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OHL Awards

The OHL announced their Player award finalists. I will go over each award, list the finalists, choose who I believe should receive the award, and explain why. Note: I am not predicting the winners. I do not vote on these awards and do not have inside information as to who may be most likely to receive them. I am stating who I feel is most deserving of each award.

Emms Family Award

Rookie of the Year.

Anthony Cirelli (Oshawa Generals)
Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)
Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Matt Luff (Belleville Bulls)
Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Zachary Senyshyn (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

My selection : Alex DeBrincat

This award is essentially a two horse race, between DeBrincat and Jakob Chychrun. On one hand, Chychrun truly put the Sting on his back for the second half of the season and is the main reason they made the playoffs, despite not being surrounded as well as DeBrincat.

However, DeBrincat has produced at an impressive rate, even when McDavid was injured. He is the first OHL rookie to reach 50 goals since Patrick Kane, in 2006-2007. More so, he has really made his presence felt in Erie’s roster. Despite his small stature, he is one of the most aggressive players on the ice every shift. He gets involved physically, does not shy away from hits, and gets in the dirty areas. In his own way, he reminds me of Brendan Gallagher’s style of play. Because of his consistent production throughout the season, DeBrincat should receive this award.

Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy

Overage Player of the Year

Joseph Blandisi (Barrie Colts)
Erik Bradford (Owen Sound Attack)
Chris Carlisle (Oshawa Generals)
Jean Dupuy (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Marcus McIvor (North Bay Battalion)
Jake Paterson (Kitchener Rangers)

My selection: Jake Paterson

Paterson has put up phenomenal numbers in goal, especially down the stretch when it mattered most. He was great for Kitchener after being traded, and added the stability the team needed to reach the playoffs. Without him, not only does Kitchener struggle to even qualify for the playoffs, but they certainly don’t stand a great chance in the first round, whether it is against Sault Ste. Marie, Erie, or London.

William Hanley Trophy Finalists

Most Sportsmanlike Player

Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa Generals)
Christian Dvorak (London Knights)
Darby Llewellyn (Kitchener Rangers)
Brendan Perlini (Niagara IceDogs)
Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)
Spencer Watson (Kingston Frontenacs)

My selection: Michael Dal Colle

This is a difficult decision, as these are all good options. I chose Michael Dal Colle based on the style he plays, his involvement in the game, and his ability not to cross the line. I believe that sportsmanship is more than mere discipline, it involves leadership and teamwork. In my opinion, Dal Colle best fits that criteria, as has displayed great sportsmanship all season on a strong Oshawa team.

Goaltender of the Year

Ken Appleby (Oshawa Generals)
Brandon Halverson (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads)
Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth Whalers)
Jake Paterson (Kitchener Rangers)
Lucas Peressini (Kingston Frontenacs)

My selection: Ken Appleby

Oshawa is a very strong team, and was in fact ranked first in the country for most of the season. Appleby had a lot to do with that. He was a rock for Oshawa. He was consistent, reliable, and showed the ability to make the key saves in important situations. His goal allowing average of 2.08 and save percentage of .924 were the best in the OHL, and he was always an intimidating goalie to play against.

Max Kaminsky Trophy

Defenceman of the Year

Rasmus Andersson (Barrie Colts)
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack)
Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)
Anthony DeAngelo (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Brenden Miller (North Bay Battalion)
Jordan Subban (Belleville Bulls)

My selection: Anthony Deangelo

Deangelo’s offensive contribution is unmatched by any defenceman in the OHL. He produced a ridiculous 89 points in 55 games, and is a true quarterback on his team’s blue line. He is solid on breakouts, reads the play exceptionally well to make a quick outlet pass, or an accurate stretch pass, and skates with the puck exceptionally well. While he is not necessarily known for his defensive play, he is hard to play against. He is aggressive, very involved in the play, and wants the puck.

Matt Leyden Trophy

Coach of the Year

Jeff Brown (Ottawa 67’s)
Stan Butler (North Bay Battalion)
Greg Gilbert (Saginaw Spirit)
Sheldon Keefe (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Kris Knoblauch (Erie Otters)
D.J Smith (Oshawa Generals)

My selection: Sheldon Keefe

While he benefited from an exceptional roster, a large part of it was added at the trade deadline. It is always difficult to assimilate players into an already strong team, as it means roles and ice time may decrease for some. Keefe has done a great job of including all players and maximizing his roster’s productivity. He has also had to cope with many injuries, yet the team remained dominant.

Red Tilson Trophy

Most Outsanding Player of the Year

Barrie – Joseph Blandisi
Belleville – Charlie Graham
Erie – Connor McDavid
Guelph – Tyler Bertuzzi
Kingston – Lucas Peressini
Kitchener – Ryan MacInnis
London – Max Domi
Mississauga – Sam Babintsev
Niagara – Carter Verhaeghe
North Bay – Nick Paul
Oshawa – Cole Cassels
Ottawa – Dante Salituro
Owen Sound – Zach Nastasiuk
Peterborough – Matt Mancina
Plymouth – Alex Nedeljkovic
Saginaw – Connor Brown
Sarnia – Jakob Chychrun
Sault Ste. Marie – Anthony DeAngelo
Sudbury – Kyle Capobianco
Windsor – Trevor Murphy

My selection: Connor McDavid

It is unfortunate only one player can win this award, as many had outstanding seasons. In the end, Connor McDavid is most deserving of the award. He is a once-in-a-generation player, the best prospect since at least Sidney Crosby, and will in all likelihood be drafted first overall at the NHL Entry Draft. He was the center of attention throughout the season, yet seemed unfazed. He produced at a greater pace than any other player and was a leader on his team. He was the subject of extremely tight defensive coverage, which allowed his teammates to produce, but still found a way to dominate on a nightly basis. He is the best player in the league, could realistically be the best player in the world in a foreseeable future, and is fully deserving of this prestigious award.

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