Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in December 2017, including the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds trio of Morgan Frost, Rasmus Sandin and Matthew Villalta along with London Knights defenceman Evan Bouchard.
OHL Player of the Month – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds):
Philadelphia Flyers prospect Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the OHL Player of the Month for December after leading the league with 20 points including eight goals, 12 assists and a plus/minus rating of plus-18 over 10 games. The third-year centreman continued a 14-game point streak through the end of the month, registering multi-point outputs in eight of the 10 games he played. Frost earned first star honours twice this past month, scoring twice on Dec. 13th against Flint before registering four points (2-2–4) on Dec. 16th in Guelph. His most recent performance featured a goal and an assist against the Guelph Storm on Dec. 30th as the Greyhounds pushed their current winning streak to 23 games.
An 18-year-old native of Aurora, Ont., Frost leads the OHL in scoring with 60 points (21-39–60) over 36 games while also leading all players with a plus-46 plus/minus rating. He has recorded at least one point in 20 games of the Greyhounds’ current 23-game winning streak that dates back to Oct. 28th. The. 6-foot, 180Ib. centreman represented Team OHL in the 2017 CIBC Canada-Russia Series earlier this season after being chosen in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers last summer. Frost was Sault Ste. Marie’s fourth round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection from the Barrie Colts Minor Midgets.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Evan Bouchard (London Knights):
For the second straight month, draft eligible London Knights blueliner Evan Bouchard is the OHL Defenceman of the Month. Bouchard led OHL rearguards with 16 points including five goals and 11 assists over 11 games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-7. The 6-foot-2, 191Ib. defender had points in nine of his 11 games, helping the Knights to a 7-3-0-1 month of December. Bouchard started the month by earning third star honours with a goal and an assist on Dec. 1st against Oshawa. A week later his goal and an assist on Dec. 8th against Peterborough earned him second star recognition. Bouchard earned first star honours on Dec. 12th in Erie, scoring the overtime winner while also recording an assist. He ended 2017 with a three-assist outing on Dec. 31st in Sarnia.
An 18-year-old product of Oakville, Ont., Bouchard currently leads OHL defencemen with 46 points including 13 goals and 33 assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-14 in 37 games. The right-handed shooting blueliner has a total of 19 points on the power play this season. He represented the OHL in the 2017 CIBC Canada-Russia Series and has been named to the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game set for Jan. 25th in Guelph. Bouchard was an ‘A’ rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ List. Bouchard was London’s first round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection from the Oakville Rangers Minor Midgets.
OHL Rookie of the Month – Rasmus Sandin (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds):
Draft eligible Swedish blueliner Rasmus Sandin of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the OHL Rookie of the Month for December. The 17-year-old had nine points including two goals and seven assists in 11 games from the back end this past month, helping the Greyhounds continue a 23-game winning streak. Sandin recorded two assists on Dec. 10th against Windsor before earning first star honours with a career-high three points (2-1–3) on Dec. 29th against Flint, setting up teammate Barrett Hayton for a late game-winning goal.
A 17-year-old native of Uppsala, Sweden, Sandin currently leads OHL rookie defencemen in scoring with 21 points (4-17–21) and a plus-19 rating in 24 games this season. After starting the season with Rogle BK of the Swedish Elite League, Sandin joined the Greyhounds in October and the team has proceeded to win 23 of their 24 games with him in the lineup. He has been named to the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 25th in Guelph and was an ‘A’ rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ List. Sandin was Sault Ste. Marie’s first round pick in the 2017 CHL Import Draft.
Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds):
For the second straight month, Los Angeles Kings prospect Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month. The 18-year-old played to a perfect 7-0-0-0 record with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage this past month, continuing the Hounds’ 23-game winning streak along with a 16-game winning streak of his own. Villalta stopped 25 of 26 shots on Dec. 16th in Guelph before returning from the holiday break to earn second star honours with 30 saves on Dec. 28th against Saginaw. His latest outing included 39 saves and three shootout denials as the Greyhounds won their 23rd straight contest, defeating the Guelph Storm on Dec. 30th.
A 6-foot-3, 183Ib. native of Godfrey, Ont. outside of Kingston, Villalta leads OHL goaltenders with a 2.45 goals-against average along with a 23-2-1-0 record, a .912 save percentage and one shutout. He holds an impressive career record of 48-5-1-0 over 59 career regular season games to go with a 2.43 goals-against average, a .915 save percentage and two shutouts. A free agent addition by the Greyhounds out of Training Camp in 2016, Villalta was a third round pick by the Los Angeles Kings this past summer.
2017-18 OHL Performers of the Month:
Player of the Month:
December – Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
November – Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
October – Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Defenceman of the Month:
December – Evan Bouchard (London Knights)
November – Evan Bouchard (London Knights)
October – Sean Durzi (Owen Sound Attack)
Rookie of the Month:
December – Rasmus Sandin (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
November – Blade Jenkins (Saginaw Spirit)
October – Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts)
Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
December – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
November – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
October – Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting)