A look at what’s happening in the Ontario Hockey League this week.
OHL HANDS OUT AWARDS FOR 2017-18 SEASON:
The Ontario Hockey League hosted the 2017-18 OHL Awards Ceremony on Wednesday afternoon in the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Great Hall in Toronto. A total of 15 awards were presented with the proceedings streamed live on Facebook Live. Read more
OHL PROSPECTS PUT PHYSICAL ABILITIES ON DISPLAY AT NHL SCOUTING COMBINE:
With the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas less than a month away, NHL teams took the opportunity to get to know eligible prospects off the ice this past week in Buffalo, NY as players engaged in a series of off-ice interviews and physical testing at HarborCenter. A total of 24 OHL players were in attendance, taking part in eight different skill-testing exercises that were evaluated based on a variety of different measuring units. Read more
ICEDOGS’ JONES SIGNS WITH GOLDEN KNIGHTS:
The Vegas Golden Knights have signed Niagara IceDogs forward Ben Jones to a three-year entry level NHL contract. Jones was selected by the Golden Knights in the seventh round (189th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in 68 games with the IceDogs, finishing with 79 points (30 G, 49 A) during the 2017-18 regular season. He also had 12 points (5 G, 7 A) in 10 games for Niagara during the OHL Playoffs. Read more
GREYHOUNDS’ BANNISTER NAMED HEAD COACH OF AHL’s SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE:
The St. Louis Blues announced Tuesday that they’ve named 2018 OHL Coach of the Year Drew Bannister as head coach of the AHL affiliate San Antonio Rampage. Bannister, 44, led the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to a franchise-best 55-7-3-3 mark in 2018, and a Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s regular season champion. Read more
EVAN VIERLING COMMITS TO FIREBIRDS:
The Flint Firebirds announced Tuesday that they’ve received a commitment from 2018 first round (2nd overall) pick Evan Vierling. Vierling, a native of Aurora, Ont., recorded 63 points (27G, 36A) in 33 games last season with the York Simcoe Express Minor Midget AAA hockey team in the Ontario Hockey Minor Association-Eastern Toronto Area (OMHA-ETA). Read more
NOLAN SEED COMMITS TO ATTACK:
The Owen Sound Attack has received a commitment from 2018 first round (15th overall) selection Nolan Seed. The Attack’s first round pick had a highly successful season with the Smiths Falls Bears Midget team, collecting five goals, 17 assists and 22 points in 37 games while being named the HEO circuit’s Top Defenceman. Read more
LLEYTON MOORE COMMITS TO ICEDOGS:
The Niagara IceDogs have received a commitment from 2018 first round (12th overall) selection Lleyton Moore. The 5-foot-8 defenceman was dominant in minor midget as a member of the GTHL Champion Toronto Marlboros team. He showed off his offensive capabilities with 16 goals and 50 points over 54 games. Read more
STORM NAMES ISAAC RATCLIFFE CAPTAIN FOR 2018-19:
Guelph Storm head coach and GM George Burnett named Philadelphia Flyers prospect Isaac Ratcliffe the 28th captain in franchise history on Tuesday. Ratcliffe is entering his fourth season with the Storm after being drafted by the club in the first round of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection. In 180 games he has collected 135 points, highlighted by last season’s career-high 68 points in 67 games played. Read more
OHL ALUMNI COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER FOR 3RD ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC:
The wind was blowing on an overcast day at Devil’s Pulpit Golf Club but the rain held off for the 3rd annual OHL Alumni Association Golf Tournament on Monday in Caledon, Ont. The sold out charity event featured 144 golfers from across the OHL Alumni community spanning all 20 member teams in addition to past and present members of the league’s officiating ranks. Read more
OHL HOSTS 5TH ANNUAL COACHES CONFERENCE:
A group of enthusiastic, inspired coaches from across Ontario’s minor hockey ranks gathered on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa on Saturday for a day of learning and exchanging ideas as the 5th Annual OHL Coaches Conference. The event put together by OHL Director of Hockey Development and Special Events Joe Birch included upwards of 80 coaches in attendance in addition to goaltending instructors from across the province. Read more
ICEDOGS DONATE $22,080 TO CROHN’S & COLITIS CANADA:
The Niagara IceDogs are proud to announce that they have donated $22,080 to Crohn’s & Colitis Canada through the proceeds of their St. Patrick’s Day Jersey Auction. IceDogs forward Sam Miletic’s jersey went to the highest bidder at a record breaking price of $2,000. Edmonton Oilers draft pick Kirill Maksimov followed closely behind at $1,750, while IceDogs assistant captains Ben Jones and Akil Thomas both saw their jerseys sell at $1,300 each. Read more
ATTACK SEEKING COMMUNITY RELATIONS COORDINATOR:
The Owen Sound Attack is looking for an enthusiastic marketing professional to fill the role of Community Relations Coordinator. The Community Relations Coordinator will be responsible the entirety of the club’s media and public relations matters while also leading the charitable endeavours of the team. Read more
TRIO OF OHL COMMUNITIES HEADLINE ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY SCHEDULE:
Hitting the road for its fifth annual coast-to-coast tour this fall, Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour unveiled five communities where special milestones will be celebrated during the 2018-19 season. Canada’s ultimate touring hockey festival will open in Kitchener with a special three-day celebration from October 5 to 7, and will also travel cross-country to mark special occasions in London (October 20-21) and Mississauga (December 22-23) along the 25-stop season. Complete tour details, including full schedule, remaining communities, broadcast matchups and festival information, will be announced later this summer.
WHISTLES TO WHEELS RIDING TO CONQUER CANCER:
A team of more than 20 OHL Officials will be hitting the streets this weekend in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 200km cycling journey on Saturday and Sunday raising funds for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The team, Whistles to Wheels, have committed to raising $62,500 and are riding in honour of their mentor and good friend Ken Bodendistel. Click here for more information about the team and to make a donation.
McCollum becomes winningest goalie in Griffins franchise history: OHL graduate Tom McCollum, who remains the league’s all-time record holder with 16 career shutouts, became the winningest goaltender in Grand Rapids Griffins franchise history this past season. The 28-year-old native of Sanborn, NY had spent parts of nine seasons with the AHL club dating back to 2009-10 after he was a first round pick of the Detroit Red Wings in 2008. McCollum has 123 career wins as a Griffin and also leads the team in all-time games played (263) and saves (6,640). McCollum played three OHL seasons between Guelph and Brampton from 2006-09. Get a closer look at his impressive career numbers at detroitredwings.com.
Nedeljkovic rebounds from tough rookie season with stellar sophomore campaign: Niagara IceDogs graduate Alex Nedeljkovic has just come off an impressive sophomore season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. The 22-year-old played to a 31-12-3 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage, marked improvements over his rookie totals from 2016-17. He proceeded to appear in eight playoff games, going 4-4 with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. Nedeljkovic was a second round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2014 and played four OHL seasons between Plymouth and Niagara from 2012-16. Read more on his season in Charlotte at gocheckers.com.