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OHL Alumni Notebook: Feb. 22, 2021

 

The Ontario Hockey League typically runs the ‘OHL Weekend Notebook’ each Monday. With the delay to our 2020-21 season, we’ll spend time covering the League’s top alumni from across the National Hockey League with the ‘OHL Alumni Notebook.’

McDAVID NOTCHES 500th POINT, NAMED WEEK’S 2ND STAR
Erie Otters graduate Connor McDavid continued his tear across the scoresheet last week, being named the NHL’s second star with three goals, six assists and nine points in four games. McDavid’s week was highlighted by a five-point outing on Saturday as his Edmonton Oilers defeated the rival Calgary Flames 7-1. He finished the game with a hat trick and two assists. The 24-year-old leads the NHL with 37 points, collecting the 500th of his NHL career on February 17th.

BROWN, TKACHUK, BOUGHNER REACH NHL MILESTONES
Long-time NHL veteran Dustin Brown played in his 1,200th career NHL contest on Monday. The 36-year-old from Ithaca, NY is just the fifth active NHL player to do so. Brown, who played for the Guelph Storm from 2000-03 and won an unprecedented three consecutive Bobby Smith Trophies as the League’s Scholastic Player of the Year, is the Kings franchise games played leader. London Knights grad Matthew Tkachuk notched his 100th career NHL goal on Monday as his Calgary Flames blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0. Tkachuk, who scored the overtime winner to crown the Knights 2016 Memorial Cup champions in Red Deer, accomplished the feat in his 312th career contest. On the coaching front, San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner earned his 100th career victory on February 16th. Boughner coached the Windsor Spitfires to back-to-back Memorial Cups in 2009 and 2010. The former NHL defenceman is in his third season as an NHL head coach.

NHL FIRSTS FOR NEDELJKOVIC, LAMMIKKO
Former OHL Goaltender of the Year Alex Nedeljkovic earned his first career shutout on Saturday as his Carolina Hurricanes blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. The 25-year-old from Parma, OH, played in the OHL from 2012-16 with stops in Plymouth, Flint and Niagara. Kingston Frontenacs graduate Juho Lammikko scored his first career NHL goal on February 17th in Carolina. The 25-year-old Finnish winger was skating in his 48th career NHL contest and also managed to score two nights later in Detroit. Lammikko played in Kingston from 2014-16 and was Florida’s third round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

SUSHKO MAKES NHL DEBUT
Owen Sound Attack product Maksim Sushko suited up for the Philadelphia Flyers in his first career NHL contest on February 18th against the New York Rangers. The 22-year-old from Brest, Belarus spent the 2019-20 season with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms following a three-year career in Owen Sound from 2016-19. Sushko was Philadelphia’s fourth round pick in 2017.

DRYSDALE AMONG AHL TOP SCORERS
Certainly not a surprise to anybody in Erie, Otters blueliner Jamie Drysdale has burst onto the AHL scene with big-time success. The 18-year-old defenceman is tied for second in AHL scoring with eight points (3-5–8) in as many games for the San Diego Gulls, top affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks picked Drysdale with the sixth overall pick of the 2020 NHL Draft. He racked up 47 points (9-38–47) in 49 games with the Otters in his second OHL season and won silver with Canada at the 2021 World Juniors. In addition to Drysdale, Kitchener Rangers product Michael Vukojevic (Binghamton Devils), London Knights star Connor McMichael (Hershey Bears), Kingston’s Zayde Wisdom (Lehigh Valley Phantoms) and Kitchener’s Riley Damiani (Texas Stars) are recent OHL talents seated at the scoring charts for their respective clubs.

McMICHAEL COLLECTS FIRST PRO HAT TRICK
Connor McMichael led the OHL with six hat-tricks in 2019-20. The London Knights product picked up his first in the AHL on Saturday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. McMichael lifted his Hershey Bears to a 3-1 victory, netting all three to give him four goals in five games on the season. The 20-year-old from Ajax, Ont. was selected by the Washington Capitals with the 25th overall pick of the 2019 NHL Draft. He won gold with Canada at the 2020 World Juniors and claimed silver this past January in Edmonton. McMichael’s four goals place him in a tie for third in AHL goal-scoring, joining Kingston Frontenacs forward Zayde Wisdom (Lehigh Valley Phantoms), Owen Sound Attack alumnus Jonah Gadjovich (Utica Comets) and Soo Greyhounds product Michael Bunting (Tucson Roadrunners) in that category.

RECENT OHL PLAYERS MAKE PRO BREAKTHROUGHS
A handful of past and present OHL players scored their first American Hockey League goals this past week including Saginaw Spirit forward Ryan Suzuki of the Chicago Wolves, Sarnia Sting winger Jacob Perreault of the San Diego Gulls, London Knights graduate Alec Regula of the Rockford IceHogs and Owen Sound Attack alumnus Brady Lyle of the Providence Bruins. Kitchener Rangers forwards in Florida Panthers prospect Serron Noel and Tampa Bay Lightning draftee Declan McDonnell made their pro debuts with the Syracuse Crunch. Another Panthers pick in Cole Schwindt of the Mississauga Steelheads also suited up for Syracuse and Ottawa 67’s winger Graeme Clarke got into the lineup for the Binghamton Devils. In other good news, Niagara IceDogs goaltender Tucker Tynan has rehabbed and fully recovered from a scary injury suffered December 12, 2019 against the London Knights. He signed an Amateur Tryout Offer with the Iowa Wild, top affiliate of the Minnesota Wild.

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