-Stars, finishing their respective seasons with tremendous numbers. Niagara IceDogs graduate Alex Nedeljkovic played to a 33-9-5 record with the Charlotte Checkers, posting a 2.25 goals-against average and .916 save percentage with four shutouts. Niagara IceDogs graduate Carter Verhaeghe recorded 77 points (31-46–77) over 73 games with the Syracuse Crunch and Windsor Spitfires alumnus Jeremy Bracco put up 78 points (21-57–78) over 73 games with the Toronto Marlies. For more details on their outstanding seasons visit theahl.com.

Houser named ECHL Goaltender of the Year: London Knights graduate and former OHL Goaltender of the Year Michael Houser has been named the ECHL’s top netminder for the 2018-19 season. The Cincinnati Cyclones puckstopper played to a 29-7-5 record with a 2.13 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and two shutouts. Under an AHL contract with Rochester, Houser has appeared in 184 career ECHL games between Cincinnati, Fort Wayne and Manchester. The native of Youngstown, Ohio backstopped the Knights to an OHL Championship in 2012.

Mistele named Ryerson Male Athlete of the Year: Sarnia Sting graduate Matt Mistele has been named Ryerson University’s Male Athlete of the Year. Mistele earned OUA West Division MVP honours this past season and was also a U SPORTS All-Canadian, racking up 20 goals, 30 assists and 50 points over 28 games. The former sixth round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2014 and 2015 Memorial Cup champion wrapped up his third season at Ryerson.

OHL well represented at Acadia Men’s Hockey awards night: The Acadia Axemen Men’s Hockey Team featured five OHL graduates winning 2018-19 season awards including Playoff MVP Cristiano DiGiacinto (Windsor Spitfires), Rookie of the Year Garrett McFadden (Guelph Storm), Defenceman of the Year (Liam Maaskant), MVP and Top Scorer Stephen Harper (Niagara IceDogs) and Most Improved Player Johnny Corneil (Niagara IceDogs).

CHL Leaders – Michael Moffat: After four seasons with the London Knights and Kingston Frontenacs, Michael Moffat is pursuing his education at the University of Waterloo. While many teenagers work part-time jobs to fund their future education, Moffat like many others accessed the CHL’s scholarship fund to cover his five years at Waterloo. Read more

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday April 11th:
Ottawa at Sudbury – 7:05pm (Game 4)
Niagara at Oshawa – 7:05pm (Game 4)
Saginaw at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm (Game 4)

Friday April 12th:
Sault Ste. Marie at Saginaw – 7:05pm (Game 5)*
Guelph at London – 7:30pm (Game 5)*

Saturday April 13th:
Sudbury at Ottawa – 7:00pm (Game 5)*
Oshawa at Niagara – (Game 5)*
London at Guelph – (Game 6)*

Sunday April 14th:
Saginaw at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07pm (Game 6)*

 

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 2019 OHL Playoffs.  Powered by NeuLion, OHL Live provides coverage of all 20 teams in the OHL delivering all games throughout the regular season and playoffs.

Single Round Team Pass Home and Away: $25.99
Playoff All Access : $79.99

*All prices in Canadian dollars

In addition to these packages, OHL Live continues to offer single game passes and are available at a rate of $7.99 per game.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT OHL LIVE AND TO SUBSCRIBE

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