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OHL This Week: May 23 to June 2, 2019

 

The OHL champion Guelph Storm saw their storybook season come to an end in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here’s a look at that and more in the OHL This Week.

6TH ANNUAL OHL COACHES CONFERENCE:
Sixty coaches from across the province converged on Oshawa Saturday for the 6th Annual OHL Coaches Conference held on the campus of UOIT. Six different presenting speakers spoke on a wide variety of subject matter ranging from coach development and growth to identifying effective ways to generate more offence out of defencemen. Read more

14 OHL PLAYERS TAKE PART IN NHL SCOUTING COMBINE:
Fourteen of the OHL’s top draft eligible prospects headed to Buffalo over the weekend for the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine looking to make an impression on clubs ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft set for June 21-22 in Vancouver, BC. The 14 OHL players were part of a list of 108 attending the annual evaluation session that pairs physical testing with teams getting a chance to interview prospects of their choosing over the course of the weekend. Read more

ROUYN-NORANDA HUSKIES ARE 2019 MEMORIAL CUP PRESENTED BY KIA CHAMPIONS:
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies are Memorial Cup Presented by Kia champions for the first time in franchise history, demonstrating true resilience in overcoming a 2-0 deficit to defeat the host Halifax Mooseheads 4-2 before a crowd of 10,595. Félix Bibeau, Joël Teasdale, Peter Abbandonato and Vincent Marleau found the back of the net for the Huskies as Rouyn-Noranda scored four unanswered, outshooting Halifax 35-25. Full Recap

STORM TRIO RECEIVES MEMORIAL CUP PRESENTED BY KIA HONOURS:
Guelph Storm veterans Isaac Ratcliffe, Sean Durzi and Nick Suzuki have been included in Memorial Cup Awards & All-Star selections. Suzuki was named the Tournament’s Most Sportsmanlike Player while Durzi and Ratcliffe were both named to the Tournament All-Star Team. Read more

STORM JOIN FANS TO CELEBRATE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON:
The Guelph Storm celebrated an unforgettable championship run with a large gathering of loyal supporters on Monday afternoon in downtown Guelph. A group of approximately 450 fans showed up for Monday’s parade and celebration that gathered in Market Square where Guelph mayor Cam Guthrie, Storm captain Isaac Ratcliffe, GM/head coach George Burnett, and team owner Rick Gaetz addressed those on hand. Read more | Watch

STORM’S THRILLING RIDE COMES TO AN END IN SEMI-FINAL LOSS TO ROUYN-NORANDA:
A pair of third period goals from Felix Bibeau turned out to be the difference in a highly entertaining back-and-forth Semi-Final matchup as the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies are headed to Sunday’s Memorial Cup Final following a 6-4 win. The OHL champion Storm see their thrilling ride come to an end, finally losing an elimination game after rattling off seven in a row throughout the OHL Playoffs to win their fourth J. Ross Robertson Cup title in franchise history. Full recap

ICEDOGS’ ROBERTSON WINS EMERA CHL TOP SCORER AWARD:
Niagara IceDogs left-wing Jason Robertson led the CHL with 117 points in 62 games, counting 48 goals and 69 assists to help guide his club to a second-place regular-season finish in the OHL’s Eastern Conference. Read more

WOLVES’ BYFIELD WINS WAWANESA CHL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD:
Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves put together an incredible freshman campaign that saw him produce at nearly a point-per-game pace as he notched 29 goals and 32 assists across 64 appearances to finish third in scoring among OHL freshmen. He was equally impressive in the postseason as he put up eight points in eight games to help the Wolves win their first playoff series since 2013. Read more

OHL UNVEILS 2018-19 ALL-STAR TEAMS:
The Ontario Hockey League announced Wednesday the First, Second, and Third Team All-Star selections for the 2018-19 campaign. The OHL All-Star Teams were selected by the OHL’s General Managers upon completion of the regular season schedule. Read more

HULL, FOSTER AND HUNTER TO COACH CANADA’S NATIONAL UNDER-17 TEAMS:
OHL coaches Jody Hull, Kurtis Foster and Dylan Hunter have been selected to lead Canada’s National Under-17 teams in November. Niagara IceDogs assistant coach Jody Hull will serve as head coach of Team Canada Black. Kingston Frontenacs head coach Kurtis Foster will serve as an assistant coach with Team Canada Red. London Knights assistant coach Dylan Hunter has been named an assistant coach with Hull’s Team Canada Black. Read more

FEDOR GORDEEV SIGNS WITH WILD:
On Thursday the Minnesota Wild made a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs acquiring the rights to Fedor Gordeev then promptly signed the Guelph Storm defenceman to a three-year entry-level contract. Gordeev was originally chosen by the Leafs in the fifth round of the 2017 NHL Draft and helped the Storm capture an OHL title with three points in 23 post-season appearances. Read more

TOP PROSPECTS WRIGHT, ARCURI AND CALLENS COMMIT TO FRONTENACS:
The Kingston Frontenacs have received commitments from 2019 first overall pick Shane Wright and fellow top prospects Francesco Arcuri and Maddox Callens. Wright was the first overall pick of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection while Don Mills Flyers teammate Arcuri was Kingston’s second round (27th overall) selection. The Fronts selected Brantford 99ers forward Callens with the third round (43rd overall) pick. Read more

FIFTH OVERALL PICK MASON McTAVISH COMMITS TO PETES:
The Peterborough Petes have received a commitment from 2019 first round (5th overall) selection Mason McTavish. McTavish, a 5’11”, 194lbs centre, played for the Pembroke Midget AAA Lumber Kings during the 2018-19 season. In 41 games he recorded 47 goals, 32 assists, 79 points and 109 penalty minutes. His team advanced to the 2019 Central Region Telus Cup Championship where Mason enjoyed a strong tournament, tallying 5 goals, 3 assists, and 8 points in 4 games. Read more

JACOB HOLMES COMMITS TO GREYHOUNDS:
The Soo Greyhounds have received a commitment from 2019 first round (18th overall) selection Jacob Holmes. The 6-foot-1 defenceman from Alliston, Ont. recorded seven goals, 10 assists and 17 points over 33 regular season games with the York-Simcoe Express Minor Midgets. He also represented Team Ontario at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. Read more

DANIEL MICHAUD COMMITS TO GENERALS:
The Oshawa Generals have received a commitment from 2019 second round (23rd overall) pick Daniel Michaud. The Belleville, Ont. native was a member of the Quinte Red Devils Minor Midget AAA during the 2018-19 season where he tallied 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points in 36 games played. Read more

AVON AND GURYEV COMMIT TO PETES:
The Peterborough Petes have received commitments from local first round selection J.R. Avon and high second round pick Artem Guryev. Avon, a 2003-born centre, was selected by the Petes in the 1st round, 11th overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. In 35 games with the Peterborough Minor Midget AAA Petes last season, Avon tallied 24 goals, 25 assists, and 49 points. Guryev, a 2003-born defenceman, was selected by the Petes in the 2nd round, 22nd overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. The 6’2.5”, 192lbs Russian rearguard recorded 9 goals, 28 assists, and 37 points in 70 games with the Toronto Minor Midget AAA Toronto Marlboros. Read more

KAVANAGH AND PATEY COMMIT TO PETES:
A busy off-season of signings continued in Peterborough with official commitments from defenceman Josh Kavanagh and forward Cole Patey. Chosen by the Petes in the fifth round, Kavanagh played 18 games for the Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves where he contributed 25 points. Patey was picked in the sixth round from the North Central Predators where he scored 43 points in 29 games in addition to playing for Team Ontario at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Read more

ARNSBY, CHRISTOPOULOS TWINS ENLIST WITH BATTALION:
The North Bay Battalion have received commitments from top 2019 selections Liam Arnsby, Paul Christopoulos and Alex Christopoulos. All three players were members of the OHL Cup champion Don Mills Flyers. The ninth overall pick of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, Arnsby recorded 30 points (7-23–30) on the campaign while second round (38th overall) pick Paul Christopoulos and third round (50th overall) pick Alex Christopoulos were also key contributors. Read more

JOSH BLOOM COMMITS TO SPIRIT:
The Saginaw Spirit have received a commitment from 2019 second round (30th overall) selection Josh Bloom. Bloom, 15, spent the 2018-19 season with the Toronto Young Nationals, scoring 85 points (44 goals and 41 assists) in 67 games. The 6’1, 165-pound left-wing also represented Team Ontario in the 2019 Canada Winter Games, winning a silver medal while scoring six assists in six games. Read more

DECLAN McDONNELL COMMITS TO RANGERS:
The Kitchener Rangers have received a commitment from 2018 third round pick Declan McDonnell. The 17-year-old from Lake View, NY dressed for the Buffalo Junior Sabres last season where he registered 18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points in 54 games played. Read more

HOUNDS RECEIVE COMMITMENT FROM FREE AGENT TANNER DICKINSON:
The Soo Greyhounds have received a commitment from 17-year-old free agent forward Tanner Dickinson. The 6-foot, 155Ib. forward played this past season with the Detroit Belle Tire Major Midget U18 program where he had 36 goals and 67 assists (103 points) in 71 games played leading the entire Tier 1 Elite Hockey League regular season in points-per-game. He also appeared in eight games for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. Read more

MAILLOUX AND McCUE COMMIT TO KNIGHTS:
A pair of second round OHL Priority Selection picks announced official commitments to the London Knights including defenceman Logan Mailloux and forward Max McCue.  Mailloux was chosen 33rd overall from the Toronto Marlboros where he produced 44 points in 67 games, with McCue picked one spot later at 34th overall from the Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves where he accumulated 41 points in 24 games. Read more

CAMERON SNOW COMMITS TO ICEDOGS:
2018 OHL Priority Selection pick Cameron Snow has committed to the Niagara IceDogs following a 2018-19 season with the Midget Prep team at The Hill Academy where he collected an impressive 101 points in 57 games played. The 5’8” centreman who played his minor midget season with the Barrie Jr. Colts was a seventh round pick by the club a year ago. Read more

OWEN BENNETT COMMITS TO STORM:
The 2019 OHL Champion Guelph Storm added to their goaltending depth with the commitment of 2018 OHL Priority Selection pick Owen Bennett. The Georgetown native was chosen by the club in the fourth round a year ago from the Halton Hurricanes and played this past season with the Carleton Place Jr. Canadians where he posted a 17-10 record with a 2.48 goals-against-average and a .909 save percentage in the CCHL2 circuit. Read more

FIREBIRDS HIRE OHL GRAD LEE JINMAN AS PLAYER DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT:
The Flint Firebirds have hired OHL graduate and long-time pro Lee Jinman as the club’s Player Development Consultant. Jinman, 43, will help oversee and support the progress of prospects throughout the Firebirds system, working with Firebirds drafted players at all levels from junior hockey to Midget AAA.  He will skate with Firebirds’ prospects on the ice, improving skill development and assisting in player evaluation.  Read more

OHL SPRING DEVELOPMENT CAMPS CONTINUE:
Spring Development Camps give teams an opportunity to meet the newest members of their organization, and offer prospects and their families the opportunity to visit team facilities and the community. Check out information on last weekend’s camps in Kingston and North Bay while June opened with camps hosted by Niagara and Sault Ste. Marie.

U15 POE CAMPS WRAP UP WITH STOP IN SUDBURY:
The last of five spring OHF/OHL U15 Program of Excellence Camps took place in Sudbury May 24-26.  The goal of the program is to introduce players, families and staff to high performance hockey,  Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence and the Ontario Hockey League by creating a unique and special life and hockey experience for all players and staff involved. Details

CANADE RECOGNIZED BY PARLIAMENT:
2019 Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy winner Nicholas Canade earned further recognition for his humanitarian efforts. The Mississauga Steelheads forward recently visited Queen’s Park where he met Minister of Sport Michael Tibollo, Mississauga Lakeshore MPP Rudy Cuzzetto, and Premier Doug Ford. Photo

ALUMNI NOTES:

Blues’ Thomas chasing another championship: Former Memorial Cup and OHL champion Robert Thomas of the St. Louis Blues is one of 14 OHL grads listed on Stanley Cup Final rosters. The Hamilton Bulldogs graduate and former Memorial Cup champion with the London Knights put in a solid rookie season with the St. Louis Blues and has helped the franchise return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970. Read more

13 OHL grads competing in Calder Cup Final: The American Hockey League Championship is underway featuring the Charlotte Checkers and the Chicago Wolves with plenty of former OHL talents on both sides. The Checkers are the top affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and boast nine OHL alumni including AHL Goaltender of the Year Alex Nedeljkovic who finished a stellar OHL career with the Niagara IceDogs in 2016. The Wolves are affiliated with the Vegas Golden Knights and feature four OHL graduates including 2018 OHL Defenceman of the Year Nic Hague from the Mississauga Steelheads. Read more

OHL coaching grads Smith, McFarland land new NHL assignments: Three-time Memorial Cup champion DJ Smith has been named head coach of the Ottawa Senators while assistant Paul McFarland has joined the Toronto Maple Leafs. Read more

Boughner re-joins Sharks as assistant coach: After two seasons as head coach of the Florida Panthers, Bob Boughner is returning to his role as assistant coach of the San Jose Sharks. Boughner posted an 80-62-22 record in his two seasons with the Panthers. Before joining the Sharks in 2015, he was head coach of the Windsor Spitfires, guiding the team to back-to-back Memorial Cup titles in 2009 and 2010. He served as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2010-11 season. Boughner will work under head coach Peter DeBoer in San Jose along with another former OHL bench boss in assistant Steve Spott.

Keefe signs two-year extension with Marlies: 2015 OHL Coach of the Year Sheldon Keefe will continue behind the bench with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies after signing a two-year contract extension. The former Soo Greyhounds bench boss and has spent the past four seasons with the Marlies with an overall regular season record of 189-87-20-1 leading the team to the franchise’s first Calder Cup championship in 2018.

Nine past and present OHL players competing in 2019 Kelly Cup Final: Nine past and present OHL players are competing in the 2019 Kelly Cup Final for the ECHL Championship. The Newfoundland Growlers, ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Toledo Walleye, affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings in a Championship series that gets underway on Saturday night in St. John’s, Nfld. Read more

IceDogs’ Sparre accepts coaching position in Austria: The Niagara IceDogs announced Thursday that assistant coach Kris Sparre has accepted a coaching position with EC Red Bull Salzburg. The OHL graduate who played parts of three seasons between Barrie and Mississauga from 2005-08 had been an assistant with the IceDogs since 2016. For more on the story visit niagaraicedogs.net.

OHL grads earn silver at worlds: Eight former OHL stars represented Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship returning home with silver medals. Goaltenders Mackenzie Blackwood (New Jersey Devils/Barrie Colts 2016) and Matt Murray (Pittsburgh Penguins/Soo Greyhounds 2014), defenceman Darnell Nurse (Edmonton Oilers/Soo Greyhounds 2015), and forwards Tyler Bertuzzi (Detroit Red Wings/Guelph Storm 2015), Anthony Cirelli (Tampa Bay Lightning/Erie Otters 2017), Adam Henrique (Anaheim Ducks/Windsor Spitfires 2010), Jared McCann (Pittsburgh Penguins/Soo Greyhounds 2015), and Dylan Strome (Chicago Blackhawks/Erie Otters 2017) all competed in Slovakia following their NHL seasons.  Canada fell to Finland 3-1 in the final.

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