The Acadie-Bathurst Titan were crowned 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup champions to wrap-up the 2017-18 season. Here’s a look at what’s happening off the ice and in the alumni world of the Ontario Hockey League.
ACADIE-BATHURST TITAN WIN 100TH MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP:
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan blanked the host Regina Pats 3-0 to be crowned 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup champions, hoisting the prestigious trophy for the first time in franchise history. The Titan played to an overall record of 3-1, outscoring opponents 17-12 to be crowned the QMJHL’s first Mastercard Memorial Cup champion since 2013 when the Halifax Mooseheads captured national supremacy three hours north in Saskatoon. Read more
BULLDOGS CELEBRATE WITH FANS AT HAMILTON CITY HALL:
The 2018 OHL Champion Hamilton Bulldogs brought the J. Ross Robertson Cup to Hamilton City Hall on Tuesday, celebrating with over 300 faithful fans on a warm, sunny day in Steeltown. Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger and Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer spoke to the crowd to lead off the proceedings before head coach John Gruden, president and general manager Steve Staios and team captain Justin Lemcke had an opportunity to say thank you. Read more
BULLDOGS’ FULCHER NAMED MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP TOP GOALTENDER:
Hamilton Bulldogs goaltender Kaden Fulcher received the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the Most Outstanding Goaltender at the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup. The Detroit Red Wings prospect led all netminders with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage along with a 2-2 record. Read more
FOUR OHL STANDOUTS EARN 2017-18 CHL AWARDS:
OHL standouts Drew Bannister (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads), Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) and Garrett McFadden (Guelph Storm) received CHL Awards this past weekend at the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Regina, Saskatchewan. Bannister earned the Brian Kilrea CHL Coach of the Year Award, Hague was named the CHL’s Top Defencemen, Svechnikov was tabbed as the league’s Top NHL Draft Prospect and McFadden earned Humanitarian of the Year honours. Read more
24 OHL PLAYERS INVITED TO 2018 NHL SCOUTING COMBINE:
24 OHL players have been invited to the 2018 NHL Scouting Combine that is being held from Sunday May 27th to Saturday June 2nd at First Niagara Center and the nearby HarborCenter in Buffalo, NY. The list of OHL invitees includes 14 forwards, nine defencemen and one goaltender. OHL talent represents 23% of the 104 players invited to attend the event. Read more
SPITFIRES’ DiPIETRO SIGNS WITH CANUCKS:
The Vancouver Canucks announced Thursday that they’ve signed Windsor Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro to a three-year entry level NHL contract. The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion played to a 29-21-3-1 record this past season, earning OHL Goaltender of the Year honours with a 2.79 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage with seven shutouts. He also represented Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championship. Read more
JEAN-LUC FOUDY COMMITS TO SPITFIRES:
The Windsor Spitfires have received a commitment from 2018 first round (10th overall) selection Jean-Luc Foudy. Foudy spent the season with the GTHL’s Toronto Titans, posting 25 goals and 35 assists in 52 regular season games. The younger brother of London Knights forward Liam Foudy, Jean-Luc comes from an athletic family that features a father who played in the CFL and a mother who was a Canadian track and field Olympian. Read more
PETERS AND VRBETIC COMMIT TO BATTALION:
The North Bay Battalion announced at the conclusion of Orientation Camp on Sunday that they’ve received commitments from 2018 second round selections Cameron Peters (29th overall) and Joe Vrbetic (31st overall). A 15-year-old centreman, Peters spent the 2017-18 season with the GTHL champion Toronto Marlboros minor midgets, recording 27 goals, 33 assists and 60 points in 59 games. A 6-foot-4.5, 170Ib. goaltender, Vrbetic spent the season with the GTHL’s Don Mills Flyers minor midgets. Read more
RANGERS TO HOST PRESEASON SHOWCASE AUG. 31 – SEPT. 2:
The Kitchener Rangers announced Tuesday that they’ll a Preseason Showcase at The Aud from August 31st to September 2nd that will also feature OHL opponents in the Saginaw Spirit and North Bay Battalion as well as the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats. All teams will meet over the course of the weekend, with three games per team for a total of six weekend matchups. All proceeds from the event will go to support the Children’s Wish Foundation. Read more
OHL COACHES CONFERENCE SET FOR SATURDAY JUNE 2ND:
The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to hold the 5th annual OHL Coaches Conference providing minor hockey coaches the opportunity to learn from OHL, AHL, and NHL personnel in an interactive professional development day. The event will be held on Saturday June 2, 2018 on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa, ON. Programs are open to any coach registered within the OHF, OHA, OWHA, HEO, or HNO, coaching Pee-Wee ‘AAA’, Minor Bantam and Major Bantam ‘AE to AAA’, Minor Midget and Midget ‘AE to AAA’ and all levels of junior hockey. Read more
3RD ANNUAL OHL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT FAST APPROACHING:
The 3rd Annual OHL Alumni Association Golf Tournament is fast approaching, set to take place on Monday June 4th at the Devil’s Pulpit Golf Club in Caledon, Ont. Proceeds from this year’s tournament will be donated to the Bryan Bickell Foundation, which helps patients living with Multiple Sclerosis. Read more
Eight OHL grads competing in Stanley Cup Final: Eight OHL graduates are competing for hockey’s ultimate prize beginning Friday night in Vegas as the expansion Golden Knights continue their storybook run against the Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals who have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998. The Capitals feature OHL grads in Andre Burakovsky (Erie Otters), John Carlson (London Knights), Devante Smith-Pelly (Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors), Tom Wilson (Plymouth Whalers) and goaltender Philipp Grubauer (Belleville/Windsor/Kingston). Across the ice, the Golden Knights include OHL grads James Neal (Plymouth Whalers), Colin Miller (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) and goaltender Malcolm Subban (Belleville Bulls). Read more
Ten OHL grads competing in Calder Cup Final: The Texas Stars and Toronto Marlies are set to square off in the 2018 Calder Cup Final of the AHL Playoffs, a series that will feature 10 OHL graduates. The first place Marlies feature seven OHL alumni including 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener/Windsor), Richard Clune (Sarnia/Barrie), Travis Dermott (Erie Otters), Jean Dupuy (Kingston/Sault Ste. Marie), Alex Gudbranson (Kingston/Sault Ste. Marie), Mason Marchment (Erie/Hamilton/Mississauga) and goaltender Garret Sparks (Guelph Storm). Across the ice, the Stars include Remi Elie (London/Belleville/Erie), Jason Dickinson (Guelph Storm) and Kingston Frontenacs forward Jason Robertson. Read more
Seven OHL grads competing in Kelly Cup Final: Seven OHL graduates are competing in the 2018 ECHL Championship for the Kelly Cup. Ottawa 67’s captain Travis Barron has made the jump to the ECHL, competing for the Colorado Avalanche’s ECHL affiliate while six OHL grads in Nelson Armstrong (Peterborough Petes), Mitchell Heard (Plymouth Whalers), Justin Kea (Saginaw Spirit), Steven Lorentz (Peterborough Petes), Kyle Neuber (Toronto/Mississauga/Sarnia) and Clark Seymour (Kingston/Peterborough). Read more
Palmu signs with Canucks: Owen Sound Attack graduate Petrus Palmu has signed a three-year entry level NHL contract with the Vancouver Canucks. A 20-year-old from Joensuu, Finland, Palmu spent last season with TPS Turku of Finland’s top professional league, recording 36 points (17-19–36) over 59 games. He played three seasons in Owen Sound, wrapping up his last season in 2016-17 with 40 goals, 58 assists and 98 points in 62 games. He was Vancouver’s sixth round pick in 2017.
Robinson signs with NLL’s Rochester Knighthawks: Kitchener Rangers graduate Brandon Robinson is chasing a new title with the National Lacrosse League’s Rochester Knighthawks who are competing against the Saskatchewan Rush for the NLL Cup. The 22-year-old from Pickering, Ont., was acquired by Rochester after being originally selected by New England, 33rd overall, in 2016, and recently joined the club’s practice squad. The two-sport athlete just finished his second season with the Laurier Golden Hawks after spending five seasons in the OHL with Brampton/North Bay and Kitchener between 2011-16 amassing 163 points in 276 games.
Van Ryn joins Blues as assistant coach: Sarnia Sting graduate and former Kitchener Rangers head coach Mike Van Ryn is joining the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach to begin the 2018-19 season. Van Ryn, who patrolled the blue line with St. Louis from 2000-03, spent this past season as the head coach of the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners, guiding the Arizona Coyotes affiliate to a 42-20-5-1 finish for first place in the Pacific Division. The Roadrunners reached the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs before falling in five games to the Texas Stars. Van Ryn, 39, played with Sarnia during the 1999-00 season and spent three years with the Kitchener Rangers, leading as head coach in 2015-16.
Theriault, Pearson, McCrory inducted into Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame: Three prominent OHL names from the past were inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame at the Tribute Communities Centre on Wednesday. Long-time Generals bench boss Paul Theriault, who guided the club to OHL Championships in 1983 and 1987 spent parts of 14 seasons as a head coach in the OHL, taking other assignments with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Erie Otters. He finished with 476 career OHL victories, the ninth-most in league history. A member of the 1987 Generals, McCrory won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Top Scorer), William Hanley Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike) and Red Tilson Trophy (Most Outstanding Player) in the OHL that season and still holds the Generals franchise record for most assists in a season with 99. Pearson was also inducted into the hall as a member of the 1987-88 Oshawa Kiwanis midget team before putting up 109 points in just 41 games with the Generals in 1991, leading the team to an appearance in the OHL Championship. He played 269 career NHL contests and is now the head coach and general manager of the OJHL’s Whitby Fury.