Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in March 2018, including Barrie Colts forwards Dmitry Sokolov and Andrei Svechnikov, Mississauga Steelheads defenceman Nicolas Hague and Sarnia Sting goaltender Justin Fazio.
OHL Player of the Month – Dmitry Sokolov (Barrie Colts):
Minnesota Wild prospect Dmitry Sokolov of the Barrie Colts is the OHL Player of the Week for March after leading all players with 20 points including eight goals and 12 assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-12. Sokolov had point in all eight of his March contests, recording multi-point outputs in all but one to carry a 16-game point streak into the post-season. The Russian winger eared first star honours in a 6-3 win at Hamilton on Mar. 7th, recording a goal and two assists. The month was further highlighted by a pair of multi-goal performances on Mar. 8th with four points (2-2–4) in a 6-5 loss to Owen Sound and again on Mar. 10th with a pair of markers in a 6-4 win over Peterborough. Sokolov scored his 50th goal of the season in a three-point (1-2–3) showing on Mar. 16th at Sudbury as the Colts defeated his former club, the Sudbury Wolves 6-4.
A 19-year-old native of Omsk, Russia, Sokolov wrapped up his third OHL season tied with teammate Aaron Luchuk for the league goal-scoring lead. Sokolov lit the lamp 50 times and added 46 assists for 96 points over 64 contests, scoring 30 of his goals over just 29 games with the Barrie Colts. The 6-foot, 206Ib. winger has recorded 220 points (128-92–220) over a 196-game OHL career after being Sudbury first round (3rd overall) pick in the 2015 CHL Import Draft. He was Minnesota’s seventh round (196th overall) pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads):
For the second time this season, Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nicolas Hague of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL Defenceman of the Month after leading all blueliners with 12 points including five goals and seven assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-5. Hague had at least a point in all eight of his March contests, recording multi-point totals in four of those games. His month was headlined by a two-goal, record-breaking night on Mar. 16th in an important 5-2 win over the Ottawa 67’s. Hague scored his 34th and 35th goals of the season for his 76th point, surpassing the prior single-season points record of 75 held by Alexander Nylander (2015-16) and teammate Owen Tippett (2016-17). The win kept the Steelheads from falling any lower than seventh, where they finished in the Eastern Conference. Hague carries an 11-game point streak into the 2018 OHL Playoffs where the Steelheads will square off with the Barrie Colts.
A 19-year-old native of Kitchener, Ont., Hague finished the season as Mississauga’s leading scorer with 78 points including 35 goals and 43 assists over 67 games. Mississauga’s all-time leader in points by a defenceman, Hague set a single-season franchise record for goals by a blueliner when he scored his 21st back on Jan. 5th against Kitchener. His 35 goals are the most by an OHL defenceman since Kingston’s Chris Allen scored 38 during the 1997-98 season. Hague represented Team OHL in the 2017 CIBC Canada-Russia Series back in November and was a second round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights this past summer. He was Mississauga’s second round pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.
OHL Rookie of the Month – Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts):
For the fourth time this season, Barrie Colts forward Andrei Svechnikov is the OHL Rookie of the Month after leading all newcomers with 17 points including nine goals and eight assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-10. The Russian winger produced points in all eight of his March contests, scoring twice on three different occasions. Svechnikov collected three points (2-1–3) in an 8-3 win over the Kingston Frontenacs on Mar. 3rd before embarking on a big weekend that saw him collect three goals and five assists over three contests from Mar. 7th to 10th. He tied a season-high with four points (2-2–4) in a 6-4 win over the Sudbury Wolves on Mar. 16th. Svechnikov enters the playoffs on an OHL season-high 23-game point streak dating back to Jan. 18th. He becomes the first player to earn four different OHL Rookie of the Month honours in one season since Ottawa’s Travis Konecny did so during the 2013-14 season.
A 17-year-old native of Barnaul, Russia, Svechnikov led OHL rookies in both goals (40) and points (72) over just 44 games. His 40 goals are the most by an OHL rookie since Erie’s Alex DeBrincat scored 51 in 2015. Svechnikov represented Russia at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, recording five assists in as many games against much older competition. The top-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s January Midterm Rankings, Svechnikov represented Team Orr at the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Guelph. He was the first overall pick of the 2017 CHL Import Draft.
Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting):
For the second time this season, Sarnia Sting netminder Justin Fazio is the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month. The fourth-year veteran played to a 4-1-0-0 record with a 2.76 goals-against average and .927 save percentage over five games. Fazio opened the month with a 25-save effort, helping the Sarnia Sting earn a franchise record 43rd victory over the Owen Sound Attack on Mar. 4th. His March performance was highlighted by a pair of 40-save efforts, with the first coming in a 2-1 win over the Guelph Storm on Mar. 10th. He turned in another 40-save effort in his final start of the season on Mar. 16th as the Sting defeated the London Knights 4-2. Fazio earned a pair of first star honours and was recognized as second star once in March.
A 20-year-old native of Sarnia, Ont., Fazio finished the season with a 37-11-3-0 record, a 2.85 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He concluded his OHL regular season career as the Sting franchise’s winningest goaltender at 92-62-10-3 with a 3.26 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. He was originally Sarnia’s fourth round (60th overall) pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.
2017-18 OHL Performers of the Month:
Player of the Month:
March – Dmitry Sokolov (Barrie Colts)
February – Aaron Luchuk (Barrie Colts)
January – Sam Miletic (Niagara IceDogs)
December – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
November – Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
October – Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Defenceman of the Month:
March – Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads)
February – Evan Bouchard (London Knights)
January – Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Evan Bouchard (London Knights)
November – Evan Bouchard (London Knights)
October – Sean Durzi (Owen Sound Attack)
Rookie of the Month:
March – Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts)
February – Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts)
January – Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts)
December – Rasmus Sandin (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
November – Blade Jenkins (Saginaw Spirit)
October – Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts)
Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
March – Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting)
February – Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
January – Mario Culina (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
November – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
October – Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting)