Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Charles Sarault of the Sarnia Sting is the 2012-13 recipient of the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy awarded annually to the OHL’s Overage Player of the Year.
Sarault finished second in league scoring with 108 points in 68 games recording career-highs in all offensive categories scoring 22 goals with a league-high 86 assists. He becomes the third member of the Sting to win the award following Justin DiBenedetto in 2008-09, and Aaron Brand in 1995-96.
“I would like to thank Jacques Beaulieu, Trevor Letowski, Alex Galchenyuk Sr. and all my teammates and support staff with the Sarnia Sting,” Sarault said. “I would also like to thank my family and friends who have supported me throughout the years. I hope other players can use me as an example to never give up because great things happen to people who persevere and always continue to work hard.”
A 21-year-old from Fournier, ON, Sarault played five seasons in the OHL after being selected in the second round of the 2008 Priority Selection by the Kingston Frontenacs. He played three full seasons in Kingston recording just 63 points in 197 games before beginning the 2011-12 campaign with the Sting where he exploded for 87 points in 68 games to lead the club in scoring. Named the third Smartest Player and Best Playmaker in the Western Conference Coaches Poll this season, Sarault won OHL Player of the Week honours in December after back-to-back five-point games before setting a Sting franchise record on February 22 with seven assists in one game. He finished his OHL career with 258 points in 333 games and recently signed an NHL entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks.
“The entire organization is thrilled for Charlie, he is very deserving of this honour,” said General Manager and Head Coach Jacques Beaulieu. “Charlie plays the game the right way and it has paid off for him both in winning this award and signing a contract with Anaheim. He will be missed next season but his influence on our returning players will have an impact on our club for years to come.”
The Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the Top Overage Player of the Year as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for players from their own hockey club. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.
Sarault finished the voting process with 78 points out of a maximum 95, with Saginaw Spirit forward Garret Ross finishing in second place with 48 voting points. Defenceman Colin Miller of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds finished in third with 18 voting points.
Former winners of the trophy include Bill Bowler (Windsor, 1994-95), and Dan Tessier (Ottawa 99-00), along with current NHL stars Chad LaRose (Plymouth 2002-03), Andre Benoit (Kitchener 2004-05), and Ryan Callahan (Guelph, 2005-06). Andrew Agozzino of the Niagara IceDogs was last year’s award recipient.
The Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy was donated by the trainers of the Ontario Hockey League, in memory of the late Leo Lalonde, former Chief Scout of OHL Central Scouting. Leo Lalonde was also formerly the Chief Scout for the Belleville Bulls as well as a scout for the Peterborough Petes.
Sarault will be formally presented with the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy at the 2012-13 OHL Awards Ceremony scheduled for June 4 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.