OHL Year-End Award Predictions

At the beginning of the season, a few of us took a stab at what we thought the OHL season would look like. Some good predictions, some bad, and some that turned out to be just plain horrible. Now, with the regular season over and the playoffs starting later this week, we polled a few friends of the site to see they would give each of this year’s end of season awards to.

The Voters

*So that the bias is known ahead of time

Cat Silverman (@catmsilverman) – NHL Writer at  and . Cheering for the evil London Knights all the way from Arizona. 

Jeremy Crowe (@307x) – Writing at and . Has a vested interest in the Steelheads doing well.

Jamie May (@JamieMay3 ) – Youth baseball coach, amateur hockey scout, and life long Oshawa Generals fan.

Rachel Doerrie (@racheldoerrie) – Writer for , creator of  and video coach for the Sudbury Wolves

Ryan Noble (@ryannoble66) – OHL contributor for The Bloggers’ Tribune and founder of blog.

J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) – Managing Editor of . Consultant. “I just watch the OHL for the draft prospects”.

Adam (@ElSeldo) – Writer for Pension Plan Puppets and OHL contributor for other SB Nation sites. For some reason he cheers for the Niagara Ice Dogs.

Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) – Managing Editor of The Bloggers’ Tribune. Lover of the Oshawa Generals ever since Eugene Melnyk ruined his St. Mike’s Majors.

 

 

Red Tilson Trophy (Most Outstanding Player)

Cat: Alex DeBrincat (ER)

Jeremy: Alex DeBrincat (ER)

Jamie: Alex DeBrincat (ER)

Rachel: Alex DeBrincat (ER)

Ryan: Alex DeBrincat (ER)

JD: Alex DeBrincat (ER)

Adam: Alex DeBrincat (ER)

Tom: Alex DeBrincat (ER)

This one is a no-brainer.  DeBrincat has spent the season setting records and his 65 goals in 63 games gave him an eight cushion in the league scoring race. The 39th overall pick in last year’s draft torched the opposition all season and will look to add a Memorial Cup to his trophy case before heading to the pros next season.

 

Max Kaminsky Trophy (Defenseman of the Year)

Cat: Filip Hronek (SAG)

Jeremy: Mikhail Sergashev (WSR)

Jamie: Darren Raddysh (ER)

Rachel: Darren Raddysh (ER)/Ryan Mantha (NIA)

Ryan: Darren Raddysh (ER)

JD: Mikhail Sergachev (WSR)

Adam: Darren Raddysh (ER)

Tom: Darren Raddysh (ER)

While Jeremy and JD give the nod to the Montreal Canadiens draft pick, the majority of our voters selected the elder Raddysh as the top defenseman in the OHL this season. The over-age defender anchored the blue line for the best team in the league, while leading the OHL with 80 points in 62-games.

 

Goaltender of the Year

Cat: Matthew Villalta (SSM)

Jeremy: Stephen Dhillon (NIA)

Jamie: Michael McNiven (OS)

Rachel: Michael McNiven (OS)

Ryan: Michael McNiven (OS)

JD: Dylan Wells (PBO)

Adam: Michael McNiven (OS)

Tom: Dylan Wells (PBO)

Michael McNiven wins this award despite cooling off the the second half of the season. The Owen Sound netminder finished the season with a .915 sv% and was the backbone for an Attack team that surprised many by finishing with the second most points in the Western Conference.

Dylan Wells was the key reason Peterborough won the top seed in the East as the Petes gave up scoring chances at a rate that should have seen them finish in the bottom half of the league. Wells and Dhillon ranked one and two in high and medium-danger sv% this season.

There was also one very deserving vote for the rookie in Sault Ste. Marie. Matt Villalta finished second in the league in sv%. An impressive feat for the draft eligible 17-year old who took over the starting job mid-season.

Rookie of the Year

Cat: Ryan Merkley (GUE)

Jeremy: Akil Thomas (NIA)

Jamie: Akil Thomas (NIA)

Rachel: Ryan Merkley (GUE)

Ryan: Jacob Ingham (MISS)

JD: Ryan Merkley (GUE)

Adam: Akil Thomas (NIA)

Tom: Ryan Merkley (GUE)

Last year’s first overall selection Ryan Merkley narrowly edged out Niagara forward Akil Thomas in the voting for rookie of the year. Merkley led all OHL rookies in scoring with 55 points in 61 games – a total that put him 8th among all defenseman in the league. He wasn’t padding his stats on the powerplay either – Merkely finished second among all OHL defensemen with 32 5v5 points. The 2018 NHL draft eligible defenseman is a dynamic playmaker that is destined for stardom – at least at the junior level.

Thomas finished the season third in rookie scoring (21 goals/48 points) and has already established himself as a top line forward with Niagara.

 

Import Player of the Year

Cat: Dmitri Sokolov (SBY)

Jeremy: Artur Tyanulin (OTT)

Jamie: Dmitri Sokolov (SBY)

Rachel: Dmitri Sokolov (SBY)

Ryan: Dmitri Sokolov (SBY)

JD: Filip Hronek (SAG)

Adam: Petrus Palmu (OS)

Tom: Janne Kuokkanen (LDN)

After falling all the way to the 7th round in last year’s draft, Dmitri Sokolov spent this season making NHL general managers regret not taking a chance on the young forward. The Minnesota Wild prospect finished second in league scoring with 47 goals and was the catalyst for the offense in Sudbury.

 

Draft Eligible Player of the Year

Cat: Gabe Vilardi (WSR)

Jeremy: Nick Suzuki (OS)

Jamie: Owen Tippett (MISS)

Rachel: Owen Tippett (MISS)

Ryan: Owen Tippett (MISS)

JD: Owen Tippett (MISS)

Adam: Owen Tippett (MISS)

Tom: Connor Timmins (SSM)

Owen Tippett is viewed by many as a top-5 pick in this summer’s draft and spent most of the year showing scouts that he has the potential to be an elite goal scorer at the next level. He led all draft eligible CHLers in goals per game and was a big reason why Mississauga won their division this season.

Nick Suzuki led all draft eligible players with 93 points – good enough for 5th in the OHL – and probably should have got a little more love in this vote than he did. He started the season being viewed as a 2nd or 3rd round pick but has been flying up draft boards all year – he should be selected in the middle third of the first round this summer.

Connor Timmins received one very deserving vote here. The Soo Greyhound led the league in 5v5 points by a defender and could be one of the more underrated prospects coming into this year’s draft.

 

Breakout Player of the Year

Cat: Dimitri Sokolov (SBY)

Jeremy: Kole Sherwood (FLNT)

Jamie:  Dylan Wells (PBO)

Rachel: Johan Gadjovic (OS)

JD: Cliff Pu (LDN)

Adam: Akil Thomas (NIA)

Tom: Medric Mercier (OSH)

Every player mentioned above had a breakout season to an extent or another. After being traded from London to Flint in the fall, Kole Sherwood almost tripled his point total from last year – 33 goals and 85 points. The 20-year old forward gave us a glimpse of why Blue Jackets fans should be excited about him as a prospect.

In his second season after coming over from Finland, Petrus Palmu proved that his size wasn’t going to stand in the way of becoming a high-end offensive talent in the OHL. Palmu finished the season with 41 goals and is a big reason why Owen Sound has been an elite team this season.

Speaking of Owen Sound, Jonah Gadjovic was another Attack forward who played much better than anyone would have expected. The draft eligible left winger had 45 goals this season and drastically improved how scouts look at him.

With the graduation of Marner, Tkachuk and Dvorak to the NHL, Cliff Pu was tasked with taking over as one of the leaders in London – the Sabres prospect didn’t disappoint. With 86 points, Pu more than doubled his previous career high (31) and proved that he could be a bonafide offensive threat.

Like Sherwood, Medric Mercier was traded in the fall and took advantage of the opportunity with a new team. Mercier finished with 21 goals in Oshawa, which was enough to lead all defensemen in the league.

 

 Overage Player of the Year

Cat: Santino Centorame (OS)

Jeremy: Spencer Watson (MISS)

Jamie:  Jeremy Brodeur (OSH)

Rachel: Ryan Mantha (NIA)

Ryan: Darren Raddysh (ER)

JD: Bobby MacIntyre (SSM)

Adam: Ryan Mantha (NIA)

Tom: Jeremy Brodeur (OSH)

There were a lot of very good overage players this season. Ryan Mantha was one of the best defensemen in the OHL all season and has already been rewarded with an ELC from Edmonton., while Bobby MacIntyre and Santino Centorame brought veteran leadership and offensive production to young teams that have aspirations of going deep into the playoffs.

Spencer Watson returned from injury and almost single-handedly turned Mississauga’s season around. The Steelheads spent the first half of the season in the basement of the Eastern Conference, only to turn things around and win the Central Division.

In Oshawa, Jeremy Brodeur has been the backbone and undisputed leader of a Generals team that is re-building on the fly and exceeding expectations many had for the young team.

 

 

 

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