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.’
HAT-TRICKS FOR MCDAVID, KONECNY:
The NHL has seen two hat-tricks in 2020-21, and both were scored by OHL alumni. Connor McDavid had three goals and an assist in Edmonton’s 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 14. The 24-year-old is off to a great start with five points (3-2–5) through his first three contests. The Erie Otters graduate was the CHL Player of the Year and OHL Playoff MVP in 2015.
A night later, Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny had a four-point showing of his own, scoring a hat-trick as the Flyers defeated the rival Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. The hat-trick is the first of Konecny’s NHL career as he helped Philadelphia defeat Pittsburgh for the second straight night. The 23-year-old former Sarnia Sting and Ottawa 67’s forward registered five points (3-2–5) over the two games.
McDavid, Konecny, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos (Sarnia Sting) and Toronto’s John Tavares (London Knights/Oshawa Generals) are all tied for the early NHL scoring lead with five points apiece.
STAMKOS BACK IN ACTION:
After battling an injury that kept him out of most of the 2020 NHL Playoffs, Steven Stamkos made a successful return to the lineup, posting five points (2-3–5) over Tampa Bay’s first two contests. The Sarnia Sting graduate burst out of the gate on opening night with a goal and two helpers in a 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. He tacked on a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over the Hawks on Friday. Stamkos now has points in 17 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 14, 2020. He scored in his lone appearance of last summer’s playoffs as the Lightning went on to hoist the Stanley Cup.
DEBUTS FOR SUTER, JUOLEVI, ROBERTSON:
A trio of OHL products made debuts in the NHL’s opening week, with 2014 OHL champion Pius Suter appearing in his first NHL contest with the Chicago Blackhawks. The former Guelph Storm winger comes off six seasons playing in his native Switzerland. Despite also appearing in the NHL Playoffs last summer, London Knights graduate Olli Juolevi of the Vancouver Canucks and reigning Peterborough Petes OHL goal scoring leader Nick Robertson of the Toronto Maple Leafs made regular season debuts. Unfortunately for Robertson, his debut was cut short to injury after just 2:20 minutes of ice time.
175 OHL GRADUATES ON 2020-21 NHL OPENING NIGHT ROSTERS:
A total of 175 OHL graduates are spread out over 31 NHL rosters to open the 2020-21 season, with an additional 24 included on taxi squads. Liam Foudy (Columbus Blue Jackets/London Knights) was the lone player from the 2019-20 season named to an opening night roster while others including Jack Quinn (Buffalo Sabres/Ottawa 67’s) and Nick Robertson (Toronto Maple Leafs/Peterborough Petes) were included on taxi squads. The Chicago Blackhawks led the way with 11 OHL graduates on their roster.
10 OHL GRADS WEARING THE ‘C’ FOR NHL CLUBS:
A total of 10 OHL graduates are currently captaining NHL clubs, with St. Louis Blues centreman and 2019 NHL Playoff MVP Ryan O’Reilly, formerly of the Erie Otters, as the latest addition to the list.