Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in October 2021, including Guelph Storm forward Sasha Pastujov, Sudbury Wolves defenceman Jack Thompson, Oshawa Generals rookie Calum Ritchie and London Knights goaltender Brett Brochu.
OHL Player of the Month – Sasha Pastujov (Guelph Storm):
Anaheim Ducks prospect Sasha Pastujov of the Guelph Storm is the OHL Player of the Month for October, sitting tied for the League-lead in both goals (10) and points (17) through 10 games this season. Pastujov is tied for the OHL’s second-most shots on goal with 44 and also scored a pair of game winners as the Storm played to a mark of 5-4-1-0. Pastujov wasted little time scoring his first career hat-trick, lighting the lamp three times on Oct. 9th as Guelph fell to visiting Kitchener 5-4. He proceeded to record points in eight consecutive games from Oct. 9th to 29th, headlined by three points (2-1–3) on Oct. 28th as the Storm fell to the Windsor Spitfires 6-3 before posting a season-high four points (3-1–4) on Oct. 29th in a 9-4 win over Owen Sound. Pastujov earned star of the game recognition four times, including a pair of first star and second star designations. He’s the first Storm player to earn OHL Player of the Month honours since Robby Fabbri last did so in February 2014.
An 18-year-old product of Bradenton, Fla., Pastujov has embarked on his first OHL season after being selected in the third round (66th overall) by the Anaheim Ducks out of the U.S. National Development Program last summer. A former World Under-17 Hockey Challenge silver medalist and IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship standout representing the United States, Pastujov was originally Guelph’s 14th round (276th overall) pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves):
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jack Thompson of the Sudbury Wolves is the OHL Defenceman of the Month for October, leading all blueliners with 16 points including four goals and 12 assists over 11 games. The League’s inaugural Player of the Week to start the season, Thompson leads the OHL with 50 shots on goal, is one of three defenders to score twice on the power play and is the lone rearguard to score a shorthanded goal this season. The Wolves captain registered three points (1-2–3) in his opening game of the season as Sudbury defeated visiting Peterborough 6-3. He followed that up with a career-high four points (1-3–4) as the Wolves skated to a 6-3 win in Sault Ste. Marie on Oct. 9th. He scored the deciding goal in Sunday’s 3-1 victory over North Bay. Thompson has recorded points in nine of his 11 games this season and earned star of the game recognition four times throughout October, twice being named first star along with one second and one third star designation. Thompson is the first Wolves defender to earn the honour since Frank Corrado in October 2013.
A 19-year-old native of Courtice, Ont., Thompson is in his third season with the Wolves having put up 64 points (23-41–64) over 126 career regular season contests with the franchise. He was a third round (93rd overall) pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2020 NHL Draft before spending part of the 2020-21 season with Surahammars IF of Sweden’s HockeyEttan circuit. Thompson made his pro debut with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch last season, recording an assist in his lone contest. He signed an entry-level NHL contract with the Lightning on May 19, 2021. The right-shot rearguard was originally Sudbury’s second round (30th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the Clarington Toros U16 program.
OHL Rookie of the Month – Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals):
Calum Ritchie of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL Rookie of the Month for October, leading the field with 12 points including seven goals and five assists in 10 games. Ritchie also led rookies with 44 shots on goal and is tied for the most game winning goals with two. He opened his OHL career with goals in five consecutive games from Oct. 8th to 17th, recording a season-high four points (2-2–4) in a 6-3 win over the Peterborough Petes on Oct. 17th. The four-point performance made Ritchie the youngest General to accomplish the feat since Michael Dal Colle back on Nov. 4, 2012. His five-game goal-scoring streak brought him in line with John Tavares, who had a similar run during his exceptional status rookie season in the month of January 2006. Ritchie rounded-out the month by scoring the third period game winner on Oct. 28th in North Bay as the Generals skated to a 3-2 win. He becomes the first General to earn OHL Rookie of the Month honours since Allan McShane last did so in January 2017.
A 16-year-old native of Oakville, Ont., Ritchie is a graduate of the Oakville Rangers U16 program, a team he captained before being chosen second overall in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection this past June.
OHL Goaltender of the Month – Brett Brochu (London Knights):
Brett Brochu of the London Knights is the OHL Goaltender of the Month after leading OHL netminders with a 2.07 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and an undefeated 8-0-0-0 record in the month of October. He also stopped 11 of 12 shootout attempts. Brochu put forth three different first star performances against the Owen Sound Attack including an Oct. 8th opening night 3-2 shootout victory that included 28 saves and four shootout denials. He was sharp against the Attack once again on Oct. 22nd, making 36 saves in a 2-1 win on home ice. Brochu turned back Owen Sound a fourth time in the month on Oct. 27th, making 32 saves in a 4-1 road win. The OHL Goaltender of the Month honour is Brochu’s third in a row dating back to January and February of 2020 prior to the season being halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A 19-year-old from Tilbury, Ont., Brochu has won 17 consecutive regular season games dating back to Feb. 14, 2020, part of a stretch in which he’s won 30 of 31 decisions since Dec. 29, 2019. The 6-foot, 176Ib. Brochu was a member of the OHL’s first all-rookie team during the 2019-20 season, leading the League with a 2.40 goals-against average to win the F.W. Dinty Moore Trophy. His 32 wins that season set a new OHL record for a 16 or 17-year-old first year goaltender. The former sixth round (114th overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection made his professional debut with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2020-21, appearing in one game on May 16, 2021.