2007 OHL Awards Ceremony
By Brad Young
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 marked the formal awards ceremony held at the Hockey Hall of Fame honouring this year’s OHL award recipients. Jack Miller, legendary voice of the Belleville Bulls, hosted the awards ceremony.
Up first, was the Jack Fergusson Award presented to the 1st overall pick in the 2006-07 OHL Priority Selection. Jack Ferguson presented the award to Ryan O’Reilly who was selected 1st overall by the Erie Otters this past May. O’Reilly collected 31 goals and 43 assists for 74 points in 50 games with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. “The Fergie” award recognizes the dedication and contributions made by Jack Ferguson who has been involved with the OHL for over 25 years and is the former Director of OHL Central Scouting. Fergusson currently works as a scout for the Saginaw Spirit.
Scott Abbott, Chairman of the Board with the OHL and Governor of the Brampton Battalion Hockey Club, presented Craig Goslin with the OHL Executive of the Year honours. Goslin is the first repeat winner of this award, having also won the OHL Executive of the Year honours in 2005-06 since Jim Rutherford of the Detroit Jr. Red Wings who was the successful recipient in 1992-1993 and 1993-1994.
Jack Miller presented the Dave Pinkey Trophy for the lowest team G.A.A. to Jeremy Smith and Michal Neuvirth of the Plymouth Whalers, along with the F.W. Dinty Moore Trophy for the best rookie G.A.A., which went to Neuvirth. Smith and Neuvirth backed the Whalers to an impressive 49-14-2-3 regular season record. Neuvirth led all goaltenders with a 2.32 goals against average while recording a .932 save percentage and posting a 26-8-2-2 record in 38 games. Smith posted a 2.59 goals against average and a .923 save percentage while recording a 23-6-0-1 record in 30 games. Head coach Mike Vellucci accepted the awards on behalf of his goaltenders.
Jeff Twohey, General Manager of the Peterborough Petes is a member of the OHL’s Competitions Committee, Officiating Committee and Recruitment Committee, presented the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy to top scoring right winger – Patrick Kane of the London Knights. Kane led all right-wingers in scoring this season with 62 goals and 83 assists for 145 points in 58 games. The Jim Mahon Trophy was presented for competition in the 1971-72 season by the players and management of the Peterborough Major Junior Hockey Club in memory of the late Jim Mahon, who was played right wing for their team.
Paul Dennis, Player Development Coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs and former head coach of the OHA Toronto Marlboros, presented the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy to top overage player – Tyler Donati of the Belleville Bulls. Donati, a 20-year-old native of Oakville, Ontario led the Bulls in team scoring with 54 goals and 75 assists for 129 points in 66 games this season. This was the first time in Donati’s four-year OHL career that he has surpassed the 50 goal and 100 point plateau. The trophy was donated by the trainers in the League in memory of the late Leo Lalonde, former Chief Scout of the OHL’s Central Scouting Bureau.
Jack Miller presented the William Hanley Memorial Trophy to most sportsmanlike player – Tom Pyatt of the Saginaw Spirit. The trophy commemorates William Hanley, former Secretary-Manager of the OHA for over 25 years. Graig Goslin accepted the award on behalf of Pyatt.
Wojtek Wolski, Colorado Avalanche forward and OHL graduate of the Brampton Battalion, presented the OHL Goaltender of the Year Award to Steve Mason of the London Knights. Mason posted an impressive 45-13-1-3 record, along with a 3.20 goals against average and a .914 save percentage, in 62 games this season. Mason’s 45 regular season wins is a new OHL record amongst goaltenders. Wolski holds all Battalion career scoring records and won the Red Tilson Trophy and the William Hanley Trophy last year.
David Branch, OHL Commissioner and President of the CHL introduced the OHL Cup Champion Mississauga IceDogs Minor Midgets, who captured the Cup earlier this season.
Dave Tennant, Educational Consultant and son of the late Ivan Tennant presented the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award to top academic high school player – Andrew Shorkey of the Owen Sound Attack. Andrew attended West Hill Secondary School in Owen Sound and took a very academically challenging program of seven Grade 12 University level courses including: English, Algebra, Physics, Biology, Exercise Science, Calculus and French. His overall academic average on his best six courses was 93.83%. Ivan Tennant was a former senior hockey player, Jr. B coach, Education Consultant for the Kitchener Rangers for 20 years and a key figure on the OHL’s Education Committee, who spent a lifetime combining hockey and education.
Janet Wylie, Educational Consultant for the Peterborough Petes, presented the Roger Nielson Memorial Award to top academic university/college player – Derrick Bagshaw of the Erie Otters. Derrick attended both Gannon and Mercyhurst University in Erie. Derrick maintained a GPA of 3.5+ in his university studies and to date has completed 35 credits and sophomore status. Courses that Derrick has completed include: Accounting, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Marketing and Business and Professional Communication. Neilson was a pioneer in stressing the importance of education to all of his players while he coached the Peterborough Petes in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Nielson, a former high school teacher who went on to a successful coaching career in the NHL was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002 and was also honoured the Order of Canada in the same year.
Caroline White, Educational Consultant for the Sarnia Sting Hockey Club and Chair of the OHL Education Committee, presented the Bobby Smith Trophy to scholastic player of the year – Steven Stamkos of the Sarnia Sting. Steven attended Northern Collegiate as a Grade 11 student taking eight courses without any spares. Courses included: Math, Biology, English, Anthropology, Physical Education, Marketing, Accounting and Information Technology. Steven managed to maintain an 83% on his best six courses. The trophy is in honour of Bobby Smith, former Ottawa 67’s star who exhibited the standard of excellence required by the award.
Graham Snyder, father of the late Dan Snyder who was an OHL graduate of the Owen Sound Platters and forward for the NHL Atlanta Thrashers, presented the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy to humanitarian of the year — Andrew Gibbons of the Belleville Bulls. Gibbons, a 20-year-old native of Oshawa, Ontario established himself as a goodwill ambassador in the City of Belleville and throughout surrounding communities during his four years with the Bulls organization.
Glenn MacDonell, President of Special Olympics Ontario made a special presentation to OHL Commissioner David Branch in recognition of the OHL’s continued commitment to their partnership with Special Olympics.
Greg Gilbert, head coach of the Toronto Marlies and former OHL graduate of the Toronto Marlboros, presented the Matt Leyden Trophy to coach of the year — Mike Vellucci of the Plymouth Whalers. Vellucci was successful in leading the Whalers to the J. Ross Robertson Cup this past season. The award is in recognition of the contributions of Matt Leyden, past President of the OHA from 1965-67. The Oshawa native was honoured as a lifetime member by the OHA in 1972.
Mark Napier, President of the NHL Alumni Association and OHA graduate of the Toronto Marlboros, presented the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy to scoring champion – Patrick Kane of the London Knights. The 18-year-old native of Buffalo, New York led the OHL in scoring amassing 145 points in 58 games and is top-ranked OHL player heading in to the 2007 NHL Entry Draft later this month in Columbus, Ohio. The Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy was donated by the Toronto Marlboro Athletic Club in memory of Edward Powers.
Phillip Dover, great nephew of Max Kaminsky and Jay Harrison, OHL graduate defenceman with the Brampton Battalion and current Toronto Maple Leafs, presented the Max Kaminsky Trophy to Marc Staal of the Sudbury Wolves as the most outstanding defenceman. Staal finished the regular season with five goals and 29 assists for 34 points in 53 games. Staal represented the Eastern Conference All-Stars at this year’s All-Star Classic, in (Saginaw). The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston and Montreal. After Kaminsky retired from playing, he enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catherines Teepees in 1960.
Boyd Devereaux, OHL graduate of the Kitchener Rangers and current member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, presented the Emms Family Award to rookie of the year – Patrick Kane of the London Knights. The Emms Family Award is presented annually to the top first year player as selected by OHL general managers. Kane led all rookies in scoring this season with 62 goals and 83 assists for 145 points in 58 games. The award was donated by Leighton “Hap” Emms, former owner of the Barrie, Niagara Falls and St.Catherines OHL franchises.
Adam Graves, OHL graduate of the Windsor Compuware Spitfires and 16 year NHL veteran, presented the Red Tilson Trophy to most outstanding player — John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals. Tavares who led the Oshawa Generals in scoring with 72 goals and 62 assists for 134 points in 67 games this season, becomes the youngest ever recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy. Tavares’ 72 goals also broke Wayne Gretzky’s 29 year old record of 70 goals scored by a 16-year-old, which was set during the 1977-78 season. “It’s a great honour. I’ve been here the past two years and it’s good seeing the guys that won it having successful pro careers (Corey Perry and Wojtek Wolski). I’m really happy and very proud of myself for winning this.”
The Award is in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who lost his life in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.